Saturday, May 15, 2010

'Bu Cackey

Islamic lowest common denominator types the FPI have recently threatened to raid screenings of the local production Menculik Miyabi (Kidnapping Miyabi). The source of their Mohammedan ire, is the film’s star, namely one Maria Ozawa a.k.a. Miyabi, a Japanese porn starlet of some repute, or so I'm told (ahem).

The movie opened last week and so I duly trotted off to Blok M Square and worked my way up through seven floors of cut-price tat to the Studio 21 theatre at the top. There was no sign of any wispy bearded, white robed types hanging around, ready to burst into the movie and tear up the cheap seats though. Alas I’d been hoping to get some relief from what I was certain would be about as enjoyable a cinematic experience as John Travolta's epic Scientology failure, Battlefield Earth dubbed into Serbo-Croat.

There was a decent crowd milling around though and when I entered theatre five and took my seat, the place seemed to be almost full. The audience even included a girl sitting next to me in an Islamic jilbab (veil). As usual, there's no surer way of guaranteeing the success of a movie or record than banning it. You ask the Sex Pistols.

As the credits rolled and the film got underway, I felt confident that the FPI would not burst in and turn Blok M Square into the Swat Valley. On the other hand though, Menculik Miyabi turned out to be so unspeakably dreadful, so utterly insulting to the intelligence of a baboon with Alzheimer’s, that I feared that the dark Lord Lucifer himself might appear in an explosive flash of sulphur, singeing the huge popcorn boxes being eagerly clutched in the first three rows. "Ha ha hah," he would cackle demonically, "With this movie I now see that human culture has reached its ultimate nadir and that all of mankind's noble intentions have come to nothing. And so the gateway from the underworld has now been blown open and now my dark, ten million year reign of terror begins."

Billed as a comedy, Menculik Miyabi is hardly a biting, post-modern satire on Jakarta's urban malaise. In fact, it makes Animal House look like Annie Hall. The audience were hardly rolling in the aisles during the performance and a pall of near terminal enervation seemed to descend on rows A to M during the movie's final, funny-as-cancer denouement.

Miss Miyabi's part in this whole sorry debacle has been pared down to an absolute minimum, owing to the cancellation of her Jakarta scenes which were nixed after threats of airport assault by the FPI goon squad. As for the rest of the third division Sinetron cast, we were treated to the usual Indonesian Three Stooges motif as well as the stereotypical nerd in thick rimmed glasses who finally gets the girl after facing down the campus bully.

The full gamut of slapstick, double entendre, and more frequently single entendre, stiffy, titty and vomit gags were given the once over by the assembled thespians, who clearly couldn't act their way out of a Hero shopping bag if it was dangled off the top of Monas. The movie also sports a rather unpleasant subtext about it being okay to kidnap women.

Was this pornography though? Not unless you situate yourself at the far Bin Laden end of the moral spectrum. Aesthetic pornography perhaps. As for the FPI themselves, clearly the police have never been much interested in curbing their high jinks and thus the rise of Islamo-fascism (a word with perhaps a greater ring of authenticity to it than Islamophobia) grows apace in this country. I think it's fair to ask though whether it’s more morally corrupting to laugh at a bit of smutty innuendo, or to work for an organisation whose boss is, quite literally, above the law.

The Indonesian mindset seems to me to be, in some ways, not well-suited to the ascetic rigours of hardcore monotheism, and I mean that as a great compliment. Just under the surface, people here seem to enjoy the sensual, Epicurean pleasures of food and sex and in this respect perhaps more closely resemble that other great archipelagic civilisation, the ancient Greeks. As long as you're not harming another person, then enjoy and celebrate life and sexuality.

It's only when monotheism comes along that we get hypocritical words of divine love and piety masking what is, in fact, repressed jealousy and hatred of those who would do what you would too if you were brave enough. And of course the flipside of this is the emotion that one feels if one actually does go out and enjoys the forbidden sexual side of one's nature, namely guilt and self hatred. I guess that religion though is a good find for those who are sexually repressed, and that's always been true.

The result of all this is that waves of love, compassion and life’s joy are hardly radiating from the FPI, or even the NU. So folks, my advice is to make hay while the sun shines, don't waste any of your precious time on execrable movies, remember to clean your teeth and have a happy Hellenic weekend.