Chiaki Creates

The human mind, old films, literature, art and design.


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September goals

September Goals | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.com○ Ask for a therapy referral.

○ Eat more salads.

○ Start regularly putting money into my savings account again.

○ Read every day that I’m not working.

○ Dye my hair orange again. (It’s currently red by accident.)

○ Find a new place to live.

○ Get dolled up more often.

○ Work on managing my anxiety.

○ Review my short term and long term goals.

○ Walk for at least an hour every day.


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5 amazing revenge films

The urge to take revenge is a visceral reaction to feeling hurt or wronged, but most of us don’t act on it because intellectually we know that it won’t make things better. Therefore, it can be liberating to watch someone else take revenge on a screen. Here are my five favourite revenge flicks.5 Amazing Revenge Films | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comDalkomhan Insaeng (A Bittersweet Life)
South Korean action (2005)

The original title translates as ‘the sweet life’. Lee Byung-hun plays a gangster who unintentionally starts an irreversible war with his gang after refusing to follow his boss’ orders to kill his mistress. It’s stylish and bloody and everything a revenge film should be but what makes this film special is Lee’s outstanding performance. He’s also in I Saw the Devil (2010), another excellent revenge film. He does revenge extraordinary well.5 Amazing Revenge Films | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comThriller – en grym film (Thriller: A Cruel Picture)
Swedish exploitation film (1973)

The first Swedish film I write about is of course an exploitation flick from the 70s. It’s also known as They Call Her One Eye and Hooker’s Revenge. Madeleine is sexually assaulted as a child and is so traumatised by it that it makes her mute. One day, she gets kidnapped after accepting a ride from a man called Tony and he forces her into heroin addiction and prostitution. Madeleine decides to train as an assassin to take revenge on those who have wronged her. When this film was made, porn was being liberalised in Sweden which explains why there are hardcore porn scenes edited into it. Quentin Tarantino loves this film and drew heavily on it for Kill Bill (2003/2004).5 Amazing Revenge Films | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comDeath Proof
American action exploitation horror film (2007)

Quentin Tarantino’s part of the double feature Grindhouse. Stuntman Mike uses his “death proof” stunt car to murder young women by causing car accidents. One day he messes with the wrong trio of women and they come after him. The stuntwoman Zoë Bell (who doubled for Uma Thurman in Kill Bill) plays herself and performs her own stunts. Rose McGowan is one of my favourite women and she’s always a joy to watch. To me, this is Tarantino’s purest film. It’s gritty in the style of 70s exploitation films that were shown in grindhouse theatres and the film was intentionally damaged to make it look like that. The story echoes Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965). The other part of Grindhouse is the zombie flick Planet Terror directed by Robert Rodriguez. The films are joined together by brilliant faux trailers that evoke the old exploitation drive-in classics.5 Amazing Revenge Films | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comChinjeolhan geumjassi (Sympathy for Lady Vengeance)
South Korean suspense thriller (2005)

Part three of Park Chan-wook’s Vengeance Trilogy. After spending more than 13 years in prison for the kidnapping and murder of a little boy, Lee Guem-ja goes after the man who was really responsible. This is a dark film about revenge, emotional pain and how time can actually deepen wounds, so Park’s usual black humour is very welcome. His use of symbols and metaphors is wonderful, and the way that light and colour is used makes this film visually stunning. Also, watch Oldboy (2003), part two of Park Chan-wook’s Vengeance Trilogy.5 Amazing Revenge Films | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comThe Crow
American fantasy action (1994)

On Devil’s Night, Eric and his fiancée Sarah are attacked by a crazy gang in their flat. Sarah is raped and murdered, and Eric falls through a window to his death. A year after their deaths, a crow brings him back from the dead so that he can methodically exact revenge on the gang members one by one. The Crow is most known for being the film that Brandon Lee, Bruce Lee’s son, was killed during the making of. Despite what stubborn rumours say, his death is not in the film. The soundtrack is beautiful, featuring The Cure and a Nine Inch Nails cover of Joy Division’s Dead Souls. This film is the wet dream of every 90s goth.

How about you? Do you have any favourite revenge films?


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Taking stock

Taking Stock | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comEnjoying: extended time with my family and friends in Sweden.
Listening: to the Swedish investigative true crime podcast #Fallet.
Wearing: floral clothes from my favourite Swedish shop, INDISKA.
Making: time for reading.
Cooking: tacos with girls I went to school with.
Drinking: strawberry ProViva, a Swedish probiotic fruit drink.
Feeling: loved.
Reading: The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer.
Looking: into courses and funding. Still.
Wishing: that I could live in Brighton and in Sweden at the same time.
Liking: sleeping in a comfortable bed.
Snacking: on cinnamon chocolate almonds.
Coveting: books I want to read.
Hearing: how much my brother sounds like our dad on the phone.
Learning: lots about myself.
Loving: Swedes’ tendency to make the most of things and to let things take their time.
Watching: The Nightmare and rubbish horror films with my best friend.
Admiring: Shirley Manson. Always.
Getting: super excited about seeing my friends when I’m back in Brighton.
Wondering: what my life will be like in a year’s time.
Playing: with my friends’ cats.
Noticing: that this time in Sweden is making me remember who I really am.
Deciding: on plan B and working on plan A.
Wanting: my own house because I really miss having a place to call home.
Thinking: about the future.
Knowing: that I can do whatever I want.

Taking Stock is a feature inspired by the lovely Pip of Meet Me At Mike’s.


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Lately, according to my phone: Sweden edition

I’ve been in Sweden visiting friends and family for almost 4 weeks now and I’m savouring every moment of it. I’ve been catching up with people who I haven’t seen in years and I’ve paid several visits to my favourite Swedish shop INDISKA. Most importantly, I’ve had no responsibilities and I’ve been allowed to just be. Something that I haven’t been able to do for years. Though I didn’t see it at the time, I suffered from learned helplessness during my last 4 years in London. Being around loving, supportive people in Brighton and in Sweden is making me remember who I really am. I’m a strong, assertive woman who goes after what she wants and does what makes her happy, no matter what. No one can tell me what to do. Isn’t it wonderful what love is capable of?

Lately, According to My Phone: Sweden Edition | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comWatched The Enfield Haunting with my best friend and her cat.
Chanterelles, the gold of the forest.Lately, According to My Phone: Sweden Edition | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comBefore attending a Birthday party for a girl I met at art school.
A few beautiful things. Love my brother’s Buddha statue!Lately, According to My Phone: Sweden Edition | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comI’m always struck by my hometown’s beauty when I visit.
Went to INDISKA and got a top, an open tunic, a dress and trousers in the sale.Lately, According to My Phone: Sweden Edition | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comBlueberries straight from the forest.
The Swedish countryside is so beautiful and serene.Lately, According to My Phone: Sweden Edition | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comBefore attending a dinner party with girls I went to school with.
Love the fact that you can buy mochi ice cream and Pocky in my tiny hometown.Lately, According to My Phone: Sweden Edition | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comWent to INDISKA again and couldn’t leave without this gorgeous maxi dress.
A Happy Buddha on a sunny Friday afternoon.


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These are some of my favourite books

Chiaki Creates - These Are Some of My Favourite Books chiakicreates.comStiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
If you’re interested in the history of body snatching or want to know about how cadavers are being used as crash test dummies, this is the book for you. It covers everything you need to know about what happens to our bodies after death. This informative and hilarious book made a boring cruise on The Baltic Sea infinitely better. If you enjoy this book, read Cemetery Stories: Haunted Graveyards, Embalming Secrets, and the Life of a Corpse by Katherine Ramsland.

Now You’re One of Us by Asa Nonami
A woman marries into a family with dark secrets and rather peculiar rituals. That’s all I’m going to say about the plot. This novel has the same feel as Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, which is also on this list, and one of my all-time favourite books, Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin. I maintain that this novel will haunt me forever.

The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin
Joanna Eberhart is a free spirited photographer and mother who is convinced by her husband to move to Stepford. The housewives of Stepford are strangely submissive and Joanna soon starts to realise that something is very, very wrong. This is as good as satirical thrillers get. I adore Ira Levin and I also highly recommend his thrillers Sliver, A Kiss Before Dying and of course, Rosemary’s Baby.

We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
Through letters to her estranged husband, Eva tries to understand what drove her son to commit a school massacre. She wonders how much her ambivalence towards motherhood complicated Kevin’s development. The book also focuses on environmental effects on character and behaviour. I was blown away by this powerful portrayal of psychopathy in children, although Kevin of course doesn’t get an actual diagnosis of psychopathy in the book. As someone who once dated a psychopath and don’t use the term lightly, I found this book well researched, realistic and very emotional. Don’t bother with the film adaptation though.

The Atrocity Exhibition by J.G. Ballard
An experimental collection of “condensed novels”. The fragmentation style the book is written in echoes the cut-up technique popularised by William S. Burroughs who Ballard greatly admired. Burroughs also inspired David Bowie who since the early 70s has used this technique to create some of his lyrics, as well as Genesis P-Orridge who was taught how to use it to alter reality by Burroughs. Ballard is an acquired taste and this book is certainly not for everyone. Ballard’s novel Crash is fantastic too. It’s an easier read so you might want to start there if you’re new to Ballard.

Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
This tragic novel follows the lives of three women over the course of 20 years as they rise to fame and subsequently fall into self destruction. Dolls is a euphemism for pills, as the women are clinging to pills for comfort like a child would to a doll. It also refers to the women in the novel being treated like toys by the patriarchal world. The film adaptation from 1967 starring Sharon Tate, is well worth a watch.

Grotesque by Natsuo Kirino
The story of three Japanese women unfolds through a first-person confessional, diary entries, letters and documentation in perfect composition. It’s a psychological investigation that takes the reader into the darkest places of the human psyche. It deals with disturbing subjects such as prostitution, murder, cruelty, violence, hatred and jealousy. My obsession with the darker side of contemporary Japanese society compelled me to read this stunning work of noir fiction. I’m so glad I did because Natsuo Kirino has such a unique voice.

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
A naive young woman marries a wealthy widower that she meets while on holiday and swiftly moves into his Cornwall mansion Manderley. It soon becomes clear that the first wife, who died in a boating accident one year prior, is still very much in the picture. Read this classic novel, then watch Alfred Hitchcock’s beautiful adaptation of Rebecca from 1943. Daphne du Maurier was a fantastic writer who knew how to instantly create an atmosphere. Hitchcock’s The Birds is very loosely based on a short story by Maurier. Other notable stories include Don’t Look Now, The Apple Tree and Kiss Me Again, Stranger.

Piercing by Ryū Murakami
A raw intense psychosexual thriller. Murakami has a way of sucking you in with his voices of the deranged in Tokyo’s seedy nightlife. His graphic depictions of violence are always suitably shocking. He refuses to look away from emotional pain. This brutal commentary on Japanese society and study in the consequences of child abuse is very difficult to put down. Murakami’s In the Miso Soup reads like American Psycho set in Japan. Cute fact: Ryū Murakami once gave his friend Haruki Murakami a cat called Kirin.

How about you? What are some of your favourite books?


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Style direction: She lives on Love Street

Leaving London and everything unhealthy behind gave me a sense of freedom, and with it came a new style direction. I feel like I’ve been let out of prison and I want to celebrate my new-found independence and my increasing self-confidence. I want to sing and dance in a field of wild flowers so it makes complete sense that my style is going in the direction it is.Style Direction: She Lives On Love Street | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comInspirations
“She lives on Love Street” is of course the first line of Love Street by The Doors. It’s the perfect name for my new style direction as I’m heavily influenced by Jim Morrison’s muse, Pamela Courson. For a while, I’ve noticed myself moving away from the swinging 60s towards the psychedelic late 60s and the super bright early 70s. I’m reconnecting with Mother Earth and searching inside myself for something deeper. I’m also connecting with my glam rock flower child mother who brought me up to love David Bowie and The Doors, so it makes sense to go back to her roots.

Free-spirited. Flowy. Layers. Fringe. Lace.

Colours
Shades of blue – cornflower, aqua, cyan, robin egg, azure, turquoise; shades of green – spring, mint, kelly, sea foam and of course lots of yellow, bright orange, candy pink and silver.Style Direction: She Lives On Love Street | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comPrints
Floral, geometric, paisley, op art, psychedelic and anything Marimekko.

Trademarks
I’m letting my ginger bob grow but I’m keeping my big long rounded fringe. I still wear my hair in an Anna Karina half up bouffant every now and then but I want more texture and curls. Makeup is minimalistic with mascara and a light shimmery eye shadow if any at all. I’ve grown my eyebrows out and I’m still figuring out what to do with them.Style Direction: She Lives On Love Street | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comEssential pieces
Psychedelic maxi dresses and floral tunics, Breton tops and high waist a-line skirts, shift and babydoll dresses, solid coloured vest tops and printed flowy skirts, kimonos and scarf dresses, printed 60s blouses and retro swimsuits, sailor coat and fringed cardigans.Style Direction: She Lives On Love Street | Chiaki Creates chiakicreates.comEssential accessories
Floral scarves and oversized 60s sunglasses, vintage fabric bags with circular handles and printed tote bags, floppy hats and floral crowns, chandelier earrings and long necklaces with crescent moons and elephants, handmade brooches and wide braided belts.

Essential footwear
Swedish clog sandals, strappy sandals, tan Chelsea boots and as often as possible, bare feet.

How about you? Do you write style directions or keep a mood board to help you visualise your personal style?

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