Summer Nights, Steven Spielberg, & Stuffed Animals

Summer is here, and amidst the wanderlust for faraway places and fruity drinks by the pool, I’m enjoying a few of these favorites right now that I thought are worth sharing.

Outdoor Movies :: While you may be spending Independence Day eating, drinking, and lighting fireworks, I’ll be in my back yard watching Jaws on a white sheet via projector. This isn’t the first year we’ve done outdoor movies, but it’s the first time that feels like we aren’t the only people into it anymore. Outdoor movie events seem to be popping up everywhere, and so are the tutorials on how to DIY. I’m always obsessing on what movies will make the best showings (is this film too dark to see/too vulgar for the sensitive neighbors/so epic it just HAS to be viewed outdoors?). Steven Spielberg’s films usually offer a great answer to this last question, with a mix of visual appeal and excitement, which is also why he’s also on my current list.

Spielberg (2017) :: The HBO documentary caught my eye when it was released, and at over two and half hours long, it took awhile to find the right time to sit down to watch it. Totally. Worth It. I found myself telling everyone I know to watch this film, especially fellow movie lovers. Spielberg has always been a favorite director of mine, but the insight into his life and process brought a new profound sense of admiration for the man (*ahem, genius*) and his work. Mixing a variety of John Williams’ scores and interviews with many actors from Spielberg’s films, this documentary had me asking, wait it’s over? when the credits rolled.

*Life-altering moment: "I hate the feeling of being nervous, but I need to feel -  in this moment - I’m really not sure what I’m doing. And when that verges on panic, I get great ideas. The more I feel backed into a corner, the more rewarding it becomes when I figure my way out of the corner."

Jurassic Park :: Since we’re speaking of Spielberg, the original Jurassic Park celebrated its 25th anniversary in June, and with the release of the Jurassic World sequel (I admit, I haven't seen it yet), not to mention Mondo’s vinyl release of the score, I’ve had this brilliant film heavy on my mind lately (especially with the insight Spielberg gives to its impact on CGI). Hey, maybe this one goes on the outdoor movie list too.

Furry Friends :: This brings me to my next obsession: stuffed animals. Ok, so it seems like a leap from Jurassic Park, but didn’t you ever have a stuffed dinosaur as a kid? Well I may not have one of those, but recently I’ve been on a bit of a spree buying adorable, soft stuffed animals. I have no idea why. But from my tiny little hedgehog with fur as soft as a real one to my huggable bear pillow named Douglas Firbear, I’ve begun to realize that this isn’t a new obsession. I’ve had a soft bunny that I purchased from a toy store in Denmark for about 3 years (now my goddaughter has the same one), and a very old hippopotamus that was given to me by a Danish relative when I was born. Point being, I never thought of myself as a collector of anything, but it appears as though stuffed animals is it.

So, what are your current summer obsessions? Favorite Spielberg movies? Cute (quirky) collections? Let me know!

ObsessionsJulie Kanta