MEDUSA
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Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Medusa. 1630. Marble Sculpture. Palazzo dei Conservatori, Rome.

We all know who Medusa is. The face we see plastered all over Versace and the face we recognize most when we see Greek or Roman sculpture. Medusa is painted through history as a villainous monster who turns any man who looks at her into stone, and yes that is true. However, she was not always this monster and the reality of her story is really quite sad.

Medusa was a gorgon and the only mortal out of her sisters, born to Phorcys (a sea god) and Ceto (a sea goddess, particularly associated with sea monsters, whales and sharks) . She was known for her exceptional beauty and her long luscious hair. She decided early on that she wanted to devote herself to worshiping the goddess Athena (goddess or war and wisdom). Any maiden who vowed herself to Athena had to be a virgin, which Medusa was. Because of her beauty, the god Poseidon became obsessed with her and was becoming more and more fed up and impatient that Medusa was not giving into him. Finally one day, as she was in Athena’s temple, he raped her. Medusa tried to fight him and called out to Athena for help and Athena did nothing to come to her aide. Athena was already resentful and jealous of Medusa‘s beauty and was an enemy of Medusa’s gorgon sisters. She punished Medusa for for desecrating a holy place and turned Medusa’s long beautiful hair into serpents and transformed her into the monster we all know her as. Any man who looked into her eyes were turned to stone and Medusa was casted away in isolation on the island Samos.

Because of her reputation, hundreds of thousands of men wanted to conquer and kill Medusa to gain a legendary status. All hundreds of thousands of men were unsuccessful, until Perseus came along. Athena gave Perseus a shield and Hermes lent him a sickle to cut off Medusa’s head. Perseus used the shield Athena gave him to guide himself to Medusa without having to look directly at her. He cut her head off in her sleep and on his way back home from his victory, he used Medusa’s head to turn his enemies into stone. He gifted Athena Medusa’s head and she had it casted into her shield.

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Benvenuto Cellini. Perseus with Head of Medusa. 1545-1554. Bronze Sculpture. Laggia dei Lanzi, Florence.

YiYi

Yiyi is a really special film that came out in 2000 directed by Edward Yang. It takes place in Taiwan and is focused on three members of a family, taking turns following around their perspective on events happening in their daily life.

I really connected with the youngest character in the film, Yang-Yang. He would say all these abstract things, that made him come off maybe a little slow or insensitive, but over time when you realized why he was asking certain questions or why he was opposed to doing certain activities, you learn that this little man is actually such a sage.

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 “grown ups never understand anything by themselves and it is exhausting for children to have to provide explanations over and over again.”
— antoine de saint-exupéry, the little prince 
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“Then he was sorry for the great fish that had nothing to eat and his determination to kill him never relaxed his sorrow for him. How many people will he feed, he thought? But are they worthy to eat him?  No, of course not. There is no one worthy of eating him from the manner of his behavior and his great dignity.” 

— - Ernest Hemingway,  The Old Man and the Sea 
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“To look at a thing is very different from seeing it.” 
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Alamar

Alamar is about Natan, 5 year old boy who is moving to Italy with his mother after she and his father ended their relationship. This film follows Natan and his father on their last summer together. 

Whenever I watch a film, I always do a little research about it afterward and I read that this was filmed and “directed” by a team of two people! I’m so impressed, as this was such a beautiful and real film. While some scenes were staged, the story and the characters are all real.  

 

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 "Nobody will ever know how much I love Diego. I don't want anything to hurt him, nothing to bother him and rob him of the energy he needs for living, for living as he likes, for painting, seeing, loving, eating, sleeping, being by himself, being with someone . . . But I'd never want him to be sad. If I had good health I would give him all of it, if I had youth, he could take it all, I am not only a mother fool, I'm the embryo, the germ, the first cell potentially that engendered him. I am Diego from the oldest and most primitive cells, which will in time become him. At every moment he is my child, my child born every little while, every day from my own self."

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