Prince: Purple Reign – A book review

imagesI read this on my Kobo Aura 2 E-reader. After reading the preview version, I became curious and hit the buy button.

I wasn’t very fond of purple (literally, the color!). But this book about Prince has made me see it from another “eyes”. What I had in my mind when this color is mentioned was: “To know more about Prince is to like purple. To love him, though, is to love purple.” This book draws me deep into his life without it being too exaggerated. I’ve never been a fan of Prince; I’ve always been neutral – not a fan, but also not a hater. I bought this book after reading the previews of other biography books about famous musicians. I must say that although speaking highly/promoting is essential and obvious, this book at least doesn’t make me bored to the point that I’d think,”okay, this is going to be ridiculously and narcissistically written.” It is not, and it’s one of the reasons why I hit on the buy button.

You might even think that I, at least, have one album about Prince because I decided to read this book. Nope. I do have Mozart, though ;) But I’m not a classical music snob *smiles, sarcastically* I do listen to the Beatles, Oasis, Nirvana, Michael Jackson, etc. By this I meant to say that this post is written by someone who had never taken a serious look about the life of Prince (hey, talking about the other side of the coin…) — and hey, don’t you think that this book is interesting enough to draw attention to a classical violinist? ;)

What I think about Prince

As this is my first biography book about Prince, my opinion about him is also only based on what I’ve read in this book. Prince was a guy with a big dream and that’s undoubtedly true. But I also find him to be a self-centered musician, and I also sensed narcissistic side, but the author of this book thankfully didn’t make it too stand out from other things about him. His journey as a musician even made me more realize that being a musician with a big dream is like fighting to climb up higher for years. How many bands have stopped performing, currently? It’s like trying to reach perfection on a difficult to master music instrument like the violin, where your ears let you train to play in-tune; How many have dropped it? Too many! It’s a very demanding music instrument: you have to practise every day, set your goals. The correlation between this and Prince is that I find Prince so demanding: you could or couldn’t keep up with him.

Back to this book..

It felt like I’m back to the ’80s and earlier. I sensed that back then, people seemed to categorize music in blocks: not only by genre’s but also by races: music for white people, and for black people. People probably still categorize it like this, but I think that back then, it was worse. It’s this book that emphasized it. This kind of stands out in the whole story. While music is an international language so it has to be neutral.

There’s a downside of this book, though. Its description about Geminis is off. The author mentioned Gemini – which is Prince’s zodiac – but he put the description of Sagittarius. I chuckled when I read it. As this book is my first biography book about Prince (I do think that it’s not the only book about Prince on this earth), I don’t know whether to recommend this. But I know that it’s interestingly written and has succesfully inspired me.

Advertisements

Lost in Austen (2008)

75c26b21371b66784c4825ef5fb78769

Girls, girls, girls…..

Books, books, books…

Do you like Jane Austen’s works? Or perhaps Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte? Or just name several English classic drama film, written by legends ;)

This drama serie is an adaptation of the book The Pride and the Prejudice by Jane Austen.

I know that some of you (or maybe, all of you, haha!) don’t agree with the twist made by Guy Andrews from the original, fantastic and majestic work of Jane Austen, but if you like such stories written by the legends, and you have read the books from cover to cover, and you’re able to critic the different versions of the films made by different directors, this drama film is a total twist! Of course we can’t expect it to match the scenes in the book as there’s an additional character, added in this 21st century, but I would have wished Amanda Price to have an updo’s hairstyle that would match the gowns she’s wearing.

Imagine you’re a fan of Austen’s work, you read the book all over again to escape from the cruel daily life you’ve been getting, and then you meet Elizabeth Bennet in your bathroom, and that Longbourn is just next door….what would you feel? Oh God! Perhaps I wouldn’t want to go back to this era after stepping into the 18th century era. Although I prefer to experience Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte ;)

George Wickham, though, is a bastard. The cool bastard. The coolest bastard at the right time and the right situation ;) this film insisted that Jane Austen only told a one sided story of Wickham, so, when Amanda Price saw Wickham at the first time, she showed him her hatred, not knowing that Wickham would be the one to help her, at the right time, at the right situation.

Fitzwilliam Darcy, arrogant! But based on these series, and based on my opinion about Mrs. Bennet, Darcy was actually quite right when he told Bingley that Mrs. Bennet and her daughters were only after their money, although it’s their mother who was kind of obsessed with money and status.

Mrs. Bennet, oh…..just like the book, I hate her! Especially after watching these series, I hate her even more! She seemed to be obsessed with money although I understand that she’s a mother and wanted her daughters to have a good life (read: means money and status, from Mrs. Bennet’s point of views). But, in these series I like the scene when Mrs. Bingley got painful comments from Mrs. Bennet, which surprised Mr. Bennet that he said he’s going to sleep in his bed that night, next to his wife. Although I don’t like Mrs. Bennet, these tv series have chosen the right face to fulfill Mrs. Bennet’s character, with that nose pointing up every time she’s in a rush :D

Overall commentaries:

As the story is adapted by a guy, I kept on imagining that this guy tried to catch what girls think, wish and imagine when reading the book all over again and from covers to covers….wishing to  be loved by Mr. Darcy? ;) Maybe some girls do wish it when reading the book, but you, oh you, Guy Andrews, have turned the story into a witty one! And because of you, I’m now imagining how it is to be Mrs. Darcy, not only how it is to be living in that era, wearing those gowns and wouldn’t be seen as a weirdo if I decided to dress like a steampunk, or aristocrat, or victorian goth ;)

 

Yes, 3 characters! ;)

Yes, 3 characters! ;) of what? You may ask. If you’re a member of wordpress.com, you’d probably know that we can’t have username with less than 4 characters. This weblog was created during the time wordpress.com was still new and you could only create an account if you got invitation from the ones who were already members. So, let’s say, it was in beta. When I got an invitation from a friend, I wanted it to be simple and able to fit a lot of subjects so I created this with only 3 characters. At this time, I didn’t pay attention to another public blogs and news about WP, until I got referral link from a weblog whose author mentioned this blog. There I noticed that wordpress has limited the username to be at least 4 characters.

Now, I know that it has taken me a long time to update this weblog, but I’m not going to abandon/delete this account, even though I may delete all the posts and start again, like what I’ve done before (why? Well, I don’t have any reason for that. Because I can, maybe? :). Not updating doesn’t mean I haven’t watched any movies/read any book. I’m just lazy.

And oh, I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel about having only three characters on my wp.com url: insecure? proud? Nah, I feel insecure, but I don’t want to change it because I know I won’t be able to go back to three characters.

Your Lie in April (2016)

CpJCR5WVMAA6Zwk.jpg-large

This Japanese drama film is about Kosei Arima, a piano prodigy who, after his mother died suffered from psychological trauma caused him to be unable to hear the sound of his piano playing, and he gave up on it until he met Kaori Miyazono, an extrovert, free-spirited violinist who changed his life drastically. Together with Kosei’s friends Tsubaki and Watari, they tried to convince him to play again. Now, I’m not going to tell the whole story because if you haven’t watched the movie, I will just annoy you by telling it here. But if you’re currently in a melancholic situation and want to watch this, may I suggest you to keep a box of tissues near by :)

Well, I must say that the story kind of relates to me as in being too nervous to perform that I can’t even hear my own violin playing during performance. This is why I’m not able to be a soloist. And oh….I will never be because I want to save you from the noise and chaos that I make ;)

And this paragraph is for violinists. I may have to alert you that although the violinist’s bowing technique in this film is horrible, let’s just capture the whole message that the story offers. I like Kaori’s optimist personality. She’s the one who could inspire people to go out of the box, to do what we’ve been wanting to.

This story can relate to the life of many musicians whether you’re a modern music performer, or classical, or both. Although the story sounds kind of boring and predictable if I tell you briefly about what it’s all about because I don’t want to tell a complete story, but the advices given are such a great inspiration. I recommend this drama if you like Japanese. This film is taken from a Japanese manga book authored by Naoshi Arakawa.

Tipping the Velvet (2002)

2002-tipping-velve_1843507b

Have I really never posted about this BBC mini-serie Tipping the Velvet before? Can hardly believe it! This is an adaptation of Sarah Waters’ other novel besides The Fingersmith.

The story is about a young woman Nance Astley (in the picture, she’s on the left side) who falls in love with a male impersonator named Kitty Butler and the journey brought her to London, together with Kitty. The tragedy started when Nance came back to London from Whitstable earlier than expected just to find out that Kitty had an affair with their manager, Walter and was going to marry him. Nance went away, wandering alone in the city, experiencing poverty, and her new life wandering through the streets in a male costumes, satisfying male costumers for money. She was kind of “do what I can do today to survive” person until she met her true love

This story really made me think and imagine of how life as a lesbian really was like back in the Victorian era. After reading the background story of the novel’s author, mrs. Waters, this story has somewhat her own experience in which she was 19 when she joined a student house in Whitstable, sharing bed and falling in love with another young woman.

The story is very touching! Life full of sadness, disappointment, slavery, poverty, and longing for true love…it’s nicely written and the mini-serie is nicely acted! More info here

I’ve watched this BBC mini-serie for a few times and still love it! :)

Kinski Paganini (1989)

Klaus Kinski believed that he lived through the same experiences as the legendary “devil violinist” Niccolo Paganini, who set all of nineteenth-century Europe into a frenzy and through whose personality Kinski offers an incredibly profound and honest insight intohis own life; a life of extremities.

My first impression about this movie? Hmmm…..that typical old movie with no good lightning, dark, unclear, and oh……you know typical noob who tries to play violin and thinks himself as Paganini? Yeah, that! Kinski held his violin wrong and his bow hold was WRONG! I am not going into the detail of this movie, I haven’t finished watching because it’s so bad! It made me feel ashamed every time he played violin because I play violin, too and I know that what he’s doing is just totally wrong! The music doesn’t even match his bow movements. And….another reason why I haven’t finished watching is because this movie contains more sexual content! So if you’re underage, I strongly don’t recommend this to you, or JUST DON’T WATCH no matter how old you are! The movie is disgusting! And oh….those women in old era obviously didn’t shave their hmmm…yeah…”that” *LOL*

The worsest classic movie I’ve known. It would make the real Paganini feel the worst if he was still alive and watched this.

The Red Violin (1998)

In present day Montreal, a famous Nicolo Bussotti violin, known as “the red violin,” is being auctioned off. During the auction, we flash back to the creation of the violin in 17th century Italy, and follow the violin as it makes its way through an 18th century Austrian monastery, a violinist in 19th century Oxford, China during the Cultural Revolution, and back to Montreal, where a collector tries to establish the identity and the secrets of “the red violin.”

The movie is spoken in English, Italian, French, German, and Mandarin. This is an interesting movie, especially if you love violin, or better enough, play violin! ;-)

However, there’s no subtitle when I watched this, but I understood the story. Back in 1681 — Cremona, Nicolo Bussotti just finished his master work when his wife was pregnant. She told him that she felt that she wouldn’t live that long, but he was so optimist and said he had a good relatives that could help her. But she and their first child died at the time she was giving birth. Nicolo took her body to his workplace, cut her hair to make a brush out of it, cut her hand and poured her blood in a can and then he painted his violin with her blood.

CAST
Cremona

* Carlo Cecchi – Nicolo Bussotti
* Irene Grazioli – Anna Rudolfi Bussotti
* Anita Laurenzi – Cesca
* Samuele Amighetti – Boy

Vienna

* Christoph Koncz – Kaspar Weiss
* Jean-Luc Bideau – Georges Poussin
* Arthur Denberg – Prince Mansfeld

Oxford

* Jason Flemyng – Frederick Pope
* Greta Scacchi – Victoria Byrd
* Eva Marie Bryer – Sara
* Joshua Bell – Orchestra member: First violin (cameo)

Shanghai

* Sylvia Chang – Xiang Pei
* Hong Tao – Comrade Chan Gong
* Liu Zifeng – Chou Yuan

Montreal

* Samuel L. Jackson – Charles Morritz
* Colm Feore – Auctioneer
* Monique Mercure – Madame Leroux
* Don McKellar – Evan Williams
* Ireneusz Bogajewicz – Ruselsky
* Julian Richings – Nicolas Olsberg
* Marvin Mill – Limousine Driver
* Sandra Oh – Madame Ming, companion of Chinese son who was trying to win the auction of the red violin
* Rémy Girard – Customs Agent

============================================================
Personal review:
This movie is incredible! It made me think who have been the owners of my current violin, knowing that it’s made in 1890 and is obviously not new. There are flaws of use here and there. This movie inspired me to pick up my violin and play. I even paused it, took a break and played my violin for about half hour. I believe that there are ex-violinists who picked up their violins again after watching this movie.

I don’t like Frederick Pope (Flemyng). He’s ugly, but acted like he’s the most coolest and handsome guy! And sex is his inspiration and without it he couldn’t play violin passionately. I really pity that they’ve chosen that ugly Flemyng to be Frederick Pope.

============================================================

SPOILER ALERT! HAVEN’T WATCHED THE MOVIE? DON’T READ THE TEXTS BELOW!

Continue reading “The Red Violin (1998)”