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Best of 2020: Films that Help Sinekdoks Getting Through the Strange Year
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Best of 2020: Films that Help Sinekdoks Getting Through the Strange Year

Cinemas were closed for almost a year. Films went digital. Streaming prevails. Festivals went online. Yet, here's the best of 2020. I still went to the nearby cinema until early March 2020. The last film I saw on cinema was Vin Diesel's Bloodshot. Since then, relishing the cinematic experience in 2020 was never the same. By the end of March, most cinemas had already closed their door indefinitely (only a few of them finally has finally opened again with a completely new set of protocols in December 2020). By then, it's been an excruciating time for movie aficionado. With cinemas unavailable, streaming services become the last resort. Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+ and HBO become the primary "cinema." Indonesian-bound streaming services like Mola TV, KlikFilm, and Biosko...
Review: Minari (2020)
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Review: Minari (2020)

Hope takes root. That's how Lee Isaac Chung's Minari roots all the stories of struggling Korean-American family in the early 1980s trying to settle in and chase the American Dream. Chung transports his childhood memories of moving to Arkansas into a semi-biographical drama that exudes grace, innocence, and enough authenticity in delivering a sentimental yet beautiful story of hope. It warmly sparks spell-binding moments from the beginning until the end, but always focus on where the roots are. (more…)
Review: Nomadland (2020)
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Review: Nomadland (2020)

"I'm not homeless; I'm just houseless," Frances McDormand's Fern explains her situation—or more accurately, her way of life to her friend's daughter amidst Chloé Zhao's absorbing feature, Nomadland. Her words sound sentimental but never melancholic; and, so does her journey. House is a place, but a home is where the heart is and Fern's journey is best defined with that. She leaves her old life, hits the road in her versatile van, and lives a nomadic life in the spirit of American West. After all, her journey is a elegiac ode to the beautiful life, pensive memories, and to the sense where people actually belong. When "living" means settling down at one place for the roof, the comfort and the money, it's utterly absurd to imagine living without the confining space. And yet, for those who ch...
Review: Another Round / Druk (2020) – Denmark’s Oscars 2021 Submission
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Review: Another Round / Druk (2020) – Denmark’s Oscars 2021 Submission

Under Thomas Vinterberg's direction—also co-writing the screenplay with Tobias Lindholm—Mads Mikkelsen is another unhappy teacher struggling with midlife crises. Unlike The Hunt (Jagten) where the unhappiness roots from innocently vile, external threat, the roots of despair comes from within his character's mind this time in Another Round. Once a prominent figure with charisma and sexual charm when the grapes are ripe, Mikkelsen's character, Martin, becomes less of himself in his midlife period. Now he's a mere shell of his former self; he's soured himself to be a dull person through and through—an unattractive spouse, a passive father, a boring teacher, everything he can think of. This lead to the vaguest tragicomedy premise that this film offers: Martin dozes off his insecurity by resor...
Review: Mank (2020)
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Review: Mank (2020)

David Fincher's new film, Mank, is a behind-the-scene drama about the sacred writing of Citizen Kane. Lauded as one of the finest movies ever made, which is nothing but the truth, the 1941 epic is also known for the series of disputes that follow—from the constant hassle and massive boycott by media mogul, William Randolph Hearst, after whom the movie is partially modeled; the long-lasting financial trouble for RKO Pictures, to the dispute over the writing credit split between director/star/producer, Orson Welles, and veteran screenwriter, Herman Mankiewicz. The film would go on receiving 9 Oscar nominations and only winning one for the rightful Best Writing (Original Screenplay)—to which Welles and Mankiewicz differ in opinions, originating the dispute that will last for decades. (mo...

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