Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Documentary on Indonesian Action Movies in the making!

BTW, Bastian Mereisonne is making a documentary on Indonesian Action Movies.  .

the working title is : Garuda Power

 Please  like his FB page and find cool  pics :)

How to Find Indonesian Exploitation FIlms online?

For films with english subtitles, or (re)dubbing, you can buy from online stores or watch them online. here's some links:
Female wresting in FFFF

Full movie of Stabilizer (Segitiga Emas):
Full Movie of Ferocious Female Freedom Fighters (Perempuan Bergairah):
ZDD also sells bootleg version of the fims: : (find these titiles: war victims, special silencers, the terrorist,  , lady exterminator,  jungle heat, intruder final score, daredevil commandos, etc)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

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


Plaridel Journal
Special Issue

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

Guest editor: Ekky Imanjaya (University of East Anglia & Bina Nusantara University)

In Indonesia, popular Indonesian films, especially exploitation and B-movies, are overlooked and underrated by most film critics, film journalists, and film scholars.  Until recently, these kinds of films have not been commonly considered as “official” representations of Indonesian cinema, let alone Indonesian culture. Majority of books, works of journalism, and academic papers dealing with Indonesian cinema history, both in English and Indonesian, generally exclude the significance of classic “exploitation” cinema. These works only discuss such films if there are controversial issues associated with them, or if representations of social classes and gender are explored.  Only a few texts have discussed the phenomenon of exploitation films as such.

Interestingly, instead of art-house films directed by auteur directors, or films that attempt to represent “Indonesian faces on screen”—which are commonly considered and celebrated as the official representation of Indonesian culture by the Indonesian government and culture elites--“low art,”, “lowbrow” or “bad” movies are exported to and disseminated by the international film markets in Manila, Cannes, Berlin, etc. since 1982. Apparently, exploitation movies could well fit with the demands of international distributors.  

In addition, many such films are still very popular among the working-class and lower-class spectators, with some even becoming box-office hits. Borrowing Barry Keith Grant’s term, these films became “Mass Cult” for local fans (Grant 1991, 123). The “Mass Cult” status of the films is important to highlight, because these films were not marginalized by mainstream audience in Indonesia. However, these films were discriminated against by the Politics of Tastes of culture elites, and their cult status was partly shaped by New Order policies. The films were circulated freely and massively through LayarTancap (mobile cinema) and Misbar (seasonal movie theatre) during New Order era in rural and suburban areas, which were out of New Order radar until 1993. These kinds of distribution and exhibition became channels of alternative distribution and exhibition for those “marginalized” films and have produced their own dynamics and characteristic subcultures.

This raises several questions:  How were film cultures and cinematic production, mediation, and consumption generated in Indonesia and beyond? To what extent can we consider these “bad” exploitation films important and significant culturally, socially, politically, and economically? How and why do many of these kinds of films become cult films abroad and celebrated by global fans? How and why do Indonesian films texts achieve cult status? How might they differ from so-called mainstream films? To what extent can we still consider these media ‘cult,’ given global media reach? What of other exploitation films which were not exported, such as dangdut musicals by Rhoma Irama or comedy films starred by Benyamin Sueb and Warkop DKI? What of recent exploitation and B-movies, like the virtual discussion on Azrax (Melawan Sindikat Perdagangan Wanita) <Azrax (Against Women Trafficking Syndicate)> or discussion on works by Koya Pagayo and KK Deraj in “#Vividism” fan culture? Finally, what can all of these reveal about other critical concerns, from industry culture, to (re)distribution, consumption, and reception?

This edition of Plaridel: A Philippine Journal of Communication, Media, and Society will provide an opportunity to share research on any aspect of these practices and initiate dialogue on Indonesian cult, exploitation, and B-grade films.  Topics might include but are not limited to the following:

·         The Production of Indonesian Cult, Exploitation and B-movies
·         Networks, Co-productions, and/or Financing
·         Exploitation Film and Policy (censorship, etc.)
·         Indonesian B-movie cult stardom and celebrities  (Barry Prima, Suzanna, Bing Slamet, Benyamin, Rhoma Irama, Eva Arnaz, etc)
·         The Roles of International Star movies (Peter O’Brien, Cynthia Rothrock, Chris Mitchum, etc).
·         Indonesian cult Auteurs (Arizal, Sisworo Gautama, Tjut Djalil, etc)
·         Genres in Indonesian cult cinema
·         The Marketing of Indonesian Cult Movies and the Institutions of Film Markets
·         Indonesian B-movie Channels of Distribution
·         Indonesian and International politics of taste and cultural distinction
·         Indonesia and International cult fandoms and communities
·         Indonesian Exploitation Films and Theories of cult Internet fandom
·         Local media and global receptions
·         Emerging marginalised Indonesian  cult films

Abstracts should be submitted via email to, on or before 10 April 2014. The deadline for full papers by authors whose Abstracts have been selected is 10 June 2015.

About Plaridel Journal

Plaridel: A Philippine Journal of Communication, Media, and Society was first published in 2004 as a national journal of communication and has since been released on a regular bi-annual basis. Eventually, the journal expanded its scope to include regional (i.e., Asian and Southeast Asian) topics and began to publish papers from other Asian countries. Papers published in Plaridel Journal are original researches emanating from various disciplines that engage with media and communication studies. Such papers may include qualitative or quantitative researches concerned with media effects, industry practices, political economy, cultural and subcultural formations, reception and consumption, among others.

Current and past issues are available at

Information for Authors

Plaridel: A Philippine Journal of Communication, Media, and Society is a refereed bi-annual journal published by the University of the Philippines, College of Mass Communication (UP CMC). It publishes papers on any aspect of Asian and Southeast Asian communication and media. Reviews of books, films, websites, television and radio programs, and other media texts are also accepted for publication.

All articles should have a high degree of scholarship. All article submissions are vetted by the issue and/or associate editor and then blind reviewed by at least two experts in the field.

All articles should be written with proper citations using the American Psychological Association (APA) style. Articles must not exceed a maximum of 10,000 words, while reviews must have at least 1,500 words. Articles in English or Filipino may be submitted.

Articles should be accompanied by an abstract of 100 to 150 words. Abstracts for contributions written in Filipino must be written in English.

Article submissions are to be e-mailed to the Editor-in-Chief at in MS Word format without any identifying information such as author(s) name and institutional affiliations. Authors should submit a separate document with the manuscript title, author name(s), institutional affiliation and contact information.

Authors submitting articles for consideration should not simultaneously submit the same articles to publications or journals. Articles should not have been published elsewhere in substantially similar form or with substantially similar content. Authors are responsible for gaining permission for including any copyrighted material that needs permission, including quotations of more than 300 words and illustrations.

Plaridel Journal Refereeing Process

Plaridel Journal publishes original articles that have gone through a rigorous double-blind peer-review process. Papers submitted to the journal for publication consideration undergo an initial editorial review by issue and/or associate editors. At this stage, papers can be accepted or rejected. Papers that are favorably reviewed move forward to the blind peer-review process. Referees or reviewers are selected based on their publication history and expertise in the field where the article seeks to make a contribution.

CHED Accreditation

The Plaridel Journal is accorded Category A-2 status in the Philippines by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Journal Accreditation System since 2010.

For further information, call (02) 9206864 or UP trunkline 981-8500 loc. 2668 or email Patrick F. Campos (Plaridel Journal Managing Editor) at <>.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Jaka Sembung dan Dunia Islam

Selasa, 28 Januari 2014 13:01 WIB ( 669 Views )

Penulis : Ekky Imanjaya*)
Salah satu adegan dalam film Jaka Sembung

Adakah keduanya memiliki keterkaitan?

Jika kita menengok kajian film dan media tentang hubungan film dan (dunia) Islam, agak langka  orang membahas judul seperti Laskar Pelangi, Rindu Kami Pada-MuBukan Cinta Biasa, film eksperimental sepertiKantata Takwa, terlebih film bergenre fantasi dan laga semacam Merantau,film-film silat dari Djajakusuma sepertiHarimau Tjampa, dan seri Jaka Sembung. Tapi saya menemukan ada keterkaitan antara film Jaka Sembung dengan dunia Islam.
Jaka Sembung dan dunia Islam? Ya tentu saja. Tapi sebelum membahas kaitan keduanya, saya hendak menggarisbawahi fenomena film-film kelas B produksi 1979-1994 yang diedarkan lagi dalam bentuk DVD di Barat. Sebenarnya sudah beberapa kali saya menulis soal ini, namun ada baiknya saya ulangi kembali.
Film-film Indonesia itu adalah film-film popular 1980an yang masuk dalam kategori film eksploitasi (sederhananya: film berbuget rendah dengan banyak adegan kekerasan dan/atau sensual). Di Indonesia, elit budaya dan pemerintah Indonesia tidak terlalu ambil peduli dengan film-film semacam ini, karena Politik Selera mereka berfokus pada pencarian “wajah Indonesia yang sebenarnya” yang menyebabkan film dengan pendekatan non-realis tidak masuk dalam kategori “resmi“film Indonesia (misalnya: tidak pernah menang FFI, tidak pernah menjadi duta resmi Indonesia ke berbagai festival film dunia, misalnya).
Sebaliknya, film-film seperti ini banyak penggemarnya, baik di dalam dan di luar negeri, dan menjadi subkultur tersendiri, dengan kanal distribusi dan eksibisi alternatif seperti Layar Tancap (yang tak tersentuh kebijakan politik hingga 1993), VCD murah, dan distribusi asing. Uniknya, justru film “tak penting” seperti ini yang laku di pasar film internasional, sejak 1982. Pengedar di Barat melabeli film jenis ini dengan istilah “Cult Films”. Di antaranya: Ratu Ilmu Hitam, Pasukan Berani Mati, Golok Setan, Perempuan di Sarang Sindikat, Pengabdi Setan, dan seri Jaka Sembung, yang acap diberi label “Crazy Indonesia” oleh fans. Mari kita bahas yang terakhir, berkaitan dengan dunia Islam.
Di luar negeri ,  seri film Jaka Sembung, yaitu The Warrior(sutradara Sisworo Gautama Putra, diprodusi 1981), The Warrior and the Blind Swordsman (Si Buta dan Jaka Sembung, Dasri Jacob, 1983) dan The Warrior and the Ninja (Bajing Ireng dan Jaka Sembung,Tjut Djalil, 1983) mempunyai banyak penggemar di dunia maya, di antaranya di AVManiacs—di samping banyak diulas di berbagai e-fanzine dan blog.
Beberapa resensi di Barat menghubungkannya dengan keislaman. Misalnya,  Brian Harris (Yahoo Contributor Network), memberi judul resensinya dengan “Islamic Pinoy Action Exploitation” (walau, tentu saja,  film ini bukan dari Philiphina), dan menjelaskan bahwa pertarungan “Ilmu Hitam Jawa” melawan “Islam” sebagai salah satu elemen paling menarik, di samping adegan laga denganmannequin yang terlihat gamblang dan adegan kepala dan tangan yang terputus dan tersambung kembali berkat ajian Rawa Rontek”. Di akhir tulisan, ia memberikan komntar: “CULT ACTION GOLD!” Sedangkan di Eccentric Cinema,  Brian Lindsey menulis istilah yang agak bombastis: “The Warrior is an Indonesian Islamic martial arts mayhem.”
Mari kita bahas film pertama: Jaka Sembung Sang Penakluk. Film hasil adaptasi komik karya Djair di pertengahan 1960an ini memang kental dengan semangat keislaman.  Cerita berfokus pada Parmin Sutawinata  yang lahir tahun 1602 (bertepatan dengan lahirnya VOC),asal Kandanghaur yang berguru di Gunung Sembung. Ia direpresentasikan sebagai pembela kaum lemah melawan penjajah Belanda di abad ke-17. Karl Heider menamakan genre film semacam ini dengan istilah “genre Kumpeni”. 
Bersama kawan-kawannya yang rajin shalat dan berdoa, Jaka  tinggal di sebuah tempat yang mirip pesantren.  Uniknya, dalam versi DVD, si peracik tidak menghapus adegan dan dubbing doa dan zikir dengan menyebut nama “Allah”, walau disulihsuarakan dengan agak aneh (misalnya, ucapan takbir dan salam shalat dengan Bahasa Inggris), termasuk di saat-saat kritis sang jagoan. Saat Surti, kekasihnya, hendak menyetopnya untuk tampil melawan penjajah, ia berkata (dalam dubbing berbahasa Inggris): “Biarlah Allah yang menentukan takdirku”, dan tetap maju ke medan laga.
 Bahkan, saat melawan Ki Item yang digjaya itu, dia yang dalam keadaan buta  disihir menjadi seekor babi hitam. Sang babi buta pun berlari dikejar anjing yang berlomba menggigitinya. Saat serdadu Belanda ingin mengejar dan membunuhnya, Ki Item mencegahnya seraya mengingatkan bahwa mayoritas penduduk di sana adalah Muslim, dan mereka memperlakukan babi dengan buruk—tentu ini menjadi kritikan, karena seharam dan senajis apapun babi (dan anjing), kita sebaiknya memperlakukan mereka selayaknya makhluk ciptaan Tuhan lainnya.
Tentu saja, ada upaya membingkai film ini untuk penonton Barat baik dari produsernya atau distributor internasional. Maka, istilah “voodoo”, “Caligula”, dan “Mata Hari” pun hadir dalam film ini.  Kita juga melihat adegan yang mirip dengan adegan akhir Samson dan Delilah, serta penyaliban ala Yesus seperti di film Ben Hur, lengkap dengan adegan memberikan air minum untuk sang protagonis. Dan, yang menarik, tentu score musik pembukanya, yang mencampur nuansa Sunda dengan musik instrumentalia ala Spaggetti Western semacam trilogi The Man With No Name dan Djanggo.
Dan, menariknya, saat masih berupa trailer, adegan doa-doa ditiadakan. Ada adegan saat Surti gundah karena Parmin ditangkap, ia diberi nasehat ayahnya dengan pernyataan: “Bertawakallah pada Allah”. Namun di trailer, dialog ini diubah menjadi “Sepertinya kau meremehkan Jaka, Surti”.  Semangat sekularisasi ini tentu saja untuk berjualan ke penggila film eksploitasi dan cult di Barat,  sebuah upaya yang diistilahkan oleh Mathijs dan Sexton dengan sebutan “Meta-Cult”.
Uniknya, banyak yang percaya bahwa Jaka Sembung itu adalah tokoh nyata. Maka, ada orang yang mengaitkannya dengan silsilah Obama dan Sunan Gunung Jati, bahkan ada seorang wartawan majalah mistik bertapa di Gunung Sembung untuk berjumpa dengan arwahnya, dan sebagainya. Padahal menurut Djair, pengarangnya, ia cuma tokoh fiktif yang kebetulan dekat dengan kondisi sosial budaya masyarakatnya, ujarnya pada sebuah seminar budayawan di Taman Ismail Marzuki tahun 1983 (Kompas 12 Juli 2007).
Terakhir, sedikit trivia, film ini diedakan tahun 1981 dengan tagline: "Untuk pertama kalinya ilmu Rawa Rontek difilemkan!!!".

Catatan: Untuk lebih "akrab" dengan Jaka Sembung silakan  saksikan langsung tayangannya lewat link di bawah ini:
  1. Trailer dan sekularisasi dengan link berikut:
  2. Full version versi asli (Bahasa Indonesia) di Youtube:

*) Ekky Imanjaya adalah dosen tetap School of Media and Communication, BINUS Internasional, Universitas Bina Nusantara, Jakarta. Salah satu pendiri  sekaligus redaktur  itu kini sedang menempuh studi S3 di bidang Kajian Film di University of East Anglia, Norwich, Inggris Raya.

Sumber: Islam Indonesia
Catatan: Sejak sekitar dua bulan lalu, saya mengisi kolom mingguan secara rutin di Islam Indonesia. di antaranya:
Sinema, Isu Agama, dan Dunia Islam
Belajar dari Yasmin Ahmad
East is East, Isu Pembauran, dan Jalan Tengah
Film, Kenyataan, dan Representasi :
Lesbumi, Jembatan Ulama-Seniman