I have been on my summer holidays now for almost 2 months and it's driving me insane. All I want is my exam results!! I've still got a couple of weeks to go, and then I can get planning (fingers crossed) stuff for university, OR I can start my crying-forever marathon. Either/or, really. Until then I feel like I am stuck in limbo. I just got back from my holiday to Portugal on Sunday and then from Monday to Wednesday I have been into town EVERY SINGLE DAY. I just couldn't think of anything else to do to whittle the time away. On Monday I went with friends, on Tuesday I went on my own, and on Wednesday I managed to convince a friend to come with me again- as though things in the same 3 shops I always go in might have changed since the day before. On Thursday I got GIVEN a free bus ticket and I could have gone again but I decided 4 days in a row was too much even for me, and ended up watching stuff on Netflix and napping instead.
So today I woke up wondering what I would do this day in my wild life. Luckily, I stumbled onto this Rookie article whilst I was hiding in bedroom pre-shower (a man was here to fix the washing machine and I wasn't letting him see me in that state) and I got inspired. Now, most of that stuff isn't really stuff I could achieve today - "trespass an abandoned theme park"?! (which by the way, doesn't feel like something you should endorse, Rookie!!) - but I did decide that maybe I WOULD go to the cinema. Looking at my local Odeon listings didn't really bring up anything I fancied (don't get me started on "mainstream" manufactured films, man) so I decided I could venture a little further afield on the train to Manchester to the Cornerhouse. My eye was caught by 3 out of the 4 films showing today and I decided I would make a whole day of it and see 2 of the films in a row - the Saudi Arabian Wadjda, followed by Studio Ghibli's From Up On Poppy Hill, which I hadn't yet seen. Frances Ha looked good too but I am planning on going to Manchester again next week and decided to save it until then. I asked a friend if she wanted to join me, but she was busy. This didn't phase me though; I always say that the most important thing in life is to be your own best friend.
I set out on my adventure, jumped on the train, and at the other end I filled my bag up with snax (huge bag of "mini twirls", little bag of apple slices + cheese and tomato pizza roll from the bakery) for an in-cinema picnic. I was set with provisions for my 3 hour cinema stint. I definitely recommend this idea to anyone who is bored this summer. Small cinemas probably have matinee prices for the afternoons, and with my student discount I managed to get each of my tickets for only £4.
The first film I saw was Wadjda. I hadn't heard of this movie until this morning but I'm really, really glad I saw it. Wadjda is a girl living is Saudi Arabia who wants to race her friend on his bike, but is told she is not allowed to have one, whilst she also struggles with the other restrictions on her life caused by her gender and culture. It's thought provoking, funny, and sometimes sad. I definitely recommend it. The only thing that annoyed me was (this is sort of a spoiler I suppose but not really) when the boy she is friends with says he wants to marry her when they grow up. This film could have been romance free and I don't think it needed that angle, but I also guess it makes us think about Wadjda's life ahead of her, especially when we have been seeing her mums rough marital situation, so I can forgive for this. I don't think it is on for much longer so definitely look out for it if you can, or buy it on DVD when it comes out.
From Up On Poppy Hill was, of course, lovely as all Ghibli films are. It wasn't my FAVOURITE Ghibli film, but it was a nice story with some nice characters and nice artwork. Unfortunately I had a bad nights sleep last night (waiting for my internet to stop being CRAP!! and let me rewatch Parks and Rec, I fell asleep, fully dressed beside my laptop, from midnight until 5, when it began to get light. I got changed and managed to sleep again until around half 9, but it was incredibly odd to sleep when it was so bright) and reading the subtitles made me start to doze off for a little while... so I'm not sure I really took in the films full experience. But yeah, if you like Ghibli, you have to see it if only to tick it off the list. Which reminds me - There's another Film 4 SG season starting! I saw the Japanese subtitled version of this film, but the English language version features the voice of AUBREY PLAZA so either will be good, but go for the English version if you're sleepy.
My little self-date was a lot of fun. I definitely plan to do it again and can't wait to see "Frances Ha" next week. I have barely seen any new films this year (Despicable Me 2 with little sisters and the disappointing Bling Ring is all, I think) so I am going to try my best to make more of an effort with going to the cinema starting from now. If you too are feeling that the summer stretched ahead of you is too daunting to deal with I definitely recommend you treat yourself to a pick and mix and follow my lead.