22 June 2019

Kerouac and the Fellahin Tribe of God's Children

On the Road is a literary phenomenon in a conservative post-war America in the late 1950s of such rippling effects that its author, Jack Kerouac, has been baptized by the media as the chief of a generation of revolutionary artists. According to Gilbert Millstein (1957), the first established reviewer to endorse the book, the three pillars of Kerouac's writing, thinking and vision constitutes an indispensable whole, and the dismissal of any element shall break down the entire architecture. Unfortunately, On the Road has been interpreted without much confirmation of the authorial intention and remained vulnerable to sectional analysis. In either criticisms or appraisals, most scholars have disassembled the novel into its language execution, structural composition and ideological validity.

15 March 2019

Murakami and Music in Sputnik Sweetheart

The Japanese writer Haruki Murakami is renowned for his unexpected mystical stories that contained within them many symbols and musical references. His writings are well-known to be influenced by his affection for every genre of music, jazz and classical in particular, and partly due to his once owning a jazz bar named Peter Cat and collecting over 10,000 records of various musical genres that helped to sustain and deepen his musical tastes. Murakami himself believes that rhythm has a significant influence on literature, whether from music or fictions. He always artfully and blatantly applies his knowledge and preoccupation in music, accumulated from years of passions in his writings.

16 January 2019

Competition and Cooperation in Korean Education

Education has become a principle duty for most of humanity. It is the major element for human growth and contributes to building a society. However, in the case of South Korea, social problems are coming from the current educational system, which is very competitive. Competitive education in South Korea has been influenced by neoliberal globalization, which has been spread widely throughout South Korea after the 1990s. Based on the neoliberal policies, markets should distribute the wealth efficiently and reasonably according to an individual’s effort.

07 November 2018

Media Portrayal of an Ideal Beauty Image

In Indonesia, there is one image of ideal beauty that is portrayed in all media, from magazines, advertisement billboards to commercials, especially of beauty products. This image portrays woman with almost white-light skin tone, long-straight lustrous silky black hair, big rounded eyes with double eyelid and long eyelashes, pointed nose, and slim yet curvy figure. This image can be seen in almost every beauty commercials in Indonesia and it immediately raises question because most native Indonesians, except in small areas of Indonesia, is naturally dark-skinned.

24 September 2018

Coach Carter and the Lone Quest for Winning in Life

One of the most powerful speeches of the 2005 American film Coach Carter was delivered inside a library, which may seem odd for a sports movie. The basketball team had been prohibited from playing and was forced to study. The one who made that decision, head coach Ken Carter, was facing the toughest challenge in his career: make his players study while pressure from the school and the community could have put not only his job but also his life in danger. It could be easier anywhere else but not in America, where high school sport is a dominant cultural event and the gym or the stadium is the sacred temple of not only the school but the whole community behind it.

12 July 2018

Bilingual Education and Cultural Identity Development

Strong cultural identity is often perceived as vital for school adaptation in the psychology literature, as it strongly relates to students’ mental well-being and self-esteem. Addressing this issue, studies on acculturation have been conducted through observing behavioral patterns and perspective change of overseas students experiencing acculturation. The relationship between acculturation and identity is often discussed in terms of the complications between the need to adapt and the need to maintain one’s cultural identity.

09 April 2018

Two Books on Third World Cinema

Any discussion of Third World films should begin with definition of the concept of the Third World. Roy Armes in Third World Film Making and the West (University of California Press, 1987), defines Third World countries as those once colonized nations that are still underdeveloped because of their economic exploitation by the West. This, I assume, accounts for the rather strange title of this book since the emphasis here is given to the relationship between Third World filmmaking in particular, and the West in general. Yet, I did not find that this emphasis was reflected in the writing. And for good reason, since the primary concern of a Third World filmmaker is not his relationship to the West (although this may be one of his concerns) but his country and his people. It seems to me that the title points to an uneasiness that Roy Armes feels in writing about this subject. It is hard to pinpoint why he feels so uneasy.

19 September 2017

Eyes of the Journey Alternative World Premier

September 21 is the alternative world premiere of a new film Eyes of the Journey, a visual poem in Quechua from director Rodrigo Otero Heraud and and producer Maya Tillmann Salas of Asociacion Cuyay Wasi in Peru. Several organizations, people who are interested, and cinema clubs in several countries around the world who will show the film on that day to spread the energy of the film around Mother Earth on the same day. The film is like a prayer in Quechua and its makers know it will have a magic effect. The film originates in Cusco, Peru, where it will be projected on the 21st to an audience of 600. Cusco is the home of the film's protagonist, the Quechua shaman Hipolito.

29 July 2017

Fan Awareness of Godzilla's Dual Identity

The value of a film can be assessed from its production and reception. What makes the Godzilla films an exceptional case is that it took longer than 50 years to fully appraise the reception on a par with the original production. Such a gap was created by a travestying version of the 1954 original that gave birth to Godzilla as both a celebrated kaiju character and a film genre. This conclusion is shared by many, even the Japanese critics and historians who mercilessly dissected the Americanized edit Godzilla, King of the Monsters! (1956) with Raymond Burr. The sensitive historical context within which Godzilla was born understandably made its export to America more or less a process where the beloved daikaiju was stripped of his originally dark and cautionary tale about nuclear horrors that his creators intended to convey. However, the charm of the 1956 recut is indisputable and a natural given among the Western fans because it was thanks to this highly edited version that Goji-san brought tremendous financial success, along with establishing his name and his one-of-a-kind genre beyond the borders of Japan. In 2004, fifty years after its debut in Japan, the original Godzilla film was screened in American cinemas for the first time, which was a revelation to his international fans who recognized that they hardly knew him.

05 June 2017

The Nuclear Deal and Failed Iran-US Relations

2015 witnessed a significant turn of events in international relations. The Obama Administration adopted a flexible approach to mending frozen relations with regimes the US had for decades perceived as hostile and consequently its relations with Cuba and Iran were put into a new direction.