Weekend – what up!

I went to the library this morning with my parents. My mom goes through books like whoa. I keep returning books and getting new ones in hopes that I’ll have time to read. I think I may have finished 4 or 5 books so far this year. My mom has read probably 20. I did just put “Bloody Crimes: The Chase for Jefferson Davis and the Death Pageant for Lincoln’s Corpse” by James Swanson on my night stand, so hopefully I’ll get to that soon. I know that book title sounds uber gross, and full of history and non-fiction and like one should be reading that for a Civil War/1800s America class, but I’m that much of a dork that I read stuff like this for fun. Historical non-fiction is sooooooo good. I love facts. I love learning about real people and what really happened in their lives. I love history. I love learning about wars. Plus, I know there are a couple movies about Abraham Lincoln that will be coming out in the next few years, and I would like to be prepared 🙂 (Robert Redford’s The Conspirator comes out April 11th and Steven Spielberg is supposed to be directing a Lincoln biopic starring Daniel Day Lewis, though neither man’s IMDB page mentions it)

This afternoon, I spent a large chunk of time playing Dance on Broadway with my mom. We are super competitive. She beat one of my scores, but then I beat two of hers *and* got 100% points on one of the songs I already had a high score on. To top it all off, I am still feeling sick from the other day, so I wasn’t even dancing at my full potential. When I get better, she best watch out.

I did do some laundry today, though I need to do more tomorrow. I’m still trying to catch up washing all my blankets and whatnot from when I was sick this week. I just feel like I am one big germ. Gross.

My parents went out to dinner with another couple this evening, so I had the house to myself for a few hours. During dinner, I put in all of the Glee Season 2 DVDs (the first 10 episodes of the season) and watched almost all of the music numbers (I skipped a few songs that I don’t like… even though I love Glee, I can’t stand a few of the performances.)

While watching, I was really moved by two of the songs/performances. Now, as I have mentioned before, I have only ever cried once while watching television (during the episode of American Dreams where Sam’s mom died… Dear Lord, that episode ruined me). But I was almost moved to tears by two of the numbers I watched today:

1. “I Want to Hold Your Hand” – sung by Kurt (Chris Colfer) in episode 2×3 “Grilled Cheesus”

Though I am not a huge fan of the Beatles, I do find the lyrics of a lot of their songs to be extremely beautiful and moving. However, the decision to turn this usually upbeat and joyous number about wanting to hold someone’s hand into this heartbreaking number filled with utter sadness and desperation… well, I could feel a lump forming in my throat. This is one of those television/musical moments that is the emotional equivalent of being punched in the stomach. This scene is just so incredibly sad, but still so beautiful and full of love at the same time. That kid that they got to play young Kurt was spot-on. And the montage of the past juxtaposed with Kurt singing the the choir room and the other glee kids just sitting there, stunned, is very well balanced. Chris Colfer’s face at the end of that number just rips your heart in half. He seems to lose himself in the song… like even though he’s singing in front of the glee kids, he’s all alone and just singing to himself/his dad. It’s such an intimate and vulnerable scene. This was one of the most emotional moments on Glee and it was played out masterfully.

2. “Just the Way You Are” – sung by Finn (Cory Monteith) in episode 2×8 “Furt”

Kurt (Chris Colfer) is my favorite character on Glee. He’s had some meaty story lines throughout seasons one and two, but his relationship with Finn gets its full circle moment in this scene and it is kinda beautiful. In season one, Kurt had a mad crush on Finn, even though Finn is straight. Kurt introduced his own dad to Finn’s mom for the lone purpose of getting closer to Finn. Finn and his mom end up moving into Kurt and Burt’s house and Finn and Kurt are forced to share a room. *This* fight happened and things were a bit off between Finn and Kurt. Finn’s not a homophobe, but he was uncomfortable with Kurt’s advances. This season, Kurt gets bullied by Karofsky, but Finn doesn’t do anything about it because Finn’s worried about his own reputation. It’s in this episode that Finn finally mans up and tells his now step-brother that he has his back. This scene is great because you know that Kurt is no longer in love with Finn, but that the two boys do love each other, and that Finn accepts and loves Kurt just the way he is. And that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside 🙂

I totally spent then the rest of the night playing Wii Glee Karaoke (I beat Finn’s scrapbook and I almost beat Rachel’s!) and having a dance party in the kitchen while I finished washing dishes (I totally had “Born This Way” and the Glee version of “Don’t You Want Me” on repeat. I cannot express how much I am looking forward to seeing “Don’t You Want Me” performed on this week’s episode… and how excited I am for when the Glee version of “Born This Way” is released.)

After watching and singing to all those Glee songs today, it really got me thinking to how much I am affected by music, and other forms of media. I have cried while listening to some songs (“Broken“, “Now and Forever,” “Annie’s Song,” and a few others) and on a good day, I can make myself cry when listening to some specific showtunes (I know that sounds masochistic, but I consider it more of acting practice than anything else. Part of me still thinks I could have been a Method Actor… I shouldn’t have read all those Stanislavski books in undergrad.).

Though I cannot cry while watching television (except for American Dreams), and I’ve only cried tears (to the point of hysterical sobbing) at three movies (A League of Their Own, In America, and Million Dollar Baby), there are a bunch of movie scenes that have made me tear up. No tears actually fell, but I know I was moved to the point that I did feel something.

I once started a list of these film scenes to see if there was some common thread or to see if I could figure out why those scenes were the ones to evoke feelings. I once watched Love Story, Terms of Endearment and The Way We Were all in a row to see if I would cry, but I couldn’t. (I may be able to now that I’m older and have more life experience… as this viewing was many, many years ago.) However, if I watched the right string of scenes from several other films, I’m sure at some point I would just finally break down.

Here’s a sample of some of the film scenes that have most moved me:

1. Ordinary People(1981) – Basically all of the scenes involving Timothy Hutton and Judd Hirsch’s characters are really intriguing to me. But it’s Timothy Hutton’s performance that destroys me every time I watch this. I cannot empathize with the losses that his character suffers through. I do not have such a strained relationship with my parents. But I cannot help but feel something during these scenes… ” I feel bad about this. I feel really bad about this. Just – just let me feel bad about this!”

2. On the Waterfront< (1954) – No matter how many times I have seen this clip whether within the context of the film, or on its own, I can’t help but feel for Brando’s character. Betrayed by his own brother… and for what? God, that music. And Brando was so beautiful… and by that I don’t just mean how gorgeous he was (which he totally was… day-yum). I mean that watching him act was about as close to perfection as one could get. It wasn’t that he was playing Terry Malloy… he *was* Terry Malloy. And that heartbreak and… oh Lord. “You don’t understand, I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been *somebody*, instead of a bum. Which is what I am. Let’s face it. It was you, Charlie.”

3. East of Eden (1955) – There are so many scenes from this film that tear at my heart (my favorite being between Cal and Abra on the Ferris Wheel, but I couldn’t find that on youtube…), but this one is pretty stellar. Dean was an amazing talent. Like Brando, he went for it and was the character instead of playing a character. There are a multitude of scenes from East of Eden and Rebel Without a Cause that have impacted me, but this one from East of Eden is particularly heartbreaking because it’s such a sad, sad moment between a boy and his father.

4. Moulin Rouge! (2001) – This is still my favorite movie of all time. And after all these years, “El Tango De Roxanne” still makes my stomach turn. The juxtaposition of the tango dancers, Satine/the Duke and then Christian screaming out his window is all too much for me to take in, and yet there I sit, completely fixated on the screen while my insides twist up into something awful from the pain and hurt that I see/feel during this sequence. It’s so beautiful, but it’s so horrendous at the same time.

5. Shakespeare in Love (1998) – The dance sequence… holy hell, I love this scene. I love this whole movie (3rd favorite movie of all time) and a lot of the scenes have had a huge impact on me over the years. But this scene stands out because of the music and because of Joseph Fiennes’s facial expressions. My heart stops every time at moment 1:06-1:14… the music is so amazing and the realization and awareness of the other person between both characters is nothing short of breath-taking and romantic.

6. Stage Beauty (2004) – Though the Otello sequence will never cease to blow my mind (Billy Crudup is amazing), it’s the audition in front of the king and company that breaks my heart into a million pieces every time I watch it (5:55-9:40). Once he gets to that 3rd and 4th “Oh,” I am completely gone. Though the tears do not fall, there is always an epic lump in my throat and I just want to hug Kynaston 😦

Ah, movies… perhaps I will expand on this tomorrow. But for now, I must sleep!

Have a good one