May 2017 – A Recap

I did not anticipate that May was gonna be a quite busy month, but I managed to watch all the biggest spotlights of the month. For my cinematic experience, May gave lots of surprise—fun surprise, which gave me lots of thrills. Alien: Covenant is good and Wonder Woman defied all the expectation! Riverdale wrapped and the third season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt was all fun!

So, here I present you a recap to help readers digest what have been going on Sinekdoks along May 2017! Continue reading May 2017 – A Recap

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Blindspot: Dances with Wolves (1990)

“My name is Dances with Wolves. I have nothing to say to you. You are not worth talking to,” said John Dunbar.

By today’s standard, Kevin Costner’s Dances with Wolves would’ve been received differently, possibly with praise over the film’s respect to representation – the use of native people and native language to depict native American, Sioux and Pawnee. At the same time, it might also receive terrible backlash over its ‘white savior’-esque narrative by today’s critical audiences. However, it stormed of Academy Award in 1991 – nominated for 12 and win 7, including Best Picture. Continue reading Blindspot: Dances with Wolves (1990)

Ziarah (2017): Between discourse and pilgrimage

Review: BW Purba Negara’s debut feature Ziarah could’ve been made into a faux-documentary about love and reconciliation, tailing fictitious Mbah Sri (Ponco Sutiyem), a 95-year-old widow in stint to find her late husband’s tomb. However, it after all is presented as a pure fiction, juxtaposing two stories at once, while retaining the cinéma vérité style and keeping it as grounded as possible.

The word ‘ziarah’ itself means pilgrimage; and this Ziarah is a story about that pilgrimage to a grave unbeknownst to the pilgrim. The final result is pretentious but delightful and homey. Continue reading Ziarah (2017): Between discourse and pilgrimage

The Lost City of Z (2017) – Review

Review: In terms of visualizing a grandeur story about ambition, passion and destiny, James Gray’s The Lost City of Z might make handful of resemblance with Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood and a smaller scale of it. While the latter is a chronicle of a man’s ambition over oil field for greater goods of one’s self, the former is a spiritual adventure of a man’s ambition dividing the South American jungle to unravel humanity’s biggest secret, an older civilization hidden in the green desert.

Adapted from David Grann’s book, the quest to find Z retold the story of a British man, Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam), who was tasked to map Brazil-Bolivian boundary deep in the Amazon rainforest in order to prevent wars between the two countries. Fawcett teamed up with Henry Costin (Robert Pattinson), an avid explorer of the jungle. During the tenure, Fawcett was consumed by the idea of a lost city he proposed as ‘Z’ after confirming a native’s story upon his findings of pottery. The more he believes and studies the lost city, the more he’s obsessed and the more his ambition to prove its existence emerges, engulfing his own existence.  Continue reading The Lost City of Z (2017) – Review

Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge (2017) – Review

Review: For the fifth installment (a.k.a. another comeback), Pirates of the Caribbean franchise decided to use a more narrative-friendly Salazar’s Revenge title over the more occult (and, still, US title) Dead Men Tell No Tales purposively. After all, giving away an obscure name in the title might help convincing audiences that this is a new series, not just a hasty recycle of the original trilogy… or a too-early Force Awakens in the ocean.

In case you forget, ‘original’ Pirates series progressed upon an electric narrative involving an unholy trinity – Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley). In surviving a trilogy, the last two names were retired from the narrative in the disjointed fourth installment, which marked Sparrow’s solo-career. And, yet, Salazar’s Revenge, learning from the last lambasted tenure, decides to create a small reunion, assemble a rejuvenated trinity, add some family issue there, and starts a new been-there-done-that voyage. Now you know why I called it a nautical Force Awakens rip-off, don’t you? Continue reading Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge (2017) – Review

A Season with: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (2017) – Season 3

Review: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt returns elegantly in aftermath of the second season’s ultimate cliffhanger and sees our titular powerhouse, Kimberly ‘Kimmy’ Schmidt (Ellie Kemper), grown into a more empathetically, complex protagonist. While the cult captive PTSD theme is still revisited for once or twice, season three witnesses Kimmy arises above the ground, literally leaves the underground bunker, and gets integrated into a real world problem of empowerment and feminism.

At first, Kimmy’s got to do something to clinch the cliffhanger, where Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne (Jon Hamm) demands a divorce; then, she’s going to college for education and, eventually, career; later, she’s learning something about herself that makes her different from other people. At the same time, creators Tina Fey and Robert Carlock insert insightful quests for other characters to deal with, which take roots from their deeds in the second season; and make them a more integral part of the storytelling. Continue reading A Season with: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (2017) – Season 3