Monday, July 12, 2004

Talking Movies

Talking Movies

Read in Kompas today that the actress Rachel Maryam is tying the knot soon. This Bandung lass first shot into prominence in Riri Riza's experimental movie, Eliana, Eliana. I loved the movie so much that I watched it three times in the cinema two years ago. Am a bit disappointed that it is not released on DVD or VCD; looks like it's never going to be.

The picture and sound quality of the movie is poor because it was shot with a digital video camera. But this simple story of a mother and daughter's reconciliation over 24 hours in Jakarta enthralled me with its Wong Kar Wai-esque touches.

Certain movies touch you so much that they stay with you throughout your life. I can list all the Wong Kar Wai movies, 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Bounty (the one starring Mel Gibson and Anthony Hopkins), Blade Runner, Wall Street, Dangerous Liaisons, Casablanca, The English Patient and Out of Africa as among my personal favourites. I try to watch them at least once a year. Is there a common theme across all these movies? I can think of only one: they all have very good soundtrack music.

I must also mention The Year of Living Dangerously. It is not exactly a masterpiece but it is also one of my favourites for obvious reasons. Not forgetting the Zhang Yimou and Chen Kaige movies and those wonderful movies by Iranian directors.

I have missed many of the hottest movies for the past year or so. Maybe I'm a bit tired of the standard Hollywood fare with big special effects. Used to like horror movies too but now I seem to avoid them like a plague.

Most of my friends in Jakarta watch more movies than I do because of the abundance of cheap bootleg DVDs. I always prefer the big screen if I can help it. Watching a movie on TV kind of ruins the experience. Usually people are only interested in the storyline of a movie--I am not. I like to bask in their cinematography and soundtrack.

Movies are not stories to me--they are just rivers of emotion, expressed in sound and images. Some seem to have the effect of haunting me all my life.

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