Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Joni's Promise

Think of this premise: A fast-paced, full of gags romantic comedy about a film reel delivery boy to get the film rolls on time. What's the image that comes to mind? A lavishly made Hollywood movie starring maybe Orlando Bloom? Set in the streets of L.A where everyone is making movies and the buildings are manicured and beautiful? Nope

Joni's Promise is an Indonesian film. It is part of the nouveau cinema movement in Indonesia. The story is about the film delivery boy trying to make a move on a girl. She said she'll only want to reveal her name if the guy finishes delivering the film reels she saw that day. However, Joni encountered impossible obstacles along the way that day.

The style of the film reminds me of a slightly more upbeat take in DeSica's Bicycle Thief. It also employs a bit of the Lizzie Mcguire style flashbacks (I can assure you they made it look really good instead of the cheesy photosnaps in LM). It is also peppered with filmmaker humor. (one part of a scene depicts a scriptwriter ass-kissing for movie funding. :P Something we all, filmmaker have to do sooner or later). And also, the film is full of colourful cast. (starting with Pak Ucok, the projectionist to the guy who had heart attack later on in the movie.)

It's a must see. It's fresh and hilarious! The only time I have really enjoyed laughing on a comedy film like this was watching Nez Rouge and The Producers. It's not pretentious or tries to be and it even made fun of the film industry in Indonesia. (which just started again ) I heartily reccomend this movie to anyone wanting a good laugh, or a good movie.


Anonymous said...

I saw it, too!!! And it made me happy for a week. It's funny but there are a lot more about this movie which make it accessible for anyone from any part of the world. Perhaps because of it's sincerity.

Jeff Pidgeon said...

It sounds a little like a sequence in Cinema Paradiso, where the hero has to screen a film at two different towns. He winds up biking the last reels across the Italian countryside while the audiences wait.

I highly recommend the theatrical version (i.e, not the director's cut) if you haven't seen it!

ivanfilm said...

Nouveau cinema movement in Indonesia? or re-hash an 80's american romantic comedy? hasn't see the movie yet, but after watching what's up w/ love, agh god, this is what indo cinema has become? makes me puke. so i guess it's biasness?

what they need to do is to go to basic..the early days of the indo cinema with Teguh Karya or Garin Nugroho.

S. Stephani Soejono said...

Hey, that's really unfair. You haven't even seen the movie and you're judging it just based on Ada Apa Dengan Cinta? Stop being close-minded, try to watch it.

Teguh Karya and Garin Nugroho are the best people to do movies but this new generation is trying to break out and make their own mark. Stop trying to judge people that way. I'm sure Garin/Teguh's first movie isn't as great as their later stuff as well.

Skye said...

It's worth noting that Garin Nugroho is a fan of Joko Anwar's work and gave him an award for Janji Joni.

What you need to do is know what you're talking about. When you go and produce something the quality of Nugroho, then maybe we'll listen to you.

As a film/television producer my professional advice to you is if you're going to make claims, and have the balls to post your website, it better be way better than the person you're criticizing. And the stuff on your site isn't.

Anonymous said...