Monday, October 30, 2017

Horror Movies Recommendations 2017: Artsy Subtle Classics for Annual Viewing

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I almost didn't do my annual horror movie review this year. It's been a year of bad 'uns, I tell you!  So while I only have one new film to recommend this year I did finally get through some classics that you should add to your must-watch list! All the films below are going to be part of my annual Halloween watch list for life! They're so richly layered in the cinematography and deeper themes that you can watch them year after year and get an entirely different perspective as you mature.


The Black Coat's Daughter

Just my type of horror, a creepy, atmospheric slow burn! I haven't been this scared while watching a modern horror movie in a long time! Beautifully shot and mysterious, this is an art film meeting horror in the best ways. As a Mad Men fan it was nice to see Kiernan Shipka (famous as the Draper Daughter) play against type. Rent on YouTube.


Repulsion

Going on with the art film motif, here's horror of the arty-est sort. If you want a straight-forward horror movie, this isn't for you. This is the first in Roman Polanski's "apartment trilogy" of films that all deal heavily with paranoia and the anxieties of city/tenement living. Like The Black Coat's Daughter this moves slowly. Although there are horror elements, it could be classified as a psycological thriller or character study. The best part of Repulsion is how it rewards repeat viewings. A lot of questions are left unanswered and actions open to interpretation. You could say the young lead has androphobia, schizophrenia, agoraphobia, post traumatic stress disorder, it's all open-ended. How much of what was seen is real, for instance? How much of it is a pleasant fantasy or a horrible nightmare? How does this relate to the life of Polanski himself? You could write a whole college course on this one!  It's a classic for a reason and it will definitely be a part of my Halloween watching for years to come.

Also a bonus, surreal and affecting but not too scary by modern standards if you want a horror film that's not TOO frightening to watch.  Rent or buy it on YouTube here.


The Haunting

In the viein of Repulsion, The Haunting is another 1960s horror film that uses black and white to its advantage and has psycological rather than visceral scares. You can analyze the characters and their actions on and on, debating their motives and what's reality and not for our unreliable narrative. You won't find a more arresting haunted house on film, either. For being so character the environment was not neglected, old-fashioned techniques were utilized to their max to create a claustrophobic atmosphere. Avoid the remake! It gets every possible thing wrong! Watch on Youtube here


Sunset Boulevard

"A dozen press agents working overtime...can do terrible things to the human spirit."

A dark noir that uses horror tropes to expose the dark side of Hollywood. Sunset Boulevard called "The definitive Hollywood Horror Movies" by film critic Richard Coreless. On the surface this is just a DAMN FINE, well-crafted, compelling film that sucks you right, hypnotizing you from frame one to the conclusion. It's also a cautionary tale about the Hollywood star system; its obsession with youth and unattainably perfect looks and the damage the inherent objectification of celebrity worship does to the human soul. Despite many heady themes including ones about the importance of creating movies, or any art, with integrity, you'll find this noir classic a great fit for Halloween watching. (There's even a creepy old house! Haunted with proverbial rather than literal ghosts!) Available on Netflix and Youtube Here

And funny how 3 out of four of these and black and white! I wish I had more to recommend this year but let's go with quality of quantity this time. It would have been easier to write a list of what NOT to watch.

Random Bonus: I watched our thrifted VHS of Michael Jackson's Thriller / Making of Thriller combo dozens (hundreds?) of times as a kid. See the behind-the-scenes feature here and the full music video. It's a fascinating look at just how hard it was to craft those few minutes of magic, the strict adherence to detail is unrivaled amongst all music videos, there can be no doubt! Wanna fight about it? Bring it! All these years later it's still the most beautifully shot tribute to classic horror I've ever seen, no bias, just...wow, that art direction! The smoke, the colors, the make-up~! Also, it's so weird to watch this again realizing he was 24 when this what shot? What...what are we doing with our lives? 

Have a happy halloween! We're excited because it's our (AJ and mine's) first day off together in eeh...I don't even know, it's been so long! We're going to order some vegan pizzas and chill with friends and beers :) Then get back to the crazy hustle for Christmas shoppers!

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Horror Flick Recommendations: October 2012 // Vintage Picks/Amazing Set Design | October 2013 // Classics on Netflix //  My Top 13 Unique and Scary Films for Halloween //2015 Recommendations // 2016 Recommendations
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Monday, October 16, 2017

A Birthday Post: A Reflection on Success (Finally) During 2017, Being 31, and Risk

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Yesterday, after the craziest whirlwind weekend for our business wound to a close, I got a text from my mom. Apparently I'd forgotten it was my birthday! I stopped birthday celebrations at 25 but I do enjoy arbitrary dates for reflection. It was 12:45AM when I got the text, we were unloading the car after a 3-day long double-booked outdoor market (Octoberfest at the Beach). Murphy's Law was at work and my car, our employee's car AND my boyfriend's car all had car trouble at different crucial times! As it does only when you're at your busiest!

Our recently depleted shelves, I had AJ snap a quick phone shot for my birthday. Now to order supplies!

I looked up at my 2nd floor brownstone apartment window, glowing radioactive orange from our ample Halloween string lights. I was utterly exhausted, but satisfied.

All the crazy risk taking was worth it.

When I look back at my life from say 25-30 there was a lot of floundering and struggling. (And before THAT let's just say I've worked LOTS of crazy odd jobs.) I'd left the security of my copywriter day job and it was liberating at first but I soon learned I didn't want to resell vintage anymore. At my wit's end with it I, very serendipitously, ended up being able to be certified in clinical herbalism and aromatherapy. I spent a couple of years studying and learning at that school while ever-so-slowly trying to build up the confidence to start our new natural body care business venture.

I don't know if I'd have ever guessed (merely dreamed) at any age that by 31 I'd be:


  • Still living in my quirky, historic, beautiful bohemian Riverside, Jacksonville neighborhood
  • Owning a brick and mortar SHOP in my childhood favorite neighborhood/artsy area
  • AND doing exceptionally well with it + making big plans for expansion
  • A Team-builder, boss and employer
  • Eating SUPER-healthy; feeling younger/fitter each year vs. all-burger-all-the-time eating days
  • Owner of my own apothecary (dream since very young) sharing holistic care with 100s weekly
  • Constantly surrounded by interesting creative people at outdoor markets and business events
  • Constantly making sales and running my most successful business to date, the cumulative experiences of my creative experimenting paying off at last.

It's taken hard times to get here and we're still, of course, ramping up. I went broke during my transition, living off savings because I knew in my heart I had to, that I would figure things out with just a little more patience. I got used to living on the most extreme frugal lifestyle so everything could go to my new business. 

The past few years there were lots of times were I would feel hopeless, like I'd never be successful or get out of on and off creative slumps.

This weekend was a huge record sales breaker and all our data shows it's going to keep going like this.

25-30 feels like a blur. What stands out starkly in that haze are the huge risks. All the times I was scared or hurt but kept going, these are the events and experiences that paid off. The true growth zone stuff. These are what slows down time, having these missions are what makes life worth living. Having the store keeps me in that challenge zone. I lost my keys until a few minutes ago, (haha) I'm typing this between helping my team re-stocking the store, but I'm really living! 

The mid to late 20s was a lot of learning hard lessons that are paying off now. I'm enjoying rolling into the thirties with more wisdom. Now I just need some more time to craft and travel, haha... :)

Note: I had lots of posts ready to go for October but I've had lots of on-and-off trouble with the web, some possibly still Hurricane related. I update my Body&Soul Instagram regularly, I also have a personal Instagram. Our store website is here and our online store is here. 

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Monday, October 2, 2017

Vintage Halloween Decorating 2017: Retro Halloween Finds and Childhood Favorites

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The best time of the year is back, it's October! This year I didn't wait and put most of my decorations up late September. I also get to decorate a local shop and LOTS of outdoor markets and pop-ups this year, too! I'm overdue for Halloween crafting and decor hunting, if I can get it in.


I thought I'd share some quick shots of my decor so far for 2017. This is a mix of stuff I've found while thrifting the past year and other things from my childhood.


And you just can't go wrong with mini haystacks.


I crafted the banner above last year. I need to make more of these!


Can't go wrong with Pumpkins and plants.


It looks I'll be out tomorrow to get a few more little things like replacements for my pumpkin and eyeball string lights, I can't wait to hook them up at art walk. Now's also he time to hit up flea markets and thrift stores, the hidden Halloween goods make their way out for purchase! Hopefully you get in some Halloween gatherings and explorations this season, we'll be doing a LOT of business events but I'm going to try my best to fit them in. There's a definite spooky and fun one I'm mixing with business at the end of the month.
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