A Prophet

You want to know how to define classic film? For me, it is when it’s almost 2 years since you’ve watched that film and you still couldn’t forget the excitement of the experience. You want to relive every scene as soon as possible again. The image of its great scenes keeps playing occasionally in your head. Jacques Audiard’s A Prophet is one of them.

Im sure a lot of you already hears a lot of this ‘shit’. This is a Cannes’ 2009 second place winner (Honorably losing to the all-the-same-amazing The White Ribbon). Well, if you didn’t know a thing, here: Imagine Shawshank Redemption meet City of God. Well, the result would be more or less like this, a completely raw and brutal film about life in prison !

The story, some call it, is The Godfather set in Prison.  THE GODFATHER.  Believed the hype. This is a highly intriguing, intense, and emotionally deep motion picture. Audiard’s direction makes the film more enjoyable. his chapter division, is innovative and stylishly enough (my favorite is the last chapter: recite)

And Tahar Rahim, speaking of the glorious work of fate,the fact that he got the role of Malik el Djebena right after sharing a taxi with Jaqcues Audiard, is wondrous. his performance is so compelling , that i did not afraid to compare it with Al Pacino performances in, again,The Godfather. his character is evolving along the film. At first we just see him new in prison,just trying to survive. But as the 2 hours and 28 minutes progress, he get tougher and wiser,and every time he is onscreen, he owns it. The more surprising thing is the fact that we haven’t hearing more from this guy now..

So overall, judging by the solid story, delicate direction, and, above all, the tour-de force performance of Tahar Rahim, i still  insist that this is my definite favorite film of 2009. And, as time passing, of all time.

Oh one more thing. Alexandre Desplat’s score. Of all his works until now, this is, in my opinion, his greatest to date.

2001: A Space Odyssey

Stanley Kubrick, siapa yang tak kenal dengan sosok sutradara legendaris yang satu ini? beliau merupakan si jenius film diabad modern ini. Karya-karya yang dibuatnya begitu luar biasa, nyaris sempurna. Salah satu karya epic nya adalah, 2001: A Space Odyssey. Dirilis pada tahun 1968 silam dibawah komando bendera perusahaan film terkemuka MGM2001: A Space Odyssey adalah sebuah film bergenre Sci-Fi yang pada akhirnya menjadi salah satu pelopor film-film Sci-Fi saat ini juga. Film ini menggunakan teknik-teknik special effects yang luar biasa hebat untuk seukuran film pada masa itu. Tak hanya itu saja, kemasan Cinematography nya juga mempesona untuk dilihat. Menurut beberapa polling, karya Stanley Kubrick yang satu ini masuk dalam list film terbaik sepanjang sejarah. Woww menarik bukan?

Film ini terbagi atas empat chapter story line yang berbeda, yang nantinya dari kesemua chapter itu akan menyatukan inti dari semua cerita. Di awal cerita, dibuka dengan adegan blank screen yang terpampang sekitar 3 menitan diiringi alunan musik “Also Sprach Zarathustra”. Mungkin anda akan mengira film ini macet, tapi kenyataannya memang seperti itulah scene yang disajikan Kubrick. Lantas, setelah beberapa menit kemudian, scene dibuka lagi dengan kegiatan sehari-hari kumpulan monyet primitif di zaman purbakala yang masuk di dalam chapter pertama, The Dawn of Man. Di dalam chapter ini, monyet-monyet yang berkeliaran secara tidak sengaja menemukan sebuah balok berukuran besar yang tertanam di tanah, balok ini adalah MonolithChapter selanjutnya bersetting di jutaan tahun kemudian, tepatnya tahun 2001, disitu kaum manusia sudah menjelajahi angkasa luar dan mendirikan tempat bernama Clavius di bulan. Nah, Dr. Heywood R. Floyd (William Sylvester) si ahli Astronomi pun diutus ke Clavius dari bumi untuk menyelidiki sebuah kasus aneh yang terjadi ditempat tak biasa itu. Berangsur angsur story line pada chapter berikutnya menceritakan perjalanan di planet Jupiter oleh Dr. David Bowman (Keir Dullea) dan Dr. Frank Poole (Gary Lockwood) yang disuatu saat menemukan Monolith-Monolith lainnya.

Di 2001: A Space Odyssey pastinya akan menarik perhatian anda, bagaimana tidak? lo pasti akan berdecak kagum begitu melihat kecanggihan futuristik yang ditampilkan sang jenius Stanley Kubrick. Kebayang ga ngeliat manusia berhasil mendarat di bulan, super computer, layar LCD yang terletak di kursi pesawat, perangkat iPad, teknologi hibernasi, video chat, serta alat-alat dan interior dalam pesawat luar angkasanya yang dibuat secara detil. Hal ini membuat teknologi futuristik di film ini terlihat canggih untuk dilihat pada masa sekarang. Gila nya si Kubrick udah memprediksi semua teknologi edan di film ini jauh sebelum itu. Hasilnya terbukti kan? semua prediksinya itu bener-bener terjadi, gokil men. Tapi tetep aja ada hal yang membosankan di film ini, yaitu alurnya yang begitu lambat sungguh membuat penonton, bahkan bagi pecinta berat film sekalipun akan dibuat menguap seketika. Cerita yang dikemas juga tergolong super duper berat, gue yakin film-film berat masa kini sebangsa Donnie Darko, Inception, hingga Shutter Island pun ga ada apa-apa nya dibanding dengan film Kubrick yang satu ini. Serius, sampai sekarang gue juga masih ga ngerti inti keseluruhan dari cerita film ini, damn!. Overall ini film bakal jadi favorit list film sepanjang masa di otak gue. 2001: A Space Odyssey LEGEND!

Love Exposure (Ai no mukidashi)

A four hours extravagant epic of love and other things in between, here’s a mini-review of Love Exposure!

Who could have makes a plot about peek-a-panty, cult religion, transgender, psychopath, cramped into an almost 4 hours film, didn’t get any ridiculous ? Sion Sono could. Love Exposure is just groundbreaking in any way possible. shit, this is the fastest 4 hours of my life in such a long time. The pace is never got slow, the story always have a quick turn. And while i understand that this film is not for everyone ( Panties everywhere, extreme violence, controversial religious theme arc. And mind a lot of “This Film Was Rubbish” and “Worst Movie Ever” in its IMDB forum page), but i just feels the urge to say that, EVERYONE NEEDS TO SEE THIS FILM. At least once in their lifetime.

Do i need to write the exact synopsis here? No. The more clueless you are about this film, the more satisfied (or engrossed. It depends on your taste in films) you’d be. Just like me. I’m going blind into this film.Knowing only its running time and several reviews mentioning how “unique” this film really is. And the result is.. WHOA.

And so 4 hours passed like  Michael Schumacher in his prime. Love Exposure turns out into a very unique experience. With a feeling of surrealism of manga-like world, effective use of music (Love how Sono use Ravel’s Bolero constantly as a background music) , and a mind-blowing and horrifying scene ( There’s a scene that just would make Lars von Trier’s Antichrist looks like a donald duck movie), this is, in my opinion, one of the best Japanese, heck, one of the best film that i’ve ever seen. A pure 5 stars. Too bad, this was like a fluke for Sono, since his next film after this couldn’t got at least near the brilliance of this one.