Browse the Garden

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

It's okay to be human

It's okay to be human.
It's okay to make mistakes.
Just learn from them,
and don't dwell on them. 
Move forward.
Don't look back.
Do your best.
Don't put yourself down.
Remember that life goes on.
You'll get through this.
One day you will laugh it away. 
For now, it's a mountain you can climb.
It's a bridge you can cross.
It's a step toward learning who you are. 
It's a challenge.
It's a single moment in time. 
Just don't give up
and soon
you'll bloom. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Friday, June 20, 2014

La Belle et la Bete: A movie review

Beauty and the Beast is my favorite fairytale, and though I adore the Disney version, there are few adaptions that honor the orginal story. Before I go into too much detail about the movie, I want to introduce a little history. 
Beauty and the Beast began as a short story wriiten by Madame Gabrielle Suzanne de Villeneuve in a magazine for women in 1740. It was inspired by folklore and mythology. In fact, one of the earliest versions of this fairy tale is the myth Cupid and Psyche. Many cultures all over the world have some derivative of this tale, but Beauty and the Beast is among the most popular and well known stories. 
Villeneuve's story was later adapted into a short story written by Madame Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumount who is better known as the tale's creator and had it abridged and published in a book for children in 1756 . 
Beauty and the Beast has evolved over the years from fairy tale to novel to Television show to film. But in France, the most well known adaption, besides the Disney version, is a black and white film under the name of La Belle et la Bete made in 1946. In fact, this version was the adaption that Disney used as an outline to create the animated classic Beauty and the Beast
I recommend watching the 1946 film and reading the original tale before watching the new 2014 film, because you may be confused, and so many people criticize this film based on the Disney version, which is very different from the actual fairytale.
While this movie is true to the original tale, it has it's own mythology and a new story behind why the Beast was cursed, but it echoes some of the genius of Hayao Miazaki's film Howl's Moving Castle, while creating a story of its own.
This film is beautiful. Not only are the special effects like stepping into a painting, the costumes are elaborately detailed, the cinematography is well done, and the acting is wonderful. 
Lea Seydoux is a clever, kind and beautiful Belle, and Vincent Cassel is a mysterious, intriguing and layered Beast. Both stars shine in their roles, and make the characters their own. 
I give it four out of five roses. A beautiful movie, timeless tale and wonderful adaption. 

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Palace of Wonder and Garden of Dreams

The Changdeokgung Palace is a step back in time. From the imperial gate to the secret garden, it has been the movie set for many historical Korean dramas. The picturesque view and the artistic atmosphere draws in tourist after tourist. But for me, it's more than that. Once I arrived, it was like walking in a Korean fairytale. I could see the crown prince running along the game field. I saw the servants walking through the gate quickly with laundry to the great well next to the public garden. And of course, the minute I walked over the Geumcheongyo (stone bridge) I could see the crown princess with her ladies in waiting, and the procession that followed. 
This palace also has a forbidden garden, that we were lucky enough to grab tickets for, right before it sold out. (I reccomend geting them as soon as possible- they sell out fast) The great pavillion was a private resort for the royal family and a few selected noblility. The garden itself was a quiet retreat for tea, and it even has it's own area for the rice only eaten by the royal family. 
The area was beautiful, and reminded me of many Korean myths and legends. 
Unfortunately, it is very difficult to find books about Korean folklore, but their history begins with a myth, and slowly turns into facts. The Kingdom of the Four Winds begins Korea's tale, and from then on, the history unfolds. But actually walking around the regal and beautiful buildings gives you a taste of what life was like whne men feared Gumihos, women were chosen to be the crown princess, and the great school of Sungkyunkwan was the most promising school in the country. 
This area of Korea, preserved in the Joseon period is inspirational and its own work of art. 
Some of the Korean Dramas filmed here include The Moon that Embraces the Sun, Sungkyunkwan Scandal, Gu Family Book, Goong, Goong S and of course Queen Inhyeon's Man.