Tags: Film & Television
April 9, 2012
by Ari Purnama

Headshot: a Buddhist Crime-Noir?

By: Ari Ernesto Purnama


A Review of Headshot (Pen-Ek Ratanaruang, 2011) at CinemAsia Film Festival, De Balie 4-8 April, Amsterdam

Last Saturday at the CinemAsia film festival (De Balie, Amsterdam) was the premiere of Headshot, the latest film made by the internationally reputed Thai filmmaker Pen-Ek Ratanaruang. Ever since the trailer came out, I have anticipated the day of watching this first attempt at crime drama by Ratanaruang firsthand. So, here is my take on the film.

Headshot, an Action Flick Made Difficult?

Headshot entails the story of a cop turned a hitman turned a Buddhist monk turned a hitman again, but this is not all. There’s so much more to it than one could expect from a crime thriller. Tul, a plain clothed police officer in a big city somewhere in Thailand is framed by a crooked politician, because he refuses to compromise by not giving up the case that involves a high ranking government official. From there the turbulent rollercoaster ride of chase and run begins.

April 6, 2012
by Emma Kwee

Our Take on CinemAsia’s FilmLAB

By: Emma Kwee

The CinemAsia Film Festival in Amsterdam doesn't just showcase blockbusters and arthouse favorites, it also gives new talent a chance. In the FilmLAB three short films were presented, made by three young filmmakers from Asian descent. These three, Iegrien Yin Liu and Daan Vree from Amsterdam and Ari Purnama from Groningen, received financial, technical (and in some cases mental) support, during the painstaking, challenging and sometimes overwhelming process of making a short film.

Yesterday these films were presented. For those of you who missed it, be sure to buy tickets at CinemAsia for Saturday 13.00, for a last chance to see these gems.

April 3, 2012
by Emma Kwee

Must See Films @ CinemAsia 4-8 April Amsterdam

By: Emma Kwee

Coming Wednesday April 4 the CinemAsia Festival 2012 kicks off in Amsterdam! Latitudes is going to be there, and so should you! The fifth edition of this eclectic film festival brings a wonderful variety of films from all over Asia. The theme this year is Asian Way, which refers to the fact that ‘Asia,’ ‘Asians’ and ‘Asianness’ are not to be pigeonholed. Prepare to see brave documentaries, big blockbusters and fabulous tales that show the diversity of Asia.

What to see @ CinemAsia on Wednesday April 4

19.30-22.00: The opening film at CinemAsia 2012 is the number one box office hit of 2012, Director Derek Yee’s ‘The Great Magician’ (China 2011). In the early 1920’s, on the streets of Beijing, the nation’s most talented performers have gathered to show off their most spectacular skills. One day, a challenge is set: 50 silver dollars to whoever can reproduce the incredible ‘Eight Immortals’ magic trick. Zhang Xian appears amidst the waiting crowd and decides to try his hand at it. His amazing tricks catch the eye of the local warlord Lei who enlists Zhang’s help in order to win the affections of the great beauty Liu Yin, a woman he has forced to become his seventh concubine. But little does he know that she is the magician’s childhood love. The competition between to two powerful suitors leads Zhang to conjure his best illusion yet in order to defeat the warlord and win his love back. Can’t make it on Wednesday? The Great Magician will also be shown on Saturday night at 23.30 - 01.25.

March 29, 2012
by Monica Dominguez

Garin Nugroho, His Latest Film ‘Soegija’ & my Role in it!

By: Monica Dominguez

Garin Nugroho. A name as familiar to the general population of Indonesians as Quentin Tarantino is to Americans. Don’t know who Garin is? Well according to most of my friends, as well as some other random sources, he is the most famous and well-respected film director in Indonesia- a sprig of hope among a forest of well, really bad films. He has made mainly historically based films, but his focus and vigor sometimes drifts to personal self-discovery works of fiction, such as in Cinta Dalam Sepotong Roti (Love Is a Slice of Bread), Surat untuk Bidadari (Letter to an Angel) and most recently,  Generasi Biru (The Blue Generation), among many others.

His impact upon the world of Indonesian film is profound, considering he has earned a great deal of prestige by way of independent and international festival screenings and awards, a rare feat for Indonesian directors.  According to the Jakarta Post, Nugroho bounces from style to style with each film he makes, but he generally likes to emphasize aesthetics; his dialogue is said to be surreal and poetic. His aims are focused toward stimulating thought and discussion about politics, communication and multiculturalism in Indonesia. “I like to make films that provoke discussion -- whether about the content or style. For example I would like to make a Muslim film about sex, with nudity. I am bored with the depiction of drunkenness in my country. Religion is intertwined with many aspects of life -- with sex, with politics, everything. And now there is maybe more room to raise these issues in Indonesia” (Garin Nugroho in conversation with KINEMA).

March 13, 2012
by Latitudes

CinemAsia film festival Amsterdam: 5th edition New Asian Cinema

CinemAsia film festival 4-8 April 2012 Amsterdam 

The 5th edition of the CinemAsia film festival will take place on April 4th until 8th at De Balie in Amsterdam. With its unique selection of films that varies from independent productions to large Asian blockbusters, CinemAsia makes Asian cinema more accessible to a wider audience. This year the festival will feature more than 40 films from China, Japan, Korea, India, Indonesia and other Asian countries. In addition to screening Asian films, CinemAsia looks to promote and acknowledge Asian talent on Dutch grounds by putting them in the spotlight and giving them a voice.

March 10, 2012
by Ging Ginanjar

Indonesian Film Maker Paul Agusta: Parts of the Heart

By: Ging Ginanjar & Emma Kwee


Paul Agusta is a film maker pur sang. Born in Jakarta in 1980, Agusta studied film in the USA, before returning to Indonesia in 2003. His new film ‘Parts of the Heart’ is, just as his previous work ‘At the Very Bottom of Everything’ (about bi-polar disorder), deeply personal and in parts autobiographical. It’s not the first time either that Agusta checked in at the Rotterdam Film Festival, as his previous films ‘Kado Hari Jadi’ (The Anniversary Gift) (2008) and ‘At the Very Bottom of Everything (2010), were featured at this acclaimed yearly film festival.

We talked with him about his last, daring story, that touches upon the in Indonesia still controversial subject of homosexuality.

February 16, 2012
by Labodalih Sembiring

The Indonesian Cinematheque

By: Labodalih Sembiring

Indonesians are more familiar with the term “Sinematek Indonesia” when referring to their cinematheque, not that it is that well-known outside certain circles such as film researchers and students, film festivals, and television stations. Despite its significance — it holds about 2,000 film titles and stores over 3,000 film reels and videos — one will soon feel its somber atmosphere upon visiting the facility.

In the words of its founder, while the Indonesian film industry was blossoming throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the cinematheque was dying because of its meager budget. It does not look so much different today.

January 11, 2012
by Patrick Durkan

Tran Anh Hung: An introduction to the films of a Vietnamese-French maverick director

By: Patrick Durkan

Vietnamese film maker Tran Anh Hung has a European arthouse aesthetic and philosophy which he applies to East Asian settings and characters. This mixture sets up a dialogue between east and west in terms of representation in film, commerciality and art. In this article we will take a look at this extraordinary film maker and his most lauded films.

Of his five films, three are set in Vietnam, one in America, Vietnam and Hong Kong and the last in Tokyo, Japan. They range from a meditation on beauty, suffering and poverty in a Vietnam city to a dark fantastical detective story about transgression in English with American heart throb Josh Hartnett transported to Hong kong.

December 15, 2011
by Ari Purnama

Indonesian Filmmaker Febian Saktinegara & DSLR Filmmaking in Indonesia

By: Ari Purnama

With the rise of the DSLR filmmaking practices, Indonesia boasts a number of young talented individuals who take this platform seriously as a documentary or fiction storytelling medium. Febian Nurrahman Saktinegara, a 21-year-old native Jakartan, is one of these fresh talents that embrace DSLR moving image making with an innovative outlook. His lyrical non-narrative documentary on the contemporary urbanity of the capital city Jakarta, entitled “Merangkum Jakarta”, has won numerous praises, nominations and awards ranging from the SBM Golden Lens Award of the Erasmus Huis Jakarta to the Special Artist recognition at the ASEAN-Korea Multimedia Competition 2011.

Febian, known as ‘Embi’ to his friends and family, gives us a poetic treatment of the city that is full of gaps and contradictions through “Merangkum Jakarta”, but this is only the beginning. Ari Ernesto Purnama conversed with Embi for Latitudes.nu concerning his background, technique, views of Jakarta and Indonesia, and his future aspirations.

December 1, 2011
by Gabrielle Yetter

From Zwolle to Phnom Penh – Ramon Flicks the Switch in Cambodia

By: Gabi Yetter

When people come to Cambodia, they usually take a while to settle in.

Not Ramon Stoppelenburg.

Ramon arrived in Phnom Penh last September, found a place to live in three days and within six months was the new owner of the city’s only movie house.

This may not sound like a great feat but Ramon took a slightly different path to most. He did it with no money.

As the king of networking, he flung out the net, built it – and they came. That’s how he does things. His global escapades began in 2001 when he launched the website LetMeStayForADay.com asking people to invite him to their homes from his base in Amsterdam. The concept flickered and caught fire and Ramon received 3,577 invitations from 77 countries. So he hit the road for 26 months, staying with strangers who soon became friends.

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