JAKARTA, ARKIPEL, Forum Lenteng — 12 September 2014. Suasana di Kineforum tampak bersemangat untuk pemutaran proyek unik Kenji Murakami yang berjudul Sound Hunting. Tepat 19:30, penonton mulai memenuhi ruangan, beberapa memandangi proyektor antik yang terletak tepat di antara deretan bangku penonton; terselip diam-diam di belakang. Kenji Murakami, sang sutradara, melangkah maju dan tersenyum. Di sampingnya, berdiri Makiko Wakai, Koordinator Program New Asian Currents, YAMAGATA International Documentary Film Festival (YIDFF). Dia meraih mikrofon dan mulai berbicara, dalam bahasa Jepang yang cepat, sesekali berhenti untuk membiarkan Makiko menjelaskan kepada penonton.

Talita Luna Siagian (Luna)_ARKIPEL © 2014 Pemutaran Sound Hunting_07

Kenji Murakami (kiri), Makiko Wakai (tengah), & Andrie Sasono (kanan).

“Filem ini direkam dengan Fujica 8mm,” kata Kenji, memulai penjelasannya, “kamera ini diproduksi dan digunakan secara eksklusif di Jepang. Kamera ini berhenti diproduksi sekitar dua puluh tahun yang lalu.”

“Saya merekam suara dengan kamera ini juga, karena strip magnetik di bawah filem memungkinkan saya untuk merekam suara,” lanjutnya.

Setelah itu, ia mengucapkan terima kasih sebesar-besarnya kepada panitia karena telah menyediakan proyektor langka dan antic, khusus untuk pemutaran filemnya. Dia mulai bergerak ke proyektor, mengotak-atik roll kamera dan beberapa saat kemudian lampu diredupkan dan filem pun dimulai.

Talita Luna Siagian (Luna)_ARKIPEL © 2014 Pemutaran Sound Hunting_02

Filem ini dibuka dengan suara yang terkesan lebih berat dan parau karena disaring melalui kamera ‘kuno’, seolah menjelaskan niatnya merekam sebuah filem menggunakan peralatan yang lama ini. Gambarnya nyaris tak terlihat, sebagian besar warna muncul dalam dua nada. Namun, suara-suara itu direkam dengan kondisi yang nyaris sempurna, beriringan dengan suara roll filem yang berputar kencang. Tidak ada pola tertentu dalam metode pengambilan gambarnya, kecuali suaranya yang menjelaskan bahwa ia akan menamai filem ini Sound Hunting.

Narasi Kenji Murakami, meskipun sedikit monoton, terdengar sedikit puitis saat ia menceritakan keinginannya memfilemkan angin (suara itu menyelip ke bisikan kencang, mengulang-ulang kata “angin, angin, angin”), menggambarkan waktu, dan merekam perempuan —suaranya kadang dipercepat dan diperlambat, kadang pula terdengar seperti tupai.

Salah satu adegan yang menonjol, bagi saya, adalah akhir dari filem: setelah mengembangkan filem, ia menemukan bahwa tidak ada gambar yang terlihat jelas dan ia pesimis bahwa kartrid terakhir akan menunjukkan gambar yang menjanjikan. Anehnya, keramaian dan hiruk pikuk Shinjuku ditangkap begitu jelas (semampu kamera tersebut, tentunya) oleh kamera. Bahkan, menunjukkan pola pencakar langit dan orang-orang yang mondar-mandir di sekitar. Adegan terakhir menunjukkan Kenji di pantai, menghadap lautan. Gambar gelombang ditangkap oleh filem, dan meskipun ia muncul, ia nyaris tidak terlihat dan suaranya hampir ditelan oleh gelombang yang menerjang. Saat melangkah lebih jauh dari kamera, ia berulang kali berteriak, “Apakah kau menangkap pesannya?” kepada orang di belakang kamera dan, meskipun saya meragukan itu disengaja mengingat niatnya untuk membiarkan kamera berjalan begitu saja, itu adalah akhir yang sempurna untuk proyek yang unik tersebut.

Talita Luna Siagian (Luna)_ARKIPEL © 2014 Pemutaran Sound Hunting_05

Filem berakhir dan kami bertepuk tangan. Seperti biasa, panitia memperbolehkan sesi tanya-jawab. Saya mengangkat tangan dan bertanya, “Apakah Anda tahu ketika Anda menamakannya Sound Hunting bahwa gambar tidak akan muncul dan hanya suara yang akan tersimpan?”

Ia diam sejenak sebelum menjawab. “Tidak. Tapi saya tahu bahwa ada kemungkinan bahwa hal itu tidak akan,” jawab Murakami Kenji. “Kamera tua dan peralatan yang lambat laun rusak selama sebulan saya merekam filem ini. Tujuan saya adalah untuk menunjukkan, entah bagaimana, bahwa seluloid lebih baik daripada filem yang digital dalam mengarsipkan filem. Tidak ada arsip fisik dari filem digital, dan jika rekamannya corrupted maka filem itu hilang. Tapi kamera ini merekam suara filem, meskipun gambar tidak terlihat. Dan fakta bahwa, roll filem yang saya gunakan harus hadir di ruangan ini, menambah nilai untuk filem.”

Saya mengangguk, puas dengan jawabannya. Setelah beberapa pertanyaan ringkas, panitia mengingatkan para peserta bahwa akan ada pemutaran filem lain di ruang tersebut. Saya berjalan ke pintu keluar bersama dengan penonton lainnya dan mengucapkan terima kasih kepada Mr. Murakami secara pribadi.

Talita Luna Siagian (Luna)_ARKIPEL © 2014 Pemutaran Sound Hunting_03

Kenji Murakami & Ugeng T. Moetidjo

Sound Hunting: Murakami Kenji and Preserving Films

 

JAKARTA, ARKIPEL, Forum Lenteng — 12th of September 2014. The atmosphere at Kineforum looked suitably excited for the screening of Kenji Murakami’s quirky project called Sound Hunting. At exactly 19:30, audience began filtering in, drinking in the sight of a vintage projector situated right in the middle of the room; tucked unobtrusively at the back. Kenji Murakami, the director, stepped forward and grinned. Beside him was Makiko Wakai, Coordinator of the New Asian Currents Program, YAMAGATA International Documentary Film Festival (YIDFF). He grabbed a microphone and started speaking, in rapid Japanese, occasionally pausing to let Makiko explained to the audience.

“This movie is recorded with Fujica 8mm,” said Kenji, beginning his detailed explanation, “this camera is produced and used exclusively in Japan. It stopped producing about twenty years ago.”

“I recorded the sound with this camera as well, because the magnetic stripes underneath the film allow me to record sound with it,” he continued.

Afterward, he thanked the committee profusely for obtaining a rare and vintage projector specifically for the screening of the movie. He began moving to the projector, fiddling with the camera roll and soon the room darkened and the movie began.

The movie opened with his voice, heavier and raspier as it was filtered through the camera’s rusty recording ability, explaining his intention of recording something using this old equipment. The images were barely discernible; most of the colors appear in two-tone. The sound was almost in perfect condition, save from the loud sound of spooling film. There appeared to be no recognizable pattern to his scene-taking, except for his voice narrating that he’d name this movie Sound Hunting.

His narration, though understandably monotonic, were oddly poetic as he narrated how he wished to film the wind (sometimes whispering the mantra-like “wind, wind, wind”), depict time, and filming a woman —whose voice speeds up and slows down, sometimes taking a chipmunk-like quality.

One scene that stood out, to me, was the ending where he found out that after developing the film there were no discernable images and that he was pessimistic that the last cartridge would show any promising images. Oddly, however, the hustle and bustle of Shinjuku was captured so vividly (as much as the film was able to, of course) by the camera going so far as showing vivid pattern of skyscrapers and people traipsing around. The last scene showed him in the beach, facing the ocean. The waves were captured by the film, and although he appeared, he was nowhere to be seen and his voice was almost swallowed by the crashing wave. As he stepped further away from the camera, he repeatedly screamed, “Did you get the message?” to the person behind the camera and, though I doubted it had been intentional, it was the perfect ending to such unique project.

The movie ended and we applauded his work. Per usual, the committee allowed questions to be asked. I raised my hand and asked him, “Did you know when you named it Sound Hunting that the images would not appear and only sound would be retained?”

He paused before answering. “I didn’t. But I knew that there was a possibility that it wouldn’t,” he said. “The camera is old and the equipment kept failing over the month that I shot this movie. My goal was to show, somehow, that the celluloid is better than digital preserving film. There’s no physical archive of a digital film, and if it crashes then it’s wiped. But this camera recorded the sound of the movie, even though the images were not seen. And the fact that the film roll which I used has to be present in the room adds a value to the movie.”

I nodded, satisfied with his answer. After quick round of questions and answers, the committee reminded the audience that there will be another movie playing. I made my way to the exit and thanked Mr. Murakami personally.

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