From Milla March 2005

03.12.05

hey colin, hey roby! thank you guys so much for posting my letter and more than that, everything you guys have done for me and the people on the two websites you have created.

i want to tell everyone, all the people who take the time to put their feelings down here and share them with others, that you are so amazing, intelligent and compassionate; so inspiring...

of course i've been browsing the sites, but i have to admit, when i actually started becoming a part of this one site -for my movie "the claim"- i had some unfortunate incidents happen with a few... uuummmm... curmudgeony rapscallions as mr. burns would say... assholes as pat would put it... maybe i should just leave it at that! but... we had OPPOSING opinions about certain issues and things got a little ugly. i almost couldn't write for like 4 months afterwards cause i got my feelings hurt so badly and in turn hurt someone out of humiliation and anger...

whatever, i didn't like feeling like that for someone without a face for me, you know? like in those dreams when you're the only one at the party naked, that's what it's like for me online, cause everyone knows it's me, but i don't know anybody... who's who or what's for real.

but saying all that, i want to tell you all that the reason i STARTED posting these "updates" was because of how interesting and creative i felt you guys were; from reading some of the discussions and looking at the artwork you all put up!

sometimes your humor is at my expense, but I LOVE IT! i know you all are just being funny and not trying to hurt my feelings! i know colin and roby take the really evil, and, more to the point, PURPOSELESS comments off, which is great cause i don't need another "the claim" debacle...

but yea, i was so inspired by YOU GUYS! YOU made me WANT to share my thoughts too! i guess that's why i'm doing the booklist, cause i see how intelligent you are and would love to get YOUR booklists in return! or movie lists... i need to catch up on my dvd nights...

anyway, please forgive any spelling errors (Mr. NABOKOV!) and i thank you all very much before hand for being understanding in future of any minor, grammatical faux pas i may commit (most likely from intense sleep deprivation as it's normally 4am when i'm writing you and i'm still ordering cappucino -"oh how tough, boohoo, you spoiled little @#$%" says pat, as she takes a swipe and catches me upside the head, to bring her point home- which can't warrant the promise of exemplary syntax utilization on my part!) but i think the ESSENCE is what i'm trying to throw your way, feelings, thoughts and uncertainties, something (taps her nose confidentially) honest, something real... hehe. i think you all know what i mean...

i write you so that you can share a bit into something i do that i know you/we all love! making movies! but sometimes, movies are more than just... well, the story or the actors or anything like that for me, sometimes it's just a tiny moment in time, hanging precariously suspended, for all eternity, of truth; it cannot be hidden and it transcends what came before it or what will come after it is passed. "...it is a thing in itself..." as Aldous Huxley so beautifully coined it. (spelling mistakes?! anyone? anyone? dear christ, you're gonna have me going to the damn dictionary now, every other goddamn, mother christin second! WHOA! hey guys, sorry that was pat right there, i swear, that wasn't me! aaaahhh!!! sound of muffled fighting and cursing in the background)

anyway, i just thought i'd let you know that, for what it's worth. %^$&!! now i sound like the &*^%$ l'oreal girl! ok. i think i need another coffee. thanks everyone! bye... -m


03.08.05

Hey everyone, just thought Iíd let you in on some stuff... Iím starting a film called .45 in about a month and itís the first of three independent projects slated for this year for me. I love working on smaller films, because people take bigger risks with the script material and characters, so itís really easy to get immersed in a totally different world from the one youíre actually living in. I wanted to share this process to some extent with you guys, because I said I would write from the set of my films to update you, but in so many strange ways, the film begins before the film in many ways. The character is starting way before I ever get on set really, so the lines between filming and life do get a bit blurred on certain movies... well, I guess the ones where the main concern of the producers and directors isnít the monster or the explosions! Yea. That helps as you can well imagine... so Iíve been doing a lot of writing and thought that maybe Iíd share it with you, Iíve transposed it to make it more "reader friendly" of course, but itís close enough to some sort of process that I go through in the midst of preparing for a certain part. So here you go...

.45 is starting...

Itís funny how the leaving behind of me begins; like some ebbing of the tide, slowly but inevitably it is pulled farther and farther away... till all thatís being left in the end... is Pat. Itís not that Iím becoming Pat per se, but this inexorable leaving behind of Milla takes place. It gets easier to leave Millaís habits, concerns, problems, existential crisisí (oh yea, baby) etc... sitting peaceably on that proverbial "shore", as it may. Let them rest (damn it!). Get some air, for Godís sake.

I donít know, itís such a strange gorgeous process, itís a bit hard to describe otherwise. I donít become someone else, because I feel that we all have every personality inside us already, the whole range, the... very scope of human emotion, color, experience... we carry that, like some brightly glowing, constantly spinning sphere, a radiant jewel reflecting the light of our personal, daily experience, whatever that may be; out of our bodies, out of our reactions, hesitations, out of our feelings even! Yes, even my feelings change. Other things tend to come into focus, more often than not. The usual ones go out more... Iím not reacting like myself to things and what I am reacting to is different as well.

I lose a bit of vision for my everyday life and things start to disappear somehow (think Dogville, where people just walk into invisible doors)... I find that (I guess because I have the luxury to go a bit mad and really lose myself... I really start to believe. Itís actually my job to!! Hehe.) I could be walking into any environment and suddenly itís not just me walking anymore, itís Pat... itís Pat dealing with a world thatís, obviously, very different from her own; but still itís her determination, her fears, her insecurities, her existential crisisí (huh. I said that in jest kind of, but what are her existential crisisí about?! Hehe. Anyway.) Itís her world that I carry with me through my days here. Every morning I wake up feeling -deeper- swept into this magical world, where I donít need to think about myself, donít need to feel too much about my own life.

Let me give you the secret to making magic: be ready to put your life down for every choice you make. Hehe. Yea, you see. Did your palms get a little sweaty when I suggested that? Hehe. Thatís magic. Itís scary, but very effective. To have that kind of freedom at your fingertips. Wow. Itís something we can only strive to attain as much as we are aware of it... but just the... smell of it is intoxicating. Itís magnetic, that kind of independence, that fluidity in navigating through life...

Because suddenly, everything that happens to me becomes Patís experience, more so than mine at times! Itís her... fierceness, staring out of my eyes these days. I know it. I can feel it in my bones. Because I have to admit, the Milla of late is one who... well, does not possess the fearlessness that Pat has ("...She reads too much to start with for fuckís sake, filling her head up with so much use less bullshit... "Says Pat with a knowing laugh. "...Who wastes their time reading anything longer than an article in Cosmo when there is a world out there to be conquered... by itís rightful queen. Ha! Yea, thatís right, you got something to say?)

Milla is completely spoiled. A soft, bourgeois bitch. She would never be able to deal with half the crap Pat puts up with on a daily basis.

At least not lately... Milla has been -in the last few years- someone who is so internally driven, and on the other hand funnily enough, so caught up in running from herself and her personal monsters and creating a world in which to run to... without feeling like sheís "wasting time" of course. Duh. But, in the world of Creature Ent, my production company and all the creativity it is home to, itís really easy to. Especially if youíre not lazy. There is always something happening, always something to dive into... From Chris and I getting the rights to one of my favorite books called Falling which my friend Thomas Care just finished writing a phenomenal script for, and, which I just had the most beautiful set of notes sent to me for, by one of my favorite script writers (and novelists) of all time Alexander Stuart (The War Zone).

Carmen and I have been in our dream world of the fall/winter collection, researching, drawing... making, making, making! Weíre opening the Jovovich-Hawk boutique in NY in Sept. í05... I can even put musical ideas on the site and not feel like my music is completely unshared, though I wish I had time to go back in the studio at some point soon... Itís just too much of this self-contained universe, in many ways, itís too damn safe!

(And God! So easy to really let yourself get -way too- caught up in your own bull. Itís true. I feel when our internal world becomes too great, itís maniacal. It could get sociopathic, and has before, many times through history. Itís the psychology of murderers and dictators... and artists; especially artists who never got their break. Watch Cold Case Files and youíll see. They totally believe their own publicity for lack of better words. Their actions and lifestyles reflect such unrealistic associations between themselves and the rest of the world around them! Look at Hitler for one, the Black Dalia Avenger, Man Ray, Marquis De Sade... Anyway, sorry about the going off on tangents! I just really resent when people feel they have this pre-ordained superiority over others, it really makes me scared... and angry. Think what you want, you abominations, but never act upon those evil thoughts. Those selfish, irrational, "surrealist" thoughts. Surrealist my butt.)

So anyway! To make a long story short -which of course is too late- Milla has been cradled in the bosom of sowing and reaping the fruit of her labors, her many years work and now itís time to step off for a while and forget the scared, tiny, inconsequential person she had become. What a relief! Now we can start playing!

Iíve been rehearsing with Angus Mcfadyen -who plays my boyfriend, Ed, in the movie- for the last few weeks and itís been just, out of this world... this new world that weíre creating. Itís so present, our first read-throughs are just happening like nothing, all these different feelings, different depths of emotion, the energy is cracking to the point where weíre like "... whoa! Maybe we should just leave this alone till like the week before shooting, till we get into costume and get into the apartment where Pat and Ed have most of their scenes..." I swear, with some people you can rehearse until the cows come home and there is nothing... no spark, no (taps her nose confidentially) smell of... "yea, this is the truth, this is the real thing". Itís so wonderful to go there like that, because the time just flies like nothing and youíve just spent the whole day without thinking about yourself once or if you do, itís with this funny detachment, like as if from so far away... itís so amazing to just... go somewhere else.

Yea. Itís so good to feel like this again... the last time I felt this way was also on other independent films Iíve done... I mean obviously RE1 and 2, were not meant to be thought of to such detail and depth! Hehe! But I need to do them, on the other hand, as a balance... to train as well. To learn from such incredible athletes, find that physical discipline and control that is so necessary to feel good about yourself... feel like you did your best...

I wanted to quickly update the booklist...

The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton is so simple and startlingly honest. A real picture into the life of... well, a pretty mediocre girl if you ask me. But so beautiful all the same, I mean she is you and I, she is every person who ever had the honesty to admit to themselves that "...no, maybe I didnít do all I could have with the talents god gave me..." Sheís lovely and pathetic and charming... sheís noble, but not enough; cold hearted and scheming, but sadly in some way, too, not enough so. Sheís the quintessential "neither here nor there" and I found A LOT to relate in there. Iím being horribly honest, but when the hell are things ever so black and white I ask you? Are we super heroes every minute of the day, or, in the same breath, are we losers, wretched, pitiable things always, in every action? No. I defy anyone to argue with me on that particular issue. Anyway, some guys would maybe call it a "chick book", but I donít know, I found it a very telling picture of that type of "upper class" society (if you could call them that!) in that period -at the turn of the century- in America.

Vanity Fair by Thackerey, I read, honestly cause of the movie that came out recently, which I have yet to see because I wanted to read the book before I watched it, you know? So anyway, itís funny to read after The House of Mirth cause where the latter is written with utmost simplicity and a matter of fact honesty, the former is Dickensian in itís "...oh, capital, capital! By Jove! Bladda, bladda, bladda..." I mean, it is written with a sense of humour, but I was absolutely bowled over by Thackereyís pretty one-dimensional, misogynistic takes on women! You have on one side of the spectrum Becky, the ill used orphan, not to be trusted because, get this! She has been so badly treated that she is nothing better than a little serpent after all that life long, cruel persecution! Life has been hard to her, which in turn has hardened her and the very fact that she always manages to stay afloat seems in some way offensive to Mr. Thackerey! Better for her to shut herself up in a convent to pay herself back for the horrible life she has led till then! Cold. Hehe. Then you have Amelia, the sweet, selfless, "picture of female perfection" because she chooses to be a doormat for the man who abuses her, but that she loves with " a holy passion" and is loyal to mentally as well as physically until over a decade after his death... Oops! Shouldnít have said that, but I doubt any of you are really gonna take the time to read this friggin book unless youíre as obsessively thorough as I am, to my own detriment! She loves him with complete selflessness until she too is called ungrateful for it! After everything he puts her through, she also has to be humiliated before Dobbin before she realizes that she really loves him! Look, I get it, you canít love a ghost your whole life, but whatís wrong with good old-fashioned mourning anyway? And letís be perfectly frank, I mean it does take Dobbin long enough to finally get the balls to admit to her how serious he is about her, I mean as more than a friend! Whatever, Thackerey definitely didnít leave these girls many options to feel with one way or the other... but, I guess thatís also the beauty of classic literature, one gets to see life from such astoundingly different perspectives... I did find something to relate to about it; that whole-hearted, futile passion Amelia shares for the picture on her wall... it is selfish. And self-indulgent. And these are qualities I want to cut away from myself, in horror, as if they are festering sores, blooming on my once clean skin.

Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabakov. A few things I feel about Nabakov before I tell you about the book. Firstly, heís never been my favorite Russian writer, mostly because of a certain disattachment (I know thatís not a word, but I like it), I felt from him about his own writing... I donít know, he felt cold to the touch, you know? I wasnít left with the exhausted rage of a Dostoevsky, the pathetic, bewildered irony of Kafka or even the emotionally spontaneous, magical realism of Bulgokov. With Nabakov, I was just sort of left feeling like I slept with a dead fish all night kind of... hehe. But then a friend suggested I read Pale Fire and something kind of clicked in my head about our dear Vlad. Itís touching really, because this story to me, is so telling of the author himself, more so than so many books can say of their particular creators. It has so much depth, layer upon layer of complexity as we sail through all these different aspects of one human being... one terribly human being. And, let me tell you, itís a lovely journey, full of difficulties and strewn with obstacles, but then in the midst of all these tempests or on the other hand, days of sailing with no end in sight... you happen upon these veritable oases of literary articulation, nay, exemplification. Sweet, precious jewels disguised as sentences, caging ideas of the most lofty and innocent beauty. Tiny epiphanies explode into supernova of realization and you can only read and re-read that one certain line, till all you can do is weep from the sheer clarity of the almost metaphysical images he has uncovered your eyes and heart to. Pale Fire is in itself a timeless poem, written by a fictional author. The book starts with this 100 line masterpiece. Then as if that were not enough, the poem is then, literally, translated to us by a petty, little professor; a selfish, meaningless tyrant, who has a strange obsession with the author of the poem himself. He has been there with the author for the duration of the poemís composition and has tried in many ways to "inspire" the author with tales of his -the profesorís- homeland. When he finally reads the poem, he is hilariously enraged to find that the author has done nothing of the kind and allows us to see his anger and annoyance, sharing with us the story he feels SHOULD have been the poem. Anyway, seeing the book from the perspective of: all these different people are still Nabakov himself, is very interesting, because in some way it made me understand him as a whole person, the noble and the petty. And no, he is not a "page turner" but, in some way, I feel like good things come to those who wait and he makes you work for those precious jewels... Then, the next logical thought is: He was writing these books IN ENGLISH, not even his first language and you realize why he ends up being so... analytical? I guess. Detached, surgical almost. But so aware of that part of himself thatís... well, lacking I guess.

Whoa, this is getting rather verbose. And I still have a few more books I wanted to talk about... well let me give you one more and then Iíll let you go!

The Fairytales of Herman Hesse. Iím an avid collector of fairytales from all over, but mainly from classic authors. I have Oscar Wildeís already, they are really special, Nathaniel Hawthorneís childrenís stories and such. Well, I was really pleased to add Hesseís to my collection. They are incredibly poignant and sad most of the time, well not sad really, I guess not to a child, cause most of them have happy endings, but if you look at them from a psychological perspective, from an archetypal perspective, you realize the simple truths that are related therein. The cycles that people repeat... no they are really lovely. I highly recommend them, but for adults too! Even more than for the kids really! In the same way that I feel we have to re-read Alice in Wonderland every few years, itís NOT A CHILDRENíS STORY, but a psychological navigation manual! Hehe.

Well, on that note, Iíll take my leave of you. Thanks for reading till the end, those who are reading these words now and Iíll write again when I canít take it anymore and the words come tumbling unto the sweet plateau of your understanding... uuummm. Ok, Iíll stop now. Bye.

-milla



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