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Daily Archives: 02/18/2006

(i’m off to) Bangkok International Film Festival (again? no! it’s) 2006 (get it? :D)

This happened not that long time ago, not in a galaxy far away.

We see NAUVAL, recently graduated from some university, down on his luck while doing odd jobs by being an assistant to some lecturers at some local university, a teacher at a local high school, a translator of some god-knows-what-kind-of-textbook, a tutor giving private tuition, basically the low-salary-next-to-nothing jobs under the sun.

Wait! Why does this happen again at present time? Oh, that’s another story 🙂

Anyway, it was one afternoon when we saw this poor fella staring blankly to the flickering screen of the TV on a living room, and his DAD approached him in a casual manner.

D(ad): How are you, Nov?

N(auval): Well, fine.

D: So, how’s everything?

N: Just like that.

D: Not going out?

N: Nah, not feeling like to.

D: Okay. Not doing your jobs?

N: No tuition today, teaching at schools only on Saturdays, and uni’s on break, so … yeah.

D: Okay. (reaching his wallet, taking out a note of 100 thousand rupiahs) Here!

N: Huh? What’s this?

D: Consider it as a loan, but make sure that you only use it to rent DVDs, and nothing else. Got it?

N: (puzzled, then excited) Sure!

If I’m not mistaken, I have returned the money back once I got the income from those odd jobs, or more like recently? Wait, I have returned the money back, right?! Yes, I have. Whew.

The reason why I still remember the scene to date, as you may guess, is simply the fact that I can’t be more thankful of having people surrounding me who understand my passion over films, in a way that they may not be able to easily accept at face value. And I realize a cloud of doubts hanging above their heads on thinking, “You have not settled yourself yet, but you are going for a film festival?”

Shall I answer the question?

I’d rather not to, but do allow me to excuse myself for going to Bangkok for the event you see on the title of this entry.
I can’t believe that I can have this journey again, after the first time last year was marred with some unfortunate stuff that should not have happened on the first place, if I had strong willingness to prevent it from happening.

But I have to admit that I have quite an expectation to my companion this time as he is quite a regular to some of the more established film festivals the world has had throughout this time. Yes, I do hope I can learn from Kenny more about the fun film-festival experience, and it’s gonna be joyful time ahead, let’s hope so!

Oh well, shall I take a break then from blogging?

Let’s just wait and see 😉

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Posted by on 02/18/2006 in English, Film

 

Syriana

From the direction of Stephen Gaghan, the screenwriter of Traffic.

Seeing the above line, we come to a theatre with a pre-occupied idea that what we’re about to see will resemble the aforementioned film, and when our expectation is met, the next question should be: how different is it?

Recently, a similar notion occured when The Constant Gardener was released, as the promotional campaign relied heavily on Fernando Meirelles’ previous directorial effort in City of God. The former film might share the now-familiar style of puzzling narrative structure as established by the latter, yet his new film still manages to excel on its own, thanks to the strong storyline and the superb turns of the cast.

So is the case of Syriana.

Syriana

If Traffic takes on a story about several lives affected by drugs problems, then Gaghan’s latest film replaces the drug story with a story on how a merger of two giant oil companies in USA could affect the lives of people across the world, or at least, within USA to countries in Persian Gulf area. These people include the impressive cast of actors ranging from the likes of Amanda Peet to Jeffrey Wright, although the spotlight is strongly given to the pigged-out George Clooney, being groomed by many to receive an Oscar soon.

How Academy loves deglamorization of good looks, it is apparent enough, and Clooney might benefit from this, having gained Bridget Jones’ weight to give a convincing look as his profilic role of a hired killer. Yet, as cliche as it may sound, it takes Clooney more than his bulging flab to carry the role. His presence in both emotional and ruthless scenes is riveting enough to make us long for more, and the singular scene of his conversation with his distant son is enough to make it as “the moment” shown for his nomination clip.
Yet, being in the flood of equally talented cast, it is still hard to see how he should rise above the others, particularly with always-reliable Jeffrey Wright who lit up the screen with his dignified charisma in otherwise passable role as a clean-cut accountant trapped in the dirty and corrupted world of political issues.

Alas, being a poster boy in the film sparks with mind-challening thoughts that leave its audience beguiled in serious thoughts, Clooney does get an advantage of being noticed from the rest. Thus, the glory awaits.

 
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Posted by on 02/18/2006 in English, Film