Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Scenes From a Weekend

We stuck around the house. Built teepees, photographed teepees, hung around the garage, played guitar, slept in and even managed a late night *Movie Date! But mostly, we simply slowed down and relaxed a little. The one plans we were counting on, fell through. We ended up getting a bit lost along the Ortega Highway, on one of those narrow turn offs and I started to panic (like I do on any kind of long, dense mountain road) so we headed back down the hill, to San Juan Capistrano for lunch. We missed the party, and the camping. But we made the most of it and ended up enjoying a late afternoon meal of tacos by the Mission.

This coming weekend we'll be looking forward to the Holiday. To barbecuing with friends, hanging around the pool, and whatever else we come up with in between.

Countdown starts now.

* We saw The Great Gatsby, and as much as I wanted to love it, I just did not. I thought it was a cheap, over the top portrayal of one of the most beautiful novels of all time. For a few reasons: One, I was not a fan of the Jay Z / Beyonce tracks replacing what could have been an incredible (time appropriate soundtrack) even though I love both those artists in every other circumstance. Two: I thought it was much louder (visually) than it needed to be, so that the special effects  - stunning as they were - only took away from the breath of the story, rather than complementing it. Three: the gritty, underlying wasteland that shadows the novel so effectively in book, seems almost laughable in the film. Overall I found the whole thing slightly silly in comparison to Fitzgerald's genius story, in words, and images that truly defined the fraud of the whole American Dream. But, I guess that's what you get when you dare watch one of your favorite books retold in movie form? Made me wonder: Is it ever worth it? 

I'm not sure. But I can't help thinking what it might have been had a different director had taken it on...

Anyone else see it?


  1. the second i knew baz luhrmann was directing, i was super bummed. it sounds like it was everything i thought i'd be :( oh well. at least we have the book!

  2. I completely disagree! For me, Gatsby's parties are all about the excess and the grotesque so Baz Lurhmann's portrayal of it was, I think, spot on. Gatsby as a character doesn't fit into that world, and so he goes too far with it all. Fitzgerald describes his house as being like a fairground and I think that Lurhmann captured that feel. I thought that Di Caprio's performance was excellent; his affected accent was really convincing. He was handsome but terribly dressed, awkward when seeing Daisy again, and completely enchanted with her. I also thought that the soundtrack was clever as it helped to demonstrate that so many of the themes and ideas are relevant to today's economy-I remember a time in the early noughties where everyone was buying 'stuff' on credit cards and wacking up huge amounts of dept without a care for tomorrow. Of course, there was a lack of subtlety, but he still included some of the important images from the novel, including the green light, and I really like how some of the key lines from the text appeared on screen. I wasn't sure about Nick in the Sanatorium, however, but I suppose that was Luhrmann playing with the idea of the unreliable narrator.
    But you are right, I guess there will always be disappointment when seeing your favourite novel on screen. They are different art forms though and will therefore come across in a different way, so I suppose it is to be expected!

  3. Have you seen the 70's film version? I like it a lot! It's more low key but elegant. And sad. The new one is way over the top for me. But the book is the best of course!

    And by the way, thank you for a beautiful blog! I found you through Instagram and I love your view of life.

    1. you are so sweet! thanks for stopping in, therese.

  4. Robert Redford and Mia Farrow did it best in the Original.......as Jay and Daisy. Watch that. Even though I love Leonardo, Robert Redford will always be Gatsby to me.