Monday, July 21, 2014

10 Things I Love About 10 Things I Hate About You

Since it's summer and the heat is super on, allow me to go off-topic and talk about the movie that made my day back when things were simpler and over-thinking was not my way of life. Some of you might like this movie the way I did, or not, it doesn't really matter. I'm getting a bit sentimental about Heath Ledger I suppose. :-)

10 Things I Love About 10 Things I Hate About You

10 Things I Hate About You is probably the movie I will always remember Heath Ledger by. There are other movies he has done that are far more impressive but this is where I first fell in love with him. The movie is an adaptation of a Shakespeare play, The Taming of the Shrew. I must admit I haven’t read nor seen any play of the original but I loved the adaptation. I’m not sure how related it is to the original but 10 Things I Hate About You is an interesting and entertaining coming of age love story.

The saying “don’t judge the book by its cover” is pretty well depicted in the movie. As a matter of fact, it seems to be the underlying theme of the movie. Heath Ledger’s character Patrick Verona is wrongly accused of being a delinquent and a hoodlum. Julia Stiles’ character Kat Stratford is being judged as an anti-social and a difficult person to deal with without anyone even trying to get to know her story. In the end, it took a scheme and ironically, a lot of misunderstanding to finally sort things out.

Another theme that is apparent in the movie is the issue of physical perfection and conformity to society. Most of the time we get easily taken in by people by the merits of their look or how they dress. But as we get to know them, we realize that they are not exactly how we imagined them to be. This is quite true of today’s young people. Perhaps because of Hollywood’s influence or the myriad of print ads and tv advertisements that are constantly brandeshing the importance of physical perfection above all other things, the reality of what’s really important has been blurred and obscurated.

The premise of the movie is light enough for most kids to understand and the message powerful enough to catch their attention, which attests to the film’s box office success. 10 Things I Hate About You is still relevant to teens and even to adults of today. Young people still struggle with the same issues of identity and need for acceptance. The stigma of inconformity to what is acceptable in a society driven by Hollywood and Vogue is still an issue that needs to be resolved.

10 Things I Hate About You is the movie that brought the names Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger to peoples ears. It opened more doors in Hollywood for both actors. While Stiles’ career seemed to have flattened out in recent years, Ledger’s left an indelible mark ending in an Oscar nod for best supporting actor for his role as the Joker, sadly, after his death.

10 Things I Love About 10 Things I Hate About You

1. Heath Ledger

2. Heath Ledger singing “Can’t take my eyes off you.”

3. Verona being taken away by the security guards still singing “Can’t take my eyes off you.”

4. Heath Ledger’s accent

5. Can I say Heath Ledger again?

6. On a serious note, 10 Things I Hate About You delivered on what feel good movies should do, it makes me feel good watching it, everytime I watch it, from 1999 to present.

7. The fact that Verona and Kat are such strong characters that stood up against people judging them, or simply didn’t care.

8. The witty to the point of sarcasm dialogue sparring between Kat and Verona.

9. Kat reading the poem 10 Things I Hate About You with Verona listening.

10. Can I say Heath Ledger again one more time?

Saturday, June 28, 2014

A Very Personal Definition of Poetry

What is poetry? The usual definitions are just one click away. But to each poet or wannabe poet the answer would be a gamut of words and phrases both imagined and defined. Each one unique. Some might be fathomable, others oblique. It depends on ones point of view and the history of that point of view.

What is a poem? Is it enough that words rhyme or have cadence. Or in answer to contemporary voices, none at all but needs some sort of flavor that only its author understands. Many scholars attempt to decipher some hidden meaning between lines and words of dead poets. What if there is none?

What if a poem is simply a cornucopia of words as it comes out of our heads, or fingers as we type or write depending on ones preference. Maybe in some deep seated consciousness a poem is ones attempt to put definition to an otherwise pale view of the world. Or simply some neural rumblings that needed shape and texture.

Poetry could be a means to an end or could simply be the end product of an experience. Sometimes emotions so intense are difficult to communicate straight. Or the object of the emotion is absent and poetry is the only way to express it. Words chosen could be meant literally with no agenda hidden or otherwise. Sometimes words are chosen because they sound poetic enough that they merit eternalization by ink. Does such a word exist?

In poetry there is license to experiment with words. Use them where otherwise it would be frowned at. Some use poetry as a means to vulgarity or to elevate the mundane to extraordinary, or simply to shock. Perhaps a better way to understand whether a poem has meaning is to understand first the person who wrote it. And maybe there lies the difference between a poet and a poet wannabe.

Friday, June 6, 2014

One Year Today

You do know how to wait
Almost a day and half
You gave a nudge
But wait
The birth street is not open

Your papa's sweat
Beaded and glistened like pearls
Still we wait

The big roundness of the moon
Sent rays of moonshine
So you'll find your way out

Still we wait

Abuelos anticipating
As if it were to be the first time
They will hold a pea-sized hand

Still we wait

No pains came it was difficult to tell
Whether you're coming
Still you take your sweet time
Serenely floating
In your sac of life

I couldn't blame you
The outside is a completely alien place
But that is still a far away place

Don't be too late in coming
My little Kiara
Papa and mama would very much like to meet you

Sunday, March 30, 2014

You know that love

You know that love 
Is never fair
It chooses
It rejects 
It hurts
You know too
It's because of this
Every nanosecond counts
You choose
You try to hold on
Sometimes it ends
Sometimes it lasts
A lifetime
An eternity
Each passing moment
You hope it will last
Or not
Or you move on
Or you delay and cling
For as long as fate
Would let it
Or you let go
Find new faces
Consider new lives
You move on
But you don't forget
You are bound
In love's shadow
You wait
Or you stop looking back

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Ivan Lanuza's Journal: The 15 Ps of Life

Most of us trudge through life without direction. We just float in an unending expanse of ocean. And it gets even more difficult when we realize we have nothing to cling on and nothing to hold on to. We keep floating until we start thinking that there really is no point in going on. Or we try to defeat the waves on our own until we grow tired and just give up.

I can count the times when I have gone through this ocean of nothingness. Until I realized that in order to overcome the vast expanse, I need to look inside me first and realize who I am. Stop measuring myself against how others are but embrace myself and learn not to be afraid to show others who I really am. Second, I needed to have a plan on who I would like to be someday and not just ride the tide and see where it will take me.

Below is a very enlightening blog from an old schoolmate on the 15 most important Ps of life. If everyone of us could see life like he does, then there will be less of us just watching life pass by.

Ivan Lanuza's Journal: The 15 Ps of Life: Let me begin by admitting that I, like most of you, am just seeking life’s answers.   I enjoy talking to people of all ages and appreci...