Sep 5, 2012

Aziza's Picks- one year anniversary!

On the 5th of September last year I was posting my first article on my new blog, Aziza's picks, hoping to embark in an interesting journey of discovering new movies, perfecting my English and making new friends. It's 5.09.2012 now and I can proudly say I have accomplished that. This blog helped me so much, not only in gaining more information and knowledge, but also forming great relationships, meeting new, exciting people and developing myself personally and professionally, as it did help with my studies, one way or another, as well.

I didn't knew what to do for this special occasion, but I remembered that blogathon that was going on a couple of months about personal film facts and I said this was a nice way of celebrating. I am sure some of the things below you probably already know, but I hope to surprise you with others. Here we go:

1. My passion for films started rather late, but I was always fascinated by arts, especially dance and music. Film came later, when I discovered the beauty and complexity of it
2. THE movie in heavy rotation in my house was Dirty Dancing (I wanted to be a dancer when I was little, plus I loved the music and Johnny was so handsome)
3....and then Cry Baby (again, music and a sexy Johnny Depp)
4.....but sometimes I would still go back to basics and see Beauty and the Beast :)
5. The first movie I saw in cinema was Wag the Dog, with Dustin Hoffman and Robert de Niro- it was released in 1997, so I guess I was....8!?!
6. I saw Titanic on a VCR tape, which I received as a gift for my birthday, almost a year after releasing it in cinemas and I remember I didn't cry....and I still don't cry to it, even now.
7. Our family would sometimes do movie night, usually on a Sunday, because that's when most good films would be on TV in my country. The best of the 90s/early 2000s that I still remember? My best friend's wedding....
8....Legends of the fall
9....and Die hard series
10. One time, I wasn't allowed to watch the Sunday night film because I hadn't finished my math homework. I missed Last of the Mohicans. I still haven't watched it to this day.
11. I have to thank Beverly Hills, MTV, my sisters and the endless movies I watched without subtitles for my good English.
12. Three things a movie needs to get my attention and love: beautiful cinematography and/or direction: I will always remember the fantastic way Hunger, Taxi Driver, There will be blood or Drive were directed. Likewise, with the cinematography of Tree of Life, Schindler's list or Hugo, just to name a few.
13...the 2nd thing: character-driven stories. I am sucker for scripts that have character development and let's us discover an individual
14...and 3rd: unusual topic. Crazy premises? Unbelievable storylines?Wacky characters? I am in
15. I really like close-ups.
16. Hands down the sexiest performance of all time- well, of what I have seen so far in my life- is Marlon Brando in A streetcar named Desire. I literally had to fan myself and stop from starring. Wow!
17. Actually, A Streetcar Named Desire was the movie that made me want to start a blog in the first place. I loved it so much that I felt the need to talk and write about it, so I did, and here we are now.
18. I love the smoking habit and how it's visualised in the 1950s movies- "do you have a lighter?"
19. I don't like to spend too much money on DVDs, CDs or books. I only do it if it's something I really love or want. I know most will disagree with me, but looking from the practical, rational point of view, if I can find it online for free, why pay for it? Yes, yes, I know, artist recognition and so on- that's why some things I do pay for
20. That being said, I have developed a passion for buying used DVDs at 3 or 4 pounds at a store in Soho.
21. I once found there a copy of Memento for 1 pound= about 2 dollars. Of course I bought it immediately
22. I usually don't watch the extra scenes or features on DVDs, and I don't remember seeing a film with film commentary- it seems so weird for me, I don't think I would be able to concentrate, but then again, Alex keeps mentioning it, so I think I will try it soon
23. As most bloggers usually are, I am the film expert in my circle of friends and in my family- they always ask me what I have seen lately.
24. That being said, I don't know how, but most movies I take my friends to see, they end up not liking it, which makes me really sad
25. After a recent interview for my dissertation with a lovely person in the acquisition department of a big distribution company, I decided that is what I want to do- all she does is read scripts and go to all the film festivals and choose films. Can I do that, too, please?
26. Former and current male actor crushes: Henry Cavill, Johnny Depp, Clive Owen, Garrett Hedlund, Michael Fassbender, Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch and so on- observe the British repetition? :)
27. I do think Angelina Jolie is one of the most beautiful women in the world, although she is too skinny these days. Still, a fantastic woman, I admire her for many things
28. ...and I really can't stand Jennifer Aniston. It has nothing to do with the Jolie thing. I just don't like Aniston's face, expression, personality etc. She just annoys me.
29. Very embarrassing confession- I have never seen a Stanley Kubrick film....but I do have DVDs of his movies waiting for me, so don't worry, this little problem will soon be resolved
30. My filmography is pretty limited, if I think about it. I don't go to the cinema that often and I don't watch that many films per month- considering I started taking the film passion seriously recently, there are a lot of films I haven't seen, unfortunately.
31. That is why my To Watch list is never ending, which I am ok with, since I will never run out of movies to see
32. Packing for home, I just realised I bought an obscene number of DVDs and books from London- that kind of contradicts with n.19, but I guess living in UK changed my usual habit.
33. My first official press/preview screening happened this Sunday- I saw Madagascar 3 and I loved it, both the movie and the experience
34. Since I started this blog, I always had this idea/dream of becoming a professional film critic and going to million screenings, but after 3 days of this, I changed my mind. It's not that I don't like the job, it's just that I noticed that most critics/ film lovers who go see so many movies are much more critical and extremely hard to please- some don't want to be entertained; I don't want to offend anyone, I respect everyone, but I don't want to be like that, I prefer my ignorance sometimes.
35. Do you ever that feeling that your blog name is weird? Whenever I got asked what's my blog's name at the event I went to yesterday, it felt so weird and awkward to say it out loud...
36....maybe that's because extremely few people who know me personally know that I write a film's blog, and those that do, haven't seen it yet..
37....If you're wondering why, well it's just because, for me, this blog is a way out of the real world, a magic place where I can say what I want and talk about the things I love without sounding too weird or caring about what others think; I feel like I can talk more freely and be more daring on my blog or on Twitter than in real life
38. That's one of the reasons I love bloggers and I think I can safely say I have made some great friends through this blog
39. The two most beautiful cinema theatres I have ever been to are the NFT1 at the British Film Institute/Southbank and Empire Leicester screen 1, both in London. I always have the urge to take photos, but then I think people will look at me in a weird way or think I will record the film, so I never do
40. The cinema prices these days are insanely high- from an economical point of view, I get it, but honestly, if they will keep raising the, don't be surprised if I use Torrent or something like that
41. The most annoying person I have ever sat next to in a theatre was a woman who kept describing and telling her friend not only what was on the screen, but also what happens in the book and her opinions on it- she talked like crazy and that was the only time I had to ask someone to be quiet. She gave me a horrible look, but eventually stopped. Oh, and it was during Harry Potter 7
42. I need something to drink during a movie, preferably Coke, I can't watch it without it
43. I am one of those very few people who didn't like or, better said, wasn't impressed with Lord of the rings. Sorry, didn't do much to me, although I must admit it was beautifully made.
44. Battle of the summer blockbuster: Avengers or Dark Knight Rises? For me, Avengers, hands down. I need that DVD just for the gag reel :)
45. I don't think I've ever read comics, and I really want to, but I don't know what to start with and where to get them. Do you have any ideas?
46. If I could be part of a film team, I would be the scriptwriter or producer, although I am not sure how good I would be at any of the two jobs. I do aspire to write at least one script in the next 2 years, even if it doesn't go anywhere.
47. Speaking of scripts, I wish I was a better writer, I wish I knew how to use words and metaphors and create a magic world jus with a phrase. I have a notebook half full of quotes- movie, poems, lyrics, essays and others. I just like to read them from time to time, they somehow change my mood and inspire me.
48. Do you take notes during a film? I do, most of the times- usually a key word or two, three words to remind me to talk a certain aspect of the movie; sometimes I write down phrases, but only if I can pause it so I don't miss much of it
49. As much as I like realism in a movie, my main reasons of watching films is to be entertained, to escape this world and go into another and forget about my life for two hours and discover another one.
50. I don't think I will ever get rid of the movie bug and I hope I won't, it's been too fun and interesting so far

Well, that's it, I hope you enjoyed it! 

I just want to thank everyone who has visited and/or commented here- it means so much to me that people would take time to read and talk about I have wrote. I love everyone of you. Special thanks to all my lovely blog/Twitter friends- Alex, Stevee, Ruth, Ruth, Margaret aka Sati, Nikhat, Max, Scott, Tyler, SDG, Dan, and so many more,  sorry if I forgot, but you know I love you, right?

Happy birthday to me/the blog :)) Here's to another better, more successful year!

p.s. I really want a cool, new, visually beautiful banner for Aziza's Picks, but I am horrible at drawing or designing one. If someone wants to help, please do let me know- I can provide virtual hugs, blog posts or whatever you need :) just let me know! Thanks!


  1. Aww this was lovely, Diana.

    You have achieved so much, and this is only the first year of your blogging (slightly envious here, I won't lie).

    Love your male crush list and totally get what you are saying about critics.

    And thank you so much for mentioning me!

    Here's to many, many more years :D

    1. Well I remember you from the beginning, so you must have even more experience, right? no need to be jealous! Pleasure mentioning and meeting you (virtually) :)

  2. Congrats on your anniversary.

    I'm the opposite of you because I've listened to pretty much every DVD commentary for the DVDs I own. If I had to pick two to recommend it would be Roger Ebert's commentary on Citizen Kane for the absolute best in preparedness and being informative. For fun, I recommend the cast commentary for Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. All the people who were the kids in the film got back together 30 years later and did the commentary. By the way, never listen to a commentary for a film you haven't seen. All commenters assume you've already seen the film so they are spoiling anything for you by talking about it.

    1. I must definitely watch a commentary soon! The Citizen Kane one sounds interesting, I will definitely do that! Thanks!

  3. Happy blog birthday!

    (Also, watch some Kubrick!)

  4. Congratulations on your first of hopefully many years of blogging!

    Thank you for the mention.

    You have to do something about seeing a Stanley Kubrick film. I mean sure I have the boxset as well and haven't watched them all...but that's no excuse. All of his movies I have to be in a certain mood for so I can understand not being compelled.

    As for comics...What do you enjoy?

    I enjoy reading the new Batman, Saga, Fables, Walking Dead. There's also recent classics like Y:The Last Man. If you want a complete comic that's short but incredible I'd recommend 'I Kill Giants'. Feel free to ask anytime.

    1. Thanks and you're welcome :) Cool, thank you for the comic suggestions. Is there anywhere I can read them online?

    2. I'm sure you could find other ways to read them...but if this service is available in your region this is a good way to read/purchase them.

  5. SO many people try their hand at blogging, only to give up on the experiment in a matter of weeks. With that in mind, a whole year worth of entries is truly an achievement worth toasting.

    Thanks for furthering the discussion that much more for the last twelve months, and here's to another twelve!

    1. Thank you Ryan for the support, I will surely try to continue this for much longer!

  6. Happy blogiversary!!!! Seems like only yesterday I discovered your blog. Look how much you've done in one year!

    10. Awww, that sounded so spiteful and melancholic.
    12. Love it.
    17. That’s fuckin’ awesome.
    38. ☺
    43. Yesssssss.
    46. DO IT!
    47. Keep going. You’ll get better.
    48. Nope!

    I'm a graphic designer as well, so I can help out with your banner/masthead for your blog. Email me!

    1. Thank you Alex for everything, you've been a big inspiration and support! As for the graphics things, that would be great! I see that Sati also offered, so now I have to choose :) Thanks for the offer, I will let you know

    2. Oh god, if Sati offered, go with her. She has the best-looking site out there. You can't go wrong!

  7. There are so many things I can relate to in this post. We are outsiders, you know, non-english speakers, trying to fit in here.
    Like you, I started watching movies for improving my English, so I was a late starter(during my college years)and so there are many gaps in our film knowledge.
    Like you I have never read comics and now don't even feel like reading them.
    Like you I have never listened to DVD commentary yet(one day for sure).
    Like you I feel weird talking about my blog in real life mainly because though most of my friends and family know about it, I have never really talked about it. :) But that's what makes this blogging experience so much better, right ?
    And Like you, even I need to do something about the banner. I have done some unsuccessful attempts but I am on the verge of giving up. :) So, let me know as well.

    You have done a great job, Diana ! Here is to many more to come !!

    1. Wow, that really moved me, it's nice to see we have so much in common. Thank you for the lovely comment!

  8. Happy blog birthday! :D

    20. Used DVDs are a great way to save money. I buy them too.
    25. Yes please. Sounds like the coolest job ever.
    40. High cinema prices are exactly why I go to matinee screenings.
    43. Hear, hear! :)
    44. Dark Knight Rises all the way. There's a strong possibility that it will be #1 at the end of the year.
    48. I rarely take notes on a film. If I do, it's for a special post (something other than a review) on it.

    1. Thanks Josh! I sometimes go to matinee screenings, too, and usually alone, but I don't mind :)


    Love your celebrity crushes, damn, Henry Cavill! <3

    Thank you so much for the mention!

    I'd love to help with the design, if you want you can send your ideas via e-mail and I could help out!

    1. Thank you Sati, you're lovely! I'd love for you to help me, just send me your address or write me one (my email is on the profile page, I think)!

    2. :)

    3. Thank you Sati! I am in the middle of preparing my move back to Romania, so I am really busy these days, but I will definitely email you next weeks the latest, ok? thank you very much!


    Tom Hiddleston forever, my friend :)


  11. Amazing first year, congratulations! And all while completing a dissertation. Your English is better than mine and I've lived here forever! Hope you get to see some Kubrick soon. Got to start with The Shining I reckon! I'm amazed you didn't punch that woman in HP7. Hate it when people natter during a movie!

    1. I'm not a violent person, but if she would have continued, I might have done it :)) thanks Pete!

  12. Happy blog birthday, Diana! You've done extremely well - I thought your blog was older for some reason, but that's probably because you're doing so well here. Well done!

    1. Thanks Stevee, that means a lot, your blog has always been an inspiration!

  13. How wonderful! Happy Birthday! Here's to many more.

    Enjoyed reading through your answers...and kudos on choosing The Avengers of the other summer films! woohoo!

  14. Congrats on hitting your 1 year mark!
    Keep up the good work :)

    1. Thank you so much for always finding them to comment from time to time, means a lot!

  15. One year! That's quite something for a blogger. Most give up far earlier. And you still seem to enjoy yourself! Anyway: here's a belated "congratulations" from me. I hope you'll keep at it!

    1. Thank you Jessica- a year doesn't sound that much, but it is, and I take as an accomplishment!