Experiencing “A Five Star Life” – And Loving It

Traveling around the world is anyone’s perfect dream job. But what if traveling around the world meant staying at the world’s most luxurious five-star hotels? While the idea of traveling around the world isn’t a viable option for many people, immersing oneself into a film about travel works just as well. But with Hollywood’s obsession with remakes and less original stories, finding a good travel film with interesting, engaging characters and a first-class story is hard to find. That was until I came across Italian filmmaker Maria Sole Tognazzi’s A Five Star Life (Viaggio sola) that sparked my travel wanderlust once again.

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A “Summertime” Classic of Strong Love

It’s been said before that the best films are the ones that don’t get lots of attention and “Oscar buzz” – as the film media likes to use during awards season. Such was the case when I discovered Summertime (La Belle Saison), a 2015 French romance film, through my Strong Women in.. Netflix recommendations. Like most Disney and animated films, I tend to stay away from seeing most romance films, as many are misogynist in tone and treat women as if they’re “princesses in distress and can’t live or think without a man”. But Summertime changed all that on this early Christmas Day morning.

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“She Rules” on Netflix in One Outstanding Ad


During this year’s Emmys, Netflix rolled out one amazing ad celebrating some of the incredibly talented (and badass) women from its most popular shows from Orange is the New Black to Frankie & Grace. Not only was the ad well done and passes my “Positive Portrayals of Women in the Media” test, it’s a big step in the right direction to showcase the multi-talented actresses that make everyone’s favorite shows so exciting. Keep it going, Netflix!

Positive Portrayals of Women: Walgreens & “Carpe Med Diem”


I’m not sure where I saw this Walgreen’s ad before, but I love it for many reasons. Other that being fun, it’s an ad that positively promotes women living life to the fullest – regardless of age – without any worries of society bombarding them with “anti-aging” ads and basically telling women they’re not beautiful over 50. Well done, Walgreens. Hopefully we’ll see more ads like this that celebrate women and empower them to live life to the max – even at the nude beach.

Riding High on the Portland Aerial Tram

Portland Aerial Tram Portland Oregon
On a random Saturday in February I headed slightly outside of downtown Portland to visit to one of Portland’s outstanding attractions: the Portland Aerial Tram. Opened in 2006 and designed in Switzerland / Los Angeles, the aerial tram (made up of two trams “Jean” and “Walt”) takes riders from the South Waterfront all the way up to the renowned Oregon Health & Science University hospital campus on Marquam Hill and back. More than just a small “thrill ride”, the aerial tram But I’ll let the photos I took throughout the day do all the talking.

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Mustang : Sisterhood in an Oppressive World

Mustangposter
On another cold Christmas weekend day, it was off to see another film that just opened at the Living Room Theaters here in downtown Portland. Directed by Deniz Gamze Erg├╝ven, Mustang centers on five orphaned sisters, Lale, Nur, Ece, Selma and Sonay, whose innocent play one summer day with some local boys sets off alarms in their rural Turkish village and with their strict, conservative grandmother and uncle. Because of this innocent play the family home becomes a prison where bars and gates guard the girls from escaping, outside pop culture influences such as computers and cell phones confiscated, girls clothing reduced to modest dresses, and teachings in cooking and homemaking become the norm. But throughout the film, a hero emerges among the sisters that makes Mustang one of the best feminist films of our time.

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