Friday, 23 January 2015

No Air to Breathe: Or the one where I write more flash fiction.

This piece is basically exploring that feeling of claustrophobia that one can get in a social situation. You know, that sense of being stifled by too many people talking to you and at you and around you. When all the noise and light and sound just gets to be too much and you need air to breathe. 

I'm sure not all can relate to that, but to those who can, I hope you enjoy this.


She could feel her stomach rolling as she hastily exited the restaurant, the cool air hitting her like a bucket of ice after abandoning the stifling heat of a sauna. A shaky hand reached up to wipe her forehead and it came away damp with the perspiration that clung to her clammy skin. She felt nauseous, her mind foggy and her eyes unable to focus in that way one is only when they're on the verge of vomiting or collapsing. Either seemed possible at this point.

Swallowing painfully she plonked down on a bench sat not five feet away from the restaurant door, which would occasionally swing open and expel light, laughter and chatter into the quiet night air before closing and leaving her in the silence again.


No talking or questioning or stilted words to enter her bubble and interrupt her thoughts.

A breeze blew into her hair, flicking strands over her face that tickled her drying skin. Her pulse was fading, no longer thrumming inside her ears as it was before. She closed her eyes and sucked in a lungful of crisp air before releasing it in a deep sigh. 

And for the first time that night, she could truly breathe. 

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Birdman: My Thoughts

Is this a review? No. I don't write reviews (at the moment at least). This is just, more or less, my opinion. One that I hope you might find insightful and one that might help you in forming you own opinion of the movie and/or whether or not you would like to see it. 

So, today I found myself confronted with the vaguely disturbing yet oddly enthralling film: Birdman. Now I walked into that cinema with no expectations, due to only having glimpsed the trailer. I walked in without a clue of what the movie was actually about. Then, after 119 minutes of excessive swearing, confusing hallucinations, dizzying camera angles and what one might refer to as heightened realism, I walked out with a smile on my face. An odd smile, but a smile nonetheless. I laughed somewhat hysterically in remembrance of some unanticipated comedic aspects and when I arrived home I promptly began singing show tunes. Believe it or not, there was a reason for this.

I’m not going to go into details regarding the actual plot of the film lest anyone reading this wishes to see it, but I will say this. I laughed hysterically and sang show tunes with renewed vigour, because what I had just seen was a theatrical production. Essentially, a play on screen. I hadn’t expected it, nor did I realise it during. It was an epiphany that came to me five minutes after walking out and it hit me like a slap in the face.

I’m a drama student you understand, so I’m often exposed to theatrical productions. Plays are unconventional, and often the story they tell (if they tell one at all) doesn’t truly make sense until the very end. They’re confusing, they’re abstract, and they explore awkward topics that generally inspire discomfort among viewers. Often you walk out feeling slightly ill and bereft of comprehension. 

Personally, I usually turn to one of my friends and ask them what the hell did I just watch?

I never expected this to happen after seeing a film. But it did. Of course I didn’t recognise it immediately, but I received this cinematic composition in much the same way that I do dramatic productions. Also, much the same as I do when I witness a play, I reflected in the hour following. And, as I always have done, I found that I actually loved it.

It was a confronting film. It explored the concepts of: bad parenting, drug addiction, the hit-and-miss world that is the creative industry, mental health issues and suicidal tendencies. It was messy, gritty and in some ways it was simply confusing. It also featured heavily in black comedy and its ending was ambiguous to say the least.

But it worked. Weirdly enough, it worked. This messy composition built something that, quite frankly, was simply superb. It was odd and cringe worthy in some respects. But I unexpectedly loved it.

Expect to be confronted, but see it. I wish you luck and pray that you adore it as much I do.

Age range recommendation: 16+
Star rating:

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Sensation and Contemplation (or the one where I was bored at a barbecue)

I feel the gentle touch of the cool breeze against my warm cheek. 

I smell the heady stench of smoke rising quietly from tips of cigarettes held slack between curled fingers. Blending subtly with the rich scent of mosquito-repellent incense from where it rests on the table's plastic-covered surface.

I taste something faintly sweet on my tongue when I chew soft bread that gives easily beneath the bite of my teeth.

I see hues of gold and pink dusting the clouds and painting the late afternoon sky, the sun just peaking over the tops of the trees and houses that comprise suburban living.

I hear the clink of glasses and the warm chatter of voices.

And I wonder about the reason for things and the complex simplicity of just being.