Tags: Film
April 13, 2012
by Yvette Benningshof

Give it up for West Hill, Chinese Hip Hop band Features in Docu & on Stage!

By: Yvette Benningshof

‘I’m the pioneer of Yunnan’s local hip hop culture’, says MC ‘Nan’ laughing about his own statement in the documentary ‘Say Sing’. It’s a funny, honest and hilarious docu about the journey of the progressive Chinese hiphop group ‘West Hill’. Combining rap with traditional Chinese instruments and rhymes written in their local Kunming dialect with a healthy dose of self-mockery; ‘I’m the king of pop!’

Straight after the screening of ‘Say Sing’ at the CinemAsia Filmfestival in Amsterdam West Hill performed their songs and in no time the audience was jumping, while no one understood what they were rapping about. ‘The energy of those guys is just catching’, says Kuang-Chong Yu, Taiwanese music producer and director of ‘Say Sing’. ‘When I started filming I also didn’t understand what they were talking about. I just felt the atmosphere was important enough to keep filming. Afterwards when we translated the texts into Mandarin it proved that it was worth filming.’

April 12, 2012
by Yvette Benningshof

CinemAsia Festival Filmtour 14-15 April

By: Yvette Benningshof & Emma Kwee

Did you miss the CinemAsia Film Festival in Amsterdam? Blast! But luckily, CinemAsia is going on tour with a few selected films. Don't miss your last chance to watch Arisan!2 in The Netherlands, as well as other Indonesian and Chinese films, during the CinemAsia Festival Filmtour.

April 12, 2012
by Yvette Benningshof

Director Nia Dinata’s Arisan: Sex and the City with Substance

By: Yvette Benningshof

Flashing Jakarta big city life, the pristine beaches of the Gili’s, socialites, parties, fashion, friendship and romance: you’ll find plenty in ‘Arisan!2’. But there is more to this film than meets the eye. In this Indonesian style ‘Sex and the City,’ controversial topics are tackled with humor and satire in a playful setting. The long awaited sequel of Arisan! (2003) that featured the first homosexual kiss ever in Indonesian Cinema, cheerfully carries on where the first installment left off.

Nia Dinata Wins Another One

Award winning Indonesian filmmaker, director and producer Nia Dinata received the CinemAsia 2012 Achievement Award at the CinemAsia Filmfestival in Amsterdam. She was praised ‘because through her films as a director and producer she has brought the topic of women, gays and marginalized people to the forefront in Indonesia’.

‘We have a special history with Dinata’, says festival director Doris Yeung, ‘At our first edition in 2004 we world premiered Arisan! and now eight years later we come full circle with the screening of Arisan!2 and carrying out the Achievement Award.’

April 11, 2012
by Yvette Benningshof

Children of Srikandi: The First Indonesian Docu about Queer Women

By: Yvette Benningshof

For the first time in the history of Indonesian cinema, queer female filmmakers are breaking the code of silence. Eight Indonesian women, all lesbian, had their coming out on the big screen, as they produced a documentary together about themselves: ‘Children of Srikandi’.

This is the first documentary about queer women in Indonesia; unique in this country with the largest Muslim population. The film is inspired by the mythological figure Srikandi from the Hindu epic Mahabharata. In traditional Javanese shadow puppet theater (wayang kulit), Srikandi signifies a strong and brave character who is neither woman nor man. Srikandi is often depicted as a female warrior.

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.

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