Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Misconceptions of the "Manic Pixie Dream Girl" Trope

Lately, the entire idea and trope of "the manic pixie dream girl" has been my favorite topic/argument within not just film making, but modern media. So what is this manic pixie dream girl? Well, the name stemmed from a review of Elizabethtown done by Nathan Rabin. Rabin describes Kristen Dunst's character as
"that bubbly, shallow cinematic creature that exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures."
hence, the popular term in American film making towards movies such as 500 Days of Summer, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Almost Famous, Juno, and a ton of others. Discussing the sexism in the MPDG is beating a dead horse- it's been talked about for months and months but what is an honest to god, ukulele playing, Smiths fan, record enthusiast, manic pixie dream girl and a woman who has been deemed perfect by a man when in actual life, has flaws (and is usually quite problematic)? These two separate plot lines usually end up getting lost in translation and it's because sometimes, it's hard to tell wether or not the male protagonist has made this woman out to be a MPDG or that is her actual character. 
   500 Days of Summer is most definitely the best example of an "ironic manic pixie dream girl" and it's pretty fucking obvious. I mean it hits you right in the opening sequence when some of the characters recall what love means to them and our protagonist, Tom, is silent. Also, Tom's backstory is a huge red flag- he grew up on romance movies and has basically been depressed all his life because he hasn't found "the one"- he has been looking for a MPDG all his life. When Summer comes around, she not only has a backstory (something most MPDGs don't get) full of flaws but also really has no interest in Tom. She has her own opinions and openly tells Tom she doesn't want a relationship yet Tom is still convinced she's his soulmate because they like the same Smiths song (their biggest hit by the way) and had a fun time at Ikea. If the entire plot within Summer and Tom doesn't put out a giant waving banner saying "END THE MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL" than Tom's friend, Paul (Matthew Gray Gubler!!) is the instant message- Paul describes his hot dream girl who loves sports but then says he loves his girlfriend more because she's real. The entire meaning of the film is that though we can dream up our quirky, magical, partners, they aren't real and true love isn't based off of your expectations but how you actually feel for someone. 
   But wait!! What about all the other movies listed? The three other films said previously just so happen to be other misconceptions of this trope (wow Ann how did you do that?)! Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is not only one of my favorite movies but also book series. Ramona Flowers definitely can come off as an MPDG though with her rollerblades and multi-colored hair but is actually quite the opposite. Scott is almost parallel to Tom- he's been depressed lately and has been broken up with his dream girl so when he sees this woman in his dream, he convinced she's the one. Ramona is getting over her own problems though and really isn't looking for a relationship when Scott approaches her. She breaks things off multiple times and in all, is extremely cold towards Scott yet he keeps fighting for her even when their relationship is on thin ice. But there's a reason for this- just like Tom, Scott has this idea of what romance is due to his rough breakup with Envy Adams and him believing he was in love with her when she was horrible towards Scott. He thinks of Ramona as Envy in the way she's tough and upset with her life and latches on. Ramona isn't the manic pixie dream girl, Scott is just living in a delusion that she is. Onto my favorite movie of all time, Almost Famous, I can see how Penny Lane can seem like a MPDG in her carefree attitude but just like Ramona and Summer, is afraid of commitment and isn't very interested in the male protagonist. She explodes at Will multiple times and claims she's leaving him for his own good because he's just so infatuated with her when she isn't as innocent, quirky, or fun as he thinks. Juno is just like this but a little bit more twisted when Mark, a man much older than her and the adoptive father of her child, claims he's in love with her. Mark is obviously unhappy with his marriage and when Juno, a cute, angsty, quirky even, teenager comes into his life, he's at a last resort with love and claims he wants to be with her, ultimately scaring Juno away. 
   In all, this manic pixie dream girl character doesn't just extend to film, it's expressed in many different songs (ex: "Five Colors in Her Hair" by McFly) and it's pretty fucking hard to mix an actual MPDG up with a man obsessed with a girl who he believes to be. 

Monday, May 4, 2015

warped bands and people and things

   As I always talk about obnoxiously, I am pretty big on Vans Warped Tour and of course going back this summer with my best friend, Sam. Without more annoying introduction, here are my must sees for this year's festival.

♥As It Is 
This one is pretty obvious. When As It Is was announced, my tickets were instantly bought. Not only are they one of my favorite bands ever, they're the sweetest guys and I'd absolutely love to see them again especially since their album is finally out. If I were to recommend anything, it'd definitely be this because of how fun and energetic their shows are and it's no doubt worth saying hello or having a chat because of how friendly they are (Andy, Foley, Ali, and I literally had a talk on New Jersey). Definitely top priority to see them again (also being on their street team is v fun)

Yet another band I've already seen live but must see again. Not only am I absolutely in love with female leads, Lynn is so badass and awesome live (I get so jealous of how incredible this lady is) and when they opened for Pierce the Veil, I wasn't nearly as into them. This will actually be the third time I've heard them (I saw them in the acoustic tent last Warped) and definitely the best since they've become one of my favorites. 

♥Juliet Simms 
Warped Tour has turned more into "meet Ann's 7th grade crushes day" because yet another signing I feel the need to go to is Juliet Simms, the ex-lead singer for Automatic Loveletter (she also does the "I'm not coming back" part in "Remembering Sunday") and 13 year old me thought she was the coolest (15 year old me still believes that).

♥Bless the Fall
Wow when did it get to the point where I hated myself so much I like metalcore. After a week long obsession of the husband of Lights' band, Sam and I have both decided to see BTF. Have I mentioned how trashy we are yet?

♥Jarrod Alonge
I was kind of sort of dead when one of my favorite YouTubers announced he'd be with Fearless Records (ew) all summer- needless to say, Sam and I will be making a lot of "Pop Punk Pizza Party" references (more than we already do if that's possible).

♥New Years Day
Kind of self explanatory since I think it's safe to say majority knows about my obsession with Ash Costello (at that point, I'll be looking like her too) and I'm also extremely into NYD. My main goal is to meet Ash just because I've looked up to her confidence and style and full out her forever. 

♥Pierce The Veil
I feel kind of obligated to put this one down. Sam and I don't feel compelled to see their set since we've already lived through the world tour but we're hoping to get to a signing because Sam has written a letter to Vic Fuentes on why SHE saved their lives. 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

kick me in the face please it’ll make whatever i say sound like poetry

Yet another post where John takes photographs of me and Sam and I look about the same in every single one. On Saturday, John and Sam came over and we walked to town to get my hair cut because I had yet another over the trash can haircut that needed to be a wee bit corrected. We then got pizza and hair dye and I basically felt sorry for myself because of my hair.
me looking slightly like a stereotypical manic pixie dream girl

sam wrote out "pop punk pizza" in tribute to jarrod alonge (but completely forgot the last word)

we brought john's penny board to the park and i really have no clue what sam is doing 

john and i going ham on just dance

sam being an angsty teen and me sniffing a flower?

pretty typical post. I have cute friends and they take cute photos and I'm slightly cute. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

everything is peaches and gravy

Top: H&M
Skirt: Housing Works (I think it's originally Forever21)
Shoes: Buffalo Exchange
Choker: Consignment
(this title took more deciding than it should have because I was going between this Scott Pilgrim reference and "you are my peach you are my plum" from "Peach" by The Front Bottoms)

I feel like I looked quite a lot like Lights from this 

obligatory lip photo

obligatory angst photo

smiley girl

who's that edgy tumblr aesthetic kid

pray 4 2 stop ann 2k15

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Twin Skeltons

♥Mtv tee: Buffalo Exchange 
♥plaid skirt: Forever21

to add to the emo-ness, I was listening to Fall Out Boy

wanna dance like Uma Thurman

new Myspace profile

just to prove how incredibly pale I am

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Ann Complains About The New All Time Low Album

*I'm really sorry about how harsh I sound*
   Oh my. My favorite band since seventh grade released their latest album just today and I have so many different weird feelings about it. Just starting on a brief history (if you've been following this blog since the beginning, I talk more than enough about this band), All Time Low was the first band I ever really fell in love with. They introduced me to pop punk, an entire culture and genre I'd never actually gotten into until then, and not only do I know every single word to every song, every album and watch interviews for hours, I fell in love with the people in the band. I listened in to "Full Frontal" every week (to the point where Idobi Radio actually follows me on Twitter) and have never felt more dedication for anything. Even after a sub par album like this, I still call them my favorite band just because of everything they showed me.
   The first single off of Future Hearts, "Some thing's Gotta Give" came out a couple months back on BBC as their track of the day- overall, it's a pretty good song in my book. Pretty classic All Time Low and the music video was so fucking ridiculous and made completely no sense so I was pretty into it. Also, there was that full on excitement for the album that even if the song sucked, I would have still been bouncing off the walls. "Kids In The Dark" came out next and that's when disappointment set in- don't get me wrong, it's a catchy song but I was beginning to get worried that this was the entire album since it sounded so much like their previous single. The lyrics were so "We are teens. We like to party. We're misunderstood. You don't understand mom." that it completely drove me away from the entire track. The music video also really set in my dislike for it. By the time "Runaways" was out, I had about no hope for the album. That sounds pretty horrible but when the first two singles sound exactly alike and the title on MTV for it is "L8r H8rs" hope really is low. It was exactly like "Kids In The Dark" (even the beat matched) and had the same message. Though I've heard of some people looking at it as "inspirational" it sounds so fake to me. "Reckless and The Brave" has the same message yet at least it had creative lyrics. Finally, "Tidal Waves" came out and though I told Sam I wasn't expecting much, I actually enjoyed this one! Though it's a little repetitive, the fact they got Mark Hoppus completely makes up for it and it doesn't sound like the previous three so that's a bonus (OK it's a little depressing that my only standards for a good All Time Low song at this point is that they don't all sound the same). Then, a couple days later, the iTunes stream was put up. Oh god how do I even go into this. It all started with Sam, Harper, and I texting while listening to it and it ended with them being worried about how upset I got. I think it was the initial shock of disappointment that got me and made this album complete shit because once I listened to it again, my expectations were so dirt low that it sounded slightly better (I'm sorry- that's super harsh).
   The first track is "Satellites". I am yet to talk to someone who legitimately enjoys this song. It's a complete shit opening and super weak- it gets repetitive, uncreative, and the instrumental doesn't save it at all. There is no progression and when it ends, there's this point where you can't believe it did because they never really built up to anything aside from a scream at the end. Nothing appeals here. "Kicking and Screaming" is up next and though when I first listened to it, I was so against it but after listening to the rest of the album, this is sadly one of the best. Though the verse "Say hello to all my little nightmares" and "I'm chasing after rock and roll" are kind of dumb, the chorus actually sounds like an All Time Low song with their whole "So long and thanks for all" attitude and I could get into it. The guitar and especially percussion was really well done and Jack's solo midway was something I got into. I wasn't crazy about Alex trying to scream because it sounded really "try hard" and really wasn't a fan of the whole "fuck this all" (was that what he was saying? I couldn't even tell.) ending because it really looked as though a last grasp to be edgy. After the three first singles, (I've already gone over that), was the all time worst song off the album, "Missing You". I'm all about bands taking risks but really a ukulele? The lyrics are so cliche about needing a friend and so pseudo inspirational. It's so clean cut and the melodies are extremely boring- overall, this song is a complete mess. Who do they think they are? 20 Pilots? Never Shout Never? (Yes I realize not every song with a ukulele is a copy of these two select bands, I'm just an asshole). I could go on about this song but the last time I did, it turned into a rant of strange noises. "Cinderblock Garden" is the 7th track and I really like this one (wow! Ann actually is going to take a break from being horribly harsh!). Though it sounds SO much like 5 Seconds Of Summer (one of my least favorite bands ever) with the "Oh oh oh ohs", I could get past it just because it had hints of pop punk when all this album has been is clean cut pop. "Don't You Go" is after "Tidal Waves" and this was no doubt a filler song by the way the lyrics are so careless (and not in a good way). It sounds like something off of Dirty Work gone horribly wrong. I saw it as such an attempt to hold onto the whole asshole redeeming himself storyline that older songs like "Forget About It" and "Do You Want Me (Dead?)" had but sounded extraordinarily pop with the uncreative beat and overuse of filler "ohs". After this was the second worst song off Future Hearts, "Bail Me Out". How do I even approach this one. OK first of all, I really love parallel writing in lyrics but this was over and over again. They kept going for the obvious rhymes and there was no flow in the lyrics at all. It sounded. like. separate. lines. that. somewhat. connected. Did the two year old who makes their merch write this one? (OK I'm really sorry that was uncalled for). All Time Low redeems themselves slightly though at "Dancing With a Wolf". This is one of their darker ones and the lyrics are actually nicely done and I love the heavy instrumental. Yeah, the whole "I will take you down" is iffy but other than that, I actually could get through this one without cringing (too much). Another one of my favorites, "Edge Of Tonight" is on next. Alex's belts are perfect and this was my favorite set of lyrics. Though it definitely not pop punk, it's catchy and not nearly as clean cut and poppy as the others. The ending of this mess is "Old Scars/ Future Hearts" and though the chorus is actually a well done one, I wasn't crazy about the verses since I didn't like the beat very much.
   I don't want to come off like I hate the band because I couldn't be farther from it. I'm just really against this recent album. Who knows if this is the new All Time Low and they'll produce their next ten albums like this? Harper and I had a whole thing about how this is the worst album since Dirty Work and after listening to the latter again for the millionth time, I would never compare it to Future Hearts. Dirty Work is messy and kind of off but it keeps the shape of All Time Low and definitely isn't try hard or pop. To be honest, it makes sense why they'd produce an album like this- with the 5SOS fandom coming in (and guess who writes their music- hint: it's Alex) and them getting more and more popular, it only made sense to fit in. Yeah I'm disappointed with this album beyond belief but that doesn't change my love for the band. They're still the guys I've been obsessed with for three years and I'm hoping to see some new and better music in the future. I'm still excited beyond belief to see them live in May and also find out what the fuck a future heart is.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

you're my favorite lie

Wow where do I even start with this one- On April 2, I saw one of my favorite bands ever, As It Is, at Webster Hall in New York. Being part of their Street Team has its serious perks such as exclusive hang outs with the band so me and six other girls ended up having the opportunity to meet up with them a half hour before doors opened and by the time I got to the venue I could barely contain how nervous and excited I was. Since I was like an hour early, only two other team members were there and they were super cool and we took this lovely squad picture. (Also, we ran into Cody, all of Against The Current, and Ben Biss while waiting in line!!)
About a half hour later, the rest of the members came in and we made our way to the outer part of the venue (we were on the corner because the line wrapped around) and waited for their tour manager, Alex, to get us. Since this wasn't an official VIP, such as Against The Current and Set It Off's, we were low priority with the venue and had to wait awhile for the main band's actual VIP to come in. After that though, we got nothing from Alex and was half an hour late until Elliott, their photographer came out to get us because apparently Alex went out to dinner. I think the part where I really felt the coolest was when we were going past security and Elliott said, "They're with me." I felt like the non drug addicted, depressed, complete mess, Penny Lane. Since the main band meet and greet was going on inside the Marlin Room (where the show would be), we ended up in the hallway. I don't even know how to describe how excited and nervous and happy was when I first began talking to the band. Patty and I had a conversation first and we talked about Straightedge (since we're both) and Mystery Science Theatre and his day in New York and he was so sweet and considerate and genuine throughout the whole time (he gives the best hugs ever by the way) and when we took a picture he rubbed my back and oh my.
We then took pictures with the full band and I ended up on the Alt Press instagram because As It Is was doing a takeover that day!!

I seriously felt like Penny Lane (because of course I need to choose the most problematic Almost Famous character to compare myself to)

I then ended up talking to Ali, Andy, and Foley who were the nicest guys- our conversation mainly revolved around tourist traps, New Jersey, Warped Tour, and how a subway works. I loved talking with them because it didn't seem like there was a barrier between us. When I asked them if they could sign my docs, Ben turned around and said,
"Did you just ask them to sign your dogs?" and I had to explain that I didn't just ask three guys to sign a live animal and Ben joined in talking with us. Doors opened then and more people wanted to meet the band so I backed off a bit and waited for Samantha and Madison. Once they got in, they both met Patty and we got spots in the crowd. 
me and Madison being a cute, edgy, couple 

   Roam was on first and even though I didn't really know their music, they had such awesome energy (I think Alex did a backflip at one point) and had an overall fun set- I even joined in a circle pit for the first time! 

As It Is was up next and holy shit I'd been waiting years for this and it was exactly what I hoped for. The entire band was fun to watch and they did such a good job of getting the entire crowd involved. They played, "Dial Tones", "Concrete", "Horoscopes", "Bitter Broken Me", "Can't Save Myself", and two new songs that are off their album that's coming out soon. I was screaming so much and jumping and no matter how much I try and explain what was going on, it can never do these emotions justice. 

After their set, Sam, Madison and I hung back at Roam and As It Is' merch tables because the bands were hanging out there (I love that they sell all their own merch). We met two members of Roam and had a lovely conversation with their lead singer, Alex, about New York , the underground, pizza, and their ukulele cover. He was so sweet (and really really tiny) and I just love how laid back the entire show was. I mean Cody from the main band playing, Set It Off, walked by me multiple times and every time I waved, he always smile or wave back. 
The As It Is guys came back out and I said hey to Ben again and he was like, "Oh yeah! You're the dog girl!" I told him how good the set was and he talked about touring and eating a lot of pizza so there was no confusion this was a pop punk show. We also took this photo where I look slightly disgusting. 
Foley then came out and we also took this 
Before this, the best show I'd seen was Say We Can Fly's tour with Kingsfoil just because of how tiny the venue was and how the members would just be walking around and you could actually have a conversation with them. I brought this up with Alex and he was saying that he loves things like this just because there isn't a barrier between fans and bands. All in all, I met one of my most favorite bands ever and have horrible post concert depression.