There is approximately one time out of the year that completely throws your vibe off:
Spring Break.

If you're a college student, it starts the Friday you get out. Suddenly the halls become a bit quieter, the streets become eerily deserted, and you can finally think for the first time in weeks. But this period of time is completely different than winter break or summer break - because you know that it only lasts a week. You aren't going home to eggnog and cookies or riding your bike to your summer job. If you're staying where you are, it's completely unsettling.  

Most of my friends got a Greyhound ticket back home, a few on grander adventures, but I stayed here. It was mostly grey, a balmy 30 degrees out, but it gave me time to reflect on life. It's almost scary, how accustomed you become to driving yourself into the ground. Not just with school work, but just with the modes of everyday life. The stillness you happen upon over spring break doesn't quite put you at ease, it just offers you a new perspective. 

(Spring Breakers dir. Harmony Korine)

Over break I was fascinated with this feeling of stillness. I started to remember the times I felt it while watching certain movies.  For example Spring Breakers directed by Harmony Korine. People shit on this movie all of the time (for good and bad reasons), but I think a big reason why I connected to this film so much was the entity of stillness that was captured by Korine. You got the sense of the desperation that comes along with realizing how slow life is when you aren't preoccupied with things. Those fixed frame shots of the empty dorms spoke to my freakin soul. You realize that these places you are so accustomed to are merely shells that are occupied for nine months out of the year. I also realized how essential Cliff Martinez and Skrillex were to this film. They composed the most delicate and omniscient soundtrack music (Park Smoke) that makes you feel so damn melancholy. 

(Adventureland dir. Greg Mottola) 

Then there was that one scene from the end of Adventureland (2009) directed by Greg Mottola (see Film Muse here). It's a short scene, but ethereal nonetheless. The movie is about this rich college kid who decides to get a dumpy summer job at a local amusement park in 1987. The whole movie glows with that certain alliance you create with your coworkers. You know, the "Us vs. The World" type of thing. But this scene just got to me. Their summer job is over and now they have nothing to do really except shoot fireworks on top of a hill. It's all grey outside. It's too still. 

(The Virgin Suicides dir. Sofia Coppola)

Getting progressively sadder, you have The Virgin Suicides (1999) directed by Sofia Coppola. I picked up Jeffrey Eugenides' book over break, hoping to gain some nostalgia from when I first read it. I forgot how beautiful it was, I couldn't fathom it. The book itself is the epitome of ever lasting stillness, exaggerated memories of the Lisbon sisters and open ended questions. I sat around for a good whole day perplexed as to how Coppola captured it all so well. One of the last scenes of the movie shows the house of the Lisbon family. It's vacated and so lonely. Everything is draped in a cool hue of blue, the walls painted plainly. Carpet stains line the floor, even though signs of life left it long ago. It also reminded me of the Spring Breakers dorm shots, how home is just a structure that you live in until you don't.

The Virgin Suicides has best soundtrack of all time, too. AIR beautifully accompanies the hollow feelings of the film, the soundtrack itself deserves a whole other blogpost:
Empty House - by AIR

(Kurt Cobain's aunt in Kurt & Courtney dir. Nick Broomfield)

Then this. This scene I wrote about in my Film Muse of Kurt & Courtney (1998) (see Film Muse here). The film is a documentary surrounding the life of Kurt Cobain. The whole movie is a total downer - if you're into that kind of stuff. What got me was that one of their main interviewees was Kurt Cobain's aunt who still lives in the same house that Kurt used to jam out in as a toddler. She shares old recordings of him singing Beatles songs. She plays the stereo with a huge smile (cross quilt hanging proudly in the background) but still manages to look so goddamn sad. You can tell she is a nice Christian lady who occasionally whips out an acoustic guitar at campfires, but something is eternally off. Like she is still deeply missing Kurt after all of these years, replaying old memories, even though she looks fine and happy in her denim on denim ensemble. 

Well damn. This got a whole lot deeper than I intended it to. But I think it's important to dwell on these moments. I wouldn't have thought about all of this stuff if I went on a trip to Hawaii-kiki. Anyways, I suppose I should study for my midterm tomorrow. Happy Spring Break. 

Lauren Rose
Curbside Fashion


  1. Totally catching your vibe, girl. You managed to articulate exactly what I've been feeling!

    1. Punk rock \m/
      Thank you for your comment.
      -Lauren Rose

  2. *Introspection by MGMT plays in the background* Sometime being alone is a great time think your deepest thoughts and also a great time to observe your location. I have this memory of myself ia few years ago during spring break and i was all by myself (home alone pun inserted here) and all i remmember doing was listening to best coast,wavves, and neon indian, and watching Jimmy fallon late at night . while some of my friends/ siblings went off to other places for the holiday. I also remember how bright the sunshine was but how sort of melancholy but hauntingly beautiful the shadows and the stillness was. This was also around a time that i started taking more walks outdoors and really getting close with nature, sorry i got all nostalgic for a moment this post had hit the "memory-core" of my brain lol. I really love the cinematography and your thoughts about stillness. :)
    My goals include owning that womans quilt and that denim on denim ensemble (daniel blumberg aint got nothin on Kurts auntie haha)
    Best Wishes! <3 :)


  3. Life after college has a lot of that stillness, especially if you major in something that doesn't lead directly to a job straight away. It can be very unsettling, the expansiveness of time and possibility, until it feels like you can't grab ahold of it, and it slips away into monotony. When you exit "the system" of school and growing up, what are you supposed to do?

    That's a rhetorical question, but it's good to contemplate, and it's what I'm trying to figure out. Thanks for the post :)


  4. My spring break was about two weeks ago, now, but I still understand this post so much. About half way through I started to really think about what this dorm is to me and how every time I go back to my house it feels less and less like my home. I'm getting a legitimate apartment next year and I don't even know how to react to the whole notion that I am an adult now. There is a certain stillness that washes over you when you really take a step back and look at things; it's so haunting but beautiful. Thank you for this amazing post.


  5. Once again Lauren, another post that displays your intellect and one that I relate to very well! As somebody who chose to never have the college experience and moved out of my parents around the same time I would have been in some dormitory or apartment here's what I say:
    I agree with Hannah that life will have many moments of 'stillness' - whether it's for an hour or for many months. Working a day job and sticking to the same daily routine can be absolutely draining to your soul (no matter how positive you are as a person), resulting in monotony and dissatisfaction. I remember many times asking myself, "When will life happen?" In certain ways, I suppose I still feel the same, even though I know intellectually the answer to this of course is that life IS happening and it always has been (existence of the universe doesn't revolve around me and my own thoughts). However, once understood that all life is connected by the same universal consciousness, how could I focus on my own negative energy knowing that it will go to someone/something else in one way or another? My last job forced me to make peace with myself and my life in many ways. Now I no longer work there. I get to be my own boss and run my own vape lounge doing what I love to do every day: being with people, reading, writing, listening to/making music. That's what I call karma. Stillness is a blessing and is absolutely essential to figuring out who you are and what life means to you. One day sooner than both you and I think, we will wake up and see aged adults in the mirror. Life is what you make of it, so make it a good one (Doc Emmett Brown quote?). I have full faith in you that you will do life up! Peace and love, Yishai.
    PS. Come visit me sometime at my shop in St. Paul! I will be opening the doors to the public probably by mid-week. I would love to have the opportunity to converse with you, and I will totally hook you up for free with a nice setup (if your interested) for all the good work you've done.

  6. Favorite film blog? if you follow any of course