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La la land: To the Ones who Dream...





“How are you gonna be a revolutionary, if you’re such a traditionalist? You’re hold on to the past, but jazz is about the future!”

“This is the dream; it’s conflict, compromised, and very very exciting!”

I came with high expectation when I entered the theatre to watch La la land (2016). “Soaring and gorgeous” (Vanity Fair), “This season’s most dazzling movie experience” (Entertainment Weekly) and even “They don’t make films like this anymore” (Evening Standard). But in the first 30 minutes of this movie, I feel that all of the fore mentioned compliments were a bit overrated. The opening scene was very lively, with people singing and dancing during the traffic in Los Angeles. And so out of the blue, there were Ryan Gosling’s (Sebastian) and Emma Stone’s (Mia Dolan) cars. Classic and cliché as the other rom-com, the relationship started as “hate” instead of instant fling. The next scenes are very typical musical scene. “Someone in the Crowd” was played. It’s a very lively song, but I felt that the scene moved a bit slow. What I found very interesting is that how the trailer and the movie itself are intentionally made to have different interpretations. I somehow think that it might be some kind of publicist things. And so…I started to lower my expectations. La la land might be just another musical film.

The "flying" scene

La la land is about two young and promising artists in the heart of US’ entertainment: Los Angeles. Sebastian, an idealist jazz pianist who struggles in a small club and Mia as an aspiring actress slash barista who has failed tons of auditions. Sebastian wants to have his own jazz club, while Mia is inspired to be an actress since she was kid. Mia hates jazz, while Sebastian is surprised when he found out that Mia has never watched “Rebel without a Cause”, assuming it’s a must-see movie for aspiring actress. And so, they agreed to go out and watch the movie for one reason: Research. 

"For research..."

The beauty of dreams and the bittersweet of relationship consequences behind it. That might be director Damien Chazelle’s specialties in his story-telling. Whiplash (2014) told us the hardship of being a jazz drummer. It’s a cruel world out there, especially in music industry. You need to have strong mentality as well as the will to learn. Whiplash told it in a very hard way (with Fletcher – JK Simmons throwing chairs to Andrew Neiman – Miles Teller). But La la land tells us in a different – more beautiful way. The music by Justin Hurwitz – Chazelle’s long-time friend and roommate – was indeed soaring. The scene and Chazelle’s imagination in it (must-see scene: planetarium scene) was indeed gorgeous. Aspiring artist and dreamers are not new themes in Hollywood. It may sound cliché, but La la land with its every details do tell that dreams are nothing without conflicts and compromise, yet indeed very very exciting. 



The ending, how should I put it? For some who have watched the movie, the ending might be disappointing. But for me, Chazelle has summed up his movie in a very poetic yet realistic way. I think the movie has succeeded in depicting its own title. Merriam Webster dictionary defined “La la land” as a euphoric dreamlike mental state detached from the harsher realities of life. Apart from telling the struggle of aspiring artists in Los Angeles, or also known as “La la land”, La la land (and especially its beautiful music) do make us want to dance and sing. Moral story of the movie is that life is about choices. Some may have all, but some have to choose. And sometimes achieving your dreams is just sweeter than anything else. 



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Banda Neira: Yang Tumbuh dan Yang Berganti

Kaver Album ke-2 Banda Neira: Yang Patah Tumbuh, Yang Hilang Berganti

Mengidolakan sesuatu atau seseorang itu memang tidak boleh berlebihan. Apalagi mengidolakan musisi. Seringkali kita lupa bahwa mereka juga tumbuh. Cipta - rasa - karsa mereka pun berkembang dan kadang berbeda dengan apa yang kita idolakan sebelumnya. Apalagi kalau ada perubahan personil. Gumaman, "Band xxx sudah gak seperti dulu lagi", pasti keluar dari mulut dan berujung pada kekecewaan.

Saya terlambat suka dengan Banda Neira. Baru tahun yang lalu jatuh cinta dengan lagu "Di Beranda" di album mereka yang pertama. Selebihnya, lagu-lagu mereka yang lain itu pas sekali buat jadi teman saya di depan laptop atau mengerjakan report dulu. Tanya saja teman-teman kosan. Kalau dulu saya mendapat tugas pagi-pagi, lagu-lagu di album Berjalan Lebih Jauh (2013) selalu jadi playlist saya. Parapa, parapa, parapap parara. Kenyang hirup asap Kopaja. Maafkan jalan di Jakarta.

"Yang patah tumbuh, yang hilang berganti", menjadi tajuk album kedua Banda Neira pada tahun ini. Album ini terbagi atas dua cakram. Bagian pertama "Yang Patah Tumbuh", dibuka oleh Matahari Pagi. Optimis dan manis, sesuai dengan liriknya, "Matahari pagi, hangat dan menerangi dunia yang gelap, hati yang dingin. Perlahan berganti, menjadi bahagia." Lagu-lagu selanjutnya masih manis, sampai di track terakhir bagian pertama, "Sampai Jadi Debu". Track ini menampilkan Gardika Gigih sebagai pianis. Liriknya mungkin dipersembahkan untuk J.S Badudu dan Eva Henriette Alma K. Badudu, kakek dan nenek Ananda yang baru saja berpulang pada tahun ini. "Badai tuan telah berlalu, badai puan pun telah berlalu. Selamanya, sampai kita tua, sampai jadi debu. Ku di liang yang satu. Ku di sebelahmu." Musiknya entah kenapa mengingatkan saya pada film La Maison en Petits Cubes. Manis dengan nada kesedihan di dalamnya.

Dalam artikel sebuah majalah musik yang pernah saya baca, cakram pertama album ini memang lebih menggambarkan frase "Yang Patah Tumbuh", sementara cakram kedua adalah "Yang Hilang Berganti". Lirik-lirik di cakram kedua lebih kontemplatif, mulai dari Langit dan Laut, Derai-Derai Cemara (yang merupakan musikalisasi puisi Chairil Anwar), Tini dan Yanti (lagu ex. Tapol 65), Benderang, hingga akhirnya Yang Patah Tumbuh, Hilang Berganti itu sendiri. Jika boleh digambarkan, mungkin memang cakram pertama ibarat pagi hingga siang dengan segala sisi manis dan semangatnya, dan cakram kedua adalah sore sampai malam dengan sisi sentimentilnya.

Ketika album kedua ini dirilis, Banda Neira mengadakan konser sekaligus "perpisahan" untuk Rara Sekar, sang vokalis yang akan melanjutkan studi ke New Zealand. Kata "vakum sementara" adalah yang mereka gunakan saat itu.

Namun, tadi pagi saya membaca berita di sosial media bahwa band ini telah sepakat untuk dibubarkan. Bukan ganti aliran musik atau ganti personil saja. Kaget, tapi sebenarnya saya juga tidak heran karena masing-masing Ananda Badudu dan Rara Sekar adalah pribadi yang mungkin tengah mengejar mimpi personal mereka. Harapan saya, semoga Banda Neira bisa tumbuh dalam wujud lain dari karya Ananda dan Rara selanjutnya. Terima kasih untuk lagu-lagu manis dan "nelangsa" selama ini. Bukan patah atau hilang, tapi tumbuh dan semoga berganti.

Image source: dibandaneira.tumblr.com




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