I recently discovered the joys of keeping multiple notebooks on my person. I have precisely three moleskines and a larger hardcover notebook in my shoulder bag at this very moment; I use the hardcover for writing prose whenever I feel like it (a wonderful way to always be writing, I highly suggest it to all writers), the larger of the three moleskines as a romance journal of sorts (more on this in a different post), and one of the small ones is used for keeping track of dates and times. I wrote the wrong time for We’re The Best!, and thus missed the scheduled screening by two hours. Joy.
The last of the four books I use is another small moleskine, but in this particular case, I use it to jot down random notes and scribbles pertaining to anything I read, watch, and so on. I’ve been using it extensively throughout the course of TIFF, and have referred back to it on numerous occasions while writing my post series thus far. Alas, in reflection of what was supposed to be my experiences on the fifth day of the festival, the pages remain empty, and I’m left without much to write about.
I really wanted to watch We Are The Best!, I really did. It was one of the major recommendations given to me by Jessica from The Velvet Café. A film recommendation from an esteemed movie blogger-slash-friend-from-way-back? I couldn’t possibly turn down an opportunity to check out what another person thought I would enjoy. The weight of such a gesture carries a lot more meaning than it leads on. To suggest something to someone is to consider that person in their entirety, and making a value judgment based on your understanding of them. To make a recommendation is to say, “This is how much I know you, I truly believe that [suggested item] is something that could be a part of who you are, what you could be, or what I would love for you to be.”
Alternatively, making a recommendation is also to share your own enthusiasm and enjoyment with someone else. It would be to say, “This is something that is a part of who I am, and for you to enjoy and appreciate this particular thing, it would mean a great deal about how you perceive and appreciate my relationship with you.” This is more likely to be the meaning behind the suggestion that I should watch the movie that I missed yesterday, and as such, I’ve lost an opportunity to get to know a little bit more about Jessica’s appreciation for film, not only as a writer of a movie blog, but simply as a person in general. For this, I feel regret.
Worst of all, this particular instance isn’t the only time that I’ve felt that sort of regret. A long while back, when the future Mrs. Rand was still…well, Ms. Rand (I took the pen name Erick Rand partly from her maiden name), she had suggested to me that I watch an anime film produced by Studio Ghibili, Whisper of the Heart. She sent a direct message to me via twitter one evening, telling me that I would definitely enjoy it. I heeded to her gesture, acquiring the movie, and had planned to watch it eventually. We weren’t dating at the time, and I was completely unaware that she was in love with me.
It wasn’t until later when we eventually did get together that I realized that Whisper of the Heart was her indirect attempt at confessing to me; I strongly identified with the main character, a young girl named Shizuku who discovers her passion for writing stories, as well as a romantic passion for her love interest, an artisan violin maker named Seiji. The film spoke quite a great deal to me, informing me of the love that my girlfriend had for me before it was made known.
I’m thankful that we ended up together regardless; I strongly feel that no matter how it happened, we would have found each other somehow. I still regret not watching Whisper of the Heart, as it was a lost opportunity to realize my love for the woman who I wish to spend the rest of my life with. I ended up watching the film on my own after the fact, and my love for her grew even more.
I take anything recommended to me quite seriously, and missing out on a wonderful opportunity to watch We Are The Best! at the Toronto Film Festival feels like I’ve screwed up somehow, as if I’m betraying the relationships that I’ve developed with people over time. Jessica is one of my blogger friends that I’ve known since way back; she has watched me grow and looked out for me like I was one of her own. I take her advice as gospel, as I understand that she only wants the very best for me. Perhaps this film could very well have been the best thing that I watch this year; I won’t get to find out, and that hurts quite a bit.