Friday, February 29, 2008

Left Alone at the Office

Today is the 29th day of February.
According to my earlier post, I should be in Bali now with my colleagues. Maybe having a buffet lunch in a hotel or something.
But I'm at the office now.

Earlier this week, my heart felt like it's about to explode.
I can't hardly breathe, and my chest was in pain.
So my sister took me to a cardiologist, and I had EKG test, treadmill, roentgen, echo, everything.
But it turned out that my lungs and my heart were OK.
So where did the pain come from?
Still a mystery.

Captured using my sis' cell phone

My mom (get well soon Mom!) forbid me to go to Bali today, so here I am, at the office, alone..
I'm allowed to work but not allowed to go on vacation?
[Well, at least the bandwidth is all mine!]

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Coming Soon

Well, not too soon since it's still in post-production (and some parts are still in production). But the editing is already 90% completed. I'm still fixing the sound and composing the music. Hopefully it will be ready by March.

There are many "3" in this short film.
3 character.
3 cities.
3 countries.
3 crews.
3 actors.
3 stories.
But only 1 problem.
What is it?

Will post the trailer on youtube soon.

Friday, February 15, 2008

My Oscar Predictions

Actually I haven't watched Atonement, There Will Be Blood, Michael Clayton, and many others. But it's just for fun anyway. So, here they are:

Best Motion Picture of the Year
No Country for Old Men (2007): Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, Scott Rudin
Another masterpiece from Coen Brothers. Superb in every category (except music, it doesn't have any). Black horse: Juno.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Daniel Day-Lewis for There Will Be Blood (2007)
The easiest category to predict. Day-Lewis will take the Oscar home, though Viggo Mortensen has a terrific performance in Eastern Promises.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Marion Cotillard for Môme, La (2007)
Just saw La Mome last night. Terrific performance and lots of Oscar worthy scenes.. And she just won the BAFTA. I think it's either her, or Ellen Page in Juno.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Javier Bardem for No Country for Old Men (2007)
Scary Anton Chigurh. That single scene in the gas station alone will get him an Oscar.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Ruby Dee for American Gangster (2007)
Oscar likes to give a nod to senior actors. Ruby Dee has a great scene as Denzel Washington's mom in American Gangster. Black Horse: Amy Ryan in Gone Baby Gone.

Best Achievement in Directing

Ethan Coen, Joel Coen for No Country for Old Men (2007)
Either them, or P.T. Anderson for There Will Be Blood. But they just won the Director's Guild Award, so they will have bigger chance.

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

Juno (2007): Diablo Cody
A very smart and original script. Uncommon and funny dialogs and the scenes flow like water..

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published
No Country for Old Men (2007): Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Love the dialogs, and the great aftermath scenes that make my imagination works. And especially, the ending.

Best Achievement in Cinematography
No Country for Old Men (2007): Roger Deakins
Just pay attention to those quiet opening scenes..

Best Achievement in Editing
No Country for Old Men (2007): Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Maybe it will go to The Bourne Ultimatum (since it's the most edited). But I'll vote for No Country. I really like the pace of the film..

Best Achievement in Art Direction

Atonement (2007): Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer
I think Atonement should get an Oscar, if not, it will be an upset. And being a very beautiful film, I think it will get it in this category.

Best Achievement in Costume Design
Môme, La (2007): Marit Allen
Jumping from one era to another very seamlessly (so strange it doesn't get a nomination in editing). Thanks to the costume designer for it.

Best Achievement in Makeup
Môme, La (2007): Didier Lavergne, Jan Archibald Actually I hate that thin eyebrows of Marion Cotillard here. But, that is Edith Piaf. That is her trade mark. The Oscar will go to La Mome for changing the pretty Marion Cotillard to an almost fifty, cancer-ill, near-death Piaf.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score
Ratatouille (2007): Michael Giacchino This is personal choice. I like the touch of french music here with that accordions. And lately, the academy didn't give an Oscar for a 'standard' orchestral score, but to a more traditional/ethnic ones like Frida, Brokeback Mountain, and Babel. Though, if that's the case, The Kite Runner and 3:10 To Yuma has equal chance.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song
Once (2006): Glen Hansard, Markéta Irglová(“Falling Slowly”)
Either Falling Slowly in Once, or Raise It Up in August Rush.

Best Achievement in Sound
Ratatouille (2007): Randy Thom, Michael Semanick, Doc Kane
Felt like actually in Paris when watching the animated Ratatouille? The recorded sounds are including actual Parisians speaking French in the background of some scenes.

Best Achievement in Sound Editing
No Country for Old Men (2007): Skip Lievsay
One thing that really contributes to the scary Anton Chigurgh's character is that air-tank cattle gun sound "ch-chung".

Best Achievement in Visual Effects
The Golden Compass (2007): Michael L. Fink, Bill Westenhofer, Ben Morris, Trevor Wood
Though Transformer is really great (and the sound department also), but the visual effects are mostly in high speed movements that my eyes can't see. So I choose the superb daemons visualization in The Golden Compass.

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year
Ratatouille (2007): Brad Bird
Firstly, I think the nominees should be Ratatouille, Persepolis, and Simpsons The Movie. Persepolis is a rare and really good film with great message. And Simpsons made 2D happening again. But if we talk about animation, 2007 is all about Ratatouille. Pixar might lost with Cars, but not with Ratatouille. Love that rat!

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year
Fälscher, Die (2007)(Austria)
The most controversial category this year. There are no 4 Month, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days, Persepolis, Lust, Caution, and La Mome in the category. Even there is no Le Scaphandre et le papillon, which is nominated also for Best Director. The rumor is that the jury members that actually watched the whole official entry for the category are retirees who are not active in the academy anymore. And they didn't really like films about abortion and a rebellious Iranian girl. But if I have to choose one from the nominees, I'll choose The Counterfeiters from Austria.

Best Documentary, Features
No End in Sight (2007): Charles Ferguson, Audrey Marrs
Sicko is the most talked about documentary this year (due to Michael Moore factor). And the issue is very important. But I heard that No End in Sight is an important documentary about the Iraq invasion. So it's either the two of them.

So, this year, I think No Country For Old Men, La Mome, and Ratatouille will get the most Oscars, and There Will Be Blood will only get one despite its 8 nominations.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Fall: Visual Edan

Lima orang berjubah warna-warni terdampar di sebuah pulau kecil. Sangat kecil. Lalu seekor binatang darat yang sangat besar, yang tidak biasanya main ke laut, tiba-tiba berenang menyelamatkan mereka.

Itu adalah salah satu adegan dalam film The Fall, film kedua Tarsem Singh setelah The Cell, yang juga gila secara visual.

Mungkin banyak yang kritis dan mengatakan bahwa The Fall hanyalah kumpulan gambar-gambar cantik tanpa plot yang jelas. Namun buktinya saya sangat terbuai dengan ceritanya.

Ber-setting di sebuah rumah sakit, Alexandria, anak 5 tahun yang patah tangannya saat bekerja memetik jeruk, bertemu dengan Roy, seorang stuntman yang patah kaki karena surat untuk suster yang Alexandria 'terbangkan', nyasar dan malah sampai ke Roy.

Roy dan Alexandria bertemu, dan Roy menceritakan sebuah kisah tentang 5 bandit yang bersatu untuk membalas dendam. Alexandria memvisualisasikan cerita itu menggunakan orang-orang yang ada di rumah sakit, termasuk dirinya sendiri dan Roy. Itulah bagian absurd dari film ini yang mencengangkan secara visual.

Mungkin mirip dongeng. Hanya saja dongengnya lebih untuk sisi anak-anak pada diri orang dewasa, daripada untuk anak-anak betulan. Dari segi musik pun film ini megah walau memakai melodi yang sama dan diulang-ulang (memang seharusnya begitu).

Satu hal yang perlu disinggung adalah, ada satu adegan yang sangat membuat bangga orang Indonesia, sekaligus sangat malu, karena kenapa belum ada film Indonesia yang punya adegan itu. Meskipun, sebetulnya perlu disangsikan juga kenapa adegan itu ada, dan apakah benar tari Kecak mempunyai efek menyembuhkan?

Namun nonton film ini nggak perlu mikir sebetulnya. Karena kita terus-menerus dibuai oleh cerita antah berantah yang sangat seru, dan, terutama, gambar-gambar yang spektakuler itu.

Yang membuat saya heran juga adalah, dialog-dialog film ini, terutama percakapan antara Roy dan Alexandria, seolah-olah tidak ada skrip-nya dan diucapkan secara spontan oleh aktor-aktornya. Khususnya si kecil Alexandria, yang aktingnya luar biasa untuk ukuran orang dewasa sekalipun.

Mumpung masih diputar di Blitz, lebih baik nonton segera sebelum menghilang. Tapi anehnya, film ini malah belum dirilis di Amerika. Mungkin masih menunggu waktu rilis yang pas.

Sebuah film alternatif yang sangat baik dari Tarsem Singh.

Friday, February 1, 2008

What a Coincidence

Two months ago, I was upset because I was not invited to my cousin's wedding that will be held next month in Bali. The reason is probably that it's too expensive to get all five of us (my family) to Bali regarding the airfare and hotel cost. So on the invitation card, it is written "(my father's name) and wife". Not "and family".

Actually if they invited me, I didn't really mind paying for the plane tickets by myself. I was thinking that it will be a great opportunity for me and my family to have vacation together, which we were not having for.. maybe the last 10 years.

But, a very unbelievable coincidence happened.

I got an email from a colleague in the office with a subject that began with [Outing Community]. When I opened it, I saw a big photograph of Nusa Dua, Bali with a button that said "Bali, here I come!". Then I quickly scanned for the date, and I instantly found it. February 29 - March 2, 2008.

And my cousin's wedding is on March 1, also at Nusa Dua.

Wow. So I can silently come to the wedding and take some photographs between the crowds. And then silently disappear.

And later, in Jakarta, she won't know that I actually was there. But then I'll show the picture of me at the wedding with her at the background. And leave her there without saying a word.

But... I don't think I'll have free time during the wedding, since it's an office outing. So, it's pointless actually. Haha.

No, I do have a point. The point is, Bali, here I come!