Movie: Frozen

February 21, 2014 § 2 Comments

Once again, I fell victim to music.

I do think that movies/film/animation rely very much on music and the soundtrack. They’re like the unsung heroes.

This time, it was the song “Let It Go” that caught my attention, and off I went to watch the animated film, “Frozen”.

The song, and this Youtube clip, really captured my heart and ran away with it. The film itself is a good one, but nothing beats this sequence, and even now, 2 weeks after I watched this animation, I still love it.

That one sequence captures the essence of the film itself, I feel, and very much also the essence of human emotions. It starts off with anguish, anger, some guilt, some fear, a lot of pain, heartache and despair. It’s all there.

Then there’s the point when she actually lets go. There’s playfulness, and there’s a little bit of innocence, and so so much beauty. There’s some doubt, and then there’s delight. It truly does feel like liberation, like letting go.

Most importantly, there’s conviction.

“Here I stand, in the light of day.”

I’ll make it through another day.

Movie: The Act of Killing

January 22, 2014 § 2 Comments

I’ve struggled for a couple of years now, on whether or not I should be posting anything unrelated to reading and books on this blog. For a while, it was only about the books I read. Then, it was about the books, and other literary stuff I came across. Later, I started to include the books that came to my possession.

But I just mostly stayed away from anything that didn’t have anything to do with reading.

I think this year is going to be different. Or I should say, it’s going to be different from this post forward.

Perhaps it’s because of my recent work experience which brought me very close to the heart of movie production. I’ve had the privilege of being involved in a few (as part of the crew, of course!), and I must say that it has changed my experience of movies considerably.

My first love is, and, I suspect, always will be, reading and books. But as far as story-telling goes, movies are a very close second.

*****

The Act of Killing

The Act of Killing is a 2012 documentary about a part of Indonesian history (1965-66 killings) that I never knew about. Being such a close neighbour, it’s discomforting to find out that I know so little about what goes on just beyond the straits.

At the same time, I also feel that it’s precisely¬†because we’re such close neighbours, that we don’t know about things like this. In fact, there’s an eerie similarity, some kind of parallel that I was able to draw from watching this documentary, to my own country. While Malaysia’s not as outright “violent”, we have our own share of problems, which also deeply plague Indonesia.

The documentary itself isn’t violent. But the emotions are very much so. What really drew me to watch this documentary (it’s available online, HERE) is not so much that it was nominated for an Oscar, but because the many people involved in the production of this documentary chose to remain anonymous to protect themselves from harm.

As I mentioned, I’ve worked on movie sets before. And believe me, we all want to be acknowledged for the work we do. So for the Indonesian crew to want to remain anonymous tells me one thing: the content is so “sensitive” in their country that they simply cannot afford to be acknowledged.

I suspect that most of the time, Joshua Oppenheimer (the director) was the person who was speaking to the subjects from behind the camera, prompting their answers. And I must say, he’s got a very good grasp of the Indonesian language, which is impressive.

The documentary itself was shot in a rather interesting way. Or should I say, the story-telling was interesting. It was different, not quite the same with other documentaries.

If you have slightly more than a couple of hours to spare, watch this.

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