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Reviews and quotes


* * * Reviews * * *

Agnieszka Kandouci 2IB
THE GENUINE WISDOM

Have you ever wondered what genuine wisdom is? What made me think about it was a film about a seemingly normal, decent, a bit dull man. Although he was probably viewed as a dork by many people, he had something that made him distinguish himself from the rest of the world. What made Forest Gump so special?

Robert Zemeckis’ film is based on the novel written by Winston Groom. Tom Hanks managed to recreate in the film role a great character from the book. The film is – without any doubts – one of these films, which carry an essential message, despite the simplicity of its plot. I am inclined to believe that even the most defensive and ‘emotion –resistent’viewer will find ‘Forest Gump’ moving.

Forest Gump’ tells the story of a typical boy, whose low IQ level enables him to find his place. The others think of him as of – let me not rack my brain to find an euphemism – a dork. To everyone’s suprise, Forest becomes popular. Everyone suddenly starts to respect him, as he finishes college and joins American army. Many of those who track his fate, find out the sense of their own lives. There also appears a love story; Forest falls for a hippie lady, who seems not to care to the end. One of the things which makes the main hero so special is the fact that he listens to his mother advice even when he is an adult. These were pieces of advice that he got as a child. Still, while repeating them in mature life, they are still up to date, what is more – they turn out to posses another, deeper meaning.

The aspect of the film which I fancied most is music. Forest Gump happens to meet celebrities like Elvis Presley or John Lennon. I am aware that not all of the viewers like this kind of music, but I personally find it really amusing. The film is full of the best songs ever recorded; you will find Scott McKenzi’s ‘If you’re going to San Fransisco’, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s ‘Sweet Home Alabama’, The Byrds’ ‘Mr Tambourine Man’ and many more.

The film is about looking for happiness, about brotherhood and being authentic. Forest Gump’s story proves that one does not need to be extremely inteligent or smart. Neatness and feelings are worth much more and they are the components to form a genuine wisdom. Suming up, the film carries a great dose of emotions and a lesson for viewers’ further lives. If you still have not seen ‘Forest Gump’… then what are you waiting for?

Agnieszka Kandouci 2IB
DESIRE TO BE ADMIRED. CAN BEAUTY AND FREEDOM CO-EXIST?

Unsuccessful life, unsuccessful suicides, horribly low self — esteem, envy. It sounds like a draft for a typical story about defiant youth with tragic ending. However, Eric — Emmanuel Schmitt, an author of /When I Was A Work Of Art/, whose literature is found moving even by those seemingly emotion — lacking readers, was able to turn these prosaic factors into a passionate story.

Palomba Sol coast is famous for suicides commited there. A twenty – year old guy wants to end his life in this place as he claims that he is worth nothing. He is being observed by a popular artist who eventually asks a young man to give him 24h to change his life totally. Is exchanging freedom for reputed beauty a good bussiness? Cannot one have it both?

The young man finds himself unbelievably ugly, especially comparing to his beautiful brothers. Zeus at first appears to us as a talented and creative artist, even as a philanthropist — one can think that he aims at saving the young man’s life. Yet, we soon find out that he is just a celebrity, whose career is based upon controversy.

Zeus needs some new scandal to refresh his popularity. He wants to turn a young man into a work of art: something what would excite and delight people all around the world. The fact is that he manages to achieve it, but the costs are terribly high, especially for a Work of Art. He posseses approved beauty now, but looses his humanity. At first he is glad and proud of himself, as he is an object of fascination. However, a Work of Art starts to regret his decision and miss being a real human…

Easy to guess, in /When I was a Work of Art /readers will find a love episode. Still, even love does not seem to be dull or boring here. A young girl has a father, who is a genuine artist. Although he is blind, his works are amazing — he paints things as vague as wind. He is not well — known and sells his paintings for a song. Yet, everyone who reads his story will agree that it is him, not Zeus, who makes real art.

The girl and the Work of Art fall for each other. They spend much time with her father, learning about what really matters in life. The story tackles topics which occur in everyone’s life: need of admiration, desire of beauty. It shows how much people are able to devote to obtain these questionable values. We find out that one is even ready to sacrifice his freedom just to be accepted and marveled. When they realize the authentic value of freedom it may be too late… Will the Work of Art be still able to come back to humanity?

Speaking in a nutshell, /When I Was A Work Of Art/ is a wise story -especially the episode with the girl’s father. It makes readers think about their values’ hierarchy and understand that physical appearance is worth nothing, when compared to true beauty which is stored inside of us all.

* * * Quotes * * *

“ […] and that is what heaven is for. For understanding your life on earth.”

This quote is an excerpt from a book titled “The Five People You Meet in Heaven” written by Mitch Albom. He is a well known American writer, probably most famous for his international bestseller Tuesdays with Morrie. Besides being an author of nine books, Mitch Albom is a sportswriter, newspaper columnist, a TV commentator, and a syndicated radio host. Born in Passaic, New Jersey Albom wanted firstly to become a cartoonist, but eventually his passion turned to music. He learned, or rather taught himself to play the piano, played in several bands, however he finally discovered his talent in writing. Consequently he attained Master’s degrees in both journalism and business. In addition to writing and radio programs Mitch Albom serves on numerous charitable boards, especially in Michigan where he lives.

„All human beings should try to learn before they die what they are running from, and to, and why.”

James Grover Thurber was an American novelist, satirist, and cartoonist. The above quote shows that he used humor and wit to show how American mentality works. It always amused him how many paradoxes were in almost every line of thinking of an average American. He wrote and drew for the New Yorker, the Columbus Dispatch, the Chicago Tribune, and many other newspapers. Mr. Thurber is most famous for his well-known short story titled “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” He was married twice, had a child named Rosemary, and died due to a stroke he had suffered at the age of 66. To conclude his fascinating personality I would like to use his final words: „God bless…God damn.”

„Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.”

This witty quote, which can be said to have a double meaning, has been once said by an American writer, philosopher, artist and publisher named Elbert Hubbard. He is well known for his many intriguing quotes and books. Mr. Hubbard began with selling soap, went through secretly written novels, established the Roycroft Printing Shop, and died gloriously with his wife aboard Lusitania. Dying together with his wife atop the torpedoed ship was an end, which this celebrated writer must have definitely found satisfying. Elbert Hubbard is most remembered for his cycle of 180 biographies of significant literary figures called „Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great.”

Marta Mentel