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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

entry arrow11:10 PM | Two Fragments From Audrey Welles' 'Under the Tuscan Sun'

Since I blogged a little bit of something from Audrey Welles' Under the Tuscan Sun [2003] in the previous post, I've since found myself musing over how this film has stayed emotionally intact for me over the years. Welles' film, loosely based on the memoir of travel writer Frances Mayes, is a beautiful meditation, really, on pain, loss, and letting go, taking second chances, having faith that life's game can get better at the latter stages, and the wonder of ladybugs. (You'll find out what that means if you see the film.) I love this film. It packs an emotional wallop without being saccharine. And it has been a comfort in my own trying times -- and yet it doesn't feel condescending, the way films of this ilk sometimes are wont to be. This is the kind of cinema Ryan Murphy's Eat Pray Love [2010] wanted to be, but couldn't for whatever reason. (That film only succeeded in highlighting a deplorable upper-class white woman selfishness.] I could quote a lot of lines from Under the Tuscan Sun, but here are two of my favorites....

Writing a postcard in a Tuscan piazza, a small gem of travel writing: "Dear Mom. It's market day in Cortona. The piazza is an ongoing party, and everyone is invited. Clich├ęs converge at this navel of the world. You almost want to laugh, but you can't help feeling these Italians know more about having fun than we do. I eat a hot grape from the market, and the violet sweetness breaks open in my mouth. It even smells purple. I wish I could stay longer, but the bell reminds me of time. 'Ding-dang-dong,' the bell says, instead of 'ding-dong.' I wish you were here. Love..."

On impulsively buying a house in Bramasole: "I have bought a house in a foreign country. A house and the land it takes two oxen two days to plow. Not having a plow or an ox, I'll have to take their word on that. Buyer's remorse is a very common affliction among new homeowners. Just because you have a sudden urge to weep, that doesn't mean you've made a mistake. Everybody knows old houses have their quirks. Especially ten-thousand-year-old houses. I have inherited empty wine bottles, one grape, every issue of La Nazione printed in 1958, and assorted previous tenants. The trick to overcoming buyer's remorse is to have a plan. Pick one room and make it yours. Go slowly through the house. Be polite, introduce yourself, so it can introduce itself to you."

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