Janji Joni: A Sabu-Style Film From Indonesia?

Founder and Editor; Toronto, Canada (@AnarchistTodd)
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Twitch reader Jason Murphy seems to think so ... here's what he's got to say:

"Saw this film at the Sydney Film Festival. Was a hoot.

One of the most interesting things about this film was that the director managed to get 80s Indonesian action star Barry Prima out of a 10 year retirement for a role in the film.

The director & producer also talked & basically they said that there is no actual Indonesian film industry & that ONE person owns every cinema in the country of 205 million people. Amazing.
So it’s really great they made such a cool film like this. The soundtrack is also quite incredible. All Indo rock & funk.
It’s better than what the trailer looks like. Almost like a Sabu film, ‘cause there’s so much running in it."

Definitely got to agree with him on the soundtrack. Check out the website here and download the postage stamp sized trailer here.

Read on for the synopsis from the Sydney Film Festival ...

Here’s something entirely unexpected from our regional neighbour – a youthful comedy packed with zest and cheeky humour that marks a strong contrast tot he admirable but very serious Indonesian dramas such as Leaf on a Pillow that have screened at SFF in recent years. Joni’s Promise – the directorial debut of Anwar, a screenwriter and film columnist for The Jakarta Post – follows the misadventures and romantic yearnings of a young motorcycle courier (charmingly played by Nicholas Saputra) charged with delivering film reels between cinemas. Indonesian cinemas share prints, so if the courier is late, the film stops midway and a sign appears on screen – ‘Sorry, waiting for the next reel’. This invariably sends the audience into apoplexy. It partially explains Joni’s panicked reaction when his film reels are stolen mid-delivery. His desire to please a beautiful girl he’s just met is the other explanation. Dotted with gags about cinemas, films and their viewers (ranging from Jennifer Lopez as a role model to an hilarious breakdown of the different types found in movie audiences), this is an engagingly fresh comedy, one that never overplays its hand and is loaded with breezy charm. – Lynden Barber, Sydney Film Festival

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joeybrashJuly 6, 2005 10:26 AM

what does Sabu style mean?

idiotproofJuly 6, 2005 12:10 PM

Look here: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0848992/?fr=c2l0ZT1kZnxteD0yMHxsbT01MDB8ZmI9dXxwbj0wfHE9c2FidXxodG1sPTF8bm09MQ__;fc=1;ft=22;fm=1

Japanese director/actor Hiroyuki Tanaka aka Sabu has a thematic approach to several of his films. The general theme would be that the main character is always on the move, either getting chased (or chasing) on foot, bike or car. Very engaging films.
Check Dangan Runner when 2 others join the main character for a run. Funny stuff. There is usually some dodgy yakuzas in his films as well.

LisaJuly 12, 2005 7:01 AM

I think Jajni Joni (Joni's Promies) is the best Indonesian movie ever. Nicholas Saputra plays the character perfectly from beginning to end.

karmapoliceJuly 13, 2005 5:29 AM

I must agree, Janji Joni (Joni's Promise) is a gem. I think writer/director Joko Anwar is the most promising young filmmaker in Indonesia. Too bad, Janji Joni is quite underrated in Indonesia, simply because it's, light, entertaining, and so much fun. Indonesian film critics seem to think, if you want to make a good film, you got to make an art film which people don't understand. For me, this is the best Indonesian movie ever.

TantoJanuary 7, 2006 1:11 PM

As a photographer, I think This movie give a lot of hints and critics about the loosen up of the old and strict Indonesian art, culture and heritage. In this movie, the director try to bring up the chinese traditional culture which have been fade away for a long time within the dynamic pulse of urban city life. The alleyway which decorated with chinese banner and chinese food logo seems to bring back the memories that long been lost. This movie also critisize the dilemma of cencorship in the Indonesian movie industry which forbid the kissing cene. It also show the forbidden gay lover scene where in the movie, both male actors confess their love in the cinema toilet. The gay relationship have beem rejected for very long time in Ineonseian mainstream society. Personally I think this movie is very interesting and well made because it seems to open up a lot of aspects of freedom in the movie and it also shows creativity of Indonesian movie maker.