One Hundred, One

a hundred birthday candles

Today is an exceptional day for my family, because my father’s mother – the only living grandparent I have left – celebrates her 100th birthday.

An entire century of life! Can you imagine?

She was born in 1917, like the Russian Revolution, lived through two world wars and countless other political upheavals, gave birth to three children, and was one of the very first women to get a divorce as soon as it became legal in Italy.

One year ago I chose this date, my Grandma’s birthday, as the official beginning of my Artist Residency in Motherhood, dedicating it to her, wishing her to live to 100. She did, and I on my side have done my best to stand up to my self-assigned Residency goals.

Or have I?

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Berlin Liebt Dich

selfie in mirror in hotel room

I took this photo on the morning of February 14th, 2017 – Valentine’s day. Ironically, it was also the first night I ever spent away from the two boys I call love. The first night I didn’t sleep right next to my son, his feet in my face, and the first morning I was not awakened by the tickle of his fluffy blond hair in my nose.

19 hours earlier:

I take the Intercity from Dordrecht to Schiphol – Amsterdam’s airport, have a coffee at the gate while staring at nothing outside the walls of glass lining the terminal’s building, too dazed by the perspective of 48 hours on my own to even just pull my book out of my bag. The flight to Berlin Schӧnefeld is on time, I have only my small backpack so I skip the baggage claim area and walk directly to the S-bahn station. I take the suburban train nr S45 in direction Gesundbrunnen, get off at Südkreutz, switch to the S2 in direction Bernau, get off at Oranienburgerstraße. The hostel where I’m staying is just across the street from the subway stop. Continue reading

How To Survive A Film Festival, Unharmed

Many film festival badges from my past

If you have ever seen a big film festival with your own eyes, it’s impossible you didn’t notice how insistently it shines. Everything around a film festival is sparkly and bright (filmmakers know their lights), everywhere you look there’s silver high heels and paparazzi flashes, golden doorknobs, watery eyeballs.

Truth is, behind the silver screen things are indeed quite fancy, but also pretty hollow, and wasted. What from the outside looks like a dazzling celebration of CINEMA (the most expensive form of entertainment out there) is essentially a glorified fair for the Film Industry. Every big film festival is in fact a beehive clusterfuck of film-business people looking to hook-up with more film-business people so to hopefully find a distribution on Asian territories, find a new script to develop, find someone willing to arrange half of a million coins to finish the postproduction of the movie they’re stuck with, and get laid. Continue reading