Wednesday, March 26, 2014

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

CALL FOR PAPERS

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 plarideljournal@gmail.com, 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 www.plarideljournal.org.


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 plarideljournal@gmail.com 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 <plarideljournal@gmail.com>.