Jumat, 20 Oktober 2017

MOVIE REVIEW: Millenium Actress

   Hi readers! Today I'm gonna talk about one of the most underrated anime film ever, Millenium Actress. I really want to tell you about this film because it's such a hidden gem. A beautiful work like this must be shared throughout the world and not just ignored.

Poster


WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILER! DO NOT READ TEXT WITH BLACK BACKGROUND IF YOU DON'T WANT TO BE SPOILED.

   Millenium Actress is a Japanese animated film made by Satoshi Kon and produced by Madhouse. It was released back in 2001. The runningtime of the film is about 87 minutes. It received the Grand Prize in the Japan Agency of Cultural Affairs Media Arts Festival, tied with Spirited Away which is a well-known film. It was planned to be nominated on Oscar's Best Animated Film back in 2003, unfortunately Oscar judges didn't nominate it (and I still don't get why). This film was highly praised and loved by many critics.


PLOT (SPOILER FREE)
   A TV interviewer Genya and his trusty cameraman Kyoji decided to make an interview about his favorite actress, Chiyoko. She had starred in many films until she decided to retire. When Genya and Kyoji finally met Chiyoko, she told her the story of her life in flashbacks, and all of it were themed as her old movies.


CAST
  • Chioko Fujiwara
:Miyoko Shōji (70s)
Mami Koyama (20s-40s)
Fumiko Orikasa (10s-20s)


  • Genya Tachibana
Shōzō Iizuka
:Masamichi Satō (Young)

  • Kyōji Ida
:Masaya Onosaka

  • Eiko Shimao
:Shōko Tsuda

  • Junichi Otaki
:Hirotaka Suzuoki

  • Mino
:Tomie Kataoka

  • Chief Clerk
:Takkō Ishimori

  • Ginei Managing Director
: Kan Tokumaru

  • Chiyoko's Mother
:Hisako Kyōda

  • Man with Key
:Kōichi Yamadera

  • Man with Scar
:Masane Tsukayama

MY THOUGHTS
This film was made by the legendary Satoshi Kon, who made Perfect Blue, Tokyo Godfathers, and Paprika. All of the Movies he directed were really good, but I feel like Millenium Actress was his magnum-opus. Story, cinematography, animation, all of it were perfect.

 The story was mostly about Chiyoko's romance story, and it's unlike any romance ever.  In the beginning of the film, it was shown that Chiyoko met a mysterious criminal and she fell in love with him. He gave her a key that "unlock every secret in the world" before he left shortly after that. Their meeting was very short, and it was quite illogical about why Chiyoko would fall in love with a man like that, but the story made it very believable. When you watch this film, you want Chiyoko to finally meet the man in the future. You want Chiyoko to be happy with her love life. You can feel Chiyoko's love for the mysterious man.

In my opinion, the strongest point of the film is how it transition from one scene to another. In Chiyoko's documentary, all of her backstories were set up in her past films. There were a lot of match cut in the film, and it felt so... mesmerizing. At first I was confused by the transition, but as I watched the film more I couldn't help but enjoy it. I think what you need to realize from those transitions is that those are her real life story with the theme of her films. It mixed both of her plot and the actual plot from the film. That might help you to be less confused by watching this film.

Here's the finest example of the transitions that I've been talking about:


The last thing I want to appreciate is the score. Susumu Hirasawa is such a talented composer, and his works on this film is the proof. Each composition fits perfectly well with the scene. It provokes the listener's emotions. Even though you are listening to it without any context, you can tell what is the meaning behind each note.

Here is one of his contribution on this film, which is my favorite. Tell me how you feel after listening to this piece.



CONCLUSION
What can I say? Millenium Actress is an unique and well-told film that I recommend for all of you. Its mature storytelling, majestic animation, and fantastic compositions made this film brilliant.

And for Satoshi Kon, thank you so much for all the films you've made. I was so excited for your next project since you were a brilliant director, however I just realized that you have passed away. Your films will always be appreciated by many.

Rest in Peace Satoshi Kon.
--
RATINGS: 9/10

Jumat, 13 Oktober 2017

Great Barrier Reef

   Hello! Today, I’m going to tell you about the amazing Great Barrier Reef. This is a school project collaboration with Alfina, which is all about advertisement. For now, I’ll provide you short information about Great Barrier Reef.
Our illustration of Great Barrier Reef, I can't take a good picture sorry
   So, Great Barrier Reef is a place on Cairns, Australia. Queensland, to be exact. It is the world’s biggest coral reef site. It’s so big that it can be viewed on outer space! This is also the world’s biggest structure made by living organisms. From far away, it looks like some kind of island, but once you viewed it closer, you’ll see a lot of huge coral reefs.
  This place is famous for its marine diversity. Thousands of species live on this place. Clownfish, blue tang fish, stingray, turtles, anemone, coral, just to name a few. Extremely few. Less than 0,01% of the species living on Great Barrier Reef. That must be a lot! Oh and the living organisms here are very unique and colorful.
   On that place, we can dive and snorkle to experience what it truly feels like to live underwater. Seeing all those corals and beautiful fish in front of you must be fun, don't you think so? But, if you don't want to be wet, you can ride a glass bottomed boat and you can see what's underwater. Another great way to appreciate this place's beauty as well.
    For more information, just watch our video about it, link below!



Jumat, 06 Oktober 2017

Short Post about Gathapraya

   On September 30, the event that my school had hyped for quite a while was finally arrived, Gathapraya. It was the name of an Indonesian cultural festival that SMAN 3 always hold anually. I had fun and regrets during this festival and now I would like to talk about it.

   In the morning around 07:30, the organizers told us to came on Saparua sport field first, because all 10th graders must join a parade. Female must wear kebaya, so I wore it. There was nothing special about my kebaya since it was the one that I always wear to school on Wednesday. The parade started at 9 AM, so for one and a half hour we were shown dance performances from an elementary school and a dance studio. It was a very good performances. Then 6 horses came. It was the Kuda Renggong! Basically, Kuda Renggong is a horse that can "dance" when a music is played. Okay, but a little bit controversial opinion here, I kinda feel bad for the horses because they were whipped pretty harshly. I know why the horse coach did that, if they weren't whipped the horse wouldn't dance or something, but isn't that some form of animal cruelty? I don't know, maybe I'm just being too sensitive, lately I've become an animals addict (except bugs, no thank you) so maybe I'm overthinking this. Anyway, the Kuda Renggong performed for a while then the organizers told us to form a line because the parade will start. I was so happy because I was starting to get bored by just sitting around. In the parade, there were a lot of people outside 10th graders, such as Kuda Renggong (obviously), Ontel Bicycle Club, some kind of bird-thingy that I don't know what to call, and the elementary school students joined the parade as well. The route wasn't that far, but ugh the horses walked really slowly. Walking under the sun extremely slowly while you were wearing quite a thick clothes wasn't the best choice. My classmates Fariz and Fathia were so lucky because they were riding horses. The reason why they didn't walk on the parade was because they were the fashion models of our class, and our class along with 2 others were chosen to ride the horses. I was so jealous argh.
The Parade

Kuda Renggong
Elementary School Students

   So we finally arrived on Bali sport field, and I really love the decoration! The locket looked really nice, the gateway was great as well, and the stage looked amazing. There were a huge screen on the stage and a sign that said "Gathapraya". The decorators must've been working hard and I applaud them. There were also a bunch of murals. Remember Adhiwikara? I posted about that event sometimes ago. A lot of murals from that competition were shown, such as a Lutung Kasarung mural from XI Science 8. That mural was gorgeous. I can't believe a bunch of high school students were able to make a piece that looked like it was made by professional. The color choice, the composition, argh, it was so perfect! Another mural from Adhiwikara that I loved was a Nyi Roro Kidul mural. There were 2 dragons (horses? idk) in the sea and Nyi Roro Kidul was riding them. I don't know which class made that mural, but if you are reading this, I love your mural so much! Adhiwikara's murals weren't the only murals that were shown on that day, there were also mural that was made from an art studio I believe. I forgot the name, but their works were so memorable.
The entrance
Locket

Fariz and Fathia (the one who wore Kalimantan outfit on the middle)
Gathapraya Stage
Cepot on the Food Festival
WIP of a really cool mural
Definitely one of my favorite
Lutung Kasarung
Nyi Roro Kidul

    The food on Gathapraya is delicious. It was pricey, yes, but I really love it. There's an ice cream stand on there and their ice cream was tasty! I bought a bubblegum ice cream by the way. There were a lot of choices on that ice cream stand and I wish I could buy them all but I didn't have enough money. Oh and I didn't buy this product, but there were a stand that sold beverages in some kind of baby bottle? I think that was a genius product packaging!
 
   Unfortunately, I regret that I didn't went to Gathapraya until the end of the show. I thought all my friends came home in the evening, so I said to my mom that I will be home at 4 AM. Apparently, all my friends changed their mind and ended up stayed on Gathapraya until night. I have never been feeling more betrayed by myself on that day. I felt like I was being stabbed in the back by my shadow or something. Well, regret does come last, so I should've expected that. Overall it was an amazing event that I wish I could've stay longer.

Selasa, 26 September 2017

ALBUM REVIEW: Gorillaz's Demon Days

   Hi guys, so if you read my introduction post you'll notice that I mentioned a band called "Gorillaz" that I love so much. Now I am going to talk about my personal favorite album of theirs, Demon Days. This is probably my favorite album outside of Gorillaz as well, but since I don't listen to much albums so I'm not very sure.

One of the most iconic album cover ever


  Before I talk about this masterpiece, I would like to talk about Gorillaz as a whole, because people might be confused. Gorillaz is a virtual band created by Damon Albarn (musician) and Jamie Hewlett (illustrator) back in 2001. What is a virtual band? It's basically like a cartoon show, but in real life and it's a band. There are people behind the scene who worked on the songs and illustration and it will be released in the name of the band. There are a lot of fake interviews that is written by the writers behind the scene. The creators, however, want the audience to view them as if they were exist. The first band who introduced this concept is The Archies back in the 60s, however I feel like Gorillaz is the one who nailed the virtual band concept perfectly.



Jamie Hewlett (left) and Damon Albarn (right)

   There are 4 members of Gorillaz, which are 2D, Murdoc, Noodle, And Russel. Short description: 2D is the singer that oftenly acts looney but very sweet and sometimes really thoughtful, Murdoc is the bassist and is also a jerk but he's very likable and also has a very sad backstory, Noodle is a strong little girl who plays the guitar, and Russel is the lovable and huggable drummer. I love Murdoc the most because he's hilarious and attractive (don't judge me). They're fictional but I love them so much and I feel like they shape my life. Without them, I would be a very different person.


From left to right: Noodle, 2D, Russel, and Murdoc

   Now let's review the album. Demon Days is an album that was released on May 23, 2005. It has 15 tracks. It has a very positive review. Spin ranked Demon Days as the fourth-best album of 2005, while Mojo ranked it at number eighteen on their year-end list and hailed the album as a "genre-busting, contemporary pop milestone." NME placed it 98th on their list of 100 greatest albums of the decade. Uncut ranked it at 75 on their list of top 150 albums of the decade. Complex included it on their list of 100 Best Albums of the Complex Decade, placing it at number 43. Spin later included it in their list of The 300 Best Albums of 1985–2014. The single Feel Good Inc was nominated on Grammy's Best Music Video and won Grammy's Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals. It also won and nominated on much more awards. Oh, and they also performed on Grammy and MTV Music Video Awards with Madonna on that year, to celebrate the success of Demon Days. Awesome, right?

Murdoc, Noodle, and Madonna on the Grammy

   This album has a very heavy theme. It dealt with the "demons" of the world, such as war, addiction, etc. Most of the lyrics from this album are very deep and thoughtful. Here's a sample, which is from the song Demon Days:
...
In these demon days
It's so cold inside
So hard for a good soul to survive
You can't even trust the air you breathe
Because mother earth wants us all to leave
When lies become reality
You numb yourself with drugs and T.V.
So pick yourself up, it's a brand new day
So turn yourself round
Don't burn yourself, turn youself
Turn yourself around
To the sun!

   That song is about how we are too attached with our addiction and cope our trauma with more addiction, which isn't good for our own mental health. We must do positive thing for a change to make us happy! At least that's my own interpretation. The writing is subtle and on point, it's not too obvious so that the listener can interpret it on their own, and it really make us think while listening to it. I really love interesting songs like this. Not to mention that this song has a very emotional beat and always makes me shiver whenever I listen to it. It sounds very ghostly yet beautiful. These positive things are scattered throughout the album and I love it. Another thing that I love about this album, despite that it's kinda a minor thing is the instrumental. It's very clear and crisp. In El Manana, you can hear the violin note that makes your heart break in pieces. In Feel Good Inc and Kids With Guns, you can hear the awesome bassline that will stuck in your head in a good way. In All Alone, you'll hear a very heart-pumping drumbeat. Oh, and Every Planet We Reach Is Dead is just mesmerizing. The instruments really pop and I don't know, it's so bizarre yet unique and memorable. One of my favorite.
Tracklist of Demon Days

   In my opinion, the only negative thing about this album is the track White Light. I think it's a very mediocre track compared to all these fantastic songs. It still fits the theme of the album, but it could've been replaced with a much better track. Like Rockit or Highway (Under Construction). Both of those tracks are from D-Sides, which is an album filled with unused songs that didn't make it into Demon Days. Those are much better than White Light.

Murdoc and his legendary bass

   For those who are new to this band, I recommend you all to listen to the singles first, which are Feel Good Inc, DARE, Dirty Harry, El Manana, and Kids With Guns. You might view the non-single tracks as "weird", like I was before I went nuts with this band. Gorillaz is one of those band who need second or more listen to really "absorb" the meaning of their songs. But when you fully get it, I guarantee that you'll love it. Oh, and I want to add that you should watch the music video while you listen to those singles. Gorillaz's music videos are so unique and fantastic. No wonder why they were always nominated for Grammy's Best Music Video in each album (I hope Saturnz Barz, their newest MV, will be nominated again next year, maybe won the award!).

Noodle on the windmill

   If you want to listen to the entire album, PLEASE DON'T PIRATE IT. Gorillaz uploaded the entire album on their Youtube channel, you should listen to it there! Or you could buy the album, digital or physical. It's really worth your money!

My copies of Demon Days

   And that's my review of Demon Days, the best Gorillaz album. Sorry if this review sounds so biased and pretentious. I hope you enjoy your listen to Demon Days! :D
--
FAV TRACKS: Every Planet We Reach Is Dead, Don't Get Lost In Heaven/Demon Days, O Green World, All Alone, Kids With Guns

LEAST FAV TRACKS: White Light

RATING: 9/10
--
Source:
en.wikipedia.org/Demon_Days
azlyrics.com
tumblr.com

Minggu, 24 September 2017

World Tournament

   A few weeks ago my school organized an event called "World Tournament". It was an English-based event with pirates theme. I was so interested in this event because I love English in general. Although at the same time, I was really lazy to come because it was held on Saturday. I was (and still am) so tired of all of the studying on the weekdays (especially with "special" math which is extremely hard) and I really wanted a break, but my school kept organizing a bunch of events. I just want a bunch of sleep! Ah, anyway, we have to dress up as a pirates to fit the theme. My class planned to wear t-shirts with striped motifs and if possible, pirates props. Unfortunately, I didn't have any striped t-shirts so I wore a black and white semi-dress, jeans, boots, and props that I've made, which were a sword and a skull belt.

My props

   The day has come. I saw a lot of people with impressive costumes and I was amazed. But in my opinion the best outfit that I saw on that day is Achmad's. He cosplayed as Jack Sparrow from "Pirates of the Carribean". I was fascinated by his effort. Keep in mind that this event was announced one day before the event started (although Mrs. Wiwin has told us some clues about the event). He even made a bird out of aluminium foil! Kudos to him. And what a surprise, he became the center of the attention quickly.
Jack Sparrow of SMAN 3 Bandung

  Before the game started, there were a ceremony to explain World Tournament's techniques. Basically, there are 4 kinds of members on the ship (the ship was each classes), which were captain, soldiers, treasure keepers, and crews. The captain is the one who lead the ship, soldiers protected the ship from bandits, treasure keepers kept the treasure, and the crews must help each other. We were given a map that told us about the way to reach the treasure. There were 4 games and we would be given pictures to solve the treasure. Oh yeah, and throughout the game we must compete with other class. We were competing with X Social. Before we leave, the commitees told us that throughout the game there would be a lot of "bandits" that would throw water baloons at us, so be careful, because if we were splashed with them, we would be "dead", or in a less-spooky word, disqualified from the game.

  The first game begun on 8 AM from what I remember. In that game, we must solve a code, which according to the commitees, was a code for another game. The commitees also ordered 5 people from each class to find clues to solve the code. 10 codes, to be exact. They gave us a paper filled with numbers. We thought that it was a generic number code, so we used that code to crack it but the word didn't make any sense. We were so confused until Akmal came and told us that this is a backward number code, which is a code were the number 26 means A, 25 means B, etc. He knew this because he saw a note in wall magazine that said "A = 26". Smart thinking! We were able to solve the note quickly after that. The codes are filled with a lot of pirates references, such as "steal", "bandit", and much more.

   The second game was spelling game. But wait, on the way we were chased by bandits. They were throwing water baloons at us and we ran for our lives. They were gone quickly though, thank God. After that, the second game began. Each class must have 5 people to represent their ship. 1 person would be given a word and they must spell the word correctly to 3 people in a chain. Then, the fourth person who got the code must told the last person the code so that the last person could write it down on the board. I joined this game and I was the last person. At first I was so confused by the code that was given because I never heard of it. But I was able to write it.

  In the third game, each class must have 3 people to play the game. The commitees would say a number and we must said a word that has the exact alphabets as the number. For example, if they said "3", we can say "egg" because it had 3 alphabets. Not much to say here beside that I admired how fast my classmates thought about the words.

  After that, we were chased by bandits again, but in this time, there were much more bandits that before. The next game was on Taman Musik which was outside the school, and to reach it we must walk through the canteen. And on there, we were greeted by bandits, ready to throw their water baloons. We ran quickly and fortunately none of us were dead.

   When we reach Taman Musik, the commitees were there and explained how this last game worked. It was a quiz that was related to pirates. 5 people from each class must join this game. I didn't know much about the questions because I didn't join the game. Although there were 2 questions that stood out, the first was about an Island in Assassin Creed, and the second one was "What is Mr. Krabs' enemy's name?". And apparently the answer must be his full name, so our class' team asked the rest of us. I quickly answered "Sheldon J Plankton" and apparently I was right. I didn't expect it to be right. I don't know, I memorized that name on my brain (yet I couldn't remember logarithym formula, ugh). Maybe because I watched too much SpongeBob as a child.

SHEEELLDOOOONN

   We returned to school and must solve the treasure, which was a puzzle. We solved it, but we didn't win because other class solved it first. Our class won "Best Costumes" though, as hoped. Before we went home, another ceremony was held and in the end, the bandits returned and they threw water baloons on all of the ships. To make the game fair, we were given water baloons as well, although I prefer to not play the game by hiding on the school's park because I was afraid to be wet.

The squad's costumes, sorry y'all but my face is sacred

  And that's the whole World Tournament. I really enjoyed this event, it was really fun! Although in my opinion there could've been much more games to held, but that's not much an issue. It's more of a demand, haha. Thanks SEF to make this event possible!!

Rachnandyaguna

   Two weeks ago my school organized an event called "Rachnandyaguna". It was an event to hype up Festival Budaya "Gathapraya" on September 30 I believe. A competition was held in there, which was a mural competition, and the best mural will be shown on Gathapraya.

   The rules of the competition was simple. We were given a triplex for the base of the mural, then we had to paint on it, and the drawing must be related to a traditional folklore. We must not bring paints of our own because they were given by the commitees through a game. In the game, we must do whatever the commitees told us to do or answer some questions to get one cup of paint. There were 5 colors available which were red, blue, yellow, white, and black. If we want another color, we must mix it together.
My class' mural

   My class' mural was about "Bawang Putih dan Bawang Merah". It's a folklore about Bawang Putih that was abused throughout her childhood by her step-sister and her step-mother. Everyone know that story, it's a classic. It was so tiring to paint in my opinion. I feel like there were too much stuff going on the mural. It doesn't have one thing to focus, so it came out as a confusing piece to focus at despite that the coloring was really nice (kudos to all my classmates!!). I feel bad for writing this because I didn't really help much, haha. It wasn't really a surprise for us when we didn't win, we were expecting it to happen.

Parts of the mural I've worked on, along with other classmates' help

   I feel like I'm getting too negative on this post. I have to admit that it was a very fun experience! I miss painting, it was one of my hobby. I really enjoy doing it, I love blending the colors on the proccess despite that objectively my painting is mediocre at best. I am not able to do it anymore due to how tiring the school get. So this event really was a breath of fresh air for me. There was also a speech that my classmate Achmad said, which can be summed up as "Even though we didn't win, we don't have to be sad. Next time we must be more prepared.". I think that was a very good point. And overall, it tighten the class' relationship even more. This event required a lot of collaborative effort and X Science 6's cooperation was clearly shown. Overall it was a memorable event.

Selasa, 22 Agustus 2017

Plans for Holiday

On a Saturday in TSM, three high school students named Figlia, Alfina, and Asri are having a conversation....

Alfina   : Guys, holiday is near! I'm so happy! Do you have plans for it?
Asri      : Oh yes, I have so many plans for this holidays!
Alfina   : Wow! How about you, Figlia?
Figlia    : I want to sleep all day long.
Alfina   : Are you crazy?
Asri      : Come on, you must have more plans than that.
Figlia    : Alright, alright. I want to online shopping! I have saved my money for a while.
Alfina   : What do you want to buy?
Figlia    : I want to buy albums of Blur! I really want The Magic Whip and 13, those albums are fantastic! Oh and I also want to buy Everyday Robots, which is Damon Albarn's solo album. It's so emotional and making me cry.
Asri      : You must love Damon so much.
Alfina   : I hate him.
Figlia    : Ugh, shut up Alfina, let me enjoy things. What about you Asri? What are your plans?
Asri      : I want to make some comics! I also want to buy a new pentab.
Alfina   : That's a pretty good plans.
Figlia    : Whoa, pentab is pretty expensive.
Asri      : I know, but I have saved my money for it.
Alfina   : None of you guys asked for my plans and I'm sad.
Figlia    : Good!
Asri      : What are your plans anyway?
Alfina   : I want to go to Tokyo Disneyland.
Figlia    : Why do you want to go there? It's far from here.
Alfina   : Because I heard that park has a lot of cool rides. I want to see sakura flowers as well.
Asri      : With whom do you go there?
Alfina   : With my family, of course! I don't have enough money to go there myself.
Figlia    : Yeah, Disneyland is great. I want to go there someday, but not now I guess.
Asri      : Let's pray that all of our plans become reality!