Monday, March 27, 2006

Roos van Lembang

Tiga tahun yang lalu, dalam rangka ulang tahun beliau yang ke 88, kami para cucu sepakat membuat film dan buku tentang hidupnya. Semua kami kerjakan bersama, mulai dari wawancara, mengumpulkan data, membuat script dan buku, shooting, editing, sampai acting!

Sayangnya, setelah wawancara terakhir pada tanggal 23 Maret 2003, Uty, demikian panggilan sayang dari kami, terkena stroke dan meninggal keesokan harinya. Beliau tidak pernah melihat buku dan film hasil karya para cucu dan cicitnya yang berjudul Roos van Lembang.

Kemarin, tiba² alarm handphone saya berbunyi. Saya yang tidak merasa memasang alarm untuk reminder jadi bingung, ada janji dengan siapa. Ketika saya lihat bunyinya: Ultah Uty 27 Maret. Selama ini alarm itu tidak pernah jalan untuk mengingatkan saya akan hari ulang tahun beliau!

mijn liefste Uty,
eerlijk gezegd weet ik niet wat ik moet zeggen
'gefeliciteerd met u verjaardag' lijkt me ongepast voor deze gelegenheid
dus, wens ik u vrede en geluk waar u ook bent
ik hou ziel veel van u
veel liefs,
uw mooie kleindochter

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Perangko Lenticular

Yang anda lihat disebelah adalah animasi dari salah satu perangko lenticular yang baru kemarin saya beli dengan harga hampir 10 kali harga aslinya! Seperti kebanyakan anak², saya dulu rajin mengumpulkan perangko. Kini, hanya bila saya melihat perangko yang menarik saja saya simpan, entah itu sampul hari pertama, entah perangko mint yang belum dipakai, atau perangko bekas.

Februari lalu saya mendengar bahwa TPG Post Belanda mengeluarkan dua perangko khusus dalam rangka olimpiade musim dingin. Keduanya menampilkan pahlawan speed skating Belanda Yvonne van Gennip juara Olimpiade Calgary 1988 seperti yang anda lihat di atas, serta Ard Schenk, juara Olimpiade Sapporo 1972. Ternyata peminat perangko ala video ini amat banyak. Menurut orang di kantor pos yang saya tanya, perangko ini habis dalam setengah jam! Jadi jangan heran kalau di toko filateli harganya jadi amat tinggi padahal umurnya baru 1 bulan.

Konon, perangko yang dibuat dengan tehnologi Lenticular ini merupakan yang pertama di Eropa. Selandia Baru, negara tempat tehnologi ini berasal, telah menerbitkan perangko jenis ini dua tahun yang lalu, kira² bersamaan dengan terbitnya koin lenticular di Belanda. Seperti anda lihat sendiri, perangko ini memuat 2 detik video yg dikemas dalam 24 frames. Designnya dikerjakan oleh Solar Initiative dan bekerja sama dengan partner dari Australia juga.

Satu hal yang saya tidak habis pikir, TPG Post menjual perangko ini seharga 39 Euro sen padahal ongkos pembuatannya jauh diatas harga jual sehingga mereka hanya bisa mencetak dalam jumlah terbatas. Seandainya mereka menjual per perangko seharga 78 Euro sen pun, saya yakin masih laku dan bisa dicetak lebih banyak lagi.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Five years ago today

...I did what I thought I would never do

I am glad I did it
even though I still am suffering from its consequences

Did it change me? You bet
Would I do it again? In a heart beat
Would I recommend anybody to do it? Heck NO

All I can say is, you just have to do what you think is right in your situation
What is right for me doesn't necessary right for you

Friday, March 17, 2006

Tango, no me dejes nunca

Finally I had a chance to watch Carlos Saura's Tango, which was nominated for Oscar in 1998. I've seen his Flamenco before and fell in love with his way of creating dance movies straight away.

Set in Buenos Aires, Tango is about Mario Suarez, a film Director, whose wife, Laura, just left him. During his process of directing a tango movie he fell in love with Elena, a dancer in his crew, who happen to be a girlfriend of a Mafioso.

To tell you the truth, I dont care about the weak story. I dont care how overacting Miguel Ángel Solá is. I just love the music, the choreography (done by Ana Maria Steckelman) and of course: TANGO, Argentine Tango to be exact, not the ballroom one.

When someone once describes dance as a vertical expression of a horizontal desire, I think he got Tango in his mind. It is an intimate dance, where you are literally press your chests against each other, and depending on your height, cheek to cheek or heads rest together. And this closeness is necessary; you need to connect in with each other in a way so that the woman can respond to the movement of man easily. It is a dance where men are men and women are women. The former lead and the later follow, both with passion!

I think Saura did extremely well capturing the essence of tango in his movie, the sensuality, the passion. Like the dance, there's playfulness in the movie: in several scenes you are unsure whether it is about the reality of Mario's life, or it is his imagination.

Tango, you never leave me

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Museum Hopping II

At this moment there's this interesting exhibition on Indonesia at the Nieuwekerk, Amsterdam. There are about 300 pieces from both National Museum Indonesia in Jakarta and National Museum of Ethnology in Leiden. They even have the statue of Ken Dedes (wife of Ken Arok the founder of Singasari) as Prajnaparamitha, Goddess of Wisdom. That Singarajan statue, which is now part of National Museum Indonesia's collection, is considered as Indonesian's Monalisa because of its beauty.

You can see some of the fortune that the Dutch took with them when they defeated the kingdom of Lombok, and the jewellery and weapons from the puputan (Balinese tradition to go to the battle till death of all member of the kingdom).

According to Discovery travel's site Allard Pierson Museum's Egyptian collection is on the top 5 Egyptian museum outside Egypt. So, as someone who is interested in Egyptian's past, I went there to check it out. Most of their possesion are related to funeral rite, for example a model of funeral boat. Their bronse statue of Bastet and Hellenistic mummy mask are must see pieces. Some of the leather pieces, such as kid's shoes, and clothes are somethings I had never seen in other museum that I visited before.

There's a couple of days left to see the Color! exhibition on the use of gaudy, conspicuous color in Greek and Etruscan pottery, temple and other objects.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Museum Hopping

ByzantiumI've been museum hopping again, and loving every minutes of it.

First, I went to Hermitage in Amsterdam. As I mention earlier, it's the Amsterdam branch of the famous Hermitage in St Petersburg. At this moment they exhibit the Byzantium culture. The collection was beautiful, my favorites was the gift to Alexei, the last tsar's son, made from mother of pearl and three crosses crafted from wood and covered by precious stones and gold. One could see oil lamps and crosses from the early period of Christianity, icons and other relics, and pilgrims' souvenier from the 18th and 19th centuries. In some of the pieces you can see Islamic influence in Christian design. There are even some pieces of the 'true cross', as in the cross upon which Jesus was crucified!

Neshat, Quarez, Dijkstra, Boontje
On the following day I went to Stedelijk Museum Centraal Station (SMCS). Their collections are mostly modern. Iranian born Shirin Neshat exhibits her movies on the relationship between male and female in Islamic society. I love her work in Rapture (1999), a black and white film (or I should say films) split in two screens. One screen depicted Arab men in loose-fitting white shirts, roaming around, playing card, praying in a fort. On the other screen women in their traditional black hijab stand rigidly facing forward in a group, wailing and lamenting. Persian poem is written on their hands. The women part reminds me of Theo van Gogh's Submission (2004), where he used Quranic verses about women on naked female body. Some accused van Gogh plagiarized Neshat's work in Submission.

There is posters exhibition by Michel Quarez, which I don't particularly interested.

On the other hand the photographs of Rineke Dijkstra were just superb. She photographed teenagers on the beach, (almost) naked women holding their new born babies, people at Tiergarten in Germany, the transformation from an asylum seeker into 'Dutch girl' in Holland, potraits of matadors, a young recuit of French Foreign Legion and Buzz/Mysteryland video on clubbing scene in England and Holland. Dijkstra shot them almost always frontally, with minimalist background. In the Beach serie, for example, there were almost no shadows that indicate the time of the day when it was taken. However, there' s something about her pictures that make them intimate.

In their Recent Acquisitions part, I love Tord Boontje's work. His works are always very intricate and romantic, but not too romantic that it makes you want to puke.

There's one thing about SMCS that bothers me: lack of direction. You can wander from one exhibition to the other from several entrances. I ended up viewing Dijkstra's exhibition from the end to the beginning. Sure, you get the map of the museum, but a direction would help.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


Back in December, when I was at my aunt's place, I saw an Indonesian cable channel: GarudaTV. At first I thought they are only broadcasting in the North Holland area. At that time they were only testing their broadcast, so practically all I saw was re-run of xmas video clips, promo ads and once I saw Indonesian sitcom with Becky Tumewu.

It turns out that now you can also receive it in South Holland area. So, yesterday I was watching it. Man, it feels so strange! I mean here I am in Holland, watching Indonesian tv with Dutch subtitle! So far I've seen the series Borobudur and Brama Kumbara's troon, some Ambonese singing, some travelling serie and this programme called 'My World' host by Hans Lazuardi (I guess he's famous in Indonesia, but I've never heard about him before).

Maybe it's just me, but somehow I can't stand the way and/or the sound of some of the presenters talk. Their intonation, their pitch, their use of words. TOO MUCH! People don't normally talk like that, they sound like they are somekind of cartoon characters. And I thought you got training before becoming a presenter.

Then again, I haven't been back for ages, maybe that's how people talk these days in Jakarta. What do I know?

7:35 in the morning

A short film by Spanish director Nacho Vigalondo.
This film got nominated for last year's Oscar.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Another stupid policy from back home

I know it is still early, but I got this feeling it's going to be an interesting day. It is cold, and it was snowing rather heavily last night (which is not that often in this part of NL).

Yudi directed me to this story. For you my dear (female) Indonesian readers, please read it. BIZARRE. Who in their right mind came up with such policy?

I can understand that prostitution is frown upon in Indonesia. But to create a law that stated ”Setiap orang yang sikap atau perilakunya mencurigakan, sehingga menimbulkan suatu anggapan bahwa ia/mereka pelacur, dilarang berada di jalan-jalan umum, di lapangan-lapangan, di rumah penginapan, losmen, hotel, asrama, rumah penduduk/kontrakan, warung-warung kopi, tempat hiburan, gedung tempat tontonan, di sudut-sudut jalan atau di lorong-lorong jalan atau tempat lain di Daerah” (Individual whose attitude or behaviour aroused suspicion, so as to cause a notion that that person(s) is/are prostitute(s), are banned in the public's roads, in fields, in the boarding house, the hostel, the hotel, the barracks, the inhabitants's house/leased, coffee stalls, the place of entertainment, the place of the show, in corners of the road or in road paths or the other place in Local area.) is just beyond my comprehension. A law based on nothing but suspicion!!!

So, in fact even if you are not a prostitute, you can be charged as one just because someone think that you are one! My Goodness gracious.

I still can't believe that judge Barmen Sinurat had the audacity to rule that Lilis Lindawati is a prostitute even though the evident didn't backed his ruling. I am not lawyer or anything, I only did a course on Health Law, but I guess when they talked about 'not guilty until proven otherwise' judge Sinurat was absent that day.

Just hoping everythings else go well for Ms Lindawati.