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Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality?

— Westworld

There comes a time in one’s life when existential questions start striking one’s mind in the form of crisis. One may choose to not be bothered as one carries on living and getting engaged with their ignorant surrounding. Or one may choose to dwell in it to the extent of indulging its malady, confronting reality even if it may cost one’s sanity. It’s like the blue pill-red pill situation in The Matrix. And I’ve recklessly swallowed the red pill. Now there’s no turning back.

Ada saatnya dalam hidup seseorang ketika pertanyaan-pertanyaan eksistensial mulai menghantamnya sebagai suatu krisis. Ia dapat memilih untuk tak menghiraukannya, melanjutkan hidup seperti biasa dan membaur dengan lingkungan yang sama tak acuhnya. Atau ia dapat memilih untuk membenamkan diri di dalamnya sampai-sampai memanjakan sakit yang dibawanya, berhadapan dengan realitas yang sesungguhnya meskipun ia bisa saja kehilangan akal sehatnya. Layaknya situasi pil biru atau pil merah dalam film The Matrix. Aku telah dengan gegabah menelan pil merah. Kini tak lagi ada jalan kembali.

In Darkness

There's an itch inside my soul I want to get rid of
Not knowing how
Wondering whom to ask for time

I've been sitting here half frozen
For the reach of your hands
Waiting desperatey
For grace to be bestowed upon me

This sharp edge may numb this madness
Its shiny brand new steel drawing narrow red line
Across the soft coating of this beast
Will you let me?
Will you come for me?

Time is ticking
Tik tok
The sound of the clock
Crying out loud

Before it's midnight
Before the answer is locked
Will you send the messenger to pick me up just in time?
Illuminate me til' my eyes blind
And I'll follow wherever it entails

These strings attached to my veins been pulling my guts out
Tried to murmur prayers with lips tightly closed
Let the blade cut through the interwoven chaos
Resolving the war raging since the birth of the idol
Once and for all

But the streams down the red river won't wash away guilt
An instant bang behind closed door lead to burning flames

Are you there?
It's not time for hide and seek
The worms are getting closer
They're coming
Hunting mortal souls like marching soldiers
You've promised me a mansion above the clouds if I'm willing to adore you

Am I the one who strays?
Am I the one who puts a million miles distance in between?
Or did you leave me nowhere to be found?
Did you build a thick wall with million bricks?

I've carved your name over and over
When the letter fades I start over using the ink I've got left
After all, I'm not all out of mine

Yet you surround me with silence
I can't feel your presence only pain
Is it true you're dead?


My mind has sailed away
My heart won't let you go, still
Just make a noise
Spit out a name
And I'll throw the weapon on the ground
I'll walk in yellow for the days to come

Wendy and Lucy (2008) is A Hurtful Reminder of Life

Dealing with loneliness for most of my life, I stumbled across this movie when I browsed “movies about loneliness”. Wendy and Lucy (2008) casted Michelle Williams as Wendy who owned a dog named Lucy. Williams’ acting was stunning in this movie, just as usual, she just came natural.

So, the story was about Wendy who wanted to move to Alaska for a job. She brought her dog, Lucy, along with her. She stopped in Oregon to get some rest. The next morning, a security officer woke her up and asked her to move her car outside of the property but apparently her car broke down. The garage nearby was closed that day and she ran out of dog food. She didn’t have a lot of money as she tried to press her spending as minimum as possible. Lucy was tied up outside of the store and Wendy went in. She got caught stealing a can of dog food. Wendy tried to defend herself saying it was a mistake, an accident, and the boy who brought her to the manager said something that was hurtful but also true: If a person can’t afford dog food, they shouldn’t have a dog.

Wendy was sent to jail, leaving Lucy tied up. When she got back, Lucy was gone. Long story short, Wendy was in a dreadful moment with a stranger in the night, her car could not be fixed, and she found Lucy in a nice house.

The most heartbreaking part of the movie was when Wendy came to see Lucy after getting a report that Lucy was found. At first, Wendy was really happy and relieved that it was indeed Lucy, her lost dog. But then, seeing the man who found her had a nice car, a nice house, and a nice yard, he must be taking care of Lucy well. Better than Wendy did. So, she decided to leave Lucy there, she said to Lucy, holding her tears: I’m gonna make some money and I’ll come back.

Money, the root of problems in modern life. Somehow life is much more miserable when you don’t have money. It’s like life keeps throwing punches at you. Every time you try to get up, life punches you again, harder than before. The closest we can do to beat life is to punch back at it at least twice harder, but that’s not an easy task in most cases.

Wendy and Lucy (2008) reminds us that life as hard. Life is a series of obstacles, especially when we’re alone and broke. Her first problem is her broken car, then the dog food, the missing Lucy, then the dreadful encounter with stranger.

That encounter was very terrifying, he could’ve raped her or murdered her, but thank God he didn’t. Right after the encounter Wendy ran and cried in the public bathroom. She said, either to herself or to Lucy, probably to Lucy: hang on girl, I’m coming. Either way, life is survival, we’ve got to hang on. I like how she added “girl” there. Whether it’s relevant or not to what she said and the way she said it, at some cultures (like mine) girls were raised with a belief that a man would always protect her. So some girls never learn how to stand up for herself, afraid of being on her own, that usually got them stuck even in a toxic relationship. But some girls are not “lucky” enough to have a man, or anybody else, by their side. That’s why girls need to be strong, we need to be prepared for all the worst that could happen. That when life brings us down again and again, we girls hang on. It’s just what I feel when watching that scene, strangely empowered.

Next, just when there was a glimpse of hope in sight, that was when she got the news that Lucy was found, a bad news came (that’s life!). Her car couldn’t be fixed, that would make it hard for her to bring Lucy to Alaska with her. So she got to let Lucy go. Turns out, having a pet is very similar to having a kid. If you can’t afford it, you should not have it. It’s hurtful but it has a point. We need pet/kid to get through life, they could give us company, a tender feeling, love and affection, they could be the reason for us to keep trying. But when we could not provide for them well, we made them suffer too somehow.

That’s why I say that this movie is a hurtful reminder of life. Life is about surviving, life have us make tough and difficult choices, life is not the way we want it to be, full of twists and surprises (both bad and good), and in life sometimes we have to let go.

My Life Is Currently The 400 Blows (1959)

The 400 Blows (1959) is a coming of age film written and directed by François Truffaut. The original title, in french, is Les Quatre cents coups. Based on what I read on an essay from the criterion website [1], it comes from the idiom faire les quatre cents coups which means to raise hell. The essay says that this film is rooted in the director’s childhood.

Spoiler Alert! I recommend you to stop reading if you haven’t watched the movie and don’t want a spoiler. But if you’re alright with that, you may continue ^^

This film focused on its main character, a teenage boy named Antoine Doinel. He was raised at home by both his mother and his stepfather. At first, it appeared as if the family was okay. We didn’t even know that the father was actually a stepfather. Both Antoine and his stepfather made a dinner for his mother who didn’t come home from work yet. As the story unfolded itself, we began to understand that things did not go well at home. First, there was always problem with money and he caught his mother cheating on his stepfather. The lack of affection and attention coming from his parents quite played a role in turning Antoine into this rebel, punk kid. He never paid attention at school, did not obey his obnoxious teacher and sort of became a mortal enemy to that teacher.

One time life seemed to get better for him. His mother finally realized her absence in nurturing Antoine’s boyhood. So she got an idea and they all watched a movie together. It was a happy moment. She also promised Antoine she’d get him a reward if he did well at school.

The opportunity came. He had an assignment at school to write an essay and he worked hard for it. He worshipped Balzac, and somehow when he wrote his essay he was deeply inspired by Balzac that his essay looked very similar to Balzac’s writing. The teacher then accused him of plagiarizing Balzac and he got kicked out of school.

He was afraid to come home and let his parents know he was kicked out of school. He looked for a way to live on his own and stole his stepfather’s typewriter but again he got caught and sent to an observation centre for troubled youth. He didn’t like it there and tried to escape. The final scene was that he was running away from the centre, and he just ran and ran and ran until he arrived at the beach, there when he reached the water he slowed down. He turned back getting away from the water and his face looked straight at the camera as if he was breaking the fourth wall. Just like that the film ended.

And now my part…

I never had a trouble with anyone when I was a kid. I used to be very obedient, despite all the bad things happening in my family. I shoved it all down my throat (until it messed up with me head later). But then I got bullied and that changed me.

Being bullied taught me to hate. Those wicked words coming from the bully infiltrated my innocence with hatred but not anger, not yet. I started to realize how bad my parents had been to me. But again, I buried it all six feet under. I tried to live like that at least until I reached adulthood. That being said, my teenage years were really plain. No anger, no confusion, no sex drive, no desire to rebel, but still full of insecurities.

But now, my life is falling apart. The troubles at home interrupt my thesis’ progress. I’m ought to finish this bachelor thesis before I can graduate. But right now, my life is full of escapism, to get over the ugly things at home. When most people my age had dealt with puberty in the past and start to figure out what they want to do in life, I’m stuck here. I’m angry, confused, and insecure. As if puberty just hit me now, late.

I fall out of other people’s expectation. I’m supposed to graduate earlier this year but I keep struggling with my life that I have no time to focus on my thesis. I let down my advisor. I’m jeopardizing my future for a bit peace of mind.

Just like Antoine, I ran and ran and ran. Running away from my problems. Running away from everyone, hiding.

Yes, I need to get out of that house living hell soon. In order to do so, I need to graduate and then get a job. But that house is keeping me from finishing my thesis ergo graduating.

Or maybe puberty doesn’t hit me late. It never hit me and I just go straight to quarter-life crisis. As much as I love The 400 Blows, I don’t want to be stuck in this movie forever. So, what I need to do right now is dealing with this crisis and try my best in finishing my thesis.

My life is currently The 400 Blows. But soon, I hope it will be a movie with another title. My life is a work on progress, despite all my sufferings, I’m lucky I have movies to accompany me getting through life.

Reference:

[1] Insdorf, Annette. “The 400 Blows: Close To Home.” The Criterion Collection, 8 April 2014, https://www.criterion.com/current/posts/528-the-400-blows-close-to-home

Sejarah Penemuan Quark

image from wikipedia

Pada tahun 1961 Gell-Mann dan Ne’eman memperkenalkan sebuah skema yang dikenal sebagai simetri SU(3). Skema tersebut digunakan untuk mengurutkan hadron dengan cara menyertakan partikel-partikel berspin sama ke dalam sebuah grup. Hal ini dapat diibaratkan dengan apa yang dilakukan Mendeleev terhadap unsur kimia, bahwasanya yang dilakukan Gell-Mann dan Ne’eman adalah membuat semacam tabel periodik untuk hadron yang kemudian diberi nama the Eightfold Way (Riordan, 1992).

Pada masa itu pola yang ada pada the Eightfold Way belum bisa dijelaskan. Baru pada tahun 1964 lah the Eightfold Way mulai dapat dimengerti, yakni saat Gell-Mann dan Zweig mengajukan bahwa semua hadron sejatinya terdiri atas penyusun yang lebih elementer (Griffith, 2008). Perlu diketahui bahwa Gell-Mann dan Zweig memiliki gagasan tersebut secara terpisah. Zweig mengemukakan gagasannya dalam karya ilmiah yang tidak pernah ia terbitkan, di situ ia merujuk partikel elementer yang dimaksud dengan sebutan “aces” (Fritzsch, 2010; Han, 1999). Sementara itu, Gell-Mann memberikan sebutan “quarks” pada partikel elementer yang dimaksud. Sebutan itu Gell-Mann ambil dari sebuah novel karya James Joyce yang berjudul ‘Finnegans Wake’ – “three quarks for Muster Mark” (Close, Marten & Sutton, 2004). Semenjak itu nama quarks melekat pada partikel elementer penyusun hadron.

Dengan hadirnya konsep quarks, maka semua baryon dianggap tersusun atas tiga buah quark dan anti-materinya tersusun atas tiga buah anti-quark, sedangkan meson dianggap tersusun atas sebuah quark dan sebuah anti-quark. Guna menjelaskan the Eighfold Way Gell-Mann membagi quark ke dalam tiga jenis dan menyebutnya sebagai quark ‘up’, quark ‘down’ dan quark ‘strange’ (Han, 1999).

Hal yang selanjutnya menarik perhatian adalah hakikat meson yang secara intrinsik tidak stabil ketika dipandang sebagai struktur gabungan dari sebuah quark dan sebuah anti-quark. Sebab berdasarkan definisi dikotomi materi-anti-materi itu sendiri ketika materi berinteraksi dengan anti-materi maka keduanya akan mengalami anihilasi. Jadi berdasarkan definisi tersebut, quark yang diletakkan di dalam ruangan terkungkung bersama dengan anti-quark tentunya akan mengakibatkan terjadinya anihilasi. Namun hal itu masuk akal mengingat masa hidup meson yang teramat singkat, dalam orde nanodetik (Han, 1999).

Tak berhenti di situ, jika ditelisik lebih jauh maka akan ditemui sifat-sifat dari quark yang terkesan nyeleneh, berbeda dari partikel-partikel elementer sebelumnya. Pertama, masalah bilangan baryon. Diketahui bilangan baryon untuk semua baryon adalah +1 dan bilangan baryon untuk anti-baryon adalah -1. Melalui prinsip yang sama, aturan zero-sum (jumlahan nol) untuk bilangan baryon menyaratkan bahwa jumlahan bilangan baryon sebelum dan sesudah reaksi haruslah sama. Menurut model quark yang diusung Gell-Mann-Zweig, baryon tersusun atas tiga buah quark, dengan demikian bilangan baryon dari quark haruslah tepat 1/3, di mana dalam konteks ini pecahan semacam itu belum pernah ditemui sebelumnya (Han, 1999).

Karakteristik pecahan dari quark bahkan tampak lebih nyeleneh pada muatan listriknya. Berdasarkan beberapa kombinasi yang mungkin dari konfigurasi tiga buah quark – misalnya uuu, uud, udd, dan ddd, di mana u adalah up dan d adalah down – model Gell-Mann-Zweig menetapkan kombinasi uud untuk proton dan udd untuk netron. Berangkat dari pemodelan tersebut maka jumlahan muatan listrik untuk dua buah quark up dan sebuah quark down haruslah bernilai +1 (muatan listrik proton), sedangkan jumlahan muatan listrik untuk sebuah quark up dan dua buah quark down haruslah bernilai 0 (muatan listrik netron). Dengan begitu muatan listrik quark up haruslah +2/3 dan muatan listrik quark down haruslah -1/3(Han, 1999; Riordan, 1992). Sementara untuk strangeness, quark up maupun quark down memiliki bilangan strange S=0, dan quark strange memiliki bilangan strange S=-1 (Griffith, 2008).

Meskipun beberapa hal berhasil dijelaskan, namun masih ada yang mengganjal terkait quark. Pasalnya, dari pengamatan yang telah dilakukan, quark belum pernah ditemui dalam keadaan tunggal. Kegagalan eksperimen dalam menghasilkan quark yang terisolasi menyebarkan skeptisisme akan model quark di kalangan para ilmuwan. Beberapa mencoba mengobati kekecewaan mereka dengan mengusulkan apa yang disebut sebagai quark confinement (Griffith, 2008).Hingga pada akhir tahun 60an, rentetan eksperimen penghamburan  yang dilaksanakan para ilmuwan dari Massachusetts Institute of technology (MIT) dan Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) mulai membuahkan hasil berupa bukti langsung akan keberadaan quark (Close, Marten & Sutton, 2004; Riordan, 1992). Eksperimen yang dilakukan pada dasarnya serupa dengan eksperimen penghamburan Rutherford. Pada eksperimennya, Rutherford menembakkan partikel alfa ke inti atom guna menyelidiki bagian dalam dari inti atom. Dalam kasus ini maka interior dari sebuah proton dapat diketahui dengan cara menembak proton dengan benda lain seperti elektron bertenaga tinggi ataupun pendaran neutrino sebagaimana yang dilakukan CERN. Hasilnya secara mengejutkan mirip dengan eksperimen Rutherford, yaitu sebagian besar partikel yang ditembakkan dapat lewat melalui proton, sedangkan sejumlah kecil partikel terpantul kembali dengan keras. Ini berarti muatan proton terkonsentrasi pada gumpalan kecil di dalamnya, dan bukti menunjukkan adanya tiga gumpalan, alih-alih satu (Griffith, 2008).

Kendala berikutnya yang dihadapi ketika berurusan dengan model quark adalah adanya pelanggaran larangan Pauli, di mana larangan tersebut menyatakan bahwa partikel berspin tengahan tidak boleh memiliki bilangan kuantum yang semuanya sama. Sementara, contoh kasus, pada delta plus plus terdapat tiga buah quark yang identik, yakni uuu, yang bilangan kuantumnya semuanya sama sehingga berlawanan dengan larangan Pauli. Dilema tersebut akhirnya teratasi oleh usulan Greenberg. Ia mengusulkan bahwa quark tidak hanya terdiri dari dua flavour (rasa), melainkan tiga. Flavour ke-tiga ini kemudian oleh Gell-Mann disebut colour (warna) dan terdiri atas tiga warna red (merah), green (hijau), dan blue (biru) (Griffith, 2008). Warna-warna tadi tidak memiliki nilai yang eksak dan sama sekali tidak menggambarkan sifat fisik berupa warna sungguhan. Partikel-partikel yang bermunculan di alam dianggap tidak berwarna atau netral. Tidak berwarna maksudnya jumlahan warnanya kalau tidak nol berarti ketiga warna muncul secara bersamaan. Untuk meson jumlahan warnanya nol, karena keberadaan quark dan anti-quark saling menghilangkan warnanya, sedangkan untuk baryon ketiga warna muncul semua. Dengan demikian model quark mematuhi larangan Pauli. Di samping itu, penggunaan istilah warna juga terdengar masuk akal, karena ketika semua warna bercampur secara merata maka ketiga warna tadi tampak putih, tak berwarna (Griffith, 2008; Han, 1999).

Selanjutnya, dikarenakan lepton mengikuti pola tertentu, beberapa karya ilmiah menyarankan adanya quark ke-empat. Tidak banyak fisikawan yang menanggapinya secara serius. Sheldon Glashow dan James Bjorken menjuluki quark usulan ini dengan istilah ‘charm’. Keberadaan quark charm ini baru terbukti ketika ditemukan partikel “J/psi” melalui eksperimen Samuel Ting dan Burton Richter yang diselenggarakan secara terpisah, di mana partikel J/psi ini sebenarnya merupakan pasangan quark charm  dan anti-quark charm. Penemuan ini dikenal sebagai the November Revolution (Particle Adventure n.d.).

Pada 1975 ditemukan sebuah lepton baru, sehingga jumlah jenis lepton secara keseluruhan ada enam dan quark ada empat. Dua tahun kemudian ditemukan quark beauty atau lebih dikenal dengan quark bottom. Baryon bottom untuk pertama kalinya teramati pada 1980 dan meson bottom pada 1983. Sejauh itu, dengan mudah para fisikawan memprediksi akan adanya quark ke-enam, yang disebut sebagai quark truth atau top, dan keberadaan quark top baru terindikasi pada tahun 1995 (Griffith, 2008).

REFERENSI

Close, F., Marten, M., & Sutton, C., 2004, The Particle Odyssey: A Journey to the Heart of the Matter, Oxford University Press, New York.

Griffith, D., 2008, Introduction to Elementary Particles, Wiley-VCH, Moerlenbach.

Han, M. Y., 1999, Quarks and Gluons: A Century of Particle Charges, World Scientific Publishing, Singapore.

Harald Fritzsch (ed), 2010,  Murray Gell-Mann: Selected Papers, World Scientific Publishing, Singapore.

Particle Adventure, n.d., Modern Particle Theory Timeline, dilihat 6 September 2018 <http://www.particleadventure.org/other/history/smt.html>

Riordan, M., 1992, “The Discovery of Quarks”, Science, vol. 256, no. 5061, pp. 1287-1293

Mr. Magazine

There he was. The skinny old man who seemed to be stuck in his own head. Sitting behind a pile of magazines and newspapers. His eyes were focused on the pages in front of him. His hands were always ready to take notes. Those were his routines. He did the same thing over and over every single day in the library. I couldn’t help but to let my curiosity grow.

So one day I gathered up my courage. I finally asked him a simple question: why do you go to the public library everyday, despite your age? His answer shocked me to my core, it was way way beyond my expectation. Thus he replied: It’s a matter of life and death.

For a minute there, I thought he wasn’t serious. But the expression on his face did not say so. He was being very serious. Then he continued, he was so willingly telling me his life story. I listened to his story very carefully, I didn’t want to miss anything.

To me he was a very kind, friendly and interesting person. Too bad, since the library was closed for renovation I never saw him anymore. And he inspired me to write this.

Mr. Magazine
It's been a while
Let me check your breathing
Your heart pounds like a ticking bomb

Paranoia's been your only company
Though you walk every inch of this town solo
You never feel lonely
There's always somewhere to go

Married to your fear
Switching between reality and your imaginings

Oh no, they put poison in my coffee
Saint Peter, please let me be
I'm just a nobody
Not knowing honesty will ever harm me

Mr. Magazine
Piling monthly Trubus magazines up like dirty laundries
Deciphering every single letter on the newspaper
Show your ID
They'll let you press "copy"

Turning left, turning right
Getting lost in your own misery
The eyes are watching
Run for your own safety

You drown in your sweat
Your eyes twitching
Your mind keeps talking

O Big Brother, have mercy!
New Order won't let me flee
No wife, no children, no family
I barely keep my sanity

Mr. Magazine
Aren't you tired?
Living in constant fear
I can take you somewhere nice
A safe and quiet place underground

Hold my hand, Mr. Magazine
Say goodbye to the day
The night won't bite
Leave everything behind
We're traveling light tonight

30-Day Movie Challenge (Part 1)

Alasan kenapa saya melakukan challenge ini kurang lebih sama dengan kenapa saya melakukan 30-Day Song Challenge. I just want to share some of the movies that I know and like. Karena saya bingung harus memulai dari mana ketika mau membuat list, saya pikir challenge ini dapat menjadi awal yang menarik. OK, let’s begin!

DAY 1: the first film you remember watching

Film yang pertama kali saya tonton seingat saya adalah: Wanted (2007)

Tentunya sebelum itu saya sudah pernah nonton film lain, karena saat pertama kali nonton film itu di tahun 2008 usia saya sudah dua belas tahun. Tapi saya lupa dengan film-film yang sebelum itu dan sepertinya saya tidak pernah tuntas nonton film sebelum itu karena cuma nonton apa yang tayang di televisi.

Kakak sayalah yang mengenalkan saya pada film ini. Waktu itu kakak saya sudah kuliah. Dan untuk pertama kalinya saya terkesima oleh kesangaran film action. Dibintangi ratunya genre action Angelina Jolie, James McAvoy, dan juga Morgan Freeman, film ini sangat seru untuk ditonton. Penuh adegan berbahaya yang dilakoni Jolie sendiri, tanpa stunt. Ada misteri dan beberapa twist yang menambah keseruan film. Yang paling membekas di ingatan saya tentang film ini adalah arah peluru yang bisa berbelok sekian banyak derajat. Kini, setelah belajar empat tahun di prodi Fisika tentunya itu melanggar hukum fisika. Tapi, physics aside, film ini sangat keren bagi seorang noob film seperti saya kala itu. Kalau sekarang disuruh memberi rating untuk film ini ya kira-kira 7/10.

DAY 2: a film you like that starts with the first letter of your name

Film kesukaan yang huruf pertama di judulnya sama dengan huruf pertama nama saya: Solaris (1972)

Yang sama huruf depannya saja? Kenapa tidak sekalian menyebutkan film dari mana nama saya berasal. Solaris merupakan sebuah film sci-fi klasik karya sang sutradara asal Rusia, Andrei Tarkovsky. Pengaruh Tarkovsky terhadap dunia sinema internasional terbilang sangat signifikan. Film-filmnya mampu menginspirasi banyak orang dan gaya berceritanya yang khas menjadikan ia seorang sutradara yang sangat dihormati. Bahkan seorang Bergman pun kerap memujinya.

This film is mainly about loneliness, isolation, and human existence. Di luar itu terdapat beberapa scene dalam film yang mensinyalkan oedipus complex sang tokoh utama. Saya tidak tahu apakah Tarkovsky memang senang menyelipkan oedipus complex dalam karyanya. Sejauh ini, selain Solaris, saya baru nonton The Mirror. Di situ saya dapat membaca adanya hubungan yang bersifat oedipus complex antara sang tokoh utama dan ibunya. Tapi dengan hanya bermodalkan dua film, tampaknya terlalu awal bagi saya untuk keburu menyimpulkan.

Tak perlu ditanya, film ini masuk ke dalam daftar film-film sci-fi favorit sepanjang masa milik saya. Tidak seperti film sci-fi jaman sekarang yang mengedepankan action dan kemegahan CGI, Solaris penuh dengan kemisteriusan yang dapat memantik penonton untuk berpikir keras terkait alur cerita juga implikasi dari konflik para tokohnya. Rating yang saya berikan untuk film ini adalah 10/10. Sempurna, kedalaman cerita visual Solaris mampu membuat saya memikirkan ulang eksistensi kita sebagai manusia dan menyadarkan saya akan betapa egoisnya manusia yang seringkali merasa lebih unggul dibandingkan entitas lain.

DAY 3: a film that has more than five words in the title

Film yang judulnya lebih dari lima kata: One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (1972)

Film yang masuk jajaran salah satu film terbaik yang pernah dibuat menurut American Film Institute ini bercerita tentang seorang kriminal, Randle McMurphy, yang dikirim ke sebuah rumah sakit jiwa. McMurphy sebenarnya tidak menderita gangguan jiwa, ia hanya ingin menghabiskan masa hukumannya di tempat yang suasananya lebih santai dan nyaman. Selama tinggal di rumah sakit tersebut ia mulai bersimpati terhadap pasien-pasien lain hingga timbul rasa bencinya terhadap perawat Ratched yang galak.

Saat pertama kali nonton film ini, pengetahuan saya tentang gangguan jiwa masih sangat minim. Kemudian film ini membuat saya mulai paham tentang berbagai macam gangguan jiwa. Film ini membuktikan bahwa para penderita gangguan jiwa adalah manusia biasa sebagaimana orang-orang normal pada umumnya. Dengan penanganan yang tepat, penderita gangguan jiwa dapat berfungsi dengan baik dalam kehidupan sosial. Tapi, seringkali ada pihak-pihak tertentu yang memperlakukan pasien rumah sakit jiwa layaknya “orang gila” yang harus dikekang, dipasung, dan stigma yang melekat pada para penderita gangguan jiwa membuat masyarakat merasa bahwa mereka harus dijauhi, karena dianggap tidak waras dan berbahaya. Rating yang akan saya berikan untuk film ini adalah 8.7/10.

DAY 4: a film with the number in the title

Film yang judulnya memuat angka: Se7en (1995)

Dibintangi Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, dan Kevin Spacey, film garapan David Fincher ini menceritakan dua orang detektif yang menyelidiki suatu kasus pembunuhan berantai. David Fincher merupakan sutradara yang terkenal karena film-film bergenre thriller nya. Palette warna yang digunakan oleh Fincher juga biasanya khas, menimbulkan nuansa yang lekat dengan kesan dark. Apalagi ditambah dengan iringan musik eerie yang dapat membuat suasana semakin menegangkan. Rating dari saya untuk film ini adalah 8.5/10.

DAY 5: a film where a character has a job you want

Film yang salah satu karakternya punya pekerjaan yang kamu inginkan: Lean on Pete (2018)

A librarian, salah satu karakter di film ini adalah seorang pustakawan. Walaupun saya kuliah di prodi yang berkutat pada model matematis dari perilaku alam (saya menyebutnya cetak biru alam semesta), yang bahasannya meliputi dunia mikrosopis yang “dihuni” partikel sampai ke dunia makroskopis seperti black hole dan dark matter, saya selalu ingin menjadi seorang pustakawan. Banyak pertanyaan muncul: kenapa tidak ambil jurusan yang memang lulusannya bisa jadi pustakawan? Saya akan menjawab: karena saya penasaran tentang alam semesta yang kita tempati dan saya ingin mengetahui kebenaran, meskipun itu mustahil, setidaknya dengan banyak belajar semakin hari saya dapat semakin dekat dengan kebenaran. Toh, saya pikir saya tetap boleh jadi pustakwan meskipun jurusan saya kurang relevan hehehe.

Baiklah, saya tidak dapat bercerita banyak tentang film ini, takut jadi spoiler. Film ini bisa dibilang sederhana namun indah. Intinya tentang seorang anak laki-laki yang bekerja mengurus kuda. Seiring berjalannya waktu anak ini mulai membangun rasa sayang terhadap kuda yang diurusnya tersebut. Ia terlibat berbagai petualangan dan harus bertahan hidup ketika ia memutuskan untuk menyelamatkan kuda itu. Rating yang saya berikan untuk film ini adalah 8.2/10.

DAY 6: your favorite animated film

Film animasi kesukaan: Loving Vincent (2017)

Dari film inilah saya baru benar-benar mengenal Van Gogh. Selama ini sosok Van Gogh bagi saya hanyalah seorang pelukis terkenal yang melukis Starry Night. Ternyata kisah hidup Van Gogh begitu pahit. Berjuang melawan depresi, penyendiri, menjadi orang yang begitu dihindari oleh orang-orang sekitarnya.

Yang menarik dari film ini adalah style yang mereka gunakan dalam menggambar animasinya. Mereka menggunakan style Van Gogh, setiap frame dilukis menggunakan cat minyak. Film ini tidak mengisahkan hidup Van Gogh, melainkan misteri di balik kematian Van Gogh. Apakah Van Gogh memang bunuh diri dengan menembak dirinya sendiri? Kemudian pada bagian kredit diputar lagu Starry Night Don McLean yang telah dicover oleh Lianne La Havas. Lirik lagunya sendiri bisa membuat kita semakin bersimpati terhadap sang tortured artist, Van Gogh. Untuk rating, saya akan memberikan film ini rating 8.4/10.

DAY 7: a film that you will never get tired of

Film yang tidak pernah bosan untuk ditonton: Taxi Driver (1976)

Loneliness has followed me my whole life, everywhere, there’s no escape

-Travis Bickle, Taxi Driver (1976)

Saya adalah seorang penyendiri yang lebih senang mengamati keadaan sekitar alih-alih turut berpartisipasi dalam kehidupan sosial. Ini tak lain karena saya merasa berbeda dari orang-orang pada umumnya dan mereka seringkali sulit memahami saya. Perasaan kesepian, oleh karenanya, sering melanda saya. Ketika itu terjadi, saya hanya menyalakan laptop dan memutar film ini.

If you ever ask for a movie that can perfectly depict loneliness, alienation, and detachment from society, in any forum (like reddit) you’ll aways get this movie as an answer. That’s why watching this movie is very cathartic if you deal with those kinds of problem.

Kolaborasi Martin Scorsese dengan Paul Schrader dalam film ini menjadi awal bagi kolaborasi mereka selanjutnya. Kemampuan Scorsese dalam mengarahkan sebuah film sudah tidak diragukan lagi. Dengan naskah yang konkrit dari Schrader, tak mengherankan jika film ini dapat membuat penonton terhanyut ke dalam jalan cerita ketika menontonnya. Dari yang pernah saya baca, Schrader menulis ini ketika ia sedang dalam kondisi kesepian yang menyerupai rock bottom. Ia menulisnya di dalam mobil sambil mengamati kehidupan di kota New York.

Film ini dibintangi oleh para aktor-aktris kenamaan, yaitu Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd, dan Harvey Keitel. De Niro katanya benar-benar menjadi sopir taksi sebelum memulai proses syuting. Bahkan ia punya surat izin sebagai sopir taksi. Ya, De Niro memang terkenal dengan method acting nya, mendalami karakter sebelum benar-benar memerankannya. Ditinjau dari kemantapan crew, kisah di balik layar yang solid, dan cerita yang menghipnotis, saya akan memberikan rating 9.6/10 untuk film ini.

DAY 8: a film where you liked the soundtrack more

Film di mana saya justru lebih suka soundtracknya: Mr. Nobody (2009)

Sangat Filosofis. Bicara tentang kekekalan (immortality), arah waktu dan alam semesta secara keseluruhan, serta takdir. Film yang mind blowing bukan karena plot twistnya, melainkan karena jalan ceritanya yang mengajak kita untuk refleksi dan menyadarkan kita bahwa setiap pilihan ada konsekuensinya. Rating untuk film ini 8.8/10.

Tapi di samping ceritanya yang bagus, soundtracknya jauh lebih bagus. Saya mengenal Erik Satie juga dari film ini. Film ini meyertakan lagu-lagu klasik era 40an hingga 60an ke dalam film ini. Penata musiknya keren, setiap lagu yang digunakan untuk mengiringi adegan selalu cocok, kadang rasanya seperti sedang menonton video klip atau iklan. Benar-benar menambah wawasan musik.

How Much I Owe Cinema

It used to be books. At the corner of a library, lied there on the bookshelves, veiled adventures. How printed lines on papers, bundled in a dusty and ragged cover, sometimes with a smell of ammonia, took me places. My first love was books.

But then the internet era was sneaking up until it eventually ended the dark ages of limited information. A renaissance of the data sharing and mining. The reign of internet gave birth to unlimited access towards sea of knowledge. Also, my hometown’s public library took three years to be fully renovated. So, during that hiatus, my lack of adventures forced me to deal with harsh reality – rejection and alienation by society.

Growing up, it was rather difficult for people to understand me. I was way over my head. Raised in a dysfunctional family, bullied at school. Literally it was war zone, both at school and at home. My fondness of books stem from a very early childhood. No one made me read book. I simply grew reading so much books as soon as I could read. It gave some kind of utopia in my head, to escape the cruelty I witnessed at home, watching my parents arguing all the time. Not just utopia, it gave inexplicable euphoria as well as if I was in a manic state. Fueled with boiling energy, couldn’t wait to tell other people all the adventures I went through. As it turned out, nobody really cared. I was boring, nobody wanted to listen to me blabbing about some fictional stories I read in the book, let alone non-fictional ones. I sort of evolved into this weirdo, an annoying know-it-all kid. Although, I must admit, I was very naïve back then. Some people hated me for that, the rest of them just didn’t get it. How I could be so excited about those very impractical things in life. I guess I just have some delight towards impracticality. I’m always drawn into abstract concepts and ideas, trying to read between the lines, succumbed into ceaseless existential contemplation.

When book was temporarily out of the game, I made a quest, in search of another treasure. My sister introduced me to movies, blockbuster movies. Usually, when I got home from school, I’ll just turn on my PC and watched the movies I rented. I was really in the zone when I was watching movies. Movies blew another life into my lifeless reality. To me, movies were almost like books. It opened an escape door for me, to another world, less hurtful than the real world I was living in.

I got crazy about movies. Like a junkie, every time I finished a movie, I got impatient for another. Like a thirst wanderer on a dessert, movie was my oasis. So, I watched more and more movies. Looking for recommendation on the magazines and internet. What I really loved about the young girl I was who knew barely anything about cinema was that I had no filter. I’d watch every single movie in sight. Unlike now, I have certain attraction to particular movies and being quite cynical about the others.

Actually I’ve lost count on how many times movies saved my life. I think that from what I’ve found on my old journals, my depression started when I was very young. Although it was in my early 20s that I got diagnosed and medicated by the professional. Since then, it was always an on and off relationship with my inner demons. Books gave me shelter, enough to carry on.

The highlight of my depression was probably at my third year of college. When I felt the most alienated and detached. I couldn’t even tell what was real and what was not. It felt like a never-ending nightmare, even when I was awake, the nightmares continued to unfold. It was pretty much felt like I was living in a mere simulation, or that I was trapped inside my own body and lost control of it. I started hallucinating, hearing voices, like someone else took over my conscious. Everything seemed to be in black and white, I was on drugs that made me feel weak and sleepy all the time. In those darkest hours, cinema was the only thing by my side. Nobody could ever understand me, but cinema could represent my inner battles, my turmoil and angst very articulately.

All of sudden, I felt less lonely. It was when I started to discover classic foreign cinema that I began to accept reality as it was. I surrendered to the idea that perhaps life holds no meaning at all, and that’s alright, that’s alright. Through the depth of Bergman’s characters’ contemplation, the poetic visual of Tarkovsky, the morally awakening irony of Kieslowski, the bleak hurtful reality of Kiarostami and so many others, I realize that the only meaning that life has is the meaning that we give into it. We can’t control life, all the sufferings and the tragedies are beyond our power. But we may choose how we’ll give meaning to it. I understand that life is not just about me, but also about the very nature of human being, the inescapable parallels of our experiences, as the human race – humanity. For the first time, I no longer pushed myself too hard in fulfilling other people’s expectation of me. My life doesn’t have to be spectacular for me to give meaning to it. Every experience and feeling is valid for the owner. I started to make peace with my depression, trying to live with it. I stopped taking my meds without consulting with my psychiatrist. I didn’t like how the drugs temporarily put down my senses. I swapped amitriptyline with cinema. So far, it works for me.

Most people think that I get my pessimism from watching too many movies. Well, they’re wrong. My pessimism and depression had long existed before I even knew the world of cinema. And it’s the spirit of the cinema that gives me strength to carry on. It’s cinema that opens my eyes. Cinema introduces me to great art works in the history of human civilization, whether it’s literature, music, science, philosophy, history, or all those people who contributed in shaping our world today. It’s cinema that has saved my life multiple times. When no hope is insight, cinema sends me lights. I owe my years to cinema, I owe my life to cinema.