Caraval (Caraval #1) – Stephanie Garber

Title: Caraval 51judmgnral-_sx323_bo1204203200_
Author: Stephanie Garber
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 407
Category: 36. Read a debut book from this year
Format: Paper

This is the first in a series, something I was not aware of when I chose the book (or when I read it). Honetsly, when I was looking at the start of the year for debut books there wasn’t a lot of choice and I was left with Caraval or the Keeper of Lost Things. Since my library had Caraval I ended up choosing that.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book though. I went in not expecting much but it was one of the best things I read all year.

I love the idea of a magical event that is half party, half mystery with a bit of performance for good measure. This one is a must for anyone who loves a bit of magic in their stories.

Rating: 4.5/5stars

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A Collection of Short Films

Okay, this post is just a little different. Instead of just one short I ended up watching 5, so they’re all here.

Title: Quadrangle612706385
Year: 2010
Director: Amy Grappell
Genre: Sexuality, History
Date Watched: January 28, 2017
Category: Short

This one was an interesting watch for me as someone who is fascinated by sexuality and alternate lifestyle choices. Quadrangle is the story of two couples in the 1970’s who swapped partners for many years. The couples had children of their own and became close through a sailing club often drinking and smoking pot together with both couples experiencing relationship issues. There is a coldness about the film that made it a little uncomfortable to watch, perhaps because it was narrated by the daughter of two being interviewed. It does bring up fascinating questions about what it means to be a family and ultimately how we choose to love and live.

Rating: 2.5/5 stars


 

Title: Supporting Film maxresdefault
Year: 2015
Director: Douwe Dijkstra
Genre: Documentray
Date Watched: January 28, 2017
Category: Short

This one is a film about film. It’s not very long and is sometimes a little hard to follow but it does offer many different perspectives of film from people who experience film in different ways, such as those who are hearing or vision impaired. Ultimately it is a lovely exploration of something we all know and love: film.

Rating: 2 stars


 

Title: It’s a Date606490254
Year: 2016
Director: Zachar Zazima
Genre: Romance
Date Watched: January 28, 2017
Category: Short

This one was shown originally at Sundance and was quite short. Honestly though, it was just not the film for me. Nothing about what was happening made much sense, the animation was not a style I enjoy either. There is nothing I liked about this film at all.

Rating: 0.5/5 stars


 

Title: 9 Daysschermafbeelding-2016-06-07-om-14-29-45-2-1280x800
Year: 2012
Director: Issa Touma
Genre: War, Documentary
Date Watched: January 28, 2017
Category: Short

This film explores one man’s experience over the course of 9 days as the crisis in Syria began in 2012. This is one of the few films made by a Syrian about the Syrian civil war. While I would certainly recommend reading at least a little about the state of affairs in Syria before watching this film it is still one of the true portrayals of the experiences of Syrians. In the time since the civil war started almost half of the pre war population of Syria has been killed, with many more fleeing for their lives to countries that have been less than supportive of their plight.

Rating: 3/5 stars


 

Title: Last Letterslastletters
Year: 2016
Director: Nils Clauss
Genre: Documentary
Date Watched: January 28, 2017
Category: Short

Of the films I watched this one touched me the most, even though it was one of the shortest. The film consists of interviews with some of the family members of those lost in the sinking of the Sewol Ferry on April 16 2014 off the coast of South Korea. Many of those who died were teenagers on a school excursion. In total 304 of the 476 individuals on board died, with 250 of them students. The picture at the top of this article shows a classroom memorial that is still maintained for them, with families and friends visiting and leaving notes on their desks and blackboard. The cause of the accident was found to be a combination of things including human error and unsanctioned changes to the boat, ultimately this knowledge offers little comfort to those who lost their children or parents in the crash as explored by this beautiful film.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars