Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Jonathan Rosenbaum and Sisworo Gautama Putra's Sangkuriang (1982)

In 1991, film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum watched Sisworo Gautama Putra's Sangkuriang (1982). And Apparently he was impressed with this exploitation film.
He wrote 2 articles related to the film:
First, a short review

This lively and enjoyable Indonesian feature (1982) in ‘Scope, directed by Gautana Sisworo Putra from a screenplay by Ignatius Sukardjasman, is based on an ancient Sunda legend with oedipal overtones; the hero accidentally kills his father (although sometime after the latter has been turned into a dog) and almost marries his mother. It’s full of enchantment, alternately campy and exhilarating in its employment of fantasy and magic (with some beautifully choreographed martial arts that include Superman-like flights), but unfortunately it’s been censored somewhat for stateside consumption. (Facets Multimedia Center, 1517 W. Fullerton, Monday, June 10, 7:00, 281-4114)

And the second one, he puts this corny film in his 1991 non-Hollywood worth-seeing films

Other movies of the year that are eminently worth seeing (excluding the American titles already listed) are The Architecture of Doom, Ay, Carmela!, Billy Bathgate, The Comedy of Money (a resurrected Dutch feature by Max Ophuls), The Double Life of Veronique, The Garden, The Interrogation, Larks on a String, Life Is Sweet, Little Man Tate,The Match Factory Girl, My Father’s Glory, Night and Day (Chantal Akerman’s latest, shown at the Chicago International Film Festival),Open Doors, Palombella Rossa, Privilege, Sangkuriang (an Indonesian feature made in 1982), See You Later (a Michael Snow short), Slacker, Strand: Under the Dark Cloth, Swan Lake–The Zone, and 1000 Pieces of Gold.

As far as i know, Sangkuriang has never been exported overseas. So, I guess Rosenbaum watched it in a movie theater or film festival (he mentioned 'Scope). CMIIW.

Hereby i attach the full version of the film, but unfortunately no English subtitles.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Some changes for my MECCSA Presentation

Dear all,
I apologize that I have to change the angle of my presentation. The topic is the same (on Layar Tancap, or Mobile Cinema). Here's the new abstract:

See you in Newcastle, 7-9 January!
Full schedule: http://meccsa2015.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/MeCCSA2015_draft_programme.pdf

The Significance of Layar Tancap:

 Film Policies and   Mobile Cinema Shows in Indonesia’s New Order Era (1974-1993)

Indonesia’s New Order Government (1966-1998)   is notorious with its state-control of every aspect of life.  In the film industry, the government applied sharp censorship and controlled film production by controlling the script and film bodies as well as distribution and exhibition.  (Sen 1992; Heider 1991, Jufry 1992, Said 1991).
How did New Order and its policies value and deal with the subculture of Layar Tancap (open air cinema) or bioskop keliling (mobile cinema shows)? According to Katinka van Heeren, Layar Tancap shows were out of New Order’s radar until 1993 (van Heeren 2012, 33), the year  the government finally acknowledged and formalized Perfiki (Persatuan Perusahaan Pertunjukan Film Keliling Indonesia, or the Union of Indonesian Mobile Cinema Show)

According to van Heeren and Krishna Sen, although its spectatorship is important to note, but no   specific official policies was applied ; and no   data was collected by The Indonesian Statistical Bureau, for this open air cinema (Sen 1994). The Indonesian Statistical Bureau (PBS, Pusat Biro Statistik) only covered numbers from ordinary cinemas  in the  big cities  (Sen 1994, 72).
By observing New Order’s film policies as well as general and trade magazines, I will investigate van Heeren’s claims above.  I will argue the opposite: Suharto’s government tried to frame this kind of distribution and exhibition cultures, long before 1993, precisely because the villagers were one of their important assets considering that they were the majority of Indonesian citizens.  I will also focus on how the practice and consumption of Layar Tancap and policies of New Order government interact, negotiate, and influence each other.

Thursday, December 18, 2014



email from Johnny Walker:
I am so excited! 

Dear colleagues,

With apologies for cross-posting, please find below the CFP for “Global Exploitation Cinemas: Historical and Critical Approaches”, an academic conference and film event organised by the University of Lincoln (UK) in association with the forthcoming Bloomsbury book series of the same name.

The event will take place 28 and 29 May 2015 at the historic Ritz Cinema and Theatre.

University of Lincoln presents …


An academic conference and film event
The Ritz Cinema and Theatre, Lincoln (UK), 28 and 29 May 2015


Eric Schaefer (Emerson College, US) author of Bold! Daring! Shocking! True! A History of Exploitation Films, 1919-1959 (Duke University Press, 1999)
and editor of Sex Scene: Media and the Sexual Revolution (Duke University Press, 2014)
I. Q. Hunter (De Montfort University, UK)author of British Trash Cinema (BFI, 2012) and Cult Film as a Guide to Life (Bloomsbury, 2015).

The academy’s approach to film history has undergone a significant shift in the 21st century, with previously marginalised, despised and neglected aspects of popular film being afforded unprecedented levels of attention. This process of revaluation has occurred on a global scale, highlighting the development of rich and relatively uncharted alternative film cultures and histories, including those of "exploitation" films, and in turn enabling fresh empirical and critical methodologies.

The academic conference and film event "Global Exploitation Cinemas"—which is being funded by the University of Lincoln (UK) and is working in conjunction with the forthcoming Bloomsbury book series of the same name—aims to bring together an eclectic and diverse range of approaches to exploitation cinema, welcoming any perspective that adds to the burgeoning scholarship in this field of study. Proposals which emphasise the international dimensions of exploitation cinema are especially welcome, but the conference will remain broad and inclusive in considering topics for discussion.

Potential subjects and approaches include, but are by no means limited to:

• Critical reception and/or re-assessment
• Socio-historical dimensions and debates
• Form and aesthetics
• Global and transnational perspectives
• Sexploitation
• The pornographic feature film
• Media controversies and censorship
• Publicity and advertising
• Stardom
• Directors, writers and producers
• Movements, cycles and sub-genres
• Exhibition and distribution
• Geographies
• Restoration and re-appropriation
• Exploitation in the video age
• Nostalgia
• Publishing
• "Mainstream" infiltrations
• DVD documentaries/special features
• Festivals and conventions
• Ephemera and the collector
• The internet and participatory cultures
• Neo-exploitation in the 21st century

Abstracts (of around 300 words) and some brief biographical information (of around 50 words) should be sent no later than 
FRIDAY 27 FEBRUARY 2015 to the following email address: exploitationcinemaconference@gmail.com.

For more information about the event (and the book series) go to: http://globalexploitationcinemas.weebly.com

We look forward to receiving your abstracts!

Best wishes,

The organisers:

Shaun Kimber (Bournemouth University)
Neil Jackson (University of Lincoln)
Johnny Walker 
(Northumbria University)
Thomas Joseph Watson 
(Northumbria University)

Dr Johnny Walker
Lecturer in Media, Northumbria University, Squires 101d

Founding co-editor of Global Exploitation Cinemas

Monday, December 15, 2014

Let's Help "Lady Terminator" Family!

A sad message from Barbara Constable ( "Lady Terminator"):

Hi everyone,

This is Barbara Constable, Amber and Sebastiens Mother.  I have set this fund up to help our little family recover from what has truly been a very difficult year for us.

As I write this, we have have been in our new rental for 7 days, after havingmoved twice in 2.5 weeks.  (I will explain this shortly)  We initially had to move from our previous address, as I could no longer afford the rent on my own, due to the ill health of my daughter, and myself not being able to workdue to having to care for her.   My daughter Amber was diagnosed withAdolescent Social Anxiety Disorder and Depression in April of 2014, after refusing High School for many months.   To counteract the loss of income from not being able to work, I set up a small massage business from home, which I am currently unable to operate until I get this new house set up, and rename the business and website.   I finally received the Carer's Pension to care for my daughter in August of 2014.     

The house that we are now renting was unfortunately not available to move into when we had to leave our previous premises on 13th November 2014. Therefore we had to move all our major furniture under my Mother's rental flat, and send the rest of the electrical's and boxes to another family member's house.  My son and myself lived in my Mothers back shed for 2.5 weeks, and my daugthter stayed with my sister Jasmine, until were able to move into this house 7 days ago.  Moving twice in 2.5 weeks has wiped out any funds that I had in the bank.  Being a Single Parent is tuff enough, without having to move twice.  

During the stay in my Mother's shed, my son and I weathered two of the biggest storms that Brisbane has seen of recent years.  We were very lucky that most of our stuff was not damaged, but some major electricals were damaged in the storms.  We are in need of a Fridge, a dryer, and a washing machine.  Also, the house we have moved into has absolutely no cupboards to hang clothes in, or cupboard space for linen and storage. Therefore we need to aquire 3 cupboards.

Christmas is looming,  and without any funds left, and not enough income coming in, I am in need of funds to cover bills I cannot afford to pay, until I can find some part time work.  

Hoping the community can assist our little family recover with some financial assistance, so that we can have a less stressful 2015.  

Barb xxxxxx

How to donate: visit: http://www.gofundme.com/ir36dc

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

RIP Lilik sudjio, the director of "Queen of Black Magic"

I just read from El –Badrun’s Facebook status, that #liliksudjio just passed away today  (9 dec), at 07.30, in Jakarta.

Liliek Sudjio  was the first director who received Citra awards in the 1st Festival Film Indonesia. He outdid Usmar Ismail, “the father of Indonesian cinema”.  He directed Ratu Ilmu Hitam (Queen of The Black Magic, 1979), one of the earliest exploitation films exported overseas in the early 1980s and recirculated in the 2000s.

But Liliek’s works are beyond that. He directed several superhero movies such as GundalaPutra Petir (Indonesia's Flash)  and Darna Ajaib (Indonesia's Wonder Woman). He also directed comedy starring the icons of  the 1980s namely Gepeng and Benyamin Sueb.

In 1968, he was one of the chosen director that has been selected by Dewan Film Nasional (National Film Council) to produce a film related to the project of “searching of Indonesian faces on screen”. Instead of making art-house films, like other directors, he chose to make genre film, Djampang Mentjari Naga Hitam (Djampang Searches for the Black Dragon).

a review on Queen of Black Magic in DVD Drive-In 

a review on Queen of Black Magic (Oh The Horror)   
A review on Queen of Black Magic (Fright) ( 

Friday, November 28, 2014

The Cover of the forthcoming Plaridel Journal: on Indonesian Cult, Exploitation, and B-Movies

images: Lady Terminator and Jaka Sembung
The Cover of the forthcoming Plaridel Journal (Volume 11
Issue No. 2, 2014), special issue on The Significant of Indonesian Cult, Exploitation, and B Movies

Link:  http://www.plarideljournal.org/author/ekky-imanjaya . 

Sssst, I am the guest editor \m/ .

Coming soon: December 2014 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Film-Film yang Disensor karena adegan Seks dan Sadisme, 1972

Jika kita membahas soal film-film yang disensor awal 1970an, biasanya judul yang dibahas yang itu-itu saja: Bernafas Dalam Lumpur dan Bumi Makin Panas. Berikut adalah judul-judul film  lain yang disensor berkaitan dengan adegan seks dan kekerasan:

Sumber: Nasib Film “Lorong Hitam” Di Jogja” Sinar Harapan, 22 Mei 1972.
Hanja untuk 21 tahun ke atas.  Hampir dinyatakan film porno oleh Tim Pengawas Film Daerah Istimewa Jogjakarta.
Mungkin akan membawa pengaruh yang cukup besar bagi para mahasiswa dan pelajar yang menyaksikannya.

Akhirnya diloloskan untuk 21 tahun keatas, setelah ditonton ulang 3kali.

sumber: Inilah Beberapa Adegan Jang Digunting Sensor, Kompas 8 June 1972:
Sebagian tentang sex scenes dan kekerasan, misalnya dalam film Samiun dan Dasima (adegan ranjang Hamid Arief dan Connie Sutedja hingga BH Connie terbuka), Penunggang Kuda dari Tjimande (mata Harun tertusuk golok dan terlepas dari lubangnya), Impas (telinga Ray ISkandar dipotong), Tjisadane (usus berarakan) , Bengawan Solo (WD Mochtar telanjang bulat) , Insan Kesepian (Renny Fox telanjang bulat dalam pelukan Bambang Irawan).

Monday, November 24, 2014

Sneak Peek: Table of Content & Abstracts of Plaridel special issue: "The Bad, The Worse, and The Worst: The Significance of Indonesian Cult, Exploitation, and B Movies"

The Bad, The Worse, and The Worst: The Significance of Indonesian Cult, Exploitation, and B Movies

Plaridel  Journal, Special Issue, Vol 11, Issue No. 2, 2014.

Guest Editor: 
Ekky Imanjaya 
(PhD Candidate, University of East Anglia, UK; 
faculty member, school of Film, Binus International, Bina Nusantara University, Indonesia)

Coming soon: December 18, 2014

Table of Content and Abstracts:

1.     The Significance of Indonesian Exploitation and Cult Cinema: An Introduction to Special Issue

By Ekky Imanjaya (guest editor; University of East Anglia and Binus Nusantara University)

2.     Exploiting Indonesia: From Primitives to Outraged Fugitives
By Thomas Barker (University of Nottingham Malaysia)

3.     The Raiding Dutchmen: The Dutch Stereotypes in Indonesian Action Movies
By Eric Sasono  (RumahFilm.org)

4.       The Earth is Getting Hotter: Urban Inferno and Outsider Women’s Collectives in Bumi Makin Panas
By Dag Yngvesson (University of Minnesota)

5.        Challenging New Order’s Gender Ideology in Benyamin Sueb’s Betty Bencong Slebor: A Queer Reading
By Maimunah Munir (University of Airlangga)

6.       Genre versus Local Specificity: Configuring Rangda and Durga in Balinese and Bengali Films
By Makbul Mubarak  (Universitas Multimedia Nusantara)

7.       Beneath Still Waters: Brian Yuzna and the Transnational Indonesian Terror Text
By Xavier Mendik  (University of Brighton, Director of Cine-Excess Film Festival)

1.      American and Chinese influences on early Indonesian Action cinema

The List of Filmography of Early Indonesian Action Movies (1926-1941)
compiled by by Bastian Meiresonne

2.    On Lady Terminator
Interview with Barbara Anne Constable
By Andrew Leavold

3.     Beneath Still Waters: The Brian Yuzna Interview
By Xavier Mendik
4.     Scripting an Indonesian Monster: The John Penney Interview

By Xavier Mendik

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

YES! SCMS! See You in Montreal!

I just received a great news.

About 2 months ago, some colleagues asked me to join their panel titled "Global Exploitation Cinemas: Travel, Translation, Taste" for SCMS 2015. And the panel got accepted!

I am going to discuss about Prokjatab Prosar (Kelompok Kerja Tetap Promosi dan Pemasaran Film Indonesia di Luar Negeri ,   Permanent Working Group of Indonesian Film Promotion and Marketing Abroad), an official body that started the phenomenon of Indonesian transnational exploitation cinema a.k.a. Crazy Indonesia.
See you in Montreal , 25-29 March 2015 !

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Next Week: Cine-Excess Film Festival and Conference, Brighton

Next Saturday, I will be  at Cine-Excess to present a paper on Layar Tancap (Mobile Cinema shows), rural spectatorship, and classic Indonesian exploitation cinema. I will have my presentation on Saturday, 15 November, 11.30am-1pm in Panel 6 "Weird World Wastelands" (M2 boardroom).

The full schedule can be downloaded here

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Next Destination: MECCSA Conference, Newcastle upon Tyne, early January 2015

Yesterday, I received a great news from MECCSA (Media, Communication, and Cultural Studies Association), the biggest association in the UK related to respective disciplines. The first paragraph already revealed it all:

"The organisers of the MeCCSA 2015 conference are pleased to confirm that your proposed panel has been accepted. If you are no longer able to attend, we would be grateful if you could let us know as soon as possible"


Yes, I am organizing a panel with my fellow colleagues, Alicia Izharuddin, Eric Sasono, and Tito Imanda. The title of our panel is " Postcards from Indonesia: Unexplored cross-generational Issues in Genres and Screen Practices".  The conference will be held in Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, 7-9 January 2015. I will discuss the details once everything is fixed. And, of course, I will still present a topic related to cult, exploitation, and B Movies from Indonesia's New Order (1979-1995).

And finger crossed for the PhD bursaries.

CFP: Distributors, Discs and Disciples: Exploring the Home Media Renaissance

CFP: Distributors, Discs and Disciples: Exploring the Home Media Renaissance

23rd May 2015, University of Worcester


Distribution is often been seen as the “invisible link” in the media industry, in terms of facilitating how films, television shows and other texts reach audiences. The rise of digital platforms, such as online rental services and bit torrents, recently changed this view and digital distribution is the focus of several recent publications. However, there has not been a mass shift towards purely digital media, and physical media releases are still sought out by fans and consumers. Special editions and box-sets for DVDs and Blu-Rays are frequently hyped up on social media, and from many countries around the world. Past formats also make for collectible items, such as VHS, Laserdisc, and HD-DVD. Terminology related to physical media hugely affects perceptions of exhibition and consumption, such as ‘box-sets’, ‘binge-watching’, and ‘marathon’.

Distributors have been recognised as the ones making all this possible. Media distribution labels often promote their own actions; or their actions are reported on by critics and journalists; or fans and consumers directly respond to their releases and related activities. Such activity takes place within a variety of contexts – from film festivals to conventions and Q&A sessions; from social media, to dedicated websites and themed public attractions. This also occurs in relation to a variety of media texts – from newer releases to older titles; from films previously unavailable, to those regularly watched and celebrated by many.

The result of the raising of the profile of distributors has been a Home Media Renaissance. This exists not only as an alternative to online digital media exhibition options, but as one that occurs alongside them. In addition to the recent academic study of legitimate and illegitimate methods of online downloading and streaming, the simultaneous desire to own physical media is prevalent.

The aim of this symposium is to discuss and debate how and why distributors are becoming so prolific in an increasingly digital age. Is this activity a reaction to shifts towards downloading and streaming? Are consumers increasingly attracted to these forms of media, or are distributors desperate to maintain their interest? Can it last?

Case studies and observations of particular titles are encouraged – whether they are films, television shows, or other media – and concern a particular genre, national context, authorship figure, or other categorisation. This can take the shape of a 20 minute paper, or a shorter presentation – for example, as part of a panel of lightning talks or speed-geeking.

Other potential topics could cover, but are not limited to:

  • Distribution Labels
  • Home Media Formats
  • Exhibition Methods
  • Consumption Habits
  • Fandom (e.g. social media, blogs, communities and groups, etc)
  • Marketing and Promotion
  • Creativity and Production within Distribution and Marketing
  • Critical Reception and Other Reactions
  • Awards and Recognition

All topics proposed will also be eligible for inclusion within an edited collection. The subject of the symposium has already gained early interest from some publishers.

Proposals should be sent via email to jlwroot@googlemail.com. Proposals should be no more than 200 words, with a brief biographical statement (100 words) attached. The deadline for these is 30th January 2015. Decisions of acceptance will be sent out by the end of February/early March. There will be the opportunity to extend the length of the symposium, and potentially host it at a different location, depending on the number of proposals.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Film review: From horror and porn stars…to Jokowi <-- on KK Deraj's works

Film review: From horror and porn stars…to Jokowi <-- on KK Deraj, probably one of the  the next cult icons in Indonesian film industry (or, maybe not).

I'm going to Cine-Excess Conference, next month!

It is official. I am going to have a presentation at Cine-Excess International Film Festival and Conference on Global Cult Traditions.  This year, the event will takes place at the University of Brighton and the Komedia Cinema between the 14-16th November.  My Schedule will be on Saturday, 15 November, at  11.30. in a panel titled "Weird World Wastelands".

The theme of this year is "Are You Ready for the Country: Cult Cinema and Rural Excess". So, I proposed an abstract on Layar Tancap (Mobile Cinema Shows). The title is : "Entertaining the Villagers:  Rural Audiences, Mobile Cinema, and  Classic Exploitation Indonesian Cinema" 

Here's the abstract: 

Keywords: mobile cinema, New Order regime, Indonesian exploitation cinema, subculture, film culture, exhibition, distribution

During New Order era (1966-1998), rural and suburban societies were always considered as second class citizens. Related to spectatorship, those villagers got “second class” entertainment. They did not enjoy new films in a decent permanent movie theater, or immediately once the films were released.  They watched the films in Layar Tancap,   or mobile cinema.
Although New Order regime  applied state-control to every aspect of life, including in film industry—from sharp censorship to supervising film-related organizations—but Layar Tancap theaters were out of radar until 1993 (van Heeren 2012).  No   specific government policies, including from censorship board and The Indonesian Statistical Bureau, has applied for this open air cinema (Sen 1994). Until recently, Layar Tancap shows commonly operate in rural and suburban areas, and the audiences come from lower-class. Therefore, while other forms of social activities were being controlled, Layar Tancap shows have developed  their own dynamics:    screenings of uncensored films,  and “immoral” behaviours such as drunkenness, gambling and other criminal acts.  There, second class citizens, namely villagers and working/lower class--celebrated  exploitation and B-grade movies—kind of films that were overlooked  by film critics and marginalized by government and culture elites. On the other hand, government also used Layar Tancap as propaganda means.

In this paper, I will discuss about phenomenon of layar tancap  and Misbar (seasonal cinema) as counterculture of official and legitimate culture; particularly on rural audiences as its subculture. By observing New Order’s film policies as well as  general  and trade magazines, I will investigate why and how this kind of cinema were out of New Order radar, how Layar Tancap operated as displays of classic Indonesian B-films, and how they generated  unique subculture of rural spectatorship.

If you are around UK, please do come. If any of you has a plan to attend, let's meet up!

Presenting A Paper on "Lady Terminator" this month

I will present one of my chapters at UEA's Study Day. The title of my presentation is "“The Real Guilty Pleasure”:   Lady Terminator¸ Sexuality,  and Public Censorship in Indonesia".

FTM Study Day will be held on Wednesday 29th October 2014,  at UEA's Julian Study Centre 1.02. The theme is "Mediating Desire: Sexuality and Contemporary Media". If you are around, please do come. I willl have my presentation at 9.30 am.

Here's the abstract:

Keywords: Indonesian exploitation film, New Order regime, Media Reception, Public Censorship,Lady Terminator

After passed strict censorship board,  Pembalasan Ratu Laut Selatan (Tjut Djalil, 1988, Indonesia) or Lady Terminator was withdrawn from national distribution in 1988 due to  violence and, mainly, sexual scenes after 9 days on theatrical release in Indonesia.  Society, particularly public figures—from senators and journalists to religious leaders---blamed censorship board for being softened, some suspected that they might be bribed, for releasing the films.  Some people even planned to sue the board. Tempo Magazine, the biggest magazine,even picked up this issue as their headline, with the tagline “Astaghfirullah Film Indonesia” (Oh My God, Indonesian Movies!). The situation above is unique because it is notoriously known that Indonesia’s New Order (1966-1998) undertook state control on every aspect of life, including sharp censorship and controlling film organizations. The government also framed movies to “search for the real Indonesian faces on screen” and “represent the true Indonesian culture”, which means excluding violence and erotic scenes from the screen.  On the other hand, in this case, the film already passed the official censorship board, but was opposed by public and subsequently got withdrawn.

I assume that the film caused moral panics within the society because it was considered as a  ‘threat to societal values and interests’ (Cohen, 1972, p.9) and challenged legitimate culture. Bylooking at the media reception in 1988, this paper will investigate the bigger context of Indonesia’s political and social situation regarding the withdrawn of the film and social anxiety surrounding it. Particularly, I want to interrogate how various Politics of Tastes (government, culture elites, mainstream society, and film producers) interacted, contradicted, and negotiated within this case.

PS: "Lady Terminator" is one of the most popular Indonesian transnational exploitation films. It is also included in "100 Cult Films" by Xavier Mendik and Ernest Mathijs.