Saturday, October 18, 2014

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!