14 Excuses


I just discovered this young female writer/poet that I instantly love her words. Her name is Warsan Shire. She’s a moslem, so you may found quotation from Al-Qur’an in her poems. You can check her writings at warsanshire.tumblr.com.

One of her writings that captivated me the most is a poem which titled “34 excuses for why we failed at love. This later adapted as a short film. A very beautiful black-white movie, although resonates sad and deep feelings. Of all 34 excuses that were stated, I love 14 of them. I screen-captured 14 of them, taken from the short movie, and attach here for you.

Since you love to free-interpret all of my sayings and actions, I want you to read it without any suspicions, and take it as a beautiful poem as it is. :)


Not your everything (because it’s tiring becomes someone’s everything)*,

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*This line belongs to my talented artist friend, who tweeted it on a rainy afternoon, Ika Vantiani.

The gladly dancing plastic bag


This is my favourite scene in American Beauty (Sam Mendes, 1999). The gladly dancing plastic bag; it’s beautiful and romantic in a strange way.

I used to spent the weekend with my significant other on one of the rooftop in Jakarta, just chillin’ and chit-chatting. On a warm afternoon, around the magic-hour, there was this little plastic bag showed up, and started to dance with the wind. We stopped the conversation and watch this nature-made mini recital in front of us. It lasted for almost five minutes. Without a doubt, that was one of the most romantic thing that ever happened to me. That was my ‘American Beauty’ moment.

“It was one of those days, when it’s a minute away from snowing, and there’s this electricity in the air. You can almost hear it, right? And this bag was just dancing with me, like a little kid begging me to play with it, for fifteen minutes.

That’s the day I realized there was this entire life behind things, and this incredibly benevolent force, that wanted me to know there was no reason to be afraid, ever. Video’s a poor excuse, I know, but it helps me remember. I need to remember.

Sometimes there is so much… beauty… in the world, I feel like I can’t take it, and my heart is just going to cave in.”

Gemini Complex



I probably came to this world as a Gemini for a reason. Not only because I was born on 25th May, but the twin symbol of this sign, is an actual reflection of myself. I just found out about the meaning now. A little bit too late, I must say.

I was a happy and optimistic kid. One thing led to another, that little girl was forced to slowly disappear. She can’t bear living in this unidealistic version of her world.

And now I’m here; a 26 years old cynic. A stranger to herself. Alone in the crowd. The other twin.

I miss that happy-optimistic kid.

Deep down inside, I know I have to find that little girl again. So I can be happy, so I can feel completed.


16 April 2012
Pk. 20:04

Reinterpreting Identities in Indonesian Classic Films Poster with Gambar Selaw


“Sundel Bolong” is the most selected film by the member of Gambar Selaw

If there’s a month where Indonesian movie buffs gather at the theater to glorify the beauty of art directing and story-telling, probably March is the answer. It’s simply because the National Film Month is celebrated every March 30th. To commemorate the moment, The Jakarta Arts Council and Kineforum are regularly held a two weeks-length series of events to satisfy the cinephile. It’s the sixth year since the first celebration of Sejarah Adalah Sekarang (History is Now). More than twenty film screenings (old and new), discussions, art exhibition, bazaar, and music concert can be enjoyed at Taman Ismail Marzuki (TIM) area.

One of the highlighted events is the Indonesian Classic Film Poster Illustrations exhibition by Gambar Selaw—or shortened by Galaw—curated by Ade Darmawan. Gambar Selaw is a drawing club established in September 2011, who has a regular meeting every Thursday night at Ruru Shop, ruangrupa. Sixty-four posters inspired by twenty classic Indonesian movies are exhibited at Galeri Cipta 3, TIM.

Kineforum randomly chose the movies, focusing on classic Indonesian movies that produced between 1950-1980s. There was no specific theme applied. “Before start making artworks, the artists watched the selected movies together at Kineforum. Then, they were free to choose the title of the movies they are going to reinterpreted,“ explained Darmawan on the opening night. The private screening was limited to several movies only, most of them are the less-popular ones, unlike Sundel Bolong, or Catatan si Boy.

This becomes interesting, since half of the movies were produced before the 1980’s, far before most of the artists have even born yet. It’s not a surprise if later, movies like Sundel Bolong, Gitar Tua Oma Irama, and Gundala Putra Petir become top 3 most picked movies by them, because those are movies are more popular amongst the others, and the characters have become somewhat icons over decades.

The film titles range over three decades, from the 1953’s production Harimau Tjampa, until the 1980’s hit about the local casanova, Catatan si Boy. Not to mention the legendary long-haired, hole in the back female ghost, Sundel Bolong, who brought the cast, the late Suzanna, to the top of public’s mind when it comes to horror movie.

The exhibition divided into two sections at the gallery. On the first floor, the artworks are divided into several movie titles, such as Sundel Bolong (1981), Djenderal Kantjil (1968), Manusia 6.000.000 Dollar (1981), Harimau Tjampa (1953), and Catatan si Boy (1987). All artworks were digitally finalized, so the artists can add texts like movie tagline and credit title.On the second floor, we can find illustrations from Gundala Putra Petir (1981), Intan Berduri (1972),Gitar Tua Oma Irama (1977), Asrama Dara (1958), Perawan Desa (1978), Tangkaplah Daku Kau Kujitak (1987), Pak Prawiro (1958) and many more. The artists also exhibit the original sketches here. Most of them are in an A4 format or smaller, to make it easier to be scanned for the finalization.

Sundel Bolong seemed to be the diva among all. Approximately eight artists created remake the movie poster of this nation’s most memorable ghost. The long hair and hole in the back, are kept exposed in an uncannily bone-chilling feeling. Lucky for us, new approach was offered that can save us from the the monotone iconic clichés. The initiatives came from two artists who thought it was a good idea to sprinkle the artwork with a bit of humor. Their attempt, in the end, wasn’t failed at all.

“Sundel Bolong” by The Popo

They are The Popo and Johan Ardhika. They have succeeded in making Sundel Bolong becomes less scary. Johan Ardhika, for example, he took advantage of one of the famous lines in the movie, “Satenya 200 tusuk, bang!” (200 satays, please!). Instead of exposing the back, he chose to expose the this legendary scene into the poster; Sundel Bolong eating satay. On the other hand, Popo, not only drew a female ghost figure showing her hollow back, but also put a street tailor as an extra stunt on her side. Riding his bicycle, the tailor seemed offering a service to Sundel Bolong—presumably to sew her back—but the lady ghost refused by giving him a hand signal. Popo, who is also known as Jakarta’s own street artist, is consistently using humor in most of his artworks. His other creation is Gundala Putra Petir (Gundala the Son of Lightning). This time, he made a literal interpretation of the movie title; Gundala were drawn holding a blue balloon on the right hand, and his father’s hand, the Lightning, with the left hand.

The mediums are varied; from drawing pen, pencil color, marker, water color, and many more. Unlike the mediums, the artist were using quite similar approaches in remaking these classic Indonesian movie posters. There were at least two major approaches.

The original “Catatan si Boy” film poster (right) with its illustration series by Gambar Selaw

The first, and most used approach by all of the artists is using the figure as the key. It is very common for us to see artworks exposing character(s) as the main subject of the poster. Major part of the gallery are filled with posters like that. To name a few, there were Sahal Abraham, who chose to draw Rhoma Irama in Sjumandjaja’s 1977 Gitar Tua Oma Irama; Nona Kumis, with herLupus and his infamous blowing bubble gum habit in Asrul Sani’s Tangkaplah Daku, Kau Kujitak (1986); Johan Ardhika, who exposed the national playboy with his iconic aviator sunglasses and Mercedes E-Class in Catatan si Boy (1987), and Tiffany, who deliberately exposed the female gang of four in Asrama Dara (1958).

Similar thing also found in the superhero movies section. Without having to look at the caption, we can easily recognize the movie title by looking at the exposed figure. There were DC Comics’ knock-off, Rama Superman Indonesia (1974) by Bayu Wibowo; Lahirnja Gatotkatja (1960) by Effi; and the local version of the famous tv serial The Six Million Dollar Man, Warkop DKI – Manusia 6.000.000 Dollar (1981) by Anis Wuku.

It’s not a surprise, considering it is probably the easiest and the safest way to make a movie poster; by using its key message. Therefore, people could recognize, and get a brief information about the story, at the same time.

“Djendral Kantjil” series by Gambar Selaw

The second approach, which I find more interesting, was by using a symbol that could represent the movie well enough. Danang Sulistyo maintain this simplicity in two of his artworks, a chicken-shaped money-box made of clay for Pak Prawiro (1958), and a gun for Djendral Kantjil (1968). If we look back at the movies, this is actually also a safe attempt. Pak Prawiro is a movie about a villager named Prawiro, who suggested people to start saving money for the better future. This movie was also produced as Bank Tabungan Pos propaganda. In other hand, Djendral Kantjil, is a children movie about a boy who asked his parents for a toy gun. After getting what we wanted, he started a troop with his friends, who later has managed to thwart a theft in their neighborhood.

The two approaches gave different impacts to the spectators. The first approach, which expose actors as main subject, delivered information about the character; while the second one, which tend to reveal symbol, delivered a message about the story.

At first, movie poster was a strategy to cut the promotional budget. They were designed to grab people’s attention and get them want to see the movie, before having to do a television commercial. If a picture speaks louder than a thousand words, a movie poster has a tougher job, because it has to sell itself at the same time.

We can’t ignore the fact that people having the need to get informed about the movie before they watch it. The sources are then open into three forms: text (synopsis), visual (poster), and audiovisual (trailer). So it is safe to conclude that the key message in a movie poster, is vital, because it grows become the movie identity itself. In this case, the artists have chosen a particular movie identity to be exposed in each artwork, but also, their identity as well. ***

Indonesian Classic Film Poster Illustrations, an art exhibition by Gambar Selaw, from 23 – 31 March 2012 at Galeri Cipta 3, Taman Ismail Marzuki (TIM) Jl. Cikini Raya 73, Central Jakarta. For more infomation about Gambar Selaw (Galaw): www.gambarselaw.com.

Before the Sun Rises

Last night one of my friend tweeted about Before Sunrise he has just watched. It’s an old movie actually, starred by Ethan Hawke and the one and only Julie Delpy. Many of my friends love this movie. The two actors played as strangers who met on a train and caught in the middle of the smooth casual-but-deep conversation all day long. They both stuck on each other ever since.

Well, I’m not going to elaborate about how good the movie was and what makes me and most of my friends feel head over heels about it. The movie instantly brought me back to the high school years. I knew Before Sunrise (and Before Sunset) from my senior—two years older. I had a major crush on him back then. Long story short, we used to stayed up all night chatting on MiRC (yes, it was circa 2001, we even “founded” Late Nite Insomnia Club for God’s sake) talked about almost everything; music (we both love British musicians), movies (we have many same favourite movies), and personal life (family, education, love life, etc). For a moment there, I felt like the wannabe version of Before Sunrise & Before Sunset‘s Jesse-Celine. LOL! (If you still clueless about what I’m talking about, go watch the movie. Find the nearest pirated DVD kiosk from your current place or simply download it, you lazy-ass.)

“To have a Before Sunset conversation is the highest achievement of every in-a-relationship person,” tweeted my friend.

Only of course, I never had a relationship with—let’s just call him—Spiteri. Our only offline contact was going to the tribute gig, where some bands were covering other British bands. We went there with couple other friends. So it was not a date. Not even close. But that’s not the point. My friend was right. Having someone you can talk to, is an achievement. Let alone the “Before Sunrise & Before Sunset” kind.

Spiteri is a married man now, thanks to Before Sunrise & Before Sunset the movies. Confuse? Let me tell you something funny about him. Many years ago, he told me over MiRC that he “met” this girl, who also a fan of the movies. Dare to take a guess where did they meet? Facebook’s movies column.

I kid you not.

In the old times, you can click on the movie title to see who else liked the movie. Including some strangers who are not in you inner-friend circle. Spiteri was so excited about this girl. The 10 years age difference didn’t hold him back to get to know her. Years went by until the day they got married. What a shame I couldn’t attend the reception because I was on duty out of town.

Did I feel sad? I must admit, yes.

Did I feel heartbroken? No, I didn’t, because I never give it to him. So, what’s there to break?

Did I love him? You see, I didn’t have enough guts to call it love. I’m afraid I have to quote Celine from the Before Sunrise to express my feeling about the concept of love, “I think I can really fall in love when I know everything about someone-the way he’s going to part his hair, which shirt he’s going to wear that day, knowing the exact story he’d tell in a given situation. I’m sure that’s when I know I’m really in love.” Let alone call him my soulmate. Just because we share many things in common, doesn’t mean we are soulmate.

Years go by as we’re living our own life. He with his little family, and me with the boyfriend I love dearly. He has found his Celine, and I have found my Jesse.

I still remember him sometimes. Even-though he’s just a one click-away on my Yahoo! Messenger or Facebook, we never talk to each other anymore. No reason, we just don’t. Some people might say there’s still unfinished business, but I dare to say no. Nothing will ever finished because we have started none. I resist the will to say “Hi” even for the sake of the old times, and neither does he. No hurt feeling whatsoever. It’s part of being a grownup.

I will always remember him as a good friend of mine who I used to share many things to. My highschool era was suck less, one of them because of our before-the-sun-rises chat over MiRC. He used to be my mood booster everytime I feel the lack of will to drag my body out of the bed to attend school more often. It felt good.

At this very moment,  allow me to wish him enough. To the Founder of Late Nate Insomnia Club, the writer of unfinished Fridon Carter; Spiteri.

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish enough “Hello” to get you through the final “Goodbye”.*

We’re not friends. We’re just strangers with memory.


And to all of you who are reading this post, who enjoy even the smallest talk with the loved ones;  who remember those who keep you carry on; who cherish small things that matter. I wish you enough.


*Credits: Image and I Wish You Enough


I like to play with words. It gives me certain excitement every time I do it. That’s why I love to play Scrabble, Word puzzle, Letter Linker, and any other word-game. But for the past month, I discover a new word game for me. Who knows if later my friends also enjoy the game I’ve been playing. It’s called Dicktionary. It’s not necessary a real “game” actually, it’s a new way to define a word. Like dictionary, but funnier. Since I’ve been doing this only on Twitter, so I put a hashtag #dicktionary at the end of every definition I make. You can check it by following me at @elsara.

There’s another Twitter account  (@Daffynitions) who regularly post similar word-game like mine. As you can see from his account name, he also provides us a daffy-definition for each word. I’m in no position to judge which definition is better, mine or his, but you can check both of our timelines and look which one suits you most. And after all, we both welcome you to create a unique-cool-yet-funny definitions!

Here is the compilation of my Dicktionary (will be regularly updated):


Affair: A perfect slice of blueberry cheesecake between your diet. #dicktionary


Cappuccino: Another language to say “I don’t really like coffee, but ordering hot/ice chocolate makes me look lame”. #dicktionary

Chili: Basic proof of sadomasochism. #dicktionary


Death: Just like love, it’s about time. #dicktionary

Donuts: Insanely overexposed for a food with hole.  #dicktionary


Football: Soccer with better name. #dicktionary

Flu: Just like the phone-sex; love the voice, hate the rest. #dicktionary

Fever: Should be a good reason to get extra attentions from your loved one(s). #dicktionary


Good night: A sugar-coated sign for “I’m bored talking to you”. #dicktionary


High heels: Silent killer, physically and financially. #dicktionary


Indonesian horror movies’ title: Lampu Hijau’s headline evil twin. #dicktionary


Love song: Makes couples happier, makes singles shittier. #dicktionary


Monday: Something that starts your week, but ends your joy. #dicktionary

Money: The cure and the cause of almost every problem in the world. #dicktionary


Pants: Something to wear that longer than shorts. #dicktionary


Relationship: Between hello and goodbye. #dicktionary


Shrink: Luckier than bestfriend; they get paid. #dicktionary

Something like that (ya gitu deh-Indonesian version) #1: A force-shutdown button when you run out of idea in the middle of presentation/ meeting. #dicktionary

Something like that (ya gitu deh-Indonesian version) #2: When you finally realized you have no idea what you were talking about. #dicktionary


Theatre: A place that also provide space for those who don’t actually care about the movie, A1-2. #dicktionary

Third person: The unhappy souls savior, from another point of view. #dicktionary


Warhol: The man who sold banana and became world’s famous & rich. #dicktionary

Wedding bouquet: A grenade bridesmaids want to jump on.#dicktionary | via @trutv :))

Weekend: Days before it, don’t matter. #dicktionary

With all due respect: Something to say before you pissed someone off by an irritating and/or insulting comment. #dicktionary

:: Image from here. ::

Kuroshio Sea: Not your ordinary aquarium



Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful video. It’s simply breathtaking. I know some people might think it looks like their screensaver. But the fact that it’s a real aquarium, the world’s second largest, is just amazing.

In case you’re wondering, it’s the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium. According to Wikipedia, it’s located within the Ocean Expo Commemorative National Government Park in Okinawa, Japan. As I mentioned before, it is the world’s second largest aquarium, right after Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta. The one you see in this video, is the main tank, Kuroshio Sea. It holds 7500 cubic metres of water and built from a 8,2 by 22,5 metres of an acrylic glasspanel with a thickness of 60 centimetres! To hold such big amount of water like that, no wonder this baby needs glasspanel as thick as that.

I don’t find any of Georgia Aquarium video in YouTube that as beautiful as this. I believe it’s because the filmmaker, Jon Rawlinson, shot it with a steady camera and put such a beautiful music on it. And he’s succeeded. The music makes it perfect, it’s Please Don’t Go by Barcelona.

Congratulation, Jon, for this superb video! And thank you to remind us about the beauty of mother nature.


P.S. Watch it full screen on a cinema display monitor to get an awesome experience of watching. And here’s a short interview with Jon about the video.


Please Don’t Go – Barcelona

All those arrows you threw, you threw them away
You kept falling in love, then one day
When you fell, you fell towards me
When you crashed in the clouds, you found me

Oh, please don’t go
I want you so
I can’t let go
For I lose control

Get these left handed lovers out of your way
They look hopeful but you, you should not stay
If you want me to break down and give you the keys
I can do that but I can’t let you leave
Oh, please don’t go
I want you so
I can’t let go
For I lose control