Senior ANDY Editor
A few nights ago, I watched Pan’s Labyrinth for the first time. It’s a Spanish film about a young girl who escapes her broken family and war-torn environment by indulging in fantasies that come from her many fictional books.
The story inspired in me a kind of emotional turmoil that can only be matched by my frustrated hate-love affair with the likes of other extremely sad films (e.g. Life is Beautiful). The movie was shocking and made me cry, but I was also left feeling sorely confused. The young female protagonist triumphs in the face of imaginary evils and emerges as the princess of a fictional realm, but in “real life,” she is not so lucky. In fact, her desperate desire to engage in her fantasies ultimately leads to the film’s tragic ending. I was left, heartbroken and distraught, wondering – what was the purpose of it all? Her beloved books gave her moments of happiness, but – they were ineffective as a means of contending with her reality. For the first time ever, I was convinced – maybe she should have read less.
The film is far more intricate and gorgeous than this brief description of my own personal struggle with the story. It is likely that I have missed the point. Please watch it, come find me in the Silhouette office, and convince me that I am wrong. I can be very easily convinced that reading is what saved her, and not what killed her.
This is a work of art that has deeply affected me. In this semester’s final issue of ANDY, we have included works of art that have moved our writers in some way. Send us yours?
Assistant ANDY Editor
Not many movies play at Westdale Theatre, but the select few that do are almost always high calibre. Unfortunately, The Way Way Back was an exception. I saw the film this summer and was unimpressed by its clichéd coming-of-age story about a teenager vacationing with his family in a sleepy seaside town.
I was surprised, then, when David Sedaris used a similar premise to craft the most affecting thing I read this semester.
In his autobiographical essay “Now We Are Five,” which appeared in The New Yorker on Oct. 28, Sedaris chronicles a recent family trip to a beach house off the coast of North Carolina.
Sadly, Sedaris’ family is incomplete. His estranged adult sister Tiffany committed suicide shortly before the vacation began, and her absence lurks underneath Sedaris’ characteristically wry anecdotes about beaches and BarcaLoungers.
Even though summer vacation is far from mind in first semester, Sedaris’ piece struck a chord. I am happy to be back in school and reconnecting with the people that I have gotten to know over the past four years. Yet, I am also always mindful that at this time next year most of these same people will have graduated and scattered in different, far-flung directions.
I do not want to liken anything that I have experienced this semester to the loss of a family member to suicide. Nevertheless, Sedaris’ delicate balance of humour and pensiveness absolutely captured my current state of mind.
When I look back on the first three months of my fourth year, I think about “Now We Are Five.”