Love

By Camila Abisambra

So it’s a holiday in the States and I’ve been thinking a lot this weekend and taking stock of my past year, as one does sometimes, because I’ve realized I’m about to enter a radically different time of my life. After the summer I’m going back to school and I’m chasing my dreams which are the first and foremost loves of my life. And I’ve realized how much heartbreak and disappointed I’ve had to brave in pursuit of them. Loving something, anything or anyone, is really difficult because things aren’t rosy and perfect all the time. Eventually, whatever you love, will break your heart one way or the other, and you need to take a look at it objectively and decide if it’s still worth loving.

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A love letter for Audrey Horne

By Camila Abisambra

My darling Audrey,

How I miss you. From the pilot of Twin Peaks you stole my heart because you were exactly what I thought femme fatales were supposed to be and just weren’t. You were fun, and aloof, and mischievous and so perfect. When you walked into that room full of foreign investors and started crying, I knew you were forever going to be my favorite character in the show. I mean, there was no competition. Donna is the most annoying character only rivaled and beat by James. I have an affinity for Shelly because she put up with so much and was still going and of course, there was Laura. Laura who is a brilliant character but still not you. In a cast filled with women who are so rich and varied you stand out to me, although it is delightful to be given a choice (thank you for that David Lynch).

All that first season you were brilliant and perfect. I mean, watching you tie that cherry stick into a knot gave me #goals for my life. See, I wanted to be the best of you. The witty, self-assured, independent girl who goes there without fear or hesitation. I like that. I was also a fan of how you balanced Cooper so much. His naivete and optimism shined brighter with your aloofness and dreamlike quality. It was a perfect pairing. And then came Lara Flynn Boyle to ruin everything on season 2.

It hurt me, Audrey. They took you, a brilliant lead character who drove the story and provided parallels with Laura better than anyone else could but giving hope for a better ending to your story, and turned her into a background character who could barely shine in the crazy concocted drama that was the second season. I would have traded that stupid James substory of running away for minutes with you, watching you be brilliant. You were the perfect balance to Cooper and they killed that, and it wasn’t fair. They gave you a dream guy as amends but try as he may, he wasn’t Coop. It broke my heart because you were so rich, so filled with depth, a character I could love, someone who broke from that two-dimensional role so often reserved for women.

It got better in the end I guess, but it was still not like the first season and such is the thing with love stories. If they’re going to end, they better be devastating, otherwise it wasn’t true love. I still adore you Audrey and whenever I see you on screen it is delightful. Thank you for being the trailblazing, unique, perfect star you were.

PS. Special thanks to the brilliant Sherilyn Fenn, because without her, you wouldn’t be possible.

HeavyDirtySoul

By Camila Abisambra

The masterpiece that is ‘Blurryface’ opens with this incredible song that sets the pace for a deeply personal album by Twenty One Pilots. I call it deeply personal because it feels like Tyler Joseph cracked my head, heart and soul open and laid out all my fears and dark feelings in lyrical form. It feels personal to me and if you’ve ever been really scared at 3 in the morning or just felt like you weren’t worth it, this album -or any son by TOP- will hit you like a brick in the head in all the best ways possible.

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Cross stitching my heart out

By Camila Abisambra

My love for Bastille is well documented in this blog, and my twitter and life really. Their melody and lyrics hit me in the heart like a train, and music that can do that is really, very special. Because it’s such a rarity that a band can capture those feelings I play hide and seek with and make me feel them, I would follow Bastille into the dark and wherever they choose to go. And even though it’s practically impossible to pick a favorite song, I do have a favorite song (not that I love the others any less) and it is Laura Palmer. Whilst I understand that Laura Palmer is a song about a dead girl, the verse has always captivated this thing I feel about being alive and I’m going to try to explain it even though I’m not an incredible lyricist like Dan Smith: We usually go through life not really thinking and doing things by default and then suddenly one day it hits you that you have a heart and you haven’t been feeling it for a while. Sorry for the soppiness and weird philosophical conundrums, but that’s how Laura Palmer makes me feel, like I need to start feeling my heart (it isn’t at all what the song is about, but that’s how it makes me feel).

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There’s something about Gillian Flynn

By Ana Maria Villaveces

Evil is not something that is easily attributed to women. We either get the sexy pseudo-villain (the one men won’t mind looking at too long; see: Cat Woman) or the highly overused catastrophe that is a “woman scorned”. This is not evil. This is not the disgust-inducing-manic-unrestrained wickedness that seems to cling to male villains through the ages. This is malicious at best and petty at worst and in no way a reflection of human nature; in fact, it seems like human nature is portrayed in the evil of men and the tenderness of women as a general rule rather than as a spectrum that bypasses sex and age to contain every shade of what it is to be human.

The most basic of Google searches will easily back up this phenomenon. If you search “greatest movie villains of all times” and click on the first link you will be taken to a list of 25 evil characters that have filled our screens for ages. Out of those 25 only 4 are women. Meanwhile 20 of them are male and one of them is not even human (yes… it’s the shark from Jaws). Let’s change the medium shall we? Search “greatest villains in literature” and click on the first link once again. Out of a list of 40 memorable wrongdoers only 8 are female (this includes Medea, the prime example of the “woman scorned” debacle). Out of the remaining characters 24 are male and 6 are non-human. As you look through the two lists, take into account that the non-human villains are all male, even in all their alien or demonic (or animal; let’s not forget the shark) glory.

I think I can probably count the truly evil women I have found in literature in one hand; out of the five spots three belong to characters penned by Gillian Flynn. Female characters have found a way to merge together in many genres; even the strongest ones seem to be brushes off of the same color palette. In Flynn’s books however, the women hit you like a punch in the gut. Every single one of the women Flynn has written down cries in clashing colors, all too bright to be forgotten lightly. She created females that are not only resolutely within the worst-kind-of-evil spectrum (even more so than many of the most famous male villains of our time) but also on completely varying areas of it.

If you haven’t seen the movie or read the book Gone Girl then I suggest you do so as soon as possible to see one of the characters I’m talking about (normally I would suggest the book above all and though I still think it’s a must read I can be lenient towards the movie knowing that Flynn herself wrote the script). Amy Dunne is without a doubt one of the most compellingly evil characters I have seen on paper. Relentless about having the largest amount of attention she can possibly get, ridiculously smart, alluring, and dedicated to making her plans work seamlessly… she’s a hard pill to swallow. There’s something about the calm undertone to her madness that makes her all the more disturbing. A reckless and impulsive villain is easy to catch onto; Amy catches onto you, and she’s hard to shake off. There are too many words I could keep throwing out there to try and fully encompass the darkness that this character exudes but I don’t think there would ever be enough to get to the depths of it. Amy Dunne is true evil; the disgust-inducing-manic-unrestrained type of it.

If you look through Gillian Flynn’s blog and click on the “for the readers” tab you’ll find a brilliantly written (obviously) blog post about her reasoning behind the characters she creates. In the post titled “I Was Not A Nice Little Girl…” Flynn calls Sharp Objects her “creepy little bouquet” for dark sides, which in females is usually ignored. I would call it her masterpiece. Despite the fervor with which readers come to hate and fear Amy Dunne by the end of Gone Girl, the darkness in that book comes nowhere near the twisted core of the Preaker family. Out of the three women in the family two are completely evil, one is relentlessly self destructive, and all three are utterly messed up. It’s not a nice view of women; that’s exactly what Flynn intended. The last line of Sharp Objects somehow manages to appease you and make your blood run cold at the same time. All in all Sharp Objects is an amazingly written horrible master piece that somehow curls around your nerve endings and hisses in the hidden corners of your mind even after you drop the book. This is all thanks to the female characters that fuel it: a mother so nurturing that she hurts obsessively, a daughter so attention-starved she kills for teeth to pass as marble, and a half sister with words carved into her skin and hatred seared into her bones even as she tries to dig towards an end she doesn’t really want to figure out. It is absolute brilliance… unrestrained, terrifying, exhausting brilliance.

(I should probably end this before it becomes a too long running commentary of everything I love about Flynn’s writing… right).

The fact that there is so little evil put into females in shows, not that female characters wouldn’t be able to cradle and nurture that darkness, but rather that too few have the faith to write the process. Gillian Flynn is the only author I’ve read that creates female characters that are completely real even enveloped in evil that seems too elaborate to actually exist. I guess you could say I’m a fan.

After a childhood starved of true female villains Flynn’s characters got to me like a too large meal: I’m ultimately satisfied but terrified of everything I just ingested and maybe I feel a little bit like throwing up. I love it.

The knock-off

By Camila Abisambra

Taylor Swift looked incredible at the Billboard awards this past Sunday. She killed it in a vintage inspired Balmain jumpsuit. It was a moment of glory for Olivier Roustieg who has been putting Balmain on everybody’s mind lately and to be validated by the big winner of the Billboard awards was, well, like winning. Unfortunately, a shadow was cast on Roustieg’s moment of glory by Nasty Gal. In an awkward turn of events, someone in Nasty Gal took credit for Taylor’s look saying it was their cheaper, arguably copied, version of the Balmain look. It wasn’t and the tweet was quickly deleted. The thing is, the problem remains. When does copying go too far?

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Skele-party

By Camila Abisambra

I told you a while ago that I dyed my hair blue, well here are the first official pictures. Sometimes a change like that really helps you ground yourself. I like the blue hair, and I’m glad I’m posting this in retrospect because it’s almost entirely faded out and I miss it. I think it made me feel more fun and interesting and that’s really exciting. I’ve also had a few arguments with people because they say black hair suits me better but I disagree, it doesn’t feel very me. I think in life change is one of the most important things to do. You need to put yourself outside your comfort zone and try to be different because it’s one of the best ways to grow. It’s uncomfortable, but never painful.

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