Film director and screenwriter Benni Setiawan gained national attention when he took the best director honors at the 2010 Indonesian Film Festival for the romantic drama 3 Hati 2 Dunia 1 Cinta (Three Hearts, Two Worlds, One Love).
An admirer of directors Stanley Kubrick and Sjumandjaja, he is now busy shooting his movie adaptation of Dee Lestari’s novel Madre. Set in the Braga downtown area of Bandung, West Java, the movie is scheduled to premiere on Dec. 14.
Next year will also be busy: Pesan Sang Jenderal (The General’s Message) will premiere in June next year. Set in Pacitan, East Java, it tells of a child who admires the late Gen. Sudirman.
“Currently, I’m also holding auditions to choose the main cast for the film Lupus,” he said of the adaptation of the Hilman Hariwijaya teen novel of the same title and remake of a 1987 hit movie that is scheduled to be released next February.
From a poignant love story to a biting horror flick, here are his picks of good movies for the weekend.
The Bridges of Madison County (1995)
Starring: Clint Eastwood, Meryl Streep
Director: Clint Eastwood
National Geographic photographer Robert Kincaid (Eastwood) meets housewife Francesca Johnson (Streep) on his way to photograph covered bridges in Madison County. Their friendship evolves into a tender, torrid and unforgettable four-day affair which they can never forget for the next 24 years.
“The plot is very simple and there is no selfishness between the characters,” Benni says. “The movie is perfect for married couples or those planning to get married. After watching it, I asked myself many times whether my wife fulfilled all she wants in life.”
Just for laughs
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis
Director: Seth MacFarlane
The movie tells of a grown man named John Bennett (Wahlberg), who must deal with his teddy bear named Ted who comes to life as a result of his childhood wish. Ted refuses to leave Bennett.
“It offers smart and sarcastic comedy with lesson on friendship. The movie also represents Americans’ individualism, which leads some to loneliness and as a result they may have imaginary friends.”
Starring: John Cusack, Kate Beckinsale
Director: Peter Chelsom
Jonathan Trager (Cusack) and Sara Thomas (Beckinsale) meet, fall in love and separate, convinced that one day they will end up together. “A good romantic story. It’s about love and fate. Although a man and a woman are separated, they will meet again if they are destined to be together.”
Ambilkan Bulan (Bring the Moon) (2012)
Starring: Lana Nitibaskara, Agus Kuncoro, Astri Nurdin
Director: Ifa Isfansyah
Lonely 10-year-old Amelia (Lana) grows up with Facebook. Her mother Ratna (Astri), a businesswoman, spends little time at home after her husband died in a car accident. Amelia meets her paternal cousin Ambar on Facebook and finally spends her holiday at Ambar’s house. “There are few good movies for children and this is one of them.”
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Michelle Pfeiffer
Director: Mike Nichols
A contemporary werewolf tale about how a successful book editor is bitten by a wolf and tries to resist becoming one of the crazed half-canines himself. “I love the movie because Jack Nicholson plays one of the characters. The movie has a good story that relates to the werewolf legend.”
Movie summaries compiled from imdb.com, yahoomovies and filmindonesia.or.id.
— Frederica Ermita Indriani