Page 2 July 16, 2020
You Can Literally Choose Your Family, in
Werner Herzog’s Family Romance, LLC
By Morgan Rojas for cinemacy.com
Romance is a business in Herzog’s latest,
Family Romance, LLC. Inspired by
the phenomenon of renting actors to act
as stand-ins during important events in the
lives of their clients, the real-life Japanese
company Family Romance has capitalized
on a very niche market. “Family rentals”
sound insane – because they are – but
Herzog humanizes this need for connection
and compassion. In one scenario, a single
mother rents a father, played by Family
Romance’s founder Yuichi Ishii, to have an
ongoing relationship with her preteen daughter
Mahiro (Mahiro Tanimoto). Mahiro never
met her real father, and this gives her the
opportunity to feel a father’s love, even if it’s
fabricated. The intention behind this rental
is sweet, but things become more unsettling
when actors are hired to play paparazzi for
a wannabe social media influencer looking
for fame, or a rail worker renting a standin
to accept a reprimanding lecture by his
boss. The whole thing is so bizarre but we
can’t look away.
A self-proclaimed return to “his filmmaking
as a young man,” Family Romance,
LLC has the aesthetic and authenticity of a
documentary, it shocked me to discover that
this is actually scripted. Leaning towards
mumblecore, even. We’re not getting any
classic Herzog narration here or spontaneous
moments, although it may feel like it,
this film is pure fiction (although the human
for hire agency is, in fact, very real). This
directorial approach creates what feels like
a documentary/soap opera hybrid, bringing
up a mixture of emotions that range from
intrigue to uneasiness to fascination.
Family Romance is in the business of creating
illusions to make their clients’ lives better.
However, those lines become blurred when
real emotions start to develop, and “acting
the part” starts becoming more harmful than
helpful. By the end of the film, Herzog begs
the question: How much is “fake” sometimes
necessary for human survival?
Streaming on MUBI (now offering a 7-day
free trial at mubi.com) •
Family Romance, LLC , courtesy of MUBI.
Chronologically Gifted; Wire
Your Brain for Happiness
By Lauren Mahakian
People who care for loved ones with dementia,
especially when those loved ones are relatives,
are often also concerned about whether they
will develop dementia themselves. While research
continues to study the disease, especially
Alzheimer’s disease, most researchers believe
the disease develops from multiple factors,
including genetics, lifestyle and environment.
Simply put, just because your loved one has
the disease does not necessarily mean you will
also develop symptoms.
Even if you have a family history of dementia,
a healthy lifestyle and environment might avoid
symptoms later in life. Common factors identified
in lifestyle include diet and exercise, along
with drinking less alcohol and not smoking. To
achieve this, however, is challenging for some
and quite natural for others. The difference, in
my years of practice, is often rooted in one
elusive emotion: happiness.
Happiness empowers people to take better care
of themselves. They are better able to eat well,
to exercise, and break bad habits around smoking
and alcohol consumption, not to mention they
live with less stress, anxiety, and depression
than those who choose to not be happy.
You see, happiness is not something we
are born into, and it certainly isn’t earned by
success. Many successful or wealthy people
are also unhappy and depressed. We see it
among famous people, but it happens just as
often to those out of the limelight. Then you
run into someone with almost nothing who
seems downright happy? How can this be?
Ultimately, happiness is a choice we each
must make for ourselves. We have to choose to
be happy, with what we have or what we have
earned, and do what we enjoy. Happiness can
be learned, but it takes some discipline. Many
of us have to work at happiness. Fortunately,
there are things we can all do to wire our
brains for happiness.
Practice Gratitude. Perhaps the lynchpin to happiness
is practicing gratitude, be grateful for what
we have and not obsessed over what we don’t
have. Studies have shown that, on average, those
who routinely practice gratitude have stronger
immune systems, decreased amounts of chronic
pain, lower blood pressure, and are generally
happier than those who do not. How we practice
gratitude is largely a matter of personal choice,
but one way to get started is to start a gratitude
journal. Grab any notebook or blank journal and
develop the habit of writing down what you are
grateful for. Making a point of writing at least one
thing a day is a great place to start. The simple
act of writing down your experiences or emotions
can enrich them and help your brain absorb it.
Focus on the present. Don’t stress over what
you haven’t accomplished. Accept yourself for
what you have experienced, good and bad. If
you have negative emotions around part of your
past, realize those experiences made you the
person you are today, so find ways to accept
who you are in the here and now.
Commit to meaningful goals. Everyone
responds to goals if they are meaningful and
achievable. This is true in workplaces, but they
are also meaningful in our personal lives. Setting
even small goals that are achievable within our
means, and then working to achieve them is
one way to move the needle toward happiness.
Develop meaningful social connections. This
is perhaps the easiest to achieve in the near
term, because of the prevalence of social media
to maintain relationships, and yet those same
media make it hard to keep relationships meaningful.
Take time to weed your social garden.
Yes, you want diversity in your social streams
to avoid living in an echo chamber but avoiding
those who are incessantly negative can also help
maintain a positive trend toward happiness.
Finally, take care of your mind, body, and
spirit. Focus on and maintain what you have,
not worrying about what you don’t. These are
key lessons from those happy people around
us. Let’s not lose sight of them by focusing
on what’s not there.
Lauren Mahakian is a certified Dementia
Practitioner and offers a free podcast,
Unlocking the Doors of Dementia™ with
Lauren. Visit familyconnectcare.com for
more information. •
“Happiness is when what you think, what
you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
– Mahatma Gandhi
El Segundo Herald*
Hawthorne Press Tribune*
Inglewood Daily News*
EL SEGUNDO OFFICE • 500 Center St. • El Segundo • CA • 90245
Phone: (310) 322-1830 • www.heraldpublications.com
Staff and Departments
Editor-in-Chief: Heidi Maerker
Classifieds: Clara Nilles • email@example.com
DBA: Debbie Waite • firstname.lastname@example.org
For Fictitious Business Name (DBAs) filings
Display Ad Sales: Debbie Waite • email@example.com
Graphic Design: Michael Gonzales • firstname.lastname@example.org
Legals: Debbie Waite • email@example.com
Letters to the Editor: firstname.lastname@example.org
Marketing: Debbie Waite • email@example.com
Press Releases: firstname.lastname@example.org
For press releases, Herald In travel photos and general photos
Real Estate: Clara Nilles • email@example.com
For new realtors, contracts, ads
Website contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
For comments or announcements (weddings, engagements, obituaries)
* Our newspapers are adjudicated of general circulation accordance with the laws of California. El Segundo Herald, Case Number 372819;
Hawthorne Press Tribune, Case Number 187530; Inglewood Daily News, Case Number 601550; Lawndale Tribune, Case Number 479346.
The deadline for Classified Ad submission and payment is Noon on Tuesday to appear in Thursday’s paper. Advertisements must be
submitted in writing by mail, fax or email. You may pay by cash, check, or credit card (Visa or M/C over the phone).
Errors: Please check your advertisements immediately. Any corrections and/or changes in an ad must be requested prior to the following
Tuesday deadline in order to receive a credit. A credit will be issued for only the first time the error appears. Multiple runs will only
be credited for the first time the error appears. No credit will be issued for an amount greater than the cost of the advertisement.
Beware: Employment offers that suggest guaranteed out-of-state or overseas positions may be deceptive or unethical in nature. If
you have any doubts about the nature of a company, contact the local office of the Better Business Bureau, (213) 251-9696. Herald
Publications does not guarantee that the advertiser’s claims are true nor does it take responsibility for those claims.
Software Developer II (.NET)
(Torrance, CA and client sites)
Design, Develop and implement
web-based applications. Prepare
design documents, perform program
coding and testing. Bachelor’s degree
or equivalent in Computer Science or
related field required. 3 years of work
experience required. Required Skills:
3 years in C#, and 2 years in MVC,
Web API, REST, HTML5, JQuery, and
SQL Server, Asp.Net. Mail resume
to Numentica LLC, 3868 W Carson
St Suite 300, Torrance, CA, 90503.
Part-time Sales. Looking for motivated
part-time workers. Inside sales: work
from home and make sales calls.
15% commission on all sales. Outside
sales: territories are Torrance and
El Segundo. Includes walking and
interacting with business owners. 20%
commission on all sales. Seniors and
students welcome. Send resume to
WANTED. Vinyl, vinyl, vinyl
records, anything musical.
sewing machines, military, silver,
Japan, records, stamps, coins,
jewelry, Chinese, ANYTHING.
Buy/Sell/Trade. We sell for you on
EBAY. Studio Antiques, El Segundo.
for twenty words or less.
or call 310-322-1830
for more information.