Watching Black Swan is definitely out of the question because there’s still no definite play date for Natalie Portman’s film and the lady behind the ticket counter was tightlipped.

Tidak adah informasi (There’s no information),” she said with a timid smile as she handed our tickets to Ashton Kutcher’s No Strings Attached and wished us happy viewing.

If the scuttlebutt proves true, No Strings Attached would be the last Hollywood movie I’d have seen in Indonesia. This is because Hollywood has allegedly refused to heed the new taxation policy on Hollywood movies, which would have had the producers/distributors paying 20+ percent in taxes. Dropping Indonesia from the distribution list, it seems, was a wiser and more profitable move than paying the taxes. There are, after all, other places to distribute around the region like the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore etc.

I first heard this rumor about a week ago from friends who were apoplectic when they related it to me.  First thought on their minds was where they would watch the last installment of Harry Potter and the sequels of the film series Twilight, Transformers and Pirates of the Caribbean. Second, the thought of missing out on the whole experience of movie-watching, of enjoying the surround-sound effect in the movie theater was simply galling.

My thoughts run, aside from what my friends thought of, along the lines of employment for the multitude of workers of Cinema XXI, Blitz and the other movie operators. Another was the image of Jakarta as a hub – business and entertainment – in Asia. Tourism is one of its major revenue sources so how can it promote itself as a world-class destination when simple pull-factors such as Hollywood films are nowhere in sight? [Aside: I don’t see any non-Hollywood films (i.e., British, Middle Eastern) or independent foreign films being screened in cinemas around the city.]

The disappearance of Hollywood films from all the cinemas takes effect this Friday, February 25. I’ll soon find out the verdict once I set foot at Cinema XXI.


2 responses to this post.

  1. An advance screening of it came out in Manila a couple of weeks ago. I got to see it but it disappeared just as fast as it came in.

    No word yet on it’s release.

    Funny thing, I ended up discussing Portman’s character with my psychiatrist friend over Twitter. Good times!


  2. Posted by Hady Depp on February 25, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    It is just.. too bad 😦
    There will be no Pirates of The Caribbean 4, Harry Potter the last part, or even Breaking Dawn Twilight Series!!!
    Believe me, the piracy in DVD counter will augment drastically.


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