Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Movie: Paris Je t'aime

This movie from 2006 is actually a collection of short movies, made by 20 directors, who each have chosen a part of Paris and a particular theme. But, it its flawlessly sewn together, to make a whole. Starring actors like Juliette Binoche, Willem Dafoe, Nick Nolte, Fanny Ardant, Bob Hoskins, Natalie Portman, Elijah Wood, Rufus Sewell, Gérard Depardieu and many more.

One of the less spectacular, but really most touching parts is this one: "The 14th Arrondissement", where we meet Carol, an American tourist describing her first visit to Paris in a voice-over.
Bear over with her less-than-perfect French (there are subtitles), and try to enjoy the sound of a person expressing herself in a foreign language.
Do watch it all the way to the end, because even though you may be thinking that this Carol is just an ignorant tourist, she really grows on you, and what she says towards the end,  is something I have experienced many times, while traveling alone:

"Sitting there, alone in a foreign country, far from my ob and everyone I know, a felling came over me. It was like remembering something I'd never known before or had always been waiting for, but I didn't know what. Maybe it was something I'd forgotten or something I've been missing all my life. All I can say is that I felt, at the same time, joy and sadness. But not too much sadness, because I felt alive. Yes, alive. That was the moment I fell in love with Paris. And I felt Paris fall in love with me"

Monday, March 25, 2013

Book: Everyone Wants to Go Home. No One Wants to Go Back.

This is Norwegian author Helga Flatland's second novel, and I think it's even better than the first one:  Stay if You  Can. Leave if You Must. 
It's a sequel, but it's not a "what happens next" kind of book. Instead it digs deeper, and we get to know more abut the characters we met in the first book.
It's about heavy grief, personal tragedy and relationships, and I'm again in awe of this young author, who is able to describe these things so wonderfully. In addition to the plot and the characters, it's a beautiful picture of Norway. A very good novel!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Memory Lane: Cousins

Photo: Kristine Grav Hardeberg

My daughter, 1 1/2 years, and  her cousin, 1 year meeting for one of the first times in their lives. Picture taken almost 15 years ago. 

Palm Sunday Art

It's Palm Sunday today, the day that opens the Easter Holiday and the Holy Week (Norwegian: Den Stille Uke)
This painting by Dutch painter Anthony Van Dyck, (1616) can be seen in Indianapolis Museum of Art.
I haven't seen it IRL, and there aren't that many paintings showing this particular scene, that is Christ entering Jerusalem, riding on a donkey, while people greeted him with shouts of "Hosanna!", laying down their garments for him, like a red carpet, and waving palm leaves.
I lIke this one. The baroque style, expressive, real, with a mystery figure hiding in the shadow. Maybe Judas?..

Another one, by James Jaqcues Tissot, painted around 1890

And a much older one, a mural by Giotto, painted in 1304-1306.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Book: Victoria by Knut Hamsun

Read this a couple of weeks ago. It's a classic love story, and one of Norwegian author Knut Hamsun's most known novels. Published in 1898, it's a beautiful, story about Johannes, son of a miller who is in love with Victoria, the young woman who lives in the nearby manor. 
They can never be together, they are separated by class and economy, but Hamsun describes it in a beautiful way, even  though it's sad and hopeless, and even though Victoria is forced to marry Otto, in order to save her family from economic ruin.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Book: Stay if you can. Leave if you must.

I finished this book yesterday. "Bli hvis du kan. Reis hvis du må. " ("Stay if you can. Leave if you must.") is Norwegian author Helga Flatland's first book, published in 2010 when she was only 26 years old. 
The story takes place in the Norwegian countryside, in a small community where 4 young boys decide to join the military forces in Afghanistan. It's a sad story, and the different relationships are extremely well pictured. Four different voices tell the story, and only two of them are the young soldiers.
I think its a beautiful-sad description of growing up, parenthood, friendship, family and life in general, and it amazes me that such a young person has written it. 
Highly recommended for anybody who reads Norwegian, because I don't think it's translated - yet.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Paris Boy

My youngest son outside the city hall of  the 18th arrondissement in Paris.  Picture taken 11 months ago, while we lived in that neighborhood.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Nemi: E-books vs Paper books...

"With e-books you don't have to fill up yards of shelf space. They don't turn into dusty collections who smell of ink and who have dog ears or coffee stains."
"Everything that makes me prefer paper books."

Saturday, March 9, 2013

With Grandpa.

I just saw these pictures of my grandfather and me, taken about 40 years ago,  and then I remembered the snapshots of my son and his grandfather (my father-in-law), taken about 3 years ago.
While looking at these photographs, there are thoughts about family, generations, "the circle of life", time...

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Memory Lane: My Sister's Wedding

My daughter, then 5, was a flower girl at my sister's wedding. Has it really been almost 11 years?