Ca-bau-kan

Ca-bau-kan tells a story of Tinung, a simple village woman who was a “ca-bau-kan” or a courtesan in colonial era, set in 1930-1950s. Giok Lan (Niniek L. Karim) narrates her story through her course of looking for her. Tinung (Lola Amaria) was a famous ca-bau-kan who then got involved too deep with Tan Peng Liang (Ferry Salim), a Chinese businessman who dealt with tobacco in Batavia. Falling in love with Tinung, local courtesan who was socially and economically disadvantaged, Tan Peng Liang’s relationship with Tinung invited controversy. They then got separated due to business troubles that Tan Peng Liang’s rivals incited upon him.

Tinung must become a courtesan again at Kalijodo in order to continue her life and her two children. However, soon she got separated with her children when a Dutch couple offered to adopt them and give her money in return. Being left by her husband and childern, Tinung then got forced to be a jugun ianfu—comfort woman for Japanese soldiers. After all that she had gone through, finally she got reunited with her husband again.

The premise alone is supposed to be promising especially because it arose from a particular tempus in Indonesian history where women were considered as sex objects only. However, the film doesn’t manage to highlight all the interesting parts of the story and is somehow rushed. It is never explained how Tan Peng Liang fell in love with Tinung—he just saw her and asked her to dance, and that’s it, while the romance between the two plays a large role in the film. It’s not even believable that Tan Peng Liang, a rich Chinese merchant, would do anything for Tinung while the social disparity between them was just big. Not only that, the character Tinung herself often got lost in the plot while the story focuses on Tan Peng Liang’s business and his rivals. For a name title, she sure seems like a secondary character.

Despite my critics above, I believe that Ca-bau-kan is not bad. I admire Nia Dinata’s effort to picture the characters’ traits as something believable and consistent to the era. For example, despite being well-known for being a feminist filmmaker, Dinata chose to portray Tinung as submissive and simple, a typical village woman on that era. Dinata still chose to emphasize the power that she has, though, despite her silence. The Chinese culture depicted is also authentic and real.

I like Ca-bau-kan, however I’d so watch a remake of this film, hopefully the better version where the story focuses on the main character, closure is given (how’s the relationship of Tan Peng Liang with her former wife? Where was she at the end of the film? How’s Tan’s children’s reactions to their father getting back with Tinung?), and the plot is not discursive. The strength must be maintained, though, through Tinung not being oversexualized (because with this theme, I can only sigh imagining how a male director would make this film) and the good portrayal of the lives on that era.

Overall, 6.5/10.

radit-dan-jani

As a hegemonized member of society whose taste is defined by Hollywood’s romance and the entire “happy ever after” narratives, Radit & Jani (2008) is a very refreshing take on romance, especially in Indonesia cinematic scene. The “post-happy ending” point of view and the dark theme that most Indonesian filmmakers dare not to make are the epitome of cinematic audacity.

In short, Radit & Jani tells a story about a young newly-married couple named (surprise, surprise) Radit–played by Vino G. Bastian–and Jani–played by Fahrani (you wouldn’t have guessed!). At the very beginning it’s shown that they’re a happy couple. As quoted by Radit, he intends to have that kind of life of “Drink, then have sex, then drink, then have sex again!” with Jani. The depiction of romance is very sweet at first. They drink, they party, they steal and rob. They’re young, they have the time of their lives, they’re with each other, they have each other, and they’re happy. They’re content with that type of life. Radit & Jani are a nod to Bonnie & Clyde relationship-wise, although when Bonnie & Clyde robbed banks, Radit & Jani steal snacks and Oreo from a supermarket (whatttt?).

It’s only until later then it’s shown that Jani actually comes from a wealthy family who don’t believe in Radit and actually oppose the marriage. The reason is valid, though. Aside from not having a steady job, Radit is a drug addict and a very immature, temperamental person. The situation then goes downward spiral when they’re short on money, Radit craves for drugs, he’s kicked out of jobs due to his bad behavior, and Jani gets pregnant.

Directed by Upi Avianto, Radit & Jani is one of the most memorable and mesmerizing Indonesian picture up until today. The story alone is depressing and keeps the audience on the edge of their seat. However, Bastian and Fahrani’s acting is what makes around 90% of this movie. I guess this movie was the peak of their career. Bastian’s screams and tantrums for drugs are top-notch. Fahrani’s depiction as an innocent, too-deep-in-love wife makes your heart sink. They toy with your feelings and suddenly two hours pass just like that.

Story-telling wise, since it is a fairytale antithesis, you’ll go out of the room wondering if you want a marriage yourself, especially if you’re a young person like me. The ending is also non-mainstream either and is very different from the usual romantic tales. However, despite the non-preaching manner of storytelling, the ending looks a bit rushed, though. After the emotional bonding you’ve had with the characters you’ll wish get closure, a thing that the movie doesn’t provide. The one scene ending about several years later left me unfulfilled and unsatisfied. There could’ve been longer conversation and more topics covered.

Aside from the ending, I’ll give Radit & Jani a whopping 8.8 out of 10. A strong movie with brave, unusual theme, and top-notch acting deserves that rating.

yo! jadi ceritanya gue mau share aja mengenai main2 ke dufan minggu lalu bersama temen gue, Lidya. kami naik lumayan banyak attraction dan gak keep track jadi gue akan nulis mengenai hal2 yang gue inget aja ya. here it goes~

1. bianglala

bianglala yang disponsori oleh pop mie

bianglala yang disponsori oleh pop mie

begitu masuk, pengunjung akan disambut dengan bianglala. sebagai pemanasan, gue dan lidya pun naik attraction ini. sembari menikmati di atas dan selfie semena-mena, gue dan lidya mendengar pengumuman dufan yang diutarakan dalam berbagai bahasa. lidya sebagai S.Ked baru (cie cie) menganalisis bahwa dufan emang lagi berusaha menarik turis2 luar untuk mengunjunginya. hmmm mungkin karena tujuan administrasi baru negara ini emang either 1) untuk bunuh2in turis, atau 2) untuk membuat turis2 merasakan sensasi mirip mati saat mereka naik kora-kora ya, makanya perlu digeret ke dufan. xixixi

2. kora-kora

intinya sih kaya naik kapal laut terus digoyang2 (kapalnya, bukan kitanya)

intinya sih kaya naik kapal laut terus digoyang2 (kapalnya, bukan kitanya)

di sinilah saya belajar pengalaman pahit bahwa tidak ada orang yg bisa dipercaya di dunia ini termasuk diri kita sendiri.

berbekal pengalaman pernah naik wahana serupa pas di jatim park (naik ke semacem kapal terus digoyang2), gue lumayan pede kalo gue bisa survive kora-kora. masalahnya adalah gue terakhir kali ke dufan tu pas smp dan itu juga sama keluarga dan gue ga diizinin naik apa-apa gitu. jadi up to last week gue masih kora-kora dufan.

dan gue lagi yang ngajak untuk naik kora-kora. dan duduk di belakang.

swag

awalnya sih yaudahlah ya. makin lama dong pas lo duduk 90 derajat di udara dan pantat lo udah ga nyentuh kursi lagi, terus pas kapalnya digoyang turun sensasinya…………….whoaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa………………..dan posisi duduk lo kan adep-adepan, jadi lo bisa liat deh orang di seberang lo nangis jerit2 tuh. gue stres banget parah jantung gue udah mau keluar. gue pun turun dengan kepala tertunduk dan lutut lemas. benar-benar lemas. baru 15 menit di dufan yang harusnya fun tapi gue langsung naik wahana yang konon katanya kedua ternyeremin se-dufan.

3. tornado (boong ding, ini nontonin doang)

abis mempertanyakan keputusan hidup pas naik kora-kora, lidya malah makin excited dan ngajakin gue naik halilintar serta hysteria. pokoknya kita debat lumayan lama deh karena gue ga mau kan karena kora-kora terlalu traumatising. akhirnya kami pun memutuskan untuk liat orang naik tornado (serius gue ga ngerti kenapa kesimpulannya jadi kaya gini haha).

background song: pikiranku tak dapat kumengerti, kaki di kepala, kepala di kaki~

background song: pikiranku tak dapat kumengerti, kaki di kepala, kepala di kaki~

pertanyaan yang muncul di otak gue: WHAT HAVE YOU ENCOUNTERED IN LIFE THAT MAKES YOU HATE YOURSELVES SO MUCH?!?!?!

selfie dengan lidya pas lagi nontonin orang2 naik tornado. bisa dilihat cahaya mata saya redup dan senyum saya tidak lebar sodara2

selfie dengan lidya pas lagi nontonin orang2 naik tornado. bisa dilihat cahaya mata saya redup dan senyum saya tidak lebar sodara2

4. niagara-gara

a.k.a basah-basahan.

sumpah ya gue baru nyadar kalo safety di dufan tu separah itu. ga ada visible hand bar buat pegangan pas gue naik wahana ini :( pas udah jalan baru dikasihtau kalo ada pegangan di kiri-kanan. sumpah pegangannya kaya gagang pintu alfamart, udah gitu doang. ga ada perlindungan lain.

niagara2

gue dan lidya naik sama dua bocah yang duduk di depan yang ga histeris kaya kita. jadi tuh di niagara-gara ini nanti ada bagian lo naik secara dramatis (lama banget pas gerak naiknya) dan lalu meluncur turun dan kemudian di-splash air–suatu hal yang baru gue sadari pas baru mau naik tanjakan dan gue panik luar biasa (gambar di atas adalah contohnya). dua bocah di depan gue ga pegangan dan gue malah histeris nyuruh mereka pegangan. dan pas meluncur turun tetap aja gue yang pegangan erat sama gagang pintu alfamart ini yang jerit heboh dan mereka tetap cool dan swag -____-

5. gajah bledug

gajahbledug

alhamdulillah ga jerit pas naik ini.

6. alap-alap

dalam usaha membujuk gue untuk naik halilintar, sobat gue lidya pun menyuruh gue untuk naik alap-alap, roller coaster buat anak-anak. gue menolak. baru menyadari kalo gue ga jodoh sama roller coaster. pas di USS, gue naik roller coasternya far-far away aja lemes lutut w pas turun. lidya pun meyakinkan gue dengan title S.Ked-nya kalo alap-alap beneran buat anak-anak so there ought to be nothing to worry about, yaudah gue yang submisif ini pun ngalah.

konon roller coaster yg bikin gue trauma males naik roller coaster lagi padahal kata orang2 mah cemen

konon roller coaster yg bikin gue trauma males naik roller coaster lagi padahal kata orang2 mah cemen

trek cuma kaya gini dan gw masih jerit

trek alap-alap tuh cuma kaya gini dan gw masih jerit

7. arung jeram

arung jeram

gue masih berusaha membujuk lidya untuk ga naik halilintar dan hysteria HAHAHAHA jadi salah satu trik gue adalah mengalihkan perhatian beliau agar doi mau naik arung jeram sembari gue mengulur waktu biar ga naik halilintar lol. basah2an lagi, semacam niagara-gara 2.0 hmmmm. ada gue yang takut tenggelam, ada lidya yang takut bajunya basah. priorities set straight, lid :)

8. halilintar

oh my god!! NANTI LO DIBALIK!! kyaaaa melawan gaya gravitasi kyaaaaa

oh my god!! NANTI LO DIBALIK!! kyaaaa melawan gaya gravitasi kyaaaaa

pasti kalian semua nyadar deh kalo di review2 film gue, pasti ada tulisan “what a fun roller-coaster ride!! :)” untuk mendeskripsikan sebuah film yang bagus dan bikin emosi. nah naik halilintar sepertinya adalah pesan dari Yang di Atas untu mengevaluasi diri dan pilihan kata,jadi mungkin ada yang tersinggung kalo saya ngomong roller-coaster di blog ini, maafkan saya. saya udah dapet karmanya dengan naik halilintar.

bagaimana perasaan saya? tegang. meskipun saat sudah selesai sangat lega dan menyenangkan.

cara saya menghadapinya? saya tidak teriak seperti orang-orang lainnya. saya mengutuk. mengutuk nasib dan dunia *tsah* kayanya swearing saya pas naik halilintar sudah book early bird satu tempat di neraka nanti.

apakah saya akan naik lagi? TIDAK. apakah anda tidak mendengar cerita saya naik roller coaster di far far away??

9. hysteria

COZ I WANT IT NOWWWW I WANT IT NOWWWW GIVE ME YOUR HEART AND YOUR SOUL~~~

COZ I WANT IT NOWWWW I WANT IT NOWWWW GIVE ME YOUR HEART AND YOUR SOUL~~~

ini juga salah satu wahana yang katanya sih paling serem. jadi ceritanya kita akan duduk, terus tiba2 akan meluncur naik ke atas, 56 meter di udara! whoa! orang2 pada jerit2 pas meluncur naik ke atasnya itu sih.

menurut gua, overrated dan masih sereman halilintar sama kora-kora. meskipun pas lo meluncur naik ke atasnya itu emang shock sih. terus gue ga pernah takut ketinggian, tapi ntah kenapa pas di atas tuh deg-degan banget ngliat ke bawah.

another note, hiburan banget sih ngeliat muka orang2 yang duduk dan tiba-tiba meluncur ke atas. kocak lah.

10. happy feet

3D studionya

3D studionya

gue tau ini supposedly buat anak-anak tapi ini surprisingly bagus dan menghibur. mungkin gak kaya transformers di USS dan sayangnya ga ada kacamata 3D atau apapun yang meng-enhance vision kita tapi sensasinya dapet. recommended!

11. ice age

basah-basahan (lagi) errrr udah 3x. saat itu ada segerombolan anak puber yang berisiiiik banget jadi mood gue rada jelek pas naik ini hahahaha. dingin banget beneran, you’re supposed to wear a jacket or something.

12. istana boneka

istanaboneka

informatif banget! boneka-bonekanya cantik-cantik. dulu pas kecil ke sini, kok ga berasa ya? sedangkan pas udah gede, jadi melekat banget. kenapa ya? apa karena udah ngerti budaya-budaya yang disebutkan jadinya lebih enjoyable? hmmmm. still a must see. not boring at all. musik-musiknya bagus. boneka-bonekanya lucu (yang arab ada yang belly dance dong!!). kostum-kostumnya sesuai. bener-bener informatif menurut gue.

13. pontang-pontang

pontang2

gue dan lidya menobatkan wahana ini sebagai wahana yang harus lo kunjungi kalo mau pedekate, wkwkwkwk. jadi tuh sebenernya lo cuma akan masuk berdua-dua terus diputer-puter aja sampe lo pusing. cuman entah kenapa lo keputernya ke arah kanan jadi mau ga mau meskipun duduk misah endingnya bakalan duduk berhimpitan di sebelah kanan dan bagian kirinya jadi lowong. di sinilah letak modus pedekate yang saya jelaskan di awal.

kira-kira kaya gini percakapan yang mungkin terjadi pas pedekate di pontang-pontang:

“hmm… kenapa kamu duduknya jadi deket aku sekarang?”

*blush malu2*

14. ombang-ombang

ombang2

keliatannya sih memusingkan ya. tapi sensasi yang gue dapatkan tuh cuman hmmmm eaa-able gitu. gimana ya jelasinnya. pokoknya pas lo lagi diputer miring gitu dan anak2 smp labil pada jerit-jerit, lo cuman ngerasa geli di perut dan pengen ngomong “eaaaaa….” aja gitu.

15. CAROUSELL

to end the journey, i chose to seize back the happy childhood i never really had hahahhaaha. pas naik ini (gue naik kuda warna abu-abu karena gue suka warna abu-abu kyaaa) di deket situ ada band mainin lagu2 the beatles dan gue pun ikut menyanyi bareng dari atas kuda :”””””)

dua hari lagi usia saya 21 tahun saudara-saudara yang budiman

dua hari lagi usia saya 21 tahun saudara-saudara yang budiman

demikianlah perjalanan saya ke dufan setelah sekian lamanya ga ke sana.

oh ya, gue dan lidya waktu itu ke sana hari kamis jam 10.30-an kalo ga salah, dan itu dufan baru buka dan gak rame. meskipun lumayan mengejutkan sih abis jam makan siang, ngantri halilintar sama arung jeramnya lumayan gila. jadi kalo males ngantri boleh dateng jam 10 hari kerja dan langsung siap2 basah-basahan atau melawan gaya gravitasi. harga tiket dufan hari biasa Rp 190.000,00. overall menurut gue recommended lah dufan dengan harga segitu. murah (gue ngebandingin sama terakhir kali gue ke theme park kan USS yang 700-an ribu ergh) dan banyak banget wahananya! meskipun kalo anda pecinta petualangan ya dufan kurang nyeremin sih, tapi buat lansia 65 tahun penakut kaya gua yaaa lumayan bikin berdebar2 sih dufan itu bok.

see ya! thanks for reading this super silly post!

The worst thing that being an artist could do to you would be that it would make you slightly unhappy constantly. However, this is not a tragic situation, in my opinion. The happiest day of my life was many years ago when I was seventeen.

 

Salinger in”De Daumer-Smith’s Blue Period.”

Let me tell you a shitty story. I was seventeen, alright. Or eighteen–I barely remember–who remembers age when you feel like an alien inside a human body anyway. I was living and shit. Long story short

 

life was dumb and I was–

 

OK. OK. So I read somewhere some quote about Holden Caulfield. I believe it had something to do with acting mature and stuffs, something very relatable to me. It really was. Although now I’m ashamed to admit that. And that he thought everyone was phony. I was like, “Shizz man, this Holden Caulfield is me!” Nevertheless I was a phony too. The phoniest of the phoniests. I read The Catcher in the Rye when I was eighteen–and I was so proud with the fact that I read a classic literature that people of my age barely got their hands on. But it made you feel good, didn’t it? I thought, “Oh I am relatable to Caulfield. I have depression and I think he does too. Why are we so bitter and why do we think that people are phony?”

 

(As a matter of fact, I didn’t resemble Caulfield at all–I refuse to call him Holden because I have broken up this parasocial relationship ever since, he no longer is my pal–I read The Catcher in the Rye in the morning and evening at the time I commuted. Caulfield wouldn’t have done that–he would’ve observed people and said they were phony. I couldn’t care less about observing people.)

 

(I would flaunt to everybody that I had read The Catcher in the Rye and that I loved it so much.)

 

Our desire to be rescued is ridiculous, more so when we wish we were rescued by strangers and overromanticize this entirety of asymmetrical adoration. Two years later, I almost finished Sonny’s ouevre by getting my hands on Franny & Zoeey also Nine Stories. As a matter of fact, I have just finished Nine Stories right now. It was not a cataclysmic magnum opus, but it was perpendicular enough rendering me having an unfathomable desire to call him as I felt he was my friend already. But he’s dead. I think he’s the type of person who didn’t want his grave to be filled with flowers. I no longer felt the sentimentality I had felt when I was reading The Catcher but I was in RANCOR enough to write a letter to him–more like a litany. Wait, an anathema, I suppose:

 

January 21st 2015

 

Dear Mr. Salinger,

 

You may not know me ‘coz you’re dead and I’m still unluckily alive. I just want you to know that I have been your fan for the last two years and I’ve read three of your books that I could get my hands on in my country. They are The Catcher in the Rye, Franny & Zooey, also Nine Stories. I admire your works. They’re effortlessly magnificent. By saying effortless I didn’t intend to overlook your hard work that may not come to my knowledge. It must have been a magnificent affair. Kudos to your success in obfuscating them ‘coz they look so utterly effortless to me.

 

Upon admiring your works, however, I aspire to inform you that I regret that you drank so much alcohol when you wrote them that you killed the characters off. It made me so mad I wouldn’t mind courtesy in the next paragraph.

 

How dare you piece of shit play with my feelings. How dare you numb nut build up such tension, make me comfortable with the wordplay, relatable to the characters, and suddenly end the story in such a way that is very shocking and heartbreaking and you CASUALLY jump on to the next piece?!?! How dare you hide beneath the curtain of “short stories” to justify this kind of storytelling. You sonuvabitch are NOT responsible of the feelings invoked inside us. Why were you sack of fart famous, again? Oh, yeah, The Catcher in the Rye where you didn’t end the story responsibly too and you got AWAY with it. Mudafucka was a fucked up writer.

 

I love this fucked-up writer.

 

Pardon me and my profanity. I wouldn’t have done so if only you finished the stories responsibly.

 

However if you did, I wouldn’t have loved you.

 

There goes the dilemma.

 

P.S. I wish you all the best in your afterlife affair.

P.P.S. No need to reply this letter I’ll just crumble the paper and then post the content on the internet k.

P.P.P.S. Do you think there is a slight possibility that Caulfield was a phony too? I mean, phony phony. A phony who is so phony he could distinguish phonies from the sinceres. Also, would you tell if Caulfield would’ve liked me? Platonically, I mean. As a friend. I wanna have a camaraderie with him however he might tell that I am a phony. That kinda intimidates me.

 

Sincerely yours,

 

A.

mtf_BMqFl_230[1]

 

By the time I was writing this, it was roughly 4 hours after I finished watching Avenged Sevenfold’s live concert in Jakarta and I was just able to pull myself back up and re-adjust myself to my surrounding.

 

Man, are they awesome.

 

I’d liked them for eight years so I was getting really emotional when I knew they were coming here to Jakarta. I had no idea that five people’s presence could be so pervasive I practically was overwhelmed by their existence. There was some time that I FORGOT the lines in ALPOH–that I had usually memorized flawlessly–just because I felt so suffocated and I needed to breathe to calm myself down. I swore a lot as much as I praised the Lord a lot (yes I kept track of them–sometimes they both were formed in a single sentence I dare not say here due to its inappropriateness).

 

I got guitar pick thrown out by ZACKY VENGEANCE himself. Zacky Vengeance. The remarkable left-handed guitarist. One of the best in this entire world.

 

CYMERA_20150118_232322[1]

 

I don’t know what to comment on their performance because they were just PERFECT and that word summarizes everything I need to mention about them. The crowd was crazy though, and I was in a love-hate relationship with them. I hate it when they tried to sneak to the front and steal my place and of course I am a strong woman who resisted all kinds of space-hogging by elbowing, yelling, and nearly punching. I have never been that barbaric in my entire life, usually I am a composed person. Wow. However, I love it when we raised our arms together with Matt’s lead, and in harmony sang together their songs that we knew so well. I love the chill I got when the crowd sang ALPOH with me. I can still feel the stingy sensation. I love it.

 

I usually take moving on as a no-brainer, however this one I’m not capable of. First of all, how dare they give me too much things to move on from. I don’t know whether I should move on from Matt Shadows’ irresistible dimples, Zacky Vengeance with whom I shared multiple eye contacts with, Synyster Gates’ quirky expressions yet still managed to pull his usual cool aura *), Arin’s not-so-newbie kind of shy and spirit, Johnny’s awesome hairdo that day, or everything altogether? Or when they started the awesome intro of Buried Alive? OR WHEN THEY CAME FOR ENCORE AND PLAYED A LITTLE PIECE OF HEAVEN MY FAVORITE SONG OF ALL TIME AND MATT ACTUALLY LED THE CROWD TO SING THE CHOIR PART?

 

It’s 5.29 a.m. now in Jakarta. Eight hours after their concert ended and I am still awake, listening to every song possible and remembering every bit of it. This is a decision I’ll never regret although I need to recalibrate myself and remember who I am again. But it’s worth it. Avenged Sevenfold is worth it. I have watched concert of one of the greatest contemporary bands and I’ve sung to the choir part of ALPOH with Matt leading it–my life is complete with these anyway.

 

*) he made cute faces when playing with his guitar such as raising one of his eyebrows despite his reputation for being a cold-hearted looking member. OMG he’s getting hotter and hotter the more you see him.

 

P.S. : For the upcoming one week, please understand if you try to talk to me but I just stare at a blank space instead, as well as being hysteric if you mention something remotely resembles “Avenged Sevenfold.”

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