Tag Archives: kaufman

Return to Nuke ‘Em High Volume 1: Film cult sakit

6 Aug
Return to Nuke 'Em High Volume 1 (2013)

Return to Nuke ‘Em High Volume 1 (2013)


‘Return to Nuke ‘Em High Volume 1’ adalah sebuah film lanjutan dari film ‘Nuke’Em High’ (1986). Film ini adalah kreasi sutradara/penulis Llyod Kaufman, seorang maestro film-film cult low budget yg berfokus ke genre horror, sex, comedy dan gore (melalui perusahaan dia Troma studios). Kalau anda pingin nonton film trashy yg so bad its good…film-film Kaufman sangat cocok untuk itu.

Tetapi kontribusi Llyod Kaufman untuk sinema sebagai pembuat film cult (‘The Toxic Avenger’, ‘Squeeze Play!’) bukan saja karena membuat film yg dia mau tanpa peduli pasar mainstream tetapi juga karena menginspirasikan generasi filmmaker berikutnya seperti James Gunn (‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, ‘Super’, ‘Slither’). Sebelum James Gunn sukses dengan ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ dia bekerja lama sebagai penulis untuk film-film Llyod Kaufman. Seperti maestro-maestro film cult lainnya (Roger Corman, John Waters, Russ Meyer) yg juga menginspirasi atau membimbing sutradara-sutradara yg akan merubah mainstream seperti Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola dan Michael Moore. Humor Kaufman yg sedikit sadis/absurd dan watak yg sangat independent sudah menjadi bagian dari Gunn juga.

‘Return to Nuke ‘Em High Volume 1’ sendiri memang melanjutkan konsep film ‘Nuke ‘Em High’ yg sangat trashy dan over the top. Sebuah perusahaan tenaga nuklir bereksperimen dengan makanan toxic dan memberikannya ke pelajar-pelajar di sekolah. Ternyata makanan yg terkontaminasi itu membuat pelajar-pelajar berubah menjadi karakter/karakter yg bermutasi. Beberapa pelajar culun dari glee club (ya, menyindir glee serial TV) berubah menjadi mutan-mutan punk yg sangar bernama Cretins dan menteror Tromaville High School. Bisakah sepasang pelajar lesbian Chrissy (Asta paredes) dan Lauren (Catherine Corcoran) menyelamatkan situasi?

Bagi saya, visi Kaufman yg anarkis dan tidak beraturan ternyata mempunyai visi yg cukup kritikal tentang budaya Amerika. Dari obsesi remaja amerika dengan sex & violence, perbedaan kasta di sekolah, perusahaan energi yg tidak peduli lingkungan sampai hal-hal yg tabu seperti kejadian penembakan yg di lakukan oleh remaja-remaja di Amerika di jadikan sebagai guyon menyindir. Kalau film-film parodi seperti ‘Scary Movie’ memang di anggap sebagai sampah yg tidak ada nilai karena candaannya terlalu maksa dan memang tidak lucu, ‘Return to Nuke ‘Em high Volume 1’ adalah film parodi yg lebih berani dan lebih offensive karena sangat absurd, hyperreal dan ultimately memang benar-benar sakit.

B-movie ini mempunyai sebuah karisma yg bagi saya sudah jarang di dapati di film-film era sekarang. Karisma tentang the joy of filmmaking. Energi Kaufman yg maniak sangat terasa di karya ini dan sepertinya menular ke aktor-aktornya.

Yes, it’s trashy. Yes, it’s over the top cheesy. Yes, it’s offensive with cartoon violence and gore. But damn, it’s an anarchist kinda fun.


21 great quotes about screenwriting

26 Nov

1. “There is only one plot-things are not what they seem.”

– Jim Thompson


2. “Everything I’ve written is personal- it’s the only way I know how to write.”

– Charlie Kaufman


3. “I could be just a writer very easily. I am not a writer. I am a screenwriter, which is half a filmmaker….But it is not an art form, because screenplays are not works of art. They are invitations to others to collaborate on a work of art.”   

– Paul Schrader

4. “When I was sixteen or seventeen, I wanted to be a writer. I wanted to be a playwright But everything I wrote, I thought was weak. and I can remember falling asleep in tears because I had no talent the way I wanted to have.”

– Francis Ford Coppola


5. “Being a good writer is 3% talent, 97% not being distracted by the internet.” 

– Unknown


6. “I love fantasy. I love horror. I love musicals. Whatever doesn’t happen in real life is what I’m interested in. as a way of commenting on everything that does happen in life, because ultimately the only thing I’m really interested is people.”

– Joss Whedon


7. “We’ve all been burned by bad feedback. Rude, insensitive, bossy, arrogant, wrong-headed, cruel even.”                      

– Julie Gray


8. “The screenplay is the child not only of its mother, the silent film, but also of its father, the drama.”                                 

– Terrence Rattigan


9. “Screenwriting is an opportunity to fly first class, be treated like a celebrity, sit around the pool and be betrayed.”

– Ian McEwan


10. “I don’t think screenplay writing is the same as writing- I mean, I think it’s blue printing.”                                                      

– Robert Altman


11. “Writing is a marathon, not a sprint.”

– Robert McKee


12. “One of the big things you have learn is who to listen and when; and you can’t listen to everybody.”

Amy Holden Jones


13. Scriptwriting is the toughest part of the whole racket…the least understood and the least noticed.”

-Frank Capra


14. “It is better to write a bad first draft than to write no first draft at all.”

– Will Shetterly

15. “But George and Steven asked me to write the Indiana Jones sequels, and I didn’t want to.”

– Lawrence Kasdan


16. “The most ordinary word, when put into place, suddenly acquires brilliance. That is the brilliance with which your images must shine.”

– Robert Bresson


17. “Screenwriting is the most prized of all the cinematic arts. actually, it isn’t, but it should be.”

– Hugh Laurie


18. “People are going to laugh at your attempt to write a really romantic scene. So what can you do to protect yourself? You can shock people…”

Andrew Kevin Walker

19. “Trust your own instinct. Your mistakes might as well be your own, instead of someone else’s.”

– Billy Wilder


20. “The easiest thing to do on earth is not to write.”

– William Goldman


21. “I think about the audience in the sense that I serve as my own audience. I have to please myself that way, if I saw the movie in theatre, I would be pleased. Do I think about catering to an audience? No.”

– Shane Black



Meet you in Montauk

24 Mar

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)


Time and memory is a bitch.


Because they are the two consistent things that keep reminding us of our pain. How we use that pain will ultimately shape us as unique individuals. Some people use pain as motivation to be better, some use it as a learning curve and some never completely recover and choose to wallow in self bitterness. I could use love as an example too but that would be too easy and predictable.

If I had to choose between the two, I choose pain.


Because pain makes us grow, because pain is a necessary evil to keep us alive, because pain keeps us moving forward.

But some people simply can’t face the pain because the wounds are far too great to bear.

Wouldn’t that be a relief if that part of your memory that hides your inner most pain can be erased? All those perfect scars in your deepest memories can be deleted instantly? All those regrets and mistakes that are dragging you down will disappear in a flash?

Would you do it if you had the choice?

Apparently many did in ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’. Well, to be specific Clementine (Kate Winslet) did. She erased her memories that had anything to do with Joel (Jim Carrey). When Joel finds out, he gets mad like any other person would in the last dying breath of their relationship and he retaliates by getting the same treatment done. The thing is, memory also serves as a stubborn reminder of why we hold on to those fleeting moments that are dear to us. Fleeting moments that are precious or intimate with people we’ve loved. It’s because those same people that we have connection with also defined us as a person.

Without them, we are nothing.

Joel realizes this as the procedure begins erasing his memories of Clementine and he decides to fight it off because he still wants to remember. He needs to remember her because Clementine has been so ingrained in his psyches that she has become an integral part of his life, for better or worse.

Writer Charlie Kaufman and director Michel Gondry are the perfect collaborators for this film because each played to each other’s strength and covered each other’s weaknesses. Kaufman is a cubist writer who is brilliant and loves to push things to the limit but sometimes needs to be rein in because he has a morbid habit of demolishing story/characters and turning them bitter without any sort of redemptive qualities. This is where Gondry comes in to make the story more hopeful and open. Gondry is one of those rare director who is technically gifted but with a heart to back it up, a somewhat rare commodity in today’s filmmaking. He saw something pure and unabashed in the story amidst all the non-linear/maze like structure /heavy theme. He saw a simple love story with a very off beat approach.

It would be easy to get lost and be confused by the many different layers of story as it got deeper and surreal but it never got bogged down by the razzle dazzle of the clever structure or the cool lo-fi effects that Gondry designed because all those elements were designed to make the story whole and not vice versa.

At the heart of it all, the emotions of the characters journey were very…well emotional, familiar and touched a nerve without being sappy or falling to most romantic movies clichés. We see how when they first meet. Joel is a shy timid introvert while Clementine is a bashful extrovert, an unlikely pairing that sparks off a unique chemistry that embedded deeply in their minds. We also see how their relationship starts to decay slowly and their resentment towards one another reach an unbearable level ,“Are we the dining dead?”

This story works because Kaufman wanted to make sure you believe in their relationship first and it feels real and not artificial. Once you bought in to their story, Kaufman pulls the rug under you and the real journey starts. I guess what I’m trying to say is the core of this film is crystal clear and easy to understand which is why the film never gets confusing.

The direction of Gondry is truly spot on because he refused to jump in with the 3D/CGI bandwagon for this film and instead using mainly lo-fi effect techniques that were mainly shot in camera to give it a surrealist feel that is also feel very raw and imperfect yet works perfectly. As Joel’s final memory of Clementine’s collapsing and he sees all their little precious moments flashing by in a train ride like effect, the realness/rawness of that effect really hits home because that is something that 3D will never capture, the intimacy of your world falling apart in front of you being captured like a slide show. And summarised perfectly by this  dialogue scene:

Carrie: I saw you talking to someone pretty!

Rob: Yeah, man, who was that?

Joel: She was… just a girl.

Makes it one of the most heart aching scenes in film history.

Later on, when Joel and Clementine meet up again in Montauk, though they don’t remember each other but somehow sense a strong familiarity/bond with each other. It really is a statement about the human heart, that it has a mind of its own.

That is truly romantic.


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