Celebrating classic movies
Classic movies don’t just fade away and die. Some survive even until today.
The ongoing poster illustration exhibition at Taman Ismail Marzuki arts center in Central Jakarta showcases some 60 illustrations inspired by 20 classic films that were popular in their days.
The exhibition by around 20 artists from Gambar Selaw drawing club is organized by Kineforum, a noncommercial cinema, as one in a series of programs held to observe national movie month from March 15 to 31.
The poster exhibition serves as “an appetizer” for the main programs, which include the screenings of a number of classic movies and discussions. Proceeds from the poster exhibition and sales of postcards and the posters themselves will go to Kineforum and Gambar Selaw drawing club.
At the exhibition, various poster illustrations of old films, such as Tjambuk Api (Whip of fire), Perawan Desa (Village Virgin) and Gitar Tua Oma Irama (The Old Guitar of Oma Irama), are displayed on the first floor while smaller ones find space on the second floor.
“I like the historical side of classic movies, such as Tjambuk Api. I have watched some of the movies that I chose as material for the poster illustrations,” artist Efi Sri Handayani told The Jakarta Post during the exhibition opening on Thursday evening.
Efi is one of the active members of Gambar Selaw drawing club. Club members come from different backgrounds and gather to draw in Ruang Rupa in Tebet, South Jakarta every Thursday.
It was a lively opening with youngsters, mostly in their 20s, flocking to the gallery to enjoy some live music and posters selected by curator Ade Darmawan.
It was interesting to see how each artist has different interpretations on the same movies. Some of them also displayed their distinctive styles, which could be spotted in their other illustrations.
Ube used a caricature approach in some of his illustrations, including Lahirnja Gatotkaca (The Birth of Gatotkaca) and Perawan Desa, while Nona Kumis displayed a unique drawing style through the use of rattan-like lines that give texture to every surface of the characters.
Bayu Wibowo and Daoquise, chose the same film — Asrama Dara (The Girls’ Dormitory), a 1958 drama produced by Usmar Ismail, but their work had a completely different style.
Bayu’s illustration has a modern and realist touch with a strong masculine air through the application of black vertical and horizontal lines in the characters’ hair and clothes. Meanwhile, Daoquise’s illustration is more melodramatic,
flowery and feminine — reminiscent of illustrations found in short stories in women’s magazines.
Posters for the horror film Sundel Bolong (Ghosts with Holes in Their Backs) — a film that starred the late queen of Indonesian horror movies Suzzana — drew smiles from the visitors.
Artist The Popo, for instance, put a small bowtie award which read “Horor Gemes” (Adorable Horror) in an illustration that depicted a person offering a clothing makeover service to Sundel Bolong who is portrayed in a long white robe.
Other artists, Ricky Malau and Johan Ardhika, quoted a famous line from the movie, “Satenya 200 tusuk, bang” (“200 sticks of satay for me, buddy”) in their illustrations.
“The illustrations of the Sundel Bolong movie are my favorite. They remind me of some scary horror films from the past. Today, horror flicks depend too much on sexy scenes,” said Putri Andina, a university student.
Kineforum held the poster exhibition to replace the planned exhibition on the history of Indonesian cinema as the latter took too long to organize.
In the hands of the young artists from Gambar Selaw club, the classic movies get a fresh look to meet the taste of young people.
Visitor Dandy Abitama said the poster exhibition had tempted him to watch some of the classic movies on show.
“The drawings are interesting. I want to watch Harimau Tjampa and Tjambuk Api to add to my knowledge of Indonesian martial arts for my paper,” he says.