Clint Eastwood said, “a man’s got to know his limitations.” I’ve always liked that quote, and it keeps rattling around in my head as we attempt to adjust to the new normal. Like a lot of people, I’m anxious and stressed about various things. Also like a lot of people, I’m acutely aware of how lucky I am compared to many others. I’m still collecting a paycheck. Nobody’s ill. This morning when I hit up the Harris Teeter it looked less like it’d been recently looted during a zombie apocalypse and more like it normally does.
Let’s chat about what’s getting us through – self care, entertainment, etc. I bought myself some exercise bands and I’ve been using them with online barre workouts, something I can do in a small space without jumping up and down. I’ve been taking isolated walks two or three times a day, keeping a safe distance from everyone in my quiet neighborhood, because meditative walks and breathing the fresh air has long been a fundamental part of my self-care, and being a shut-in is not conducive to my mental health (see Clint Eastwood, above.) I’ve been cooking a lot. I cooked regularly before, but frequently in a hurry at the end of a long day, just getting food on the table. Now I’m here and the boys are here and I turn on the radio and spend an hour or two pulling together a meal. It’s been fun, actually.
I signed up for BritBox so I can see some UK shows, and I’m on a bit of a Tilda Swinton bender. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that she’s been in a number of interesting, visually arresting movies, even though some are darker than others and not the fare I’m looking for now (Suspiria and Kevin? no thanks!) So, last night I spent two hours watching the sumptuous I Am Love. I’d probably watch Tilda Swinton read a phone book, but what a delight – set in Milan, filmed in Italian with English subtitles, and Tilda is the genteel wife of a textile baron who has a kind of reckoning with her life choices. The movie is gorgeous visually, all luxe interiors and genteel airs, up till the end, which is a bit of a melodramatic mixed bag, but I’m still glad I watched it. Apparently Tilda Swinton and director Luca Guadagnino spent more than a decade plotting the story out. Another recommendation for any Tilda Swinton/Tom Hiddleston fans is the sublime, atmospheric Only Lovers Left Alive, they’re ancient (but modern!) vampires doing their thing in Tangier and Detroit… the soundtrack is wonderful, as are they. I need to go back and watch Orlando, the first thing I can remember seeing her in, plus there’s The Souvenir, a well-reviewed 2019 film with her daughter (!), and some really wacky-looking early stuff.
What are your recommendations for movies that are sumptuous to look at and also pleasant to watch? Any classics you find particularly charming? Have you bought anything online to help you get through this? How are you faring?
Winner of the squidge of Fendi Theorema, sunshine in a wee bottle: Michelle Little. cheers.