Mistress America and the Freedom of Being

mistress america

Tracy just started a writing program at Barnard in NYC, however, her life is not what she had dreamed about. The literary club rejected her work, her only friend found himself a jealous girlfriend and being an introvert she dares not join the college party scene on her own. Suddenly, the idea of calling her soon-to-be stepsister Brooke she has never met doesn’t seem such a bad idea.
Brooke, a 30 year-old Times Square resident, turns out to be everything Tracy would dream of being: crazily fun, confident and enchantingly unpredictable. Together they start a fresh and honest friendship while Brooke becomes Tracy’s muse for her new writing piece, Mistress America.

As Michael Mohan perfectly describes in The Talkhouse, “The drama is rarely manufactured from plot, but usually stems from the characters going through some kind of real transition. And somehow he always manages to do this hilariously without ever betraying the characters or dramatic situations.

It’s true that Baumbach’s movies have a great deal of comedy and you usually find yourself smiling during most of the movie. But Mistress America is seriously hilarious, the whole scene at Dylan and Mamie-Claire’s house (Brooke’s ex-fiancé and ex-best friend respectively) with fast-paced dialogues, perfectly timed puns and twisted plots is simply perfect with absolutely no time for boredom. I remember wishing Woody Allen‘s last movie, Irrational Man, had been anywhere close to this. It’s, as some critics have described, a modern screwball comedy up to the best Capra.

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Barcelona’s Science Museum through a kid’s eyes

I remember when I was little going to the Science Museum with my school class. I loved it, especially the Amazonian Forest and all these things you could touch and play with. Remember the electric ball that made you feel you had all the power in your hands?

The Barcelona’s Science Museum, or CosmoCaixa, is located in the uptown, surrounded by splendid villas. It’s quite an excursion to get there, but it’s definitely worth the view.

Cosmocaixa barcelona

The museum is arranged around a 6 floor high staircase that goes in circles around a huge “tree”. It’s a sculpture by Catalan artist Enric Pladevall who spent over a year building this 23 meter-long “Tree of Life“.

Cosmocaixa Tree

As a grown-up I’d been back a couple of times, but I’ve always been kind of disappointed. Everything seemed smaller and less exciting. Not too long ago I had the chance to go back with a 2-year-old kid, and it was fantastic to see how excited he was. It made me see the museum as if I was a kid again, getting all amazed by the different devices like in a funfair.

Here you can see him playing as a DJ. Just by flipping over color cubes on a special surface, you were able to make different music sounds and feel like David Guetta.

Kid Dj at Cosmocaixa

Another activity that especially caught his attention was a facility where you could appreciate the decomposition of white light. Pushing 3 different buttons you could choose how many primary colors you wanted to see. You don’t need to understand the functioning of it to enjoy the scene:

kids in different colors

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In the mood for love, a 2046 review

2046

Everyone who goes to 2046 has the same intention, they want to recapture lost memories. Because in 2046 nothing ever changes.

Some weeks ago I finally achieved to see 2046, the continuation of Wong Kar-wai’s In the mood for love which I had absolutely loved at the time. And it didn’t disappoint me in any way. Maybe in this second movie, the characters aren’t as innocent. They may act more cynically as if unaware of the pain they produce. However I couldn’t feel more related to their stories and the way they behave.

But what are your real feelings for me? Are they like a rainbow after the rain? Or did that rainbow fade away long ago?…

2046 represents a magic place where nothing ever changes, and who hasn’t dreamed of a place like this before? Like Joel in the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind struggling to preserve at least some memory of his lover hiding her somewhere in his mind. 2046 would be a place where this love wouldn’t change, an oasis away from the passage of time, the distance, avoiding drifting apart, changing our minds.

Why can’t it be like before? Please don’t go. Stay with me tonight. Let me borrow you…

2046 is a story of impossible relationships, of characters unable to let go of their past, surprised by the birth of new feelingsat the wrong time, fighting to recover something that no longer exists… Because it’s all a matter of timing as Cho Wo Man says:

 Love is all a matter of timing. 
 It’s no good meeting the right person too soon or too late. 
If I’d lived in another time or place… 
 …my story might have had a very different ending.

We can’t change our life’s circumstance and of those whom we run into, maybe it’s too soon or late for them, maybe if we lived in a different country things would have been easier, who knows? But if there is something positive about this movie, it’s that the only character who is sincere to her  feelings and doesn’t give up to fear or obstacles is the one who finally reaches the love of her life.

When you don’t take “no” for an answer, there is still a chance you’ll get what you want.