Archive for ‘Reviews’

January 2, 2011

Flicks of last year

by Kevin Aditya

Happy new year 2011! Last year was pretty much forgettable, if not for some stirring events spicing up what could have been plain days and months filled with studying and playing mindlessly as a teenager when I still can. No, what did I just say? 2010 was eventful in there were so many things happened that I figuratively might not recognize to the point of denying my 2009 self, but well, that’s the delightful side of being young. And movies. As an undergrad student I can’t possibly watch every other movies released last year, but as many times I spent as I could, not one movie I watched in 2010 seeps its brilliance way above others that made a truly delightful moviegoing experience. Many are mediocre, and the ones shining were, uh, shining enough. But of course there are some I highly anticipated that met my expectations, and what’s bad about starting a new year with reviewing good stuff of last year? I’ll write only three, promise.

 

The Social Network

This movie went quickly from something that was unheard of to the one I most highly anticipate in 2010 for one sole reason: David Fincher. And he did not disappoint. Though the idea of directing a biopic of someone who is now still twenty-six old sounds kinda ridiculous, but the story of Facebook’s creation is most definitely not. Or so it seems. Fincher has managed to craft a tense courtroom drama based on Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay with a pace so fast to mirror the generation it represents, which might not work well enough without the riveting performance of Jesse Eisenberg portraying the pseudo-sordid Mark Zuckerberg, real-life founder and CEO of Facebook. The ironic mix of sepia tone and modern technology might or might not be Fincher’s lead of a human’s lonely soul beneath the connectivity of the Internet age.  Behind the chain of unfortunate lawsuits that happened some years ago lies a tale of friendship and youth brilliance bent over the sole purpose of business, and especially, a history in the making. A story that depicts the attitude of the online generation, framed intriguingly by Fincher through Sorkin’s screenplay and well-performing casts including Eisenberg and Justin Timberlake.

Mother (Madeo)

The intention of watching Korean movies rarely ever cross my mind for all I know the famous ones are mostly family/love dramas made to jerk the most tears from people’s eyes, but not anymore after seeing Bong Joon-ho’s Madeo. Walking into the campus screening expecting some casual Korean tearjerker, fascination was upon me seeing how effective Bong made a thriller based upon an unexpected plot device, that is the unrequited love of a mother. While Won Bin played well as a somewhat mentally disabled rascal Do-joon, veteran Korean actress Kim Hye-ja is the one stealing the thunder with her role as Do-joon’s financially struggling mother who had to sleuth her way back to her son as he is charged with the murder of a young girl. Madeo’s storyline weaves well the intense essence of a true thriller with the faithful love and trust of a mother. Later I learned that with the success of Madeo, the award-winning director once again proved the significance of Asian auteurs. In between the sorrowful and near-hopeless air about the unnamed mother, Madeo packs the whole journey with a slow, painful punch and ends it with yet another tasteful Korean grassfield scene, this time enveloped in despair.

Black Swan

Performing arts in its various forms has always been more than what meets the eye. Years of dedicated training through rigorous drills and thousands of technique practice to achieve a single moment of on-stage perfection are not something unheard of, even in ballet productions that appear smooth and beautiful in the eyes of the audience. Baking such theme into a sexy psychological thriller about a frail and scared woman, Darren Aronofsky as the director once again showed the world the intriguing, at times self-destructive, refinement process of an art in the making. In what is intended to be a companion piece to his 2008 acclaimed work The Wrestler, Aronofsky put the fouetté and plié moves not just as something in the background to keep the motion in motion picture. It blankets the whole conscious space of the characters: they breathe ballet, eat ballet and sleep ballet. The ballet stuff is allegedly driving the main character (protagonist?) Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman) to the edge of sanity, as the holy role of both White Swan and Black Swan is descended upon her by the often sly Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel) that led her despairing for perfection, not to mention the fearless Lily (Mila Kunis) that made her pace herself to a competition. As any great main character with a strong tendency towards psychosis, behind the bipolar sides of Nina stands the enthralling performance of the actress Natalie Portman. The frail and innocent Nina was pictured astonishingly by Portman, complete with the moves and spins of a true ballerina achieved through extensive 10-month training exclusively for the role, making her a worthy contender for the upcoming Oscar. Not to forget the fitting grandeur scores composed by Aronofsky’s best collaborator Clint Mansell, Black Swan leaves little space to breathe inside its artful mental struggle of a perfecting ballerina.

 

Three might be too few, and I didn’t mean to dump great ones like Toy Story 3, Inception, or Winter’s Bone, and the enjoyable ones like Tangled and Remember Me (yes, I found the R-Patz flick delightful). But the aforementioned three films are the ones most captivating I’ve seen all year, and let’s have high hopes for this year’s blockbusters and art house productions, may 2011 be a great year in all aspects!

December 4, 2010

Sleeping soundly

by Kevin Aditya

There are times when you just can’t sleep, no matter how grueling your day was. Your eyes are closed but your mind is running a series of imagery of things you have to do as soon as you wake up — that is, if you can finally drown your head in deep sleep. I used to have it at times when schedules are running tight with tons of things to do (or vice versa, when I have infinitely nothing to do so I kinda refuse to sleep). But there’s always music to soothe the nerves. Some albums are just made to lull people to the alpha waves, and I do have my own selection too, that lately worked so well they send me sleeping in the middle of my doing the shitload of assignments… and I’d share the list so you can once again find some comfort.

Lullaby for the Working Class // Blanket Warm (1996)

What did you expect from a band with Lullaby in its name that created an album titled Blanket Warm? This Nebraska folk rock outfit were active from mid- to late-90’s, and Ted Stevens of Cursive fame in vocal might send you leaving the album due to his rough, wailing voice that at times seems to slip the rhythm, but overall the variety of slow guitars, ukulele and violin used creates more than an endearingly soft album.

Chick Corea // Now He Sings, Now He Sobs (1968)

Sitting among the most acclaimed jazz artist all the time, he was influential in expanding the electric fusion movement and jazz itself through his lifelong career. Yet I feel ashamed since what I could get most from his second album is as a melodic pillow to my ears, leaving behind most of his intricate plays on piano playing in my dreams. Well, any piano jazz would do.

Real Estate // Self-titled (2009)

There’s little to not love about this album, since nothing helps you to sleep like an auditory picturesque of an idyllic sunny day at a tropical beach the instant you play the first track, “Beach Comber”. This surf pop group should redefine the genre as sleep-like-a-log pop, with the exception of Surfer Blood…

The Silent League // But You’ve Always Been the Caretaker (2010)

The Brooklyn-based act might still be largely unheard of, but the Silent League has proven Justin Russo’s (of Mercury Rev fame) extravagant skill in crafting beautiful chamber/orchestral pop ballads with a multitude of instruments — while still calming enough as a bedtime lullaby. Not to mention the powerful cover of Electric Light Orchestra’s “Yours Truly, 2095”.

Letting Up Despite Great Faults // Movement (2006)

Ah, I know I’ve been bitching about the awesomeness of this band quite a lot lately, but while their glowing self-titled début remains one of my favorite albums ever, their first work titled Movement (EP) is my newfound lovechild of juvenile, adorable dream pop/electronica and a cushy pillow beneath blankets. The no-nonsense sleeper first track “Disasters Are Okay” bags drowsiness into my eyes even as I type. As the rest of the album stand strong on being musically lush, LUDGF keeps on pinning love in every of their fans’ heart.

October 28, 2010

Ecstatic weekend!

by Kevin Aditya

Yes, I’ve been busy with my study lately — assignments and surveys, to be precise. But those shall not prevent me from watching the hyped-round-the-year Vampire Weekend show on Bengkel Night Park, 24 October 2010. Can I make window in the schedule to roll over there just to watch it? Of course. Then I went. Was it awesome? Absolutely.

Seriously, I didn’t follow the hype around them when they first released their eponymous debut album back in 2008 because, um, a band that managed to put a photo of a chandelier in their album artwork can’t be that good, can it? Fast forward to 2010, I listened to Contra and got all sorts of hooked with it and also their debut material. Though I can’t imagine how some of their slow, minimalistic songs would hold up in their live performances, so there can only be one way to prove it.

 

There was already a crowd in front of Bengkel by the time I arrived with my gf and friends at some time past six, and the gathering at the place were… the definitive ‘indie’ crowd, I’d say, from a fashion perspective. It’s when you realized that when all the guys and girls with slightly-weird-clothing you see everyday gathered in one place, they’re still just another batch of mass product. Girls with their striped shirts and pixie cuts and guys with the Ray-Bans… well, it’s fashion, nothing is original except you’re a Gaga with a ready-to-roast meat dress. I could go on rambling but let’s just start with the show.

There was a tremendous amount of waiting, pardon me for the exaggeration, before finally Monkey to Millionaire stepped up as the opening band. It seems like the demographic of Vampire Weekend listeners is half the world away from the Monkey to Millionaire’s, because nearly nobody I saw was excited seeing them performing, or I just stood in the wrong part of the crowd. Slowly but sure the performance turned into quite a bore because I don’t listen to them either — but hey, even some girls keep shouting “Vampire Weekend!” at the last half of their performance. Oh, wait, the girls shouting were foreigners. Highly annoying Caucasians ‘coo coo’-ing throughout the whole show, but nevermind. The audience only sparked up a bit when they play their most recognizable song, “Strange Is the Song in Our Conversation” featuring Marsha as the female lead, but even that didn’t hold up. When they finished to the high expectation from the crowd of Vampire Weekend, the sound crews took a shitload of time setting up the instruments for the main menu of the night. Hell, I even fell asleep sitting crosslegged on the venue floor until all of the sudden four guys grabbed their equipments, strumming up to the tune of…

“Holiday”! A great opening to heat the mood up, everyone was jumping on their feet singing “To go away on a summer’s day never seemed so clear…” forgetting that the city has been jammed with ferocious flooding rain for days. Next is the slower “White Sky” where the crowd joined Ezra Koenig vocalizing the no-lyrics chorus, followed by “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa”. The guys were very active for a four-piece band, dancing and jumping in between songs when they could. Chris Baio should be held in high regard that he didn’t just “stand there and play bass” like so many bassists out there, a good mark for the band. “I Stand Corrected” was up next, though it’s a tad weird to play such slow song early in the game, but more annoying was the guy behind me who didn’t know the lyrics at all but keep on singing “I stain kow-righted” anyway like a Mongolian losing his translator. After “M79” and “Bryn” Koenig shouted “Indonesia!” through his vocoder and started playing the fast “California English” to the dancing crowd, followed by a great performance of “Cousins” that would be replayed over and over in my head whenever the song shows up when I’m setting up my team in PES 2011.

Right after “Run”, to the audience that were starting to get tired from all the jumparound, Koenig asked whether they are still having a good time because up next is their “easiest song to dance to”. Yes, they played “A-Punk”, much to the excitement of the folks to get back on dancing again. Rostam, who keep switching around between guitar and keyboard, was really enjoying his time on stage dancing round with his eyes closed when not playing, appropriate enough for a guy with Batman for a middle name. Past “One (Blake’s Got a New Face)”, the slow “The Kids Don’t Stand a Chance”, and “Diplomat’s Son”, the guys played a great rendition of the already great “Giving Up the Gun”, and some people were waving A3 sized white-on-black letterings of “GO ON”, creating an unforgettable moment as Koenig sang “I see you shine in your way, go on, go on, go on…” kudos to whoever handed them out.

“Campus” was up next, one of their most seemingly blatant love song, satisfying some part of the crowd who keep on shouting campus for them to play. They left the stage after “Oxford Comma”, and after moments of people lauding we want more, they’re back strumming “Horchata” on stage. The last two songs were “Mansard Roof” and “Walcott”… they finally left the stage for good, leaving behind a smiling crowd of audience fully satisfied and tired from all the dancing. Vampire Weekend really tops the rating for entertaining their crowd. Regrets are for those choosing not to see them live!

August 17, 2010

Slacking minds

by Kevin Aditya

Have you, at some instance, let your mind run idle for an extended period of time? Let’s say you have a full month holiday without anything to do and your movement is limited within the boundaries of your hometown. And you’re not the kind of guy who’s always fueled up to do various socially positive activities even just to kill your time. Admit it, in this age of internet, there will always be times when your ass seems to be glued on the bed and all you can think of is to surf the net for hours earning seemingly informative trivial news to reduce your couch potato guilt. When you finally killed the laptop off outta boredom and the day turned into night into day again, what you let free is the enormous uncontrolled power of your mind: channeling and condensing your every thought into an imaginative stream of consciousness, where you set up an entirely fictitious system from what you know about how the world outside could operate. Now, maybe I’m exaggerating, but what I’m trying to imply is that your mind probably will bloom off with random, insignificant ideas and often negative concepts about how people and things in your close proximity work. Or maybe even your own fundamental philosophy that you think the whole world should be based upon.

Writing a lengthy movie review is just beyond my thought process capabilities for today, but it feels obligatory for now to spill my beans about Richard Linklater’s Slacker (1991). It’s an incredibly simple low budget movie, following around the common folks in Austin, Texas as they converse with one another, jumping from one person walking and talking to the next guy crossing their path on the street and so on, a 24-hour life of slackers rambling about various topics ranging from a monologue about parallel universe to a nerdy JFK assassination conspiracy theorist. Without a plot whatsoever. An exact definition of what Bruce Willis-blowing-everything-up worshipers call a ‘boring movie’, Slacker brought us the model concept of people who make just enough and have too much time on their hands as deep-digger into the obscure and often subjective field of knowledge (UFO buff? War veteran anarchist?) and put their routines into the big screen for us to follow around and bitch about how tasteless it is. This is social interaction depicted at its dullest, yet for those able to sense the level of feelings evoked on these ‘conversational movies’, there is so much to be learned. This movie is Linklater’s debut, yet it has proved his quality compiling seemingly mindless daily-life convos and tailor them into a remarkably watchable feature-length story. What I’m trying to say is Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Waking Life, A Scanner Darkly and the kind, they’re all Linklater’s.

Okay, it’s clear that the movie is targeted for American audience of the 90s as it is a ‘culture movie’ at its core, capturing and depicting the idyllic life of the Generation X twentysomethings, but what’s more than meets the eye is how they are the same to us in absorbing various news and theories without hesitation nor clarification — a barrel of knowledge seen only through one hole, one point of view. And it all goes without us actually doing anything about it. It’s the same all over the world, people criticizing and compelling about everything from how the government has made secret deals with the USA to the so-called rupturing moral of the country through porn videos. And while not everyone does those due to slacking, it’s the lack of actions involved that can be seen as direct slacking. Yes, I’m writing this in the vain of the Indonesia’s 65th independence day, and while I’m never a nationalist at best, you can obviously make things better for yourself (and presumably those around you, if you’re not that self-centered) with the consistent will to move your ass and actually do it. Maybe you’re too far from changing the world, and it’s not like we can make major change without a suppressive will, but at least you can start from tidying up your own life, smile a lot, take chances, stuff like that. You might be living comfortably now, only you don’t know it can be better once you actually do something. Uh, okay, I’m writing this primarily for myself. Hell, it’s out of my habit to write in such a positive light. Anyway watch Slacker and decide which one looks better, living in a status-quo stalled life of not actually doing and achieving anything or, uh, that movie provides no actual comparison in the storyline. Happy August 17th!

July 22, 2010

Your mind has been incepted

by Kevin Aditya

Hola, back to my usual film reviews. I kinda write less now, but once in a while I write movie reviews at Kineklub LFM ITB, but since it’s in Indonesian and there is already an Inception review, so I’ll post my take on the film here. Inception? Yes, the Christopher Nolan hype flick everybody on the internet is talking about — and I’ll bet my bottom dollar it’ll be the most discussed film of 2010, with good reasons. Inception is a rare, glorified mixture of modern-day movies we don’t see most weekends: the pure brilliance of concept developed in years blended with a monstrous complexity of plot that can only be untangled at second or third viewing, all layered around the big-budgeted state-of-the-art visual effects that so far only Hollywood could produce. Yet, just like any other movies, it is not without flaws. The lengthy discussions that can be found all over the web about the plot, minute details, and the concept of the film, will undoubtedly put Inception to the trophy case of cult classics along with the likes of Pulp Fiction or Fight Club in a matter of years. Now, let’s start the dreaming, and if you haven’t watched the film, stop right here and head straight to the cinema.

Inception starts with Dominic Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) being washed up ashore and found by a bunch of beach guards with guns, then he is taken to a Japanese-themed room where a very wrinkled old man in suits is waiting for him. The scene cuts to a similar room, but only now he and his colleague Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is in talks with Saito (Ken Watanabe), where they try to convince Saito to hire them for the sake of ‘subconscious security’. The plan goes awry as Saito has realized from the start that they are actually in a dream, and wakes up to a motel room with Dom, Arthur, and Nash (Lukas Haas) in a seemingly Latin neighborhood with people rioting outside, where they try to forcefully push Saito to reveal his company secret with no success since Saito soon realize that he is still in a dream. He then awakes in a quiet train, and impressed with the job of Dom’s team, hires them (without Nash) to perform a high-risked dream crime operation: inception, to plant a new, foreign idea into one’s mind that will then grow and subconsciously become the motivation of the victim’s actions without the victim realizing it. In this case, Saito wants to plant the idea to his rival company’s heir, the young Robert Fischer (Cillian Murphy), that his terminally ill father Maurice Fischer (Pete Postlethwaite) has the last wish that Robert should discontinue the corporate empire and start his own, therefore benefiting Saito’s own company. Dom insists that inception is almost impossible to do, but as Saito guarantees that Dom can once again meet his children, he begins assembling a team to carry the operation: Arthur as the point man who researches their target, the young Ariadne (Ellen Page) as the architect of the dream world, Eames (Tom Hardy) as the forger that specializes in imitating other people in dreams, and Yusuf (Dileep Rao) as the chemist that formulates the drugs needed to induce sleep. As Arthur teaches Ariadne about the basic rules and science of manipulating dreams, they begin to carefully writing down their plan to pull Fischer into a three-level dream (dream within a dream within a dream) since dreams that deep makes Fischer more prone to assimilating the idea being implemented. However, things don’t go well as planned because Fischer’s trained subconscious army begins to attack them, and Dom is disturbed by the presence of his deceased wife Mal (Marion Cotillard) that continues to haunt his consciousness.

As a movie and not a novel, Inception outclasses most movies in level of idea and plot complexity while still pushing the boundaries of what a movie can do. The concept of sharing and manipulating dreams and the interchangeable perception of dream and reality, while in no ways original (think The Matrix and Science of Sleep), has become a wildly imaginative thrillride in the hands and mind of Christopher Nolan. It is said that he has developed the concept of what is possible in dream manipulation for around 10 years, much like James Cameron’s Avatar, and the result of a decade of contemplation is the well-thought yet still fictitious structured workflow of creating and controlling a world within our dream, and this subject isn’t entirely impossible in real life. In one of my high school papers I took the subject of sleep paralysis, and connecting it to the possibility of having a lucid dream… but what is a lucid dream? Lucid dreaming is a method that has been developed for years by people around the world to help maintain awareness in our dream that we indeed are in a dream. Here, Nolan ingeniously not only take the concept, but also expanding it into a big idea of a controlled dream shared by people in close proximity and the possible things that can be done, in this case, a dream crime. The steps and structure of the dream, like kicks, limbo state, personal totem, and many others are so finely crafted in 10 years by Nolan that everything makes sense within the boundaries of rules he had set. This is ultimately the power of Inception that made the movie practically the talk of the town, if not the world. Complemented by powerful fight and chase scenes so intense you’d have a hard time keeping up with the story, wrapped in high-class million dollars Hollywood special effects, Inception is one enjoyable ride of story with high second viewing value. (Note that the innovative zero gravity fight scene was not shot in CGI imagery, but rather they made a rotating hotel corridor for the sake of the scene.) But then again, movies are never perfect, and Inception was no exception. What irks me the most is the acting, and Leonardo DiCaprio himself as Dom Cobb. It’s probably subjective, because I never really liked his movies, but Dom Cobb seems to be too tense at times where the situation is not even threatening. Ellen Page as Ariadne also played a one-dimensional character where all she did was becoming a private therapist for Dom and verbally serving solutions for him. The complexity of the three-level dream concept also serves as a potential problem, and the movie this complex would probably better made off in two parts (but then it would ruin the legacy it will build in future years). Then again, a second or third viewing of the movie would be definitely worth it to completely grasp the whole story. Inception’s true power stems from such a basic concept that grows wildly in the mind of Christopher Nolan, much like Memento (2000), and this is what Hollywood and filmmaking needs in general, to provide the audience with bursts of imagination translated in visual medium.

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Inception termasuk film yang sulit dipahami dengan sekali nonton, dan atas permintaan beberapa orang maka gue coba tuangkan konsep yang gue dapat dari sekali nonton. Sekalian latihan menuangkan pemikiran dan hasil observasi ke dalam bentuk tulisan terstruktur, hehe.

1. Keseluruhan film Inception bekerja dalam konsep bahwa tiap orang bisa mengatur mimpinya, dan orang yang tidur berdekatan bisa berbagi mimpinya. Bisa dianggap bahwa tiap orang atau setidaknya tim ekstraktor profesional seperti Dom sudah bisa mengendalikan mimpi dengan mudah.

2. Seseorang yang bermimpi akan mengalami waktu yang lebih lambat dari dunia nyata, dan mimpi di dalam mimpi bisa terjadi. 5 menit dalam dunia nyata berarti 1 jam dalam mimpi, dan 5 menit dalam mimpi pertama berarti 1 jam dalam mimpi di dalam mimpi (tingkat dua), dan seterusnya. Hal ini menyebabkan waktu beberapa jam dalam dunia nyata akan berjalan sangat lama dalam mimpi tingkat tiga.

3. Semakin dalam tingkatan mimpi, maka jiwa pemimpi akan semakin sulit membedakan mimpi dengan dunia nyata, dan juga semakin rawan terhadap penanaman ide baru. Hal ini mungkin juga karena waktu yang terasa sangat lama yang dihabiskan pemimpi dalam mimpi yang banyak tingkatan.

4. Pemimpi bisa bangun dengan ‘tendangan’ yang berupa hentakan fisik kepada tubuh pemimpi yang sedang tidur (seperti dicemplungin ke bak air pas awal film) atau dengan mati dalam mimpi yang akan membuat pemimpi segera bangun. Namun jika pemimpi tertidur sangat lelap dengan pengaruh obat yang kuat, maka mati dalam mimpi akan menyebabkan terlempar ke dunia ‘limbo’ yang bukan mimpi maupun kenyataan, di mana waktu berjalan lebih cepat lagi dan dapat membuat pemimpi lupa dengan dunia nyata karena lamanya waktu yang dihabiskan. ‘Tendangan’ harus dilakukan secara bertahap dari tingkat paling bawah ke atasnya, dan karena itu pada bagian akhir film semua tendangan dilakukan hampir bersamaan agar proses insepsi dapat terjamin selesai sebelum obat biusnya habis.

5. Pekerjaan yang dilakukan Dom dan Arthur, ‘extraction’, adalah mengambil informasi rahasia yang dipendam dalam pikiran target ketika target sedang tidur. Dalam ekstraksi ada tim yang bekerja dengan keahliannya sendiri: arsitek (Ariadne) bertugas membuat lokasi atau daerah mimpi, seperti bangunan, jalanan, kota dan sebagainya, yang lalu akan diisi dengan orang-orang dari alam bawah sadar sang pemimpi. Area yang dibuat arsitek tidak boleh membangkitkan kenangan pemimpi karena akan menimbulkan kesulitan pemimpi untuk membedakan realita dan mimpi. Ahli kimia (Yusuf) bertugas membuat ramuan obat tidur yang cukup kuat agar mimpi bisa berlangsung tiga lapis, dan obat ini dimasukkan ke mesin berbentuk tas kecil yang berfungsi menyalurkan obat secara merata ke tiap penggunanya. Ekstraktor (Dom) bertugas mengambil informasi (saat ekstraksi) atau menanamkan ide (saat insepsi). Peniru (Eames) bertugas meniru sifat dan penampilan orang tertentu yang mempunyai hubungan dekat dengan target, agar proses ekstraksi/insepsi dapat berjalan lebih mulus. Arthur, yah, bantu-bantu yang lain deh.

6. Seseorang bisa melatih bawah sadarnya untuk membangun pertahanan diri dalam alam bawah sadarnya dari para ekstraktor yang mencoba masuk. Pada Fischer, pasukan bersenjata itu adalah pertahanan dari alam bawah sadarnya terhadap para penyusup.

7. Mal adalah sekedar gambaran alam bawah sadar Dom yang terus menyesal karena menganggap dia yang menyebabkan istrinya itu bunuh diri, dan mencoba mempertahankan kenangan akan istrinya dalam dunia mimpi. Mereka berdua pernah mengalami 50 tahun dalam dunia limbo yang nampaknya karena keduanya mati dalam mimpi saat memakai obat tidur, dan setelah bangun Mal menganggap dunia nyata hanyalah sebuah mimpi lainnya.

7. ‘Inception’ sendiri adalah konsep untuk menanamkan ide yang sama sekali baru dan asing ke dalam pikiran target, dan karena ide tersebut belum terdapat di pikiran target sama sekali sebelumnya, maka target akan menganggap ide tersebut sebagai inspirasi murni yang ia dapat. Dalam hal ini mereka berusaha menanamkan bahwa ayah Fischer tidak ingin anaknya melanjutkan perusahaannya dan membangun usahanya sendiri, yang pada akhirnya akan menguntungkan Saito yang berasal dari perusahaan saingan.

May 15, 2010

Farewell Copeland.

by Kevin Aditya

Once in a while, every now and then, there will be a band you could like wholeheartedly, in a non casual-listener kind of way. A band that you could recite every line of their songs to relate to any situation, a band you could recognize every intro of their songs being played on the radio. Copeland is that kind of band, with fans that relate to them in more than just plain, casual-listener type. Copeland weave their musical strings into the heart of their listeners with a harmony of idyllic alternative pop tunes over a lukewarm soundscape, complemented with layers of sometimes rustic, sometimes despondent lyrics.

From since the first time they announced the goodwill breakup of the band in October 2009, their most devoted fans from Indonesia just couldn’t help but beg the most for their number one band to add Indonesia to their farewell tour. And all hearts stopped beating for a second when the good news came: Copeland will play their best to their Indonesian fans on May 8, 2010, brought to the fans by Nada Promotama. It was probably the best upcoming gig news I’ve ever heard.

Hailing from Lakeland, Florida, Copeland are Aaron Marsh on vocal, guitar, mellotron, and pretty much everything that makes Copeland what they are, brothers Bryan and Stephen Laurenson on guitars, and Jonathan Bucklew on drums. Throughout their career they have released 4 studio albums with the first one being Beneath Medicine Tree on 2003 — a slow, laid back rock debut album that gives the original taste of Copeland with hit singles like “Coffee” and “Brightest”. Their 2005 sophomore effort, In Motion, is even a more rock oriented works that leave the radio-friendly aftertaste as heard in the single “Pin Your Wings”, as well as some trademark Copeland slow ballads like “Choose The One Who Loves You More”. Albeit being the album that pretty much captured the ears of new fans around the airwaves, their true masterpiece came in their third studio album released in 2006, Eat, Sleep, Repeat. Here, Copeland harnessed their potential to craft wonderfully eerie alternative pop tracks, exploring the wide variety of instruments to spark the fragile, yet beautiful loneliness in the hearts of the listeners. With songs like “I’m a Sucker for a Kind Word” and “Love Affair”, Copeland continued to become the top notch in producing all-killer-no-filler albums. As they released their (surprisingly) last album in 2008, You Are My Sunshine, Copeland had gloriously paved their way as the band that have touched the soul of thousands of their fans. The album is still instrument-rich, but the whole package of their sound have eventually matured, filling the atmosphere with sunnyday-on-a-grassfield feel on it. Dare I say this album tops the Copeland experience as a band, completing their varying previous works with an album only bands with high airtime could produce. “Good Morning Fire Eater”, “On the Safest Ledge” and the likes build up a solid album track through track.

When the sacred concert day finally came and thousands of the most devoted Copeland fans swirled down the sink at The Venue Eldorado, Bandung, everywhere there were faces with the utmost anticipation of seeing their favorite band, unlike most concerts held in Indonesia where a big part of the people attending only know 3-4 songs and there just for the sake of being hip. This is a show where people traveled from Yogyakarta, Jakarta or Surabaya just to see a band playing for the first and last time in their lifetime. People quickly rush to the frontmost of the stage seconds after the gate was opened at around 7.40 and the show was supposed to start at 8, too bad the band didn’t get on stage after one and a quarter hour of tiresome waiting. Seriously, waiting for something you highly anticipate that turns up late painfully tires your body and soul. Nothing any of us could do but to stand there and sing to the recorded songs flowing through the huge-ass speakers…

Then they went on stage behind the curtain at around 9.20 and everybody can’t help but got excited. Still behind the curtain, Copeland started off the night with the lengthy intro of “Priceless”, and the curtain was dropped revealing the four members plus an additional touring bassist amidst the stage fireworks. The crowd began to sing along with Aaron “I remember when I’d run to you / through field of white flowers…” and there, the blasting speakers etched nostalgia to the minds of the audience as the show was happening.

They didn’t talk much as Aaron only said a word or two before jamming into their next song, “Take Care”. A good choice to elevate the mood of the crowd with a rock tune, they continued the euphoria with the gloom-inducing “Careful Now”. Singing along the lines of “I threw everything out that doesn’t make sense / to find a thousand more things that don’t make sense” it’s hard to find anything more sensible than Aaron Marsh chanting the magical lyrics inches from you. The next one, a fan favorite, “I’m a Sucker for a Kind Word” was also delivered admirably with the charm of that is Aaron Marsh, telling us the overwhelming impact of the absence of our lovers: “On the softness of her laugh, I could almost make my bed / but the racket of her absence draw in the sirens blaring, ringing in my head…”


Aaron then hit the idling keyboard for the next few songs, and those Copeland songs armored with piano tunes are easily the most sentimental a fan can ever ask for. The mellowed down atmosphere was created with Aaron playing a minimalistic intro of “The Grey Man”, and his singing “And when you finally think it’s gone / you’ve gotta run right back to her arms” reminded us how we always keep running back to our old love (that could be Copeland in this case). “Chin Up”, another single off You Are My Sunshine was played right next, followed by the only single off Eat, Sleep, Repeat that is “Control Freak”. Note that Aaron’s vocal on live performances noticeably isn’t as powerful as is heard on the albums, probably due to his playing various instruments while providing vocals throughout the weary shows. Up next was the song that first brought Copeland into fame in Indonesia, “Coffee”. “We do the best we can in a small town / act like kids in love when the sun goes down…” it was forever a nice little song about love, so simple everybody couldn’t love it enough. “Sleep” with its catchy yet simple piano tune was next, followed by “On the Safest Ledge” where Aaron provided his own vocal at the part where Rae Cassidy Klagstad fill in, and both were equally haunting: “Could you be happy now / with the wind in your hair / and your eyes open wide / and your feet going nowhere?” The last two songs featuring the piano were “The Day I Lost My Voice” which is my all-time favorite, and the ever so haunting song about losing love, “Eat, Sleep, Repeat”.

Copeland went for some of the more rocking tunes right after, with the radio hit “Pin Your Wings” that popularized them to casual Indonesian listeners back in 2005, and the opening track off In Motion, “No One Really Wins”, a song depicting self-contradictions we face on daily basis: “In the endless fight of grace and pride / I don’t wanna win this time”. Two songs off Beneath Medicine Tree, the emotional “When Paula Sparks” and the heartfelt we-miss-you song “California” were up next. It was surprising to find them performing a considerable amount of songs from their debut album, as at the time Beneath Medicine Tree was out they were relatively only known for the track “Coffee”. But then, their Indonesian fans do honestly love their discography — quite a number of the audience were seen enthusiastically singing along with Aaron on tracks from BMT, or virtually any track from any of their albums. Guitarist Stephen Laurenson was quite the admiration of the night, with some girls comparing him to the likes of John Mayer. Even Aaron himself said on stage that “This is probably the biggest headlining show we’ve ever played”. After the two songs Copeland got off the stage in a seemingly end-of-the-show scene to have a quick rest, much to the encore demand from the crowd.

A minute or two later, amidst the we-want-more chants from the audience, Aaron Marsh went back up stage armed with an acoustic guitar playing the acoustic rendition of “Love Affair” in a nearly sacred atmosphere. The lines he sang flew right through the hearts of the mellowed-down fans, “Just let me run where I want to run / just let me love who I want…” and the keyboard was his next target for the minimalistic yet lovable song, “Brightest”. The whole venue couldn’t help but sing “…and she said that I was the brightest little firefly in her jar.” He then mentioned that the band were going to play “a couple more songs” (quite literally) and the whole band then readied themselves to hit the high notes off the powerful “Testing the Strong Ones”. When the mood was still high, the next and last song “You Have My Attention” is played, and along the emotional Aaron shouting “You have my attention… ohhh!” there the show was ended with a galore of confetti and fireworks, and they took off from the stage with Jon Bucklew shouting “Mojang Bandung geulis!”

It was a show you could only see once in a lifetime. They’ve been Copeland.

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