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2 “talk up” Bride Flight

New Zealand's Milford Sound. Milford Sound, on...

By: Nicole

There is an ongoing joke between Jen and I. Jen is movie fanatic, especially with foreign films. I don’t know where she finds these films, most I have never heard of. She will call me up the next day and tell me about the latest viewing.

Jen has the great ability to “talk up” a film. The tone of her voice is exasperated and excited that it’s “the best film I’ve seen in a long time”! Okay, well, I guess I should watch this film also. More often than not, the film in my opinion, was “the worst film I have ever seen”. I want my wasted time back!

BRIDE FLIGHT is an exception. In fact, I will go on record and say that it is outstanding. The complexity of friendships intertwined over the course of a lifetime, is the basic theme of this Post WWII Dutch drama. Four young adults– three women and one man make a secret pact.

As Jen mentioned, the period costume truly defines each character and their position in society. Besides the beautiful location scenery, what I loved the most was the character study. The film was well written in its subject matter keeping the viewer engaged with its subtle suggestions as to why decisions were made the way they were, and to whether those were the right decisions. Decisions of passion over fidelity, finding inner strength, overcoming guilt, discovering what society expects of women and family traditions that are passed down through the generations. Will the characters “secret pact” hold strong?

I agree with Jen on this one. Watch it. Bride Flight, a romantic drama about adjusting to a life you never thought you would live.

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Bride Flight women defined by their dress

When winter has taken its toll, I find myself mining for french or italian films. The titles stream in from netflix or the library. I sit and watch midday, while children toil away at school. This is how I discovered Cinema Paradiso.  The eloquent visual collage at the end of that film pierces my heart every time!

I don’t know a lot about Dutch films but I discovered a good one recently. BRIDE FLIGHT by Music Box Films is a story of three women and their friend Frank. This unlikely match-up percolates during a post WWII flight from Holland to New Zealand. They become fast friends and their paths cross numerous times throughout the film. The story line is based on real life events surrounding The Last Great Air Race from London to Christchurch in 1953. KLM Airlines was the winner and aboard their plane were 40 Dutch immigrants who were in search of a better life, many of them meeting up with their fiancés, who had already settled into the local landscape. The press named the flight “BRIDE FLIGHT”.

What struck me were the clothing styles for each of the women characters. Ada is from farm stock. She is simple but pure in her demeanor through and through. Esther is the polar opposite. She gets off the bus in Christchurch and her presence is shocking in comparison to the grey streets that reflect the sullen cloud cover. Marjorie dresses “smart” and is always ready for adventure. Her style is like a chic camper girl. And Frank, well he is Frank, from the opening scene to the final credits. He is always confident and sure of himself which makes for a very successful character.

The story is a lovely weave of friendship and trust. The costume designer did a fabulous job portraying these characters. After all, it is the most expensive Dutch film ever made.

The Softer Side of the Shedd Aquarium

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By: Jen

The beaux art details of the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago are stunning when you take the time to wander the main entryway to the museum. But on a softer side, the Jellies Exhibit was equally stunning– supple and more fluid than I imagined. Although there aren’t any jellyfish images within the decorative architectural elements of the building, you can imagine how marine life must have inspired the designers when these motifs were conceptualized.

You enter the exhibit in darkness. Like a moth to a flame, you are attracted to brightly colored tanks that compliment the various species of the jellyfish. Deep cobalt blue enhances the transparent whiteness of the jellies floating about. Further into the exhibit you see tanks with pink backgrounds and the jellies are adorned with ruffle like tentacles. The ruffles reminded me of french lace. The most surprising were the specimens that looked like natural light bulbs!

The Jellies exhibit runs through May 28th, 2012. Order your tickets in advance to bypass very long ticket lines! Teachers get complimentary admission to the general museum. You can request a teacher pass online in advance or just bring your credentials and visit the will call line. The staff at the museum is very helpful. They are enthusiastic about their work.

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