Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Y tu Mama Tambien

What begins as an exploration of the raunchy teenage male mind, Y tu Mama Tambien soon blossoms into a thematically rich film. Although the portrayal of male sexuality is vulgar, there is also an element of innocence about the boys’ path to self-discovery. The journey taken along the back roads of Mexico with Luisa is not only a literal journey, but allegorical as well.

At first, the implication is that the youths require the mentoring provided by their adult companion, but upon discovering Luisa’s terminal illness at the end of the film, it is obvious she needed the boys in order to learn a valuable lesson as well. Symbiotically, the boys and Luisa aid in each others transformations of growth. Whereas she willingly acts as their vessel which facilitates their passage into manhood, they in turn allow her to live the life of freedom she has always desired.

Throughout the film, the innocence of youth is held in stark contrast to the complexity of adulthood. Although the boys and Luisa are both struggling with the infidelity of their loved ones, both parties handle each indiscretion very differently. One scene in particular demonstrates the polar differences between the boys’ ability to cope with this issue as opposed to how Luisa does. Upon calling her husband for the last time in order to bid him farewell, the shot is purposely set up to include the boys on the other half of the screen as they play pool. The obvious implication is their ability to move past their problems with one another despite their mutual betrayal and revert back to innocent childhood games. Meanwhile, on the other half of the screen Luisa has a much harder time dealing with the explanation of the abandonment of her husband. She ends the phone call in tears with so much left unsaid and instead leaves him with a cryptic message stating that he would one day soon understand why she left. Whereas the boys merely needed a catharsis for the pain of their mutual betrayal in order to move forward, Luisa isn’t able to speak freely and is left in tears and self-anguish after hanging up the phone.

Upon reaching the sea their lives are forever changed as they all find a bit of themselves which they had been knowingly or unknowingly searching for. The sea, synonymous with freedom, mystery and vastness acts as the catalyst for their final transformations regardless of how it affects their lives thereafter. It is the zenith of their individual journeys which forces them to each walk their own respective paths from thereon after. Whereas Luisa had adult responsibilities to concern herself with in the past, she cleanses herself of her cares in the ocean and reverts back to childhood innocence as she enjoys her last days on the tranquil shores of Mexico. The boys, however, grow into adulthood as they lose their innocence of the friendship they once shared and discover more about themselves than they may have hoped for.

Hilarious, artistic and moving, Y tu Mama Tambien provides an introspective look into the lives of genuine characters which gives pause for reflection of our own roads toward the possibility of meaningful self-discovery.

Y Tu Mama Tambien

"Y Tu Mama Tambien" illustrates a journey that two young men embark on where they experience life beyond adolescence and its exciting adventures. The movie depicts many themes about life, love, friendship, and death. The theme that was most apparent to me throughout the film is the theme of "endings."

This film portrayed a theme that many of us know and fear about all good things in our life and that is that at one point, they will come to an end. It re established that endings are inevitable and that nothing is as solid as it seems. There are many examples of endings scattered throughout the film. The main examples of significant endings throughout the film include the end of Luisa and Jano's marriage, the end of Tenoch and Julio's romantic relationships with their girlfriends, the end of Luisa's life, and finally the end of strong bond of Tenoch and Julio's friendship.

However, the film concentrated on connecting each end to a new beginning. The end of Luisa's marriage lead to her pursuit of a more fulfilling personal life. The end of Tenoch and Julio's high school relationships leads to more mature relationships. The end of Luisa's life combined with the end of Tenoch and Julio's friendship leads to the realization that life is complicated and ultimately leads to their transformation from boys to men, which is really what their journey is about.

Tenoch and Julio's journey represents a journey that everyone eventually takes that will provide a new perspective about life. The theme of endings is an important one because without endings there can be no beginnings, and new beginnings are what make life interesting. If we had not ended our comfortable routines in Southern California, we would not have begun our adventure in London to learn everything that we have so far.

What About Me?

When hearing the title of the movie "What About Me?" one can't help but think in what way will this film relate to me? This film and music, created by, Duncan Bridgeman and Jamie Catto, offer insight on life and death and the love that happens in between. Every person can relate to each part in some way. Whether it is tapping your feet to the musical genius discovered around the world, or the stories being told by those of another culture. .

Although the film covered many aspects of life, the chapters that seemed most significant were the ones that revolved around love and relationships. Love creates passion and vulnerability and fear and mystery. Love inspired the music and images of the section "Love and Need." I found it fascinating the way people of all ages from different cultures held different views about love, but knew that it was not something they wanted to live life without. It was best summed up by one of the people they interviewed who said something along the lines of, "Fish do not give each other water to survive, they swim through it together. Love is the same. We do not give each other love, we exist in it together." This quote combined with the music and images of love around the world evoked a variety of emotions. I believe these words embody the distinct difference between love and need.

Overall the entire film provided an inspiring way to look at life, love, and relationships. Each chapter connected to the next. Without one chapter, the others would not fulfill their potential to truly affect the perception of the audience.

What About Me?

I greatly enjoyed the documentary "What About Me?". I had no idea what it was going to be about, and when I found out it was about music, I was really excited. I have been interested in music my whole life. I have been playing music since I was in the 5th grade, so this documentary literally gave me the chills. It was interesting hearing all the different types of music in the world. I also really enjoyed how every person or group they got to record with could contribute in a different way. This documentary also proves that the language of music really is universal. I also really liked how the film was not just about music, but it also incorporated a lot of other elements into it as well such as family, love, relationships and getting older. It was cool to see all the different types of people giving their own opinions on the topics that were being discussed in the documentary. It was really eye opening to see how all these different cultures felt on different issues. The opinion that rally shocked me the most was the African man saying that they did not believe in rape in marriages. That is a wife did not want to have sex with her husband, it didn't matter. She had to fufill her wifely duties to her husband, whether she wanted to or not. This sent gasps throughout the whole audience.
The venue was a really nice place. A lovely bar with comfortable seats and it even had a top level. The one thing I can say I did not enjoy about the whole experience was the man Simon that had poems in between each break in the film. They were kind of funny at first, but as the film went on they started to get a bit ridiculous. It was a pretty long documentary and with his commentary it made it almost too long. And at the end he was making fun of Americans in his little poem, when he knew half the audience was American. It was overall a great experience.

Hyde Park Music Festival

It was a delight to have been invited to the music festival in Hyde Park this past weekend. Courtesy of Kevin Gossett, I was lucky enough to have the privilege of being his plus one on The Killers guest list. The lineup included such acts as The Silversun Pickups, Metric, The Hallowing Bells, Echo and the Bunnymen, The Kooks and The Killers.

With only two stages for the bands to share, the remainder of the festival grounds was compiled of food and beverage stands. It was surprising not to see the typical jewelry, incense, homemade clothing, etc., vendors that are usually sprinkled all over music festivals.

Something else that stood out was the litter strewn all over the place. Alcohol was permitted anywhere within the festival as long as it was served in a plastic bottle or cup. The problem with this, as it is in most of London, is the lack of trash receptacles in which to place the empty containers. Although there were several large trash bins, most people found it more convenient to throw their rubbish on the ground including their half-eaten food. It was surprising to see just how careless people could be when it came to cleaning up after themselves. The place looked like a wasteland at the end of the night.

The music itself was fantastic. The sound quality was also excellent. Metric was one of the best acts of night and has acquired yet another fan. Overall, the evening was a blast but I felt extremely fortunate I didn’t have to pay the outrageous price being asked. Thanks again, Kevin!

Monday, June 29, 2009

What About Me?

“What About Me?” was an extremely powerful film that provided a new outlook on life, love, and death.  Using the opinions and beliefs of a variety of people from all around the world, Duncan Bridgeman and Jamie Cato were able to write breathtaking lyrics about a variety of topics.  The one that stood out the most to me was about not “loving” someone, but “needing” someone.  They went on to say that when you say, “I love you” what you’re really saying is “I need you.”  And for the most part, that is true.  When you love someone, you are 100 percent comfortable around him or her, yet at the same time you’re completely terrified of losing that person.

What was surprising was that, no matter how unique the culture, the men and women had about the same view on love.  Each interview and lyric contributed something about how a woman has so much power when it comes to relationships, sex, and family.  This is because a man lusts so much for a woman’s touch, scent, and presence; women turn a mans need into power.  However, there was one man in the film who mentioned that if a man needs his wife sexually she cannot deny him, and it is not considered rape.  Was this supposed to mean that a woman only has power up until she weds?  But then the film continued to mention how if it weren’t for the woman, family would fall apart; so does she only lose her sexual power?

What About Me?

Amongst the crowded and animated streets of Brick Lane, we were lead through an unadorned entrance into a dark space lit only by the projection of the movie onto a barren white wall.   Seeing a movie outside of the normal “theater” atmosphere is a refreshing change.  In this case, the showing was split into five sections, and in between each there was a “fag break” and a story or poem from a talented writer named Simon.  Although the entire procession took three hours, it went by relatively swiftly because there were plenty of opportunities to get some fresh air or to buy another drink.

The documentary itself was quite moving.  It had this way of helping me realize that many of my daily worries are rather insignificant.  There was an instance when one of the interviewees stated that people in third world countries think about what they are doing and people in more modern cultures think about what they are going to do.  This line particularly struck me because young people are constantly preparing for their futures without taking the time to live in the present.  And it’s not our fault.  There is constant pressure from peers, media, and mostly parents to do as much as you can now in order to get rewarded later. 

The other portion of the show that inspired me was when Simon, while telling one of his stories, made the concept of love seem so clear.  He said, quite poignantly, that you must fall in love with yourself before you are able to fall in love with another person.  Love blossoms when you find another person who is also falling in love with themselves and you can share this experience of falling in love together.  I like this way of looking at the concept of love.  In many cases, a person concentrates so much on their partner’s wellbeing, that they forget that their primary priority should be their own wellbeing.  

Nestled amongst various restaurants and bars and across the street from the now infamous Vibe Bar, is a small door that leads to the trendy Brickhouse restaurant and bar. On this particular night the venue hosted a screening of the documentary titled “1 Giant Leap: What About Me” that chronicles the travels of Jamie Cato and Duncan Bridgeman and their pursuit of new music and diverse outlooks on human nature. This extraordinary documentary offers its audience a unique insight into the lives and thoughts of cultures from all over the world. It was remarkable to see how playing and creating music brought so many different people together and created a common ground for people to build a new friendship. It did not necessarily matter that the two men could not speak the language of the people they met because the music was enough to bring them all together.

I found the documentary extremely humbling as I witnessed the pure happiness on the faces of individuals with little to nothing to their name. It is amazing the optimistic and encouraging attitudes that these people hold, especially when you compare some of the trivial things that we as Americans become upset over. I think the film served as a reminder for people that life is short and there is so much beauty in life if you just stop and take the time to look at it. The creators of the documentary managed to bring together cultures that on the surface, seem to be polar opposites, but with a closer look have much more in common than you would think.

An Outsider's Take on the Human Groupings at Roxy Bar

Whoever thought to combine a theatre, restaurant, and bar under one roof was genius. Rarely in the United States do you get to experience cinema like this. Typically, seeing a movie at a regular movie theatre back home does not allow much room to do anything but simply sit in silence and watch the movie. However, Roxy Bar provides its guests a chance to grab a bite to eat, have a few drinks, and engage in conversation all while watching an enticing movie selected for its audiences’ enjoyment.

The wide range of people spending an evening at Roxy Bar showed that anyone could come in and have a good time. You could catch a handsome couple engrossed in conversation (and one another) sitting on one of the plush couches drinking wine. There were groups of friends enjoying one another’s company while drinking Becks Vier. Or you could see the massive group of eager eyed American tourists walking through the bar excited to be venturing into a London hotspot culturally different from their own.

Whether you were a young couple on a date, friends having a relaxed night out, or a group of American tourists looking to engage in a new form of cinema entertainment, each group commonly shared a mutual admiration for a good film, good food, good drinks, and good company.



Fugitive Pieces

Fugitive Pieces is one of those rare movies that comes along and really stirs something inside its audience. Director Jeremy Podeswa vividly captures humankind’s endless struggle between love lost and learned through the eyes of his central character Jakob. Jakob witnesses firsthand his parents killed by Nazi soldiers while his sister Bella is dragged away. Jakob has immediately lost a love that is essential to any human being, yet alone a child. He is left merely with the memories of his parents and Bella that both haunt him and comfort him. With Jakob’s heart left scarred, he longingly waits for someone that will come along and heal his wound.

 Jakob encounters various relationships throughout his lifetime that slowly begin to fill that void. A Greek anthropologist named Athos, who finds Jakob immediately after losing his family, takes Jakob in as his own son and provides him with the loving care of a parent that he so needed after the passing of his parents. Jakob later in his life seeks solace in a woman named Alex that he sees at first as a light to his darkness that will somehow save him. Although Alex is a saving grace in the beginning of their relationship, Jakob feels that his grief does not agree with her “shameless vitality” as he quotes in his writings. It isn’t until he meets the beautifully intelligent Michaela that Jakob begins to fill whole again. He has finally found someone that truly complements him. Jakob is finally able to slowly let go of his obsession over the loss of his family and able to open his heart to someone he has waited for his entire life to come along.

Fugitive Pieces delivers a message of hope to its audience. As Athos once said to Jakob as a child, “you can choose to see what destroys something, or what saves it.” Jakob finally chooses to not let the memories of his family ruin his life and decides instead to survive and prosper by letting Michaela into his heart. 

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Andrew Lawrence

When young attractive student go traveling abroad either two things appear to happen.  One, they have the most terrifying experiences where a psychotic killer is after them to torture and kill them. Second, they have this ridiculous time where impossibly silly and bizarre events occur throughout their trip that can only be out of a movie.  These are two examples of movie plots from different films. These stories are elaborated truths which can potential happen but never in such a funny or terrifying fashion.


Vicky Christina Barcelona the tale of the two ladies is not as extreme as other traveling and youth seen in film.  Yet, theirs is a story of a progression of fortunate experiences that are surreal especially when compared to my stay in London. Throughout the movie I keep thinking, “wow I wish I can have a experience like that”, and also thinking at the same time “yeah right that really happens to people?” I haven’t meant a gorgeous stranger who swept me away and had a fabulous time together. However we really never what could happen to us tomorrow.  I guess if Woody Allen were to put my stay in London it wouldn’t be as exciting or appealing as Vicky and Christina.  I guess it is not really my story that is interesting or Vicky and Christina’s but the experiences. My experience in London has been the thrilling and exciting although not as sexy as Vicky and Christina.  Mr. Allen told an interesting tale that had humor and realness than any other traveling movie I’ve seen.


Although I haven’t met my handsome and foreign stranger at this point in my summer, I’m looking forward to meeting new people, experiences the culture of London and have a great experience all together.  It makes me think of the uncertainty that is life. Nothing is for certain we’ll never know for absolute about anything, even our own feelings. Without those uncertainties I think life would be pretty boring. 






















There was nothing pleasant about the Pleasance Theatre where we went to watch a British comedian named Andrew Lawrence.  The unpleasant heat of the room kept me distracted from paying attention to the comedian.  The heat was a major problem for the audience and the comedian.  At one point in the show Andrew mentioned how hot it was in the room.  During the show two audience members had to leave the room because of the high temperature.  I know it bothered me and I’m sure it had to have bothered the comedian.  I’ve noticed that most places in London have been very hot since there seems to be no central air.  Other than the unbearable heat of the tiny compacted room I enjoyed listening to him.  I’ve only been to one comedy club in San Diego and the set up was different.  In San Diego there were tables and a two-drink minimum.  Perhaps American comedians need their audience to be drunk in order for them to think they are funny. There was nothing like that in the Pleasance Theatre. It was very small and compacted. 

 I didn’t understand some of his jokes and noticed it especially when other around me was laughing and I was not probably because of the cultural differences. He didn’t tell “jokes” but went on rants with lots of dirty references and swearing.  British humor is definitely different than American humor.  Americans like toilet humor, and jokes about stereotypes and the obvious observations.  Andrew Lawrence made us think out of the box.  He mentioned something at the end of the show that really stuck.  He talked about the uncertainty of life and how it that makes life worth living.  What’s the fun in knowing everything that going to happen?  We need to accept the fact that life is uncertain and embrace it and allow the changes.  He said that he usually ends his show with his guitar and a song, however that evening he forgot to bring his guitar and we missed the song finale, which I wished I hadn’t missed.     


Vicky Cristina Barcelona

This film spoke to me in numerous ways. First of all, the life led by Juan Antonio, directly projects the artistic, bohemian lifestyle that I have dreamed of living for the past few years. Being on my own, in London, helps me to feel like I am accomplishing some of my goals and living my life the way it is meant to me lived.
In comparing the revelations experienced by the characters to my own experiences so far in London, I find many similarities. Just the idea that these two girls, although at very different phases in their lives, wanted to get away and see a different part of the world hits home with me. My longing for taking this trip, regardless of the school requirements it fulfills, began with the simple need to see the world and experience new cultures. Part of this trip is fueled by the motivation to cease to focus on the things that used to give me identity, and create identity by opening my mind to new experiences and people.
As previously mentioned, the creative life led by Juan Antonio and Maria Elena (As well as Cristina later in the film) resonates with me, making me inspired to fully investigate the world of art while studying in this city.
Another important element of this film was the depiction of Vickie’s husband, a golfing business man who was obviously meant to come off as unworldly and frat-boyish. The film gives off the impression that by experiencing a new lifestyle, Vickie begins to realize that she may need more out of her life, friends, and significant other than she previously thought. This makes me think about my own friends that are at home. Although I truly love them, I feel at times like I cannot connect with them on the same level that I used to. None of them seem to be doing anything outrageous or interesting enough to keep me involved in their lives the way I used to be.

When young attractive student go traveling abroad either two things appear to happen.  One, they have the most terrifying experiences where a psychotic killer is after them to torture and kill them. Second, they have this ridiculous time where impossibly silly and bizarre events occur throughout their trip that can only be out of a movie.  These are two examples of movie plots from different films. These stories are elaborated truths which can potential happen but never in such a funny or terrifying fashion.

 Vicky Christina Barcelona the tale of the two ladies is not as extreme as other traveling and youth seen in film.  Yet, theirs is a story of a progression of fortunate experiences that are surreal especially when compared to my stay in London. Throughout the movie I keep thinking, “wow I wish I can have a experience like that”, and also thinking at the same time “yeah right that really happens to people?” I haven’t meant a gorgeous stranger who swept me away and had a fabulous time together. However we really never what could happen to us tomorrow.  I guess if Woody Allen were to put my stay in London it wouldn’t be as exciting or appealing as Vicky and Christina.  I guess it is not really my story that is interesting or Vicky and Christina’s but the experiences. My experience in London has been the thrilling and exciting although not as sexy as Vicky and Christina.  Mr. Allen told an interesting tale that had humor and realness than any other traveling movie I’ve seen.

 Although I haven’t met my handsome and foreign stranger at this point in my summer, I’m looking forward to meeting new people, experiences the culture of London and have a great experience all together.  It makes me think of the uncertainty that is life. Nothing is for certain we’ll never know for absolute about anything, even our own feelings. Without those uncertainties I think life would be pretty boring. 





Fugitive Pieces

While watching this film, I couldn’t help thinking about my own experience moving to California when I was young. The scene in which the main character is on the boat sailing to an unknown destination reminded me of my own experience sitting in the back seat of my dad’s car, having no idea what kind of life I would soon be experiencing. It was a very frightening, yet exciting. The feeling of being pulled out of one environment then thrown into another was unsettling, and the film did a great job of recreating that sense of uncertainty.
Another aspect of this film that really jumped out to me was the fact that the young boy did not want to go outside. Granted, his experience was quite a bit more traumatizing than mine, but there were moments that I remember not wanting to step outside. During the early stages of my settlement in California, most of the time, I just felt like hiding. This was a very unsettling feeling, given the fact that I have always been a very social person. When the boy finally stepped out into the sunlight, a feeling of hope came over me, reminding me of when I began to adapt to my new lifestyle.

Andrew Lawrence

Upon arriving at the Pleasance Club an instant feeling of warmth overcomes you. The bar and seating area allows for club goers to relax before the show in an almost surreal environment. Apart from all other venues we have traveled to as a class, the Pleasance Club is aimed more for individuals who are looking for an underground scene, both in the comic and musical sense. After grabbing a quick cocktail from the friendly bar staff, an announcement was made ushering all individuals into the small stage. Unfortunately however, the high spirits prior to entering the room were soon lost due to the cramped seating and excruciatingly hot temperature. The comedian’s words fell upon deaf ears on more than one occasion because of this distraction.

The comedian himself however was not as talented as many had hoped. His humor was aimed directly at that of the few British audience members, who found his routine almost hysterical. Unfortunately for the FIE students however his immature dark tone quickly lost its shine, and became repetitive and boring. The audience however was not the only one disappointed with the performance and the setting in which the show took place. Soon after the conclusion of the bit, Andrew Laurence was seen angrily walking out of the club, due most likely not only to the heat of the room, but also his lack of direction towards the audience. His skit was aimed towards a more British based audience, and in doing so, his jokes were hitting home with few if any of the American students attending. Overall the experience was one that can only be had in the small parts of London, however the particular comedian and venue were rather disappointing.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Woody Allen’s films are known for their creativity, and he ceases to inspire in his direction of the movie Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Through his prominent incorporation of a narrator during the film, he was able to draw the viewers into not only the obvious actions of the characters, but their feelings as well. By using this inner viewpoint, the audience is able to truly connect with the characters and follow their journey as if it were their own. The most specific instances where the narrator’s presence was prominent generally outlined any dramatic or controversial issues throughout the movie. For example, when Vicky slept with Antonio whilst Cristina was bed-ridden, the narrator immediately informed the audience of the cognitive dissonance that Vicky began feeling. This was a key point in the progression of the movie, for without the incorporation of the characters feelings there would have been no way that the audience would be able to depict the inner struggles faced, or the love triangle that had formed and diminished.

The interesting factor about this directing style is that he was able to specifically connect with almost all of the students who attended the viewing. The experiences that Vicky and Cristina were involved in are extremely similar to that of the students studying abroad. In both instances individuals travel to a foreign country where they are isolated from the ones they love and security of home all the while meeting locals and forming sparks of compassion. Woody Allen’s usage of a narrator amplifies this similarity and creates an explicit connection between the study abroad students and the characters within the film.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona

When watching the movie Vicky Cristina Barcelona there were a few comparisons that could be made between Vicky and Cristina’s trip to my own.  Vicky and Cristina took their trip to Barcelona for two opposite reasons.  Vicky wanted to work on her studies for her master’s thesis on Catalan culture, while Cristina was looking to explore more of her inner artistic abilities.  I can relate to both girls in their reasoning to travel to another country.  My own revelations for traveling to London are to study abroad and expand my knowledge on British culture.  I am also here for my own personal reasons.  I have always wanted to study abroad and travel.  I am always on the move and I want to explore everything I can.  While I have been in London I have experienced and witnessed so much of the cities artistic abilities that flood its streets and shops.  London is filled with many artistic people and I can relate this with what Cristina experiences when she goes to Barcelona and hangs out with many artistic people as well.  Another thing I noticed that can be compared is that when you go to another country you go sight seeing and you document your travels.  I have done a lot of sight seeing in London and there were many accounts in the movie where the two girls went off sight seeing around Barcelona. 

            There of course has not been any Juan Antonio on my trip to London, but I have met some local people that have been extremely nice and interesting.  Just like Juan Antonio taught both Cristina and Vicky something about his culture, I feel I have learned a lot from some of the local people I have met so far.  If I were to add my own scene into the movie I think I would just have to add something about the struggles people have when they are away from home and how it is great to be in another country, but that sometimes the excitement can fade a little bit and home can be on your mind.  Also, while being in London I have been forced into living with people I had never met before and had to get to know a whole different group of people.  All of them are great and I am so happy I have met them all, but I think I would add a scene showing how overwhelming it can be to be put into a situation where you have to mold yourself around everyone else and reveal yourself to a new group of people.  Those are the only two things I didn’t really see much of in the movie. 

Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Watching the movie Vicky Cristina Barcelona was certainly an interesting experience due to the fact that we are currently living what the movie was portraying. The movie set out to show what life is like for people that are traveling out of their comfort zones and into a foreign country. I can compare my current situation with both characters, even though they are in Spain for different reasons and share a completely different set of beliefs when it comes to love and relationships. I feel that I can identify with Vicky in the sense that I am here in London to further my studies. I wish to learn about another culture and to experience something wholly different than my everyday life I have become accustomed to. Vicky was in the same situation, only studying Catalan culture instead of British culture. I identify with Cristina in the way that I am here to travel, explore, live, grow, experience and to find out more about myself.

Their travels are much more spontaneous and involved than mine have been so far, but the film does a relatively good job at capturing the uncertainty of travel. When they are invited to travel with Juan Antonio, one is hesitant and one is ecstatic. This is the way I feel about a lot of the adventures here that we go on independently. I feel hesitant because I don’t know the situation, where exactly I’m going, and what I’m going to experience. I am also ecstatic for these same reasons. I could take the wrong bus or train and end up somewhere that I would have never seen if the uncertainty was not present. This is present in the film by showing the separate characters that express these different opinions on their traveling and explorations.

While much of my experiences were presented in the film, I would add one thing based on what I have experienced thus far. I would probably show a little more of the characters talking to people from home more often. I feel that someone in a different country who is about to get married would be on the phone with her fiancé as well as friends and family a lot more than was portrayed. Other than the lack of communication with her distant friends, I feel the film really expressed what it is like to travel and the experiences you never know you are going to get the opportunity to have.

Andrew Lawrence

For me this trip has been filled with next experiences, whether going to see Parliament or going to my first night club I have been introduced to a whole new lifestyle and culture. On Thursday I would be introduced to another side of British culture by going to a local comedy club to see my first stand up. As we got off the Underground I could tell that this was an extremely different living situation compared to the borough Kensington and Chelsea. When we got our tickets and drinks we sat in a room that felt like an oven and as I was waiting for Andrew Lawrence to come on the stage I had no idea what to expect which left me very interested on how the next hour would go. As he came on the stage he was a short scrawny man that was awkwardly built and as he picked up the microphone it would be an hour that I wish I could get back.

He started off talking about how show is was going to be bad and that if anyone did not like it they could get up and leave. Then audience received an insight into his personal life and how being a comedy was not better than being a bus driver. As the show was going on I noticed that there were quite a bit of locals that understood more jokes then our group. Andrews jokes were very raunchy and no one was left for mercy even his 93 year old grandmother was made fun of calling her deaf and delusional. Most of his jokes were toilet humor using countless amounts of swearing and extremely crude examples such as eating crap to boost himself confidence. With half of the people in the audience laughing and the other blankly staring at the stage I felt that this comedy show was very boring and the humor was truly bad. I felt that anyone can go on stage a drop a bunch of swear words and get a couple of laughs, but for me I did not find him that funny. Regardless it was a new experience that I enjoyed going on with my friends but I would not recommend him to go see.

Andrew Lawrence Comedy Show

The British comedy show with Andrew Lawrence was the first comedy show that I have ever seen live. It was very interesting to see the differences between British humor and the humor that I am used to in the United States. One thing that we were told in class with Mr. Mackey was that in Britain, sex is more openly talked about and violence is not, when compared to the States. This was extremely evident in Lawrence’s humor. A lot of his jokes were extremely sexually charged. While you will still find this type of humor in American comedians, their jokes seem to center on violence more often than sex.
As for my take on the comedy, I would have to say that overall I enjoyed it. I must say overall because some of the culture differences made it extremely difficult to understand the jokes or to find them funny. I noticed that many of the British people in the crowd were laughing a lot more than our group of Americans were. This was potentially due to a name or a company reference that we were unaware of, a difference of culture, or we just did not find the joke entertaining. The jokes that I did understand I discovered to be very witty, intelligent, and entertaining. His rants about various topics would continue on and on, and would have taken either a lot of practice or just personal intelligence. I found his rants to be some of his most amusing segments, and the fact that he has the ability to continue on and on about a single topic made his show enticingly funny.
Although the show was probably one of the most uncomfortable experiences temperature wise, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I would love to see a stand up comedy show live back in the United States now that I have seen one here so that I can better compare the two.

Andrew Lawrence

I thought Andrew Lawrence’s show was pretty funny overall. I think the main thing I liked about it was that I could relate to it was because my roommate is a red head or a “ginger” as he was calling it and I hear some of the stuff he was saying everyday from my roommate. I liked some of his jokes, and I didn’t like some of his jokes. I did enjoy the part about the housekeepers when you are at a hotel and how they keep knocking on the door even when you have the “do not disturb sign” on the door. I was laughing the hardest at that part. The KFC part was hilarious as well. There were some parts that were a little vulgar for me personally. The part about him “eating a bowl of his own s—t” was just too much for me to handle. I feel like that kind of humor is more aimed at a seven year old. I could almost hear the audience cringing, so maybe that kind of joke is not ok for the British either. About half was funny, and about half I just wanted to close my ears for.
There were several words and jokes that I did not understand. I just remember him saying certain things that I did not know and the rest of the audience would laugh, and I would have no idea what it was. His voice was a little hard to understand as well. It was high pitched and raspy and he spoke very quickly. That was also why I had a hard time fully understanding or hearing all of his jokes. For example, Katt Williams is a great comedian, but if you are not from the US, the way he talks may be hard to understand even if you are fluent in English.
This was a perfect way to observe cultural differences between the US and the UK. It showed culture in a completely different way than we have seen before and it was pretty eye opening into the world of British comedy

Andrew Lawrence

Besides the stifling heat of the venue, Andrew Lawrence provided a show well worth the five pounds spent. His brand of comedy is unique and extremely quick-witted. Sick, twisted and brilliant, Lawrence uses material that covers both ends of the spectrum. Covering toilet humor to existentialism, he is all over the map. However, even when delivering his most crude jokes, which delve as low as eating his own feces, he maintains a very refined demeanor by using extremely sophisticated language. This juxtaposition of crass subject matter alongside of near poetic language somehow works. Think Vladimir Nobokov’s Lolita for the same principle.

It was interesting to observe the crowd’s response to his humor being that about a third of us were American. Paying close attention to who laughed when was an interesting study in cultural differences. A few jokes were made which were targeted toward British culture. During these jokes, the Americans seemed slightly lost. However, most his act was directed at a more general audience as long as one could follow his rapid speech, quick-wit and verbosity.

The show was thoroughly enjoyable minus the sweltering heat mentioned earlier. In the states, it is unimaginable to consider a venue holding a performance in an attic without any ventilation or air conditioning in the midst of summer. It was so hot two people left the room mid-performance. Even Lawrence made a comment about how unbearable it was as he tried propping open a few doors. Unfortunately, he could see he was losing his audience not due to his comedy but the discomfort of the sweltering heat. Perhaps England should start looking into more air conditioners.

The Two Gentlemen of Verona

After scavenging around London looking for the theater, we finally arrived with only a few minutes to spear before the doors were shut and locked.  The group was a little annoyed that we struggled to get there but once everyone walked in and heard the upbeat music, we relaxed and began to eat our lunches as the first character ran on stage.  This was the first indicator that the play was going to be more laidback and modern.  Playhouses and theaters do not allow you to drink, let along eat inside and the idea of a “lunchbox theater” is genus.  It is not hard to picture Londoners who work nearby to drop in and watch a play during their lunch break ¾ I would do it every chance I got.

Normally, Shakespeare is dragged out and tough to piece together, which will make the less popular plays rather dull.  However, The Bridewell Theater’s “The Two Gentlemen of Verona” sheds a new light on Shakespearean plays.  It took the idea of something so serious and, for the younger generations, difficult to understand, and twisted it to make it more modern.  This made the play easier to identify with and more fun to watch.  The characters still spoke in the Shakespearean tongue and were a tiny bit confusing to follow, but the casual everyday clothing and body language helped keep every member of the audience on track.

Not only was it a more modern version, but also it was quick and to the point.  The play, from start to finish, didn’t even last an hour.  In fact, it took us longer to find the theater than it did to watch the play!  Some would think that means there were gaps and missing acts.  However, it didn’t miss a beat; all the necessary scenes were acted out and overall it was a great production (probably one of the better ones I have seen).

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Comedy Show

Attending the comedy show the other night opened my eyes to some of the differences between American stand up comedy and British stand up comedy. One of the differences I found was the type of jokes that were used in the routines. When watching an American stand up comedian there is usually some sort of reference to race.  When watching Andrew Lawrence he never made any reference to race.  The only jokes that came close to race is when he made a couple jokes about people from Wales and Scotland.  The only other jokes that he made that were close to comparing people is when he was talking about being a ginger.  Other than that there were no jokes on race like there is in America. 

            Another difference I noticed with the jokes was that Andrew Lawrence used a lot of sexual jokes.  The majority of jokes he had incorporated some sort of sexual experience.  In America there are some comedians that use a lot of sexual jokes, but then there are others that only use a few sexual jokes.  Majorities of people will laugh at a good sexual joke, but I feel since British culture embraces sex more that their comedians use more sexual jokes.  There really weren’t any jokes about violence, but if you watch an American comedian they will use violence in their jokes. 

            The last difference I found between British stand up and American stand up is the way the show was set up.  The venue we saw Andrew Lawrence in was very small and intimate.  The room was more like a theater set up with rising bench seats.  I like the intimate setting of it, but it was extremely hot and uncomfortable.  When you go to see an American stand up comedian the venue is usually more open and the seating is more spread apart.  You usually sit at a table with your party and the comedian does their act on a stage.  There is also air conditioning in American venues.  Overall the show was funny, I just wish it wasn’t so hot in the room we sat in.

Comedy Show

The first mildly startling thing I experienced at this show was the close, almost stifling proximity to other members of the audience, as well as the performer himself. It was very stuffy and hot, but contained a warm, personal environment. On to the comedy...
It is tough to decide whether I actually liked this show or not. The humor was definitely different than what I have experienced in the past. Obviously only having been here for a few weeks makes it difficult to understand all the references made to British culture, especially names. But I found that the comedian's intelligence and wit was able to make up for the references I did not understand. The material was quite vulgar, yet nothing really shocked or offended me.
One joke was made regarding KFC and how we eat it out of a bucket. The comedian was saying that we are "no better than animals" eating this terrible food, but to make it worse, they serve it to you in a bucket. Like its basically the lowest you can get. The two guys next to me found this HILARIOUS, but it didn't do to much for me. That did make me wonder why that is but I still dont know the answer... In closing, although I did enjoy the experience, the humor was much different in it's presentation than I am used to, making it less funny and more difficult to understand.

Kentucky Fried Chicken Comedy

I have seen and heard plenty of comedy in the United States. It is an understatement to say that I pee my pants when I hear Dane Cook talk about the Kool-aid guy or see Jeff Dunham with his “Achmed the Terrorist” puppet. However, I had a difficult time relating to Andrew Lawrence’s comedy. Despite the heat, which did make it hard to concentrate, it was hard to understand exactly what he was talking about. First of all, I was surprised to see how young he is. For some reason I didn’t picture a young, scrawny kid who looked barely older than me. But besides the atmosphere and appearance, it was really the content of the comedy that kept me from “splitting my sides.” Andrew Lawrence, who probably didn’t know he was speaking to an audience full of Americans, used his normal British slang and, for me, it sounded like a completely different language! Words and names of people I didn’t know went in one ear and out the other. I guess this goes to show that just because we speak the same language doesn’t actually mean we do.

Although, one highlight I must mention, was Andrew’s skit on KFC. He made fun of the fact that KFC serves their food in buckets and how it makes him feel like an animal. The few, rare British people behind me laughed hysterically and I thought- doesn’t he know it’s supposed to be that way? It is Kentucky Fried after all! And then I laughed. Here was another perfect example of the cultural disconnect between the U.S. and the U.K.

Fugitive Pieces

While watching the movie Fugitive Pieces, I was flooded with many different memories from my childhood.  One memory that struck me right away was a memory I have of my mother’s hands.  This memory came back to me during the movie when I saw the scene where Jacob was trying to explain to Ben that Ben’s father, Joseph, did feel pain about the holocaust and what he saw there.  Jacob explained that Joseph told him that every morning he would remember his parents and start to weep.  Joseph would remember his mother’s hands.  When Jacob told Ben about Joseph’s memories of his mother’s hands my heart dropped.  My mother died when I was six years old.  I don’t remember too much of her, which is very hard for me to say.  The one memory I do have of her that is still strong in my mind is an image of her hands.  Every morning before I would go to school, I would stand right by my mom, as she got ready for work.  As my mom would get ready for work I would admire her and I would always grab her hand to give me attention.  I would sit there and tug on her hand until she gave me attention and I would sometimes sit there and admire her hands.  I remember they were soft and her nails where always very well kept.  The one thing I noticed the most is that she always had a reddish hue to her skin.  I would ask her why her skin was red and she would answer with a simple “I don’t know” and a warm smile.  That memory is a very simple one, but it is very important to me and is very close to my heart.  I haven’t thought of the memory in a while, but Fugitive Pieces made me think of it again.

Soul-Crushing Vicissitudes of Fortune

Walk into the Pleasance Comedy Club in London and one would expect it to look like any other comedy club they have been to.  There are flyers and advertisements of the featured comedians on the walls, a place to buy tickets, and a bar to buy pres-how drinks.  What is unexpected is that after entering the upstairs room, which is full of darkness, chairs, and a microphone, one immediate begins to sweat bullets and feel slightly uncomfortable.  Most attempt to ignore the heat as the comedian, Andrew Lawrence, introduces himself onstage and begins to perform his “Soul-Crushing Vicissitudes of Fortune.”

At first, the audience gets the impression that this man has the typical “British style humor” and it works for him.  He is witty and is constantly applies British culture to his jokes and punch lines, along with self-incriminating comments about being a skinny ginger with an awkward sounding voice.  This style of humor will produce laughter from a variety of people, British and American audiences included.  However, about half way through his act much of the laughter had died down.  Very few if any American’s in the crowd knew what he was talking about and the rest of the audience didn’t seem to like his foul language and immature manner.

Overall he was a funny character, but the combination of puzzling British jokes, crude and unusual stories, and unbearable heat made it very difficult to enjoy.  On the other hand, if he were to perform at a different venue, the circumstances would have been different and the experience would have been better.

The Two Gentlemen of Verona

After franticly wandering the streets near St. Paul’s Cathedral for forty-five minutes, we arrived at our destination, The Bridewell Theatre. Our anxiety was quickly replaced by excitement for the show to begin. The Bridewell Theatre is unique in that it offers a “lunchbox theatre” Thursday thru Friday at one in the afternoon. The actors were successful in performing a modern version of Shakespeare’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona. I think one of the most noticeable differences between the Bridewell’s production of the play and the more traditional productions of Shakespeare was the wardrobe. It was quite humorous to see actors and actresses perform in casual t-shirts and flip-flops and then speak in Shakespeare’s language. I think that translating a famous Shakespearean play to fit into our modern society is a great idea because it may then appeal to a younger audience who would not otherwise be interested in seeing a Shakespearean play. At the beginning of the play it was difficult to understand exactly what was going on, as I had never heard of The Two Gentlemen of Verona, but as the story line became clearer, I quickly started to enjoy it.

In addition to the theatre’s modern approach to Shakespeare, I really enjoyed the “lunchbox” aspect of the performance. The Bridewell allowed members of the audience to bring in their own food and to eat it during the show. I found this extremely convenient considering most theatres have a strict no eating or drinking policy. Another perk of the theatre was its promptness. The play began at one exactly and lasted no longer than forty-five minutes. I found this to be the perfect length for a relaxing afternoon performance. The Bridewell’s presentation of The Two Gentlemen of Verona has definitely sparked my interest in Shakespeare and I look forward to seeing another during my time in London.

Fugitive Pieces

The film Fugitive Pieces had many powerful images and scenes that reminded me of events that have happened in my life, whether they were directly related to what was going on in the scene or not. One of the most powerful scenes that brought on vivid memories for me was the scene where the child has to hide in a crawl space in the wall so that he can avoid his captors. This brought me back to a day that I had not remembered until viewing the film. I recall being a young child and my Dad showing me the current houses he was building. One of the houses was a huge mansion and it was all very exciting to see. The person that was having the house built was obviously wealthy, and until I saw one part of the house it all seemed like a dream I would love to live one day. I had hesitations when he showed me a secret, tiny room that he had installed in between the rooms of the two children. It was a room that could be locked from the inside, and was joining the two closets of the rooms together. I asked my Dad what it was for and he had to explain to me that with wealth and popularity would sometimes come enemies. There might be some people out there who would take the children in an attempt to make money from a ransom. The crawl space I was playing in quickly became unappealing and I wanted to get out of it as fast as possible. This was the first time that I was really faced with greed and with crime and the serious events in the world that we sometimes have to deal with. I attempted to imagine what it would be like to have to run into the crawl space to avoid capture, and to not know what was happening to my family while I was inside of that tiny room. Unfortunately for the child in the movie, he was still able to see and was forced to witness his fathers murder and his family’s abduction. When I saw that part, I did not know which would be better; the curiosity of not knowing and being spared from witnessing something terrible, or being able to see what was happening with the possibility of viewing a horrific scene that would stay with you for the rest of your life?

Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Under the dim lights of the friendly Roxy Bar, an eclectic group of people settled into their seats, beers in hand, as the movie began.  Vicky Cristina Barcelona was the perfect movie to see in this pleasant setting, especially because it tells the story of two American women spending their summer in Barcelona, much as twenty-four American SDSU students are spending their summer in London. 

There are many aspects of the film that highlight Woody Allen’s directing style, a prominent one being the narration.  The deep voice and profound words of the narrator interject at many key points during the story.  In most other films, this would almost certainly break the audience’s concentration and interrupt the flow of the scene.  However, in this film, the narration works.  It seems to bring the film back together during the more frenzied moments. The narrator, along with the cheerful music, brings certain lightness to a film that would otherwise be heavy if it depended solely on its dramatic plot.

Another part of Vicky Cristina Barcelona that resembled Woody Allen’s style was that the film was so heavily focused on love and sex, yet the conversations spoken among characters were much more erotic than any of the actual sex scenes.  Allen is known for his dialogue-heavy movies, and this one is no exception. Although many of the themes in the film are taboo in our culture (e.g. a threesome), Allen has a way of opening up the viewer’s mind and illustrating that, in this case, a relationship with three members instead of two can be quite healthy.  The film ends abruptly, and although this contradicts the “happily ever after” ending of most romantic movies, this conclusion is quite fitting for Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Comedy Show

British humor is known for being "witty" and "clever" and overall hilarious. With this type of expectation, anticipation and excitement were the emotions that we all felt when arriving to our first British comedy show, "Soul-Crushing Vicissitudes of Fortune" featuring Andrew Lawrence. Aware of the reputation of British humor, as well as an understanding of how it differed from American humor, I was ready to be overwhelmed by enticing jokes leading to uncontrollable laughter. Initially I was intrigued by Lawrence's brutal honesty about his life, his job, and his red hair. I found myself falling into the comfortable situation between a comedian and his audience where the audience begins to trust that every word coming out of the mouth of the man on stage will at least evoke some type of chuckle.

However, soon my laughter lessened and then it became nonexistent. Some might say this is because I did not understand the jokes made about British culture, and they would be partially right. Some of the jokes Lawrence told were obviously funny to those who are aware of British politics and pop culture. As an American in the audience, I could understand why his jokes were interpreted as funny, but did not know the actual reason they were so funny to others in the room. Also, I found myself extremely turned off to some of his more crude jokes. Many of his jokes could be compared to a conversation among a group of 13 year old boys who have just discovered the hilarity that 13 year old boys find in profane language. Many of his jokes were not clever, but rather disgusting. For example telling a story about consuming his own feces to prove his immortality is not something I would find funny whether it was a British comedian or an American comedian. I found it odd that others in the audience laughed at this story and still do not understand how anyone could find this amusing.

While I realize that my critique is exactly the type of critique Lawrence hates because he believes reviews like mine bring creative people down, I would have to disagree. I didn't find him very creative. Most of his jokes were unnecessarily crude and lacked comedic timing. I am not sure if Lawrence's humor is typical British humor, but if it is, I do not think I can consider myself a fan. I can say that I am open to another comedy show experience for the hopes of a different perspective on British humor.


Being a Hospitality Tourism Management major I found the pub/theatre Roxy to be more inspiring than anything I’ve have ever experienced.  It was unique to see the dinner and a movie and bar combination all in one building, which is something that is not popular back in the states.  Walking out of the pub/theatre I was so in love with the place and the concept.  Everything from the couches to the variety of people that were drawn to it gave me the desire to replicate this type of scene later on in my life.

What was most intriguing was the variety of people who were in the crowd.  At every other venue we have been to thus far on our trip there has been a particular age group or style presented.  And being young traveling students, we either fit in or stood out like a sore thumb.  However, Roxy welcomed everyone.  Just as a movie theater back home would attract millions of people from all types of backgrounds, Roxy attracts more than one crowd.  In other words, there was not just young students or busy adults who stopped on their way home from work.  Furthermore, the mixture of people provided a more relaxed and more comfortable environment, and when the film ended no one wanted to leave.  Therefore most of us stuck around with the locals and made a few friends.  Also, when the lights were turned back on the majority of the audience was partaking in PDA (Public Display of Affection).  The older people were loving one another just as the younger people were.  I guess one could say that’s were the crowd had something in common.  No matter how old you are, or what scene you’re a part of, there is always the desire to love and be loved.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


What a charged environment at the Roxy the other night! With a glass of wine or two and watching a movie it was emotionally charged and was extraordinarily easy to have a great time. Vicky Cristina Barcelona was one of the most entertaining and fun low budget film I have ever seen! Woody Allen does a phenomenal job bring three completely different characters together to meet at such a romantic place and get caught up in a love triangle. A story of two friends that are on two different paths in life, one going with the flow and the other being suppressed by a lifestyle that she is not sure that she wants. Woody Allen meshes them together with a man named Antonio who is extremely suave. The viewer is told by Woody Allen what is exactly going on in the movie and how each character is facing a type of internal conflict whether with their current situation or with a man. Allen style is blunt, telling the audience what is going on and in some ways his voice brings stability throughout the movie. Even though he is not in the movie Allen oversees what is going on in every aspect, almost like a guardian angel or the devils advocate. Woody Allen know precisely what to do to keep the viewer entertained, with such as sexually charged movie one can not help to be sucked into the movie and wanting to be in a romantic place with their significant other or in this movies case a fling in such a character like Antonio.

Fugitive Pieces

When I sat down in my chair in front of an eerie red movie screen, I did not expect the roller coaster ride of emotion that was in store for me.  Jakob’s journey through life is heartbreaking.  As he desperately tries to release himself from the terrifying kidnapping of his family by the Nazis, he finds it almost impossible to let another person completely in.  He spends much of his time alone with a trusty journal, the only entity he has allowed to fully and completely hear his thoughts.  This is precisely why I feel that the significant turning point in the story was when Jakob allowed Michaela to read the journal.  The words that he uttered about Michaela were overflowing with love and freedom, for she had been the force that finally released him from the confines of his past.  This is quite a contrast from the words that were spoken about his first wife Alex, in which he felt so trapped and forlorn.  The differences in the interactions between Jakob and each of his women is quite tangible.  I believe that he was trying to use the relationship with Alex to fill the void of his family.  Alternatively, Jakob’s relationship with Michaela had blossomed on another level, one in which he was completely open to love.  The acting was so phenomenal between these lovers that I forgot that they were acting.  Each moment between them was bursting with passion, even when they were doing something as simple as sitting across the room from each other in silence.  It is within this silence that it is quite obvious that Jakob is finally happy.  I absolutely loved this movie.


The Movie Fugitive Pieces was packed full of emotional scenery that helps the viewer gain insight to the horrible war crimes that the Nazis committed not only in Poland but all over Europe. Going into this movie I had a naked slate on what to expect, but after this movie I was full of vivid imagery and stories that my grandmother told during WWII. My grandmother is an amazing woman! She helped raised me when my parents were working full time in order to put food on the table for my sister and I she was there. Nan, as I call her, has always been a caring person and this is how she has been through all of her life. When my grandmother lived in London during WWII and during the Nazi blitz of central London I remember talking to her about how one minute you would be above ground and the next minute you would hear deafening sirens telling everybody to get below ground because Nazi Luftwaffe were coming. She told me this happened numerous of times but she never went into grave detail until about two years ago when we were having tea. I was planning my first trip to England and wanted some advice on things to do in London so my grandmother and I started talking about her time there and what she missed. Then I brought up the topic about the air raids over central London then I vividly remember her saying to me “Well Alexander I guess you are old enough to hear this” she went on telling me that during one of the first bombings when she was running to get to the underground and she was with her friend Jolene and just before she got below a bomb went off about 50 yards away from her spraying derbies that knocked her down. As she got up dazed and confused she realized her friend was on the ground unconscious, later my grandmother found out that Jolene died from internal bleeding. After my grandmother told me this story I was silent, what does one say after a story like that. Then my grandmother went on drinking her tea.

When I see any type of WWII movie I think of my grandmother and the story she told me that day, a story that I also think about when I am with her and. In less than four weeks my grandmother and my family are coming to London and sometimes I think to myself is my grandmother going to be able to overcome such a traumatic event? For both of us I hope it brings a type of closure for her.

Vicky Christina Barcelona

Vicki Christina Barcelona is the perfect film to see while traveling abroad.  It creates just the right atmosphere for one with an open mind and eager for adventure.  For the most part, Vicky and Christina exemplify the typical attitude of young Americans traveling overseas.  They are youthful with few responsibilities and excited for whatever adventures come their way.  The two girls remind me much of myself at the beginning of the film as they set out ready for new sites and new people.  What might have sounded like a bad idea at home, suddenly sounds like a thrilling adventure.  A new environment can often create a distorted sense of reality, where everything is picturesque.  I do not think this is necessarily a bad thing, as it allows one to try things and do things they would not otherwise do. 

            In Vicky Christina Barcelona, Vicky and Christina accept an invitation to spend the weekend with a complete stranger in a city that they have never been.  This sounds like an extreme case, but also an offer that some on our trip might have a hard time declining; including myself.  An attractive man asks you and your best friend to join him on a weekend getaway to a tropical island.  I think this would sound like paradise for some, and of course it is only natural to be leery of the intentions of a man like Juan Antonio.  Aside from my reservations about Juan Antonio I think I would regret not going.  Although I have not experienced anything as wild as Vicky and Christina did in the film, who knows what the rest of our stay here in London has is store for us.