cashmereandtweed

9

The Great Gatsby was magical, marvelous, and manic.

Baz Luhrmann is synonymous with all of these words. His films are beautiful, artistic, and far from traditional. You simply cannot enter into his world expecting a conventional take on an ageless story.

Luhrmann transformed Fitzgerald’s fantastical world of the 20s into something electric and mesmerizing. Critics may be ripping apart the liberties the risky director took with the classic work, but nothing about the production was done flippantly and without thought. Every decision, every oneliner, every song was chosen with precise research and absolute care.

F. Scott Fitzgerald was nothing if not a leader. He was new and modern as was his work. Luhrmann’s understanding of this is what made the movie great. Any director could’ve pumped this story full of hip-hop music and other ostentatious choices, any other director could’ve been safe, but only someone as creative and dedicated to the core of the tale could pull off something as groundbreaking and crazy as what Luhrmann did with The Great Gatsby.

I saw the film on Thursday, the day it was released in New York. I got all gussied up and I sat in the theater, with my equally nerdy friends, staring in awe at the screen for two hours and twenty minutes. I watched Gatsby’s sanity unravel, I saw Nick Caraway observe this life he didn’t live, I saw Daisy toy with hearts, and I cried. I cried at the beauty. I cried for the love and the loss. I cried.

As I was leaving I heard the people behind me complaining. They didn’t appreciate Luhrmann’s take on a book that defined an era. They said Luhrmann “wasn’t a very good director” and “didn’t do the story justice” and I just sat there thinking are these people out of their minds? I just viewed one of the most cinematically beautiful films in the last 15 years and these people didn’t like it?

But that is a lesson I have had to learn. The lesson that madness and genius go hand in hand and not everyone is going to appreciate it. The Great Gatsby is going to go down in history, if only in my book, next to Titanic and Avatar as one of the most cinematically and emotionally astounding films in the last two decades.

5/5

Written By Sydney Weinshel 

3

Going into the theater to see The Spectacular Now I was not at all prepared for the film I was about to see. I’d heard it was supposed to be the Say Anything of our generation (and being a huge fan of 80s-coming-of-age movies, that caught my attention), but the movie was so far from what I’d expected. I fell even more in love with the story than I thought I would, but for very different reasons.

What I thought would be a beautiful love story about the popular guy falling in love with the unlikely girl turned out to be about a boy learning to love himself first. Sutter (Miles Teller) spent his entire high school career hiding problems he didn’t even know he had behind parties and alcohol and his “perfect” girlfriend, but after she breaks up with him, he is at a loss. Luckily, Aimee (Shailene Woodley) is there to rescue him from his slump. She becomes somewhat of a project for him. One would think that what started as a project would turn into true love like every other predictable teen romance storyline ever, but that would not be the case. What I saw was a truly unhealthy relationship between an obvious young alcoholic and a naive girl who hadn’t garnered much male attention in her high school years.

The viewer sees Aimee’s transformation from independent and introverted young woman to a borderline destructive and dependent little girl. This was most apparent to me when Sutter turns on her (rather violently) on a road trip home from meeting his estranged father just moments after she professes her love for him. He screams for her to get out of his car on the side of the road where she is then hit by a car. She, luckily, gets off with a few scratches and a broken arm. To my horror, when Sutter visits her at home for the first time following the incident, she greets him warmly and with love as if he hadn’t been cruel and horrible to her last time they spoke. I was greatly disturbed by her lack of self respect in that moment. Looking back on the film as a whole, that was just one event in a sequence that made this story about Sutter’s inability to love himself and put himself first. Ultimately, this movie is about his destructive behavior and his journey to realizing his is worth more than a few jokes and a drunken party stunt.

The thing we should come away from after watching this is not a deeply embedded belief in young love, but that nothing in life is perfect. It is a series of imperfect events that lead up to now. We can choose to to keep living the same moment over and over again or we can chose to live life to the fullest and push our boundaries to live in the extraordinary, magical, wondrous now because we are never as young as we are at this exact minute. We are “existing right here in this precise moment between what happened and what’s going to happen” and nothing is more spectacular than that.

Written By Sydney Weinshel

9

Seven Psychopaths is a movie about a psychopathic screenwriter writing a script about seven psychopaths while on the run from a psychopathic mob boss. Confused yet?

Marty is a drunken, Irish screenwriter who is in a slump. All he can come up with is the name of his movie, Seven Psychopaths, and one psychopath (that he actually stole from his best friend, a fellow psychopath). If you cannot already tell, this movie gets very twisted very fast.

When Marty’s best friend, Billy (a dog kidnapper), steals a ShihTzu belonging to a psychopathic mob boss, the two of them and Billy’s boss go on the lam to evade the crazed man. This journey takes Marty on a path to self discovery where he realizes he has a drinking problem and is able to finish his script. Unfortunately, he has to run into a handful of psychopaths in order to reach this self discovery.

By the end of the film, the audience realizes Marty has been writing the movie they have been watching the whole time. Every element of the movie was discussed as being part of Marty’s movie at some point in the film, from the meaningful talks in the desert to the epic shootout at the end. As per Marty’s request, his movie about psychopaths is really a movie about life at heart.

The movie, though sometimes hard to follow, is extremely entertaining in the nonchalant way it handles the gore and killings throughout the 110 minutes. This is, after all, a comedy about psychopaths.

4/5

Written By Sydney Weinshel

4

Late monday night we lost a true national treasure. Our little princess, our Heidi, our Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm…

In honor of our dearly beloved Shirley Temple Black, here are ten of her most remarkable quotes:

  1. “I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph.”
  2. “When I was 14, I was the oldest I ever was. I’ve been getting younger ever since.”
  3. “Any star can be devoured by human adoration, sparkle by sparkle.”
  4. “Make-believe colors the past with innocent distortion, and it swirls ahead of us in a thousand ways; in science, in politics, in every bold intention.”
  5. “One famous movie executive, who shall remain nameless, exposed himself to me in his office. ‘Mr. X,’ I said, 'I thought you were a producer, not an exhibitor.’”
  6. “Good luck needs no explanation.”
  7. “Sunnybrook Farm is now a parking lot; the petticoats are in the garbage can, where they belong in the modern world, and i detest censorship.”
  8. “I wanted to be in the FBI. I wanted to be a pie salesman. It was so intense that the studio got the prop department to make a little pie wagon and they filled it with tarts. I wheeled it around the set and sold it to the crew. I was about 8-years-old. I always sold out and I didn’t have to pay for them. It was a great deal!”
  9. “I class myself with Rin Tin Tin. People in the Depression wanted something to cheer them up, and they fell in love with a dog and a little girl.”
  10. “When asked 'Won’t the new Suggested For Mature Audiences protect our youngsters from such films?’ she answered, 'I know many forty-five year old men with the metalities of six year olds, and my feeling is that they should not see such pictures either.’”

Written By Sydney Weinshel

10

The Academy Awards 2013: Best Dressed

The Oscars is the most acclaimed award show in the entertainment industry and dressing for it is no easy task. It is a hit-or-miss situation and poor taste can follow you forever. Take a look at some of the best dressed stars on this years’ red carpet (in no particular order):

  1. Amy Adams in Oscar de la Renta
  2. Jennifer Lawrence in Dior
  3. Reese Witherspoon in Louis Vuitton
  4. Amanda Seyfried in Alexander McQueen
  5. Stacy Keibler in Naeem Khan
  6. Jessica Chastain in Armani Prive
  7. Channing Tatum in Gucci
  8. Eddie Redmayne in Alexander McQueen
  9. Samantha Barks in Valentino
  10. Jennifer Aniston in Salvatore Ferragamo

Written By Sydney Weinshel

5

It’s over. The show that defined so many of us for so many years came to an epic conclusion last night. That’s right, I am referring to Gossip Girl.

The first hour of the special two hour finale focused on recapping the series, giving fans a look at the development of the show from the beginning, and including commentary from the cast. Viewers reveled in the exclusive as they anxiously awaited the start of the final episode.

Finally, nine o'clock came around and the countdown to the revelation of Gossip Girl’s identity began. Who would it be? Dorota? Nelly Yuki? Jenny Humphrey? Would the creators bring in Kristen Bell, the voice of Gossip Girl for the past six years? We would soon find out.

So much happened in this episode that is almost impossible to cover it all. There were appearences from old cast members including Taylor Momsen (Jenny Humphrey), Jessica Szohr (Vanessa Abrams), Connor Paolo (Eric van der Woodsen), Katie Cassidy (Juliet Sharp) and Desmond Harrington (Jack Bass).

Finally, after so much pain and turmoil, our favorite couple is married. Chuck and Blair finally tied the knot last night in Central Park followed by a swift arrest. The two were questioned about the mysterious death of Bart Bass, but were released when there was no evidence that either of them were involved in the situation.

The real kicker was the revelation of Gossip Girl’s identity. It turns out the Lonely Boy Dan Humphrey had the means to unveil her this whole time, which he choses to do in his finale installment of his exposé to be published in The Spectator. As the piece is posted paragraph by paragraph by Sage, a montage of old cast members are seen reading the piece and reacting to the identity of Gossip Girl. Agnes Andrews, Juliet Sharp, and Vanessa Abrams are a few of the people who are shocked to know who she is. A special appearance from Kristen Bell and Rachel Bilson had fans in a fit of hysterics as they prepared to audition for Gossip Girl while simultaneously discovering Gossip Girl is none other than… DAN HUMPHREY!

Who would’ve ever guessed that outsider Dan Humphrey was capable of being Gossip Girl? I sure didn’t. My money was on Dorota and apparently so was everyone else’s. Ultimately, everyone is okay with the fact that one of their own tortured them for six years. All he did was tell the truth and use it to his advantage as they all had done before.

As with every good finale, there is a 5 years later piece at the end. We get to see the son of Blair and Chuck, Henry Bass (who trended worldwide last night) and an appearance from Jenny and Eric. Jenny’s bag was labeled “J for Waldorf”. Isn’t it funny the way things come full circle? The Spectator ran an ad for a movie called “Ivy League” based on the autobiography by Ivy Dickens. The two female leads would be played by Lola Rhodes and Olivia Burke. Jack Bass and Georgina Sparks ended up together as well as Rufus and Lisa Loeb (who previously made an appearance on the show a few years ago). All were gathered for the wedding of Serena and Dan. It may be cheesy, but sometimes we all just need to know that they all lived happily ever after and they did.

The show did set up for a possible sequel. There is always going to be someone on the outside looking in and there is always going to be a Gossip Girl. But that is the next generation’s problem.

So long and fare well to Gossip Girl, we will never forget the drama. What shall we do with our Monday nights now?! Maybe give The Carrie Diaries a chance? After all, it was advertised every single commercial break of the finale.

XOXO

Written By Sydney Weinshel

7

“You’re gonna get pitch-slapped so hard, your man-boobs are gonna concave.”- Rebel Wilson as Fat Amy

“You girls are awesome-ly horrible, I hate you, kill yourself, GIRL POWER”- Adam Devine as Bumper

“There’s 4 groups on campus: the Bella’s… That’s us. We’re the tits.”- Brittany Snow as Chloe

These are just a few of the gems you can hear in the aca-awesome new movie Pitch Perfect. The film is set at Barden University in the midst of a competition between a cappella groups. After a humiliating defeat at Nationals the previous year, returning senior Aubrey (Anna Camp) is determined to return to nationals with a rocking group to redeem her tragic loss. Unfortunately, no one wants to join the Barden Bellas after such a dismal loss. The only girls they could get were a group of misfits: self-proclaimed ‘Fat’ Amy (Rebel Wilson), loner Beca (Anna Kendrick), quiet Lilly (Hana Mae Lee), sexually promiscuous Stacie (Alexis Knapp), and 'friendly’ Cynthia Rose (Ester Dean) among others.

As Aubrey desperately clings to past and tradition, Beca challenges the group to be different and better for it. Beca also starts up a flirtation with a member of the rival team, The Treble Tones. Jesse is cute, funny, and head-over-heels for Beca who can’t even see it. As Jesse (Skylar Astin) tells her, “[She’s] one of those a cappella girls, [He’s] one of those a cappella boys and [they’re] gonna have a cappella children.” Too bad Aubrey said dating a Treble is suicide as a Bella, and she is Dixie Chick serious about kicking anyone out of the group who breaks that rule.

Rebel WIlson steals the show as hysterical and confident, heavy-set singer trained in “mermaid dancing”. She is a constant laugh. When Bumper tells her he feels like they should kiss, she rebutes him b saying, “Sometimes I have a feeling I should do crystal meth, but then I think mmm, better not.”

Set to the music of our generation and others before us, Pitch Perfect is a party in the movie theater. You better aca-believe it! Be prepared to get pitch slapped.

5/5

Written By Sydney Weinshel

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Carried Away- Passion Pit

One of the most interesting and innovative music videos I have seen in quite a while.

Written By Sydney Weinshel

Are you ready to be a NARSissist?

This may seem like a weird question, but not for those who have heard of the famous Nars Instagram account under the witty handle, Narsissist. This is the official account for the make-up brand and let me tell you, it does an amazing job of portraying the luxurious and high class nature of the brand. All make-up lovers beware…you will become addicted to this account.

It’s hard for me to pick just one thing that I love about this particular Instagram account so I’ll pick three! 

1) You get a behind the scenes look into the world of Nars make-up. 

2) You can see how colors will look on you

3) They have fun with it!

So come on! Become a Narsissist already!

Written By: Cheyenne Adler

4

What has come to be known as Taylor Swift’s “Speak Now” Era is gone. Swifties around the world raced to iTunes, Best Buy, Target, and WalMart at midnight on October 22nd to purchase the country-pop princess’s new album Red. America’s sweetheart has been counting down the release of her fourth album on twitter for the past ten days hyping up the album, as if that was necessary. This album has been the talk of the town since she officially announced it in August 2012.

Prior to the release, Swift released five singles from her 16+ track album as well as a philanthropic single about a little boy with cancer (all proceeds went to cancer research). All was almost lost in the week leading up to her epic release when some of the tracks were leaked onto the internet. Most notably, the much anticipated collaboration track with British indie singer Ed Sheeran. Swift didn’t make a official statement, nor did she turn the track into a single (as she did when single “Mine” was leaked two years prior).

All the drama and anticiapation was washed away at midnight when the album was released and within 40 minutes the album hit number one on iTunes. Her most eclectic album to date features a jamboree of intensely radio-pop songs mixed with sweetly-sad ballads about her many high-profile relationships. Fans are already speculating which “self-indulgent” boyfriend each song is about.

Unlike her past albums, not all the tracks are about scorching the guys who broke her heart. “State of Grace” is about what it feels like to fall in love as opposed to what it feels like to have your heart broken. Swift has stated that she wanted to song to sound like falling in love.

“All Too Well” may not be about a successful relationship, but it isn’t about calling out an ex on his bad behavior either. it is simply about what it feels like to know a relationship is over while still being in love with the person.

“22” isn’t even about love at all. It is about going out and having fun and simply being a “happy, free, confused, and lonely” 22-year-old. Her hidden message (something only a true Swiftie can find) is “Ashley Dianna Claire Selena”, four of Swift’s closest friends. Swift sings, “It feels like a perfect night to dress up like hipsters and make fun of our exes.” Thanks to her instagram and twitter pages, fans have an inside look at her dress up parties with Ashely, Dianna, Claire, and Selena.

“I Almost Do” is strangely reminiscent of Speak Now’s "Back To December". “I bet you think I either moved on or hate you ‘cause each time you reach out there’s no reply. I bet it never ever occurred to you that I can’t say hello to you and risk another goodbye,” she sings in her signature heartbreakingly beautiful voice. In this ballad, Swift describes the internal struggle one may face when trying not to fall back into an emotionally exhaustive relationship.

There are so many more songs on the album that are more geared towards her heartbreak than his wrong doing, which is a fresh perspective from the “Better Than Revenge” songstress. Usually she uses her music as an outlet for anger and revenge on her exes, but Red is different. Of course, there are still the scorchers such as “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” and “I Knew You Were Trouble.”, but there are also heartbreaking ballads and upbeat-carefree-dance songs focusing on herself.

We have another winner from a one-of-a-kind young lady. No one knew that when Taylor broke out onto the scene in 2006 that she would become one of the most respected, talented, and successful young artists of our generation. No one knew she would become the voice of her generation. She is just a small town girl from Pennsylvania who became an international country-pop superstar. “This is the golden age of something good and right and real.”

5/5

Written By Sydney Weinshel

2

A long time ago we used to be friends, but I haven’t thought of you lately at all. These lyrics are EVERYTHING. So is the show they so accurately accompany. In 2004 the CW premiered a television show that would launch a cult following for years to come. Though the show was suddenly canceled after three years, fans remained devout to the show, calling themselves Marshmallows. That show was Veronica Mars.

Nearly ten years after the show’s cancellation, Rob Thomas and Kristen Bell launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a movie adaptation of the beloved show. Their goal was $2 million dollars. That goal was met a mere 10 hours after launching the campaign. The campaign ended a month later with 91,585 donors raising $5,702,153.

The Kickstarter campaign broke several records. They broke their first record by raising $1 million dollars in less than 5 hours. In less than 24 hours they raised their goal of $2 million dollars. It also holds the record for the most backers of any Kickstarter campaign.

The movie was released (in theaters and on digital copy) exactly one year and one day from the initial launch of the campaign and it was perfection. As a fan who joined the game 10 years too late, I had a fresh memory for every one-liner, minor arc character, and LoVe feel.

The movie brought back some of the most minor characters and even made some of them important to the film (Gia was the villain? Gia is smart enough to be the villain?). There was an amazing cameo from Kristen Bell’s hubby, Dax Shepard. The only recast in the film was Carrie Bishop (originally portrayed by Leighton Meester) and I was very impressed by that. For the movie to be great, everyone needed to proverbially come home.

In classic V. Mars style, the film made reference to some of the most fangirl worthy lines and moments from the show’s run. There were also a few surprises for the Marshmallows. Logan is in the air force now, Veronica is still with Piz (gag me), Mac is working for Kane Software, and Weevil is a freakin’ dad! WEEVIL IS A DAD!!!!!!

A few dissappointments: no word (not even a reference to his status) on Duncan. Where is he? Is he still on the lam? How’s his daughter by Meg? What about Parker? Did she and Mac stay friends? Don’t you usually keep in touch with your college roommate? What happened to Veronica while she was at the FBI? When did she transfer to Stanford? Why hasn’t she met Piz’s parents yet? Who is the new leader of the PCHers? SO MANY QUESTIONS!

But of course, those were all minor holes compared to the masterpiece of moments that made up this fil. These were the 10 best moments from the film (in order):

  1. Veronica referring to herself as a marshmallow
  2. LoVe referencing Logan’s infamous drunk speech about their love being epic
  3. James Franco’s viral video cameo
  4. Keith Mars’ reaction to seeing Veronica taking a message
  5. Veronica verbally bitch-slapping Madison Sinclair and later actually bitch-slapping Madison Sinclair.
  6. Weevil as a dad
  7. Deputy Leo punking Veronica
  8. Dick’s flask belt
  9. “We Used To be Friends” being sung by a street performer
  10. Logan is in the Air Force *swoons*

Besides one to many references to the Piz/Veronica sex tape (don’t even get me started), the film was a raging success filled with easter eggs for Marshmallows, essentially any fangirl’s wet dream.

Written By Sydney Weinshel

6

Today, the 1D World Store opened up in Madison Square Garden. Fans from all over waited in line for the store to open up this morning and were not disappointed. The store not only featured their merchandise, but included a One Direction karaoke station, the telephone booth from their new album, and a photo station. Cutouts of the boys were stationed around the store, formerly a Borders Bookstore. Fans took pictures and wrote on the walls with Sharpies, leaving messages in hopes of the Brits seeing them.

Written by Sydney Weinshel. Photos by Sydney Weinshel.

2

Going To Hell is the second full length album by punk rock band The Pretty Reckless, producing 3 singles, which has followed their successful breakout record in 2010. The only music to be released between the albums was an EP, featuring 3 new tracks and two live tracks, in 2012 while they were on a headlining tour.

The making of this sophomore record has been a roller coaster ride for the band. They were victims of Superstorm Sandy, losing 2 years of hard work when their New Jersey studio was destroyed along with all their recordings, equipment, and guitars. They rallied together and took another year and a half to recreate an album worthy of the four year wait.

Going To Hell pulls inspiration from religion, specifically Catholicism, with references to priests, Heaven, Hell, prayer, confession, sex, death, and absolution. It is a cohesive collection of 13 original tracks and two acoustic covers that represent the band as they are now, not as they were when they busted into the rock scene.

While their first album was semi-autobiographical, with each song standing strong yet alone, their second album tells a story of corruption and religion. The sound, fans will note, is significantly different from Light Me Up. It is much more representative of their sound as heard live with raw vocals from Taylor Momsen and a more elaborate production sound featuring a bigger sound from an array of instruments.

One of the more haunting tracks on the album is “Sweet Things” featuring not only Momsen’s vocals, but Ben Phillips’ as well. The dynamic is reminiscent of the title track on their EP, Hit Me Like A Man. In the same way they shared that song, “Sweet Things” tells the story, from the perspective of both Momsen and Phillips, of sex and the corruption of youth. The track is haunting; nightmarish even.

The wait for this album was well worth it, allowing the band to create an album that was impeccably produced, well written, and even well curated. Each song was carefully chosen and placed within the record to create an evocative commentary on religious beliefs and practices.

Written By Sydney Weinshel

4

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a movie adaptation of a book by the same name. It seems like all that is coming out these days is movie adaptations and most of them are poorly done, leaving a fan of the book severely disappointed and rather angry that someone had the audacity to change any part of the book while filming. This is not one of those movies.

As a fan of the book, I can honestly tell you that I have never seen a book be adapted into a movie in such a seamless and beautiful way as The Perks of Being a Wallflower was. From the flawless cast to the brilliant soundtrack, this movie was as true to the book as it possibly could be. All credit due to Stephen Chbosky, who wrote the book, the screenplay, and directed the movie.

The story is centered around a 15-year-old boy, Charlie (Logan Lerman), whose friend has recently committed suicide. Before he starts high school he vows it will be different for him, but the first day proves that this is easier said than done. Then he meets Sam (Emma Watson) and Patrick (Ezra Miller), seniors and half-siblings, who take him under their wing and expose him to a carefree and serendipitous side of life, which may seem romantic to him at first, but soon proves to be filled with as much sorrow and pain as his wallflower existence is.

The movie is set in a world of sex, drugs, rock and roll, and the Rocky Horror Picture Show while dealing with abuse (physical, sexual, and emotional), drugs, alcohol, depression, and sexuality. It is a coming of age story unlike others in that its main character, Charlie, is a wallflower who sees all and says nothing. He has a great mind, but doesn’t share and often has a lot more insight than he is given credit for; some of his advice for Sam includes, “We accept the love we think we deserve.” Charlie is unique because not only does he have depression and severe social anxiety, he works through the problems throughout the film, never quite reaching a point where he is “cured”. There is no traditional happy ending for the characters. The story simply ends not unlike the way life does (without a moral and mostly without a ride out into the sunset).

This movie will make you laugh and cry, often at the same time, as well as make you feel things you didn’t think you felt. It leaves you, as Robert McCammon said in Boy’s Life, feeling a little heartsad and not quite knowing why. It is here you can touch the “golden pool of light” and for just a few moments you feel complete and utter understanding of life and love.

It leaves you feeling infinite.

5/5

Written By Sydney Weinshel

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Summertime Sadness (Cover)- Miley Cyrus in the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge

I just wanted to include this as a companion to the piece I wrote yesterday about my opinion of Miley Cyrus. She can really sing. She has a beautiful voice and has the ability to sing gorgeous songs, so why is she purposefully not living up to her potential?

Written By Sydney Weinshel

5

Gossip Girl is back and scandalous as ever with a season premiere sure to knock viewers off their couches. Serena is missing, Dan is canoodling with Georgina, Blair and Chuck are together (kind of), and Ivy is in cahoots with Lola plotting some mischievous plan.

Serena has created a new life for herself in a remote area where no one knows her. She isn’t even using her real name. Sabrina is her name now and apparently she is from Wisconsin? S is escaping again and that can only mean she has hit rock bottom. Could there be some happiness in Serena’s future? I don’t know, but her new man, Steven, seems to good to be true.

Dan has spent the summer in Rome with… Georgina? Writing a tell-all book about the Upper East Side with an unstable psychopath, as Chuck so eloquently put it, is a recipe for disaster. It is only a matter of time before this backfires on him and Lonely Boy is excommunicated once again.

Blair has spent a productive summer in Paris planning her new fashion line. Chuck has spent the summer looking into his father’s fake death after he was cut out of Bass Industries. The two have spent the summer loving each other from a far. What else is new? They supposedly have a pact. Once they were done with their personal responsibilities, then they can be together. Did B dump Lonely Boy for a chance at maybe with Chuck? Some old Blair.

Nate has been on top of the world since he decided to launch The Spectator on his own. His lead story was an exposé on Gossip Girl’s identity, but he traded his silence to Gossip Girl for information on how to find Serena. Poor Nate. Won’t he ever stop sacrificing himself to save S?

And then we have Ivy. Supposedly she has been staying with Rufus this summer. A little strange considering it’s just the two of them. She has been helping him scope out prime spaces for a new art gallery, but nothing is ever black and white with Ivy Dickens. Suspicions are confirmed when she leaves a mysterious message with Lola, the real Charlie Rhodes, discussing their plans to manipulate Rufus. For what, we don’t know. What could she be plotting? Whatever it is requires Rufus’s utmost trust because at the end of the episode she kisses him and they are found indecent on the couch by a very startled Dan Humphrey.

This is shaping up to be a season of deception and seduction unparalleled to any other season thus far, but be careful because nothing is ever as it seems on the Upper East Side.

XOXO

Written By Sydney Weinshel

With an increase in the popularity of dystopian YA novel to film adaptations, it was only a matter of time until we returned to the original dystopian society in The Giver. I read this groundbreaking novel by Lois Lowry in the sixth grade and I was awed by it’s power. I didn’t know books like this could exist and it very much changed how I looked at reading. It was suddenly fun and exciting; an escape. No wonder it is one of the most challenged books in the literary world. It questions the very root of our existence.

When I heard one of my favorite books was being adapted, I had the same reaction any fan would: at first excited and then outraged. They wouldn’t do it “right”. Readers, especially young readers, are very protective and possessive of their favorite stories. I am no different. It was a quiet production, probably because of the book’s age. It isn’t as relevant as Divergent or The Hunger Games, but little do these 15-year-old fans know that those books wouldn’t exist without The Giver.

I was nervous as the release date approached, anxiety spreading through my veins any time a trailer ran at a commercial. It was all wrong. Why were there holograms and drones in my perfect world of The Giver? Nonetheless, I braved the theater with my boyfriend and best friend at my sides, ready to experience either the best or worst two hours of my life.

After leaving the theater, I was left feeling surprisingly satisfied with how it all turned out. Though I wasn’t satisfied with the way the director decided to interpret the book visually, the way the story was adapted and the actors were cast was on point. The expert execution out weighed how different the world looked than the way I imagined.

One of the most important qualities in this story is the subtle integration of color in young Jonas’ life, meaning his community lives in a black and white world, both figuratively and literally. How would the movie possibly portray that with grace? Once again, I was silenced in that theater. Black and white faded to a subtle black/sepia filter which bled into faded color which suddenly transformed into rich colors and textures. You are left thinking when did it stop being colorless? It was wonderful because the viewer could feel the transformation Jonas was going through; a true feat of cinematic brilliance.

Ultimately I was left with my tail between my legs, embarrassed to have doubted the film all the way to the end. I didn’t even want to admit I was wrong when we left the theater because of how adamant I had been that it would be almost sacrilegious to the memory of this novel. Here I am to tell you that I was wrong. The Giver was everything it should have been.

Written By Sydney Weinshel

Watch on cashmereandtweed.tumblr.com

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Disney has released onto their YouTube channel the Oscar nominated animated short, Paperman, about love at first sight! It may be corny and cheesy and ridiculous, but so is love and to say otherwise is a lie.

This adorable short film is directed by John Kahrs who is known for fan-favorites such as The Incredibles, Tangled, and Monsters, Inc.. The short is groundbreaking because it seamlessly blends the hand-drawn technique with that of computer generated images to tell the story of two lovebirds in the 1940s brought together by fate and a few paper airplanes.

The Academy Awards are scheduled to air on ABC on Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. EST.

Written By Sydney Weinshel

4

And she just keeps going…

In light of her father’s passing (RIP Patrick Lovato), Demi Lovato announced on Good Morning America that she will be launching the Lovato Treatment Scholarship. Demi went to a rehabilitation center in November 2010 and she said it “saved her life”.

At a performance in Chicago last month, Demi made a heart wrenching speech about the treatment center. “I had to go away to treatment and I want to let you know that this treatment center is called Timberline Knolls. It was here in Lemont, Illinois,” she said. “I just want you guys to know that when I come to Chicago, I never forget that this place is the place that saved my life. If anybody out there is dealing with an eating disorder, substance abuse, cutting, bullying, whatever it is—I want you guys to know that I’ve been through it and that I’ve gotten through it and you can do it too.”

Demi revealed that her father struggled with mental illness his whole life which led to many of his other problems. This scholarship program is her way of dealing with her greif. On the show she acknowledged her estranged relationship saying, “My father and I didn’t have the most ideal relationship, but at the end of the day he’s still my dad.”

Our hearts go out to the Lovato family in their time of grief. We also commend Demi for her strength and resilience.

Written by Sydney Weinshel