Saturday, March 28, 2015

I am going to give a talk in Harvard in our National Film Day! :)

Politics and Culture in Indonesia Working Group and the Department of Anthropology at Harvard present:
“Crazy Indonesia”: Politics of Tastes and Niche Criticism of Classic Indonesian Exploitation Cinema

a talk by Ekky Imanjaya (Film critic and a PhD candidate at Art, Media, and American Studies, University of East Anglia, the United Kingdom)

Monday, March 30, 2015
2.30 -4pm, Bowditch Room, Peabody Museum
the Department of Anthropology, Harvard University

Both the Indonesian government and cultural elites during New Order era (1966-1998) define Indonesian cinema as those films with "cultural and educational purposes" (Film Kultural Edukatif) or films, which attempts to “present” Indonesian faces on screen. Interestingly, most Indonesian films that are re-circulated in the 2000s international DVD circuits are those of 1970s-1990s exploitation movies. They were originally produced, distributed, exhibited, and exported in Indonesia during the period of Suharto’s dictatorship.

Labelled and distributed by DVD distributors–MondomacabroDVD, Troma Team, and VideoAsia—as cult films, films like Lady Terminator or The Warrior (Jaka Sembung) series are discussed among cult film fans in online forums and blogs. Indonesia’s underrated filmmakers, such as Arizal and Tjut Tjalil as well as popular actors, such as Barry Prima and Eva Arnaz also make a comeback and become those who are celebrated by global cult fans, despite their overlooked status in Indonesia’s legitimate culture contexts. Focusing on fans reviews and critical conversations about the films, Ekky Imanjaya will investigate how global fans critically perceive and respond to these films. How do global fans define and formulate the term “Crazy Indonesia” and the Indonesia-ness of the films?

Ekky Imanjaya is a PhD candidate at Art, Media, and American Studies, University of East Anglia. He is also faculty member at Film Department, BINUS INTERNATIONAL, Bina Nusantara University, Jakarta. He has published articles in journals, including Jump Cut, Asian Cinema, Cinematheque Quarterly, Wacana, and Cinemaya. He has recently guest edited a special issue entitled “The Bad, The Worse, and The Worst: The Significance of Indonesian Cult, Exploitation, and B Movies” for Plaridel : A Philippine Journal of Communication, Media, and Society.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Special Issue is Out! "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)

1.      A Note from the Editor : The Significance of Indonesian Cult, Exploitation,  and B-Movies
By Ekky Imanjaya (guest editor; PhD Candidate, University of East Anglia;  Lecturer, Bina Nusantara University)

2.      Exploiting Indonesia: From “Primitives” to “Outraged Fugitives”
By Thomas Barker (Assistant Professor of Film and Television,  the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus)

3.              The Raiding Dutchmen: Colonial stereotypes, identity and Islam in Indonesian B-movies

By Eric Sasono  (postgraduate student at Film Studies Department, King’s College, London)

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

5.       Challenging New Order’s Gender Ideology in Benyamin Sueb’s Betty Bencong Slebor: A Queer Reading
By Maimunah Munir (doctoral program student , South East Asian Studies, the University of Sydney,  Australia)

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

7.      Beneath Still Waters: Brian Yuzna and the Transnational Indonesian Terror Text
By Xavier Mendik  (Associate Head in the School of Art, Media and Design at the University of Brighton, Director of Cine-Excess International Film Festival


1.      When East Meets West: 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 (Asian movies specialist, director of Garuda Power: The Spirit Within)

2.      On Lady Terminator
Interview with Barbara Anne Constable
By Andrew Leavold (Ph.D. candidate, Griffith University, director of “The Search for Weng Weng”)

3.      Beneath Still Waters: The Brian Yuzna Interview
By Xavier Mendik

4.      Scripting an Indonesian Monster: The John Penney Interview:

By Xavier Mendik  

Thursday, March 19, 2015

CFP: Southeast Asian Gothic (edited collection)

CFP: Southeast Asian Gothic (edited collection)
Edited by Katarzyna Ancuta, Mary J. Ainslie and Andrew Hock Soon Ng

The contemporary rebranding of Gothic as a global phenomenon has led to an exploration of previously unchartered cultural territories in search of texts that are open to such interpretation. In particular, the recognition of Asia as a promising site for Gothic Studies reveals complex intra-Asian connections and cultural influences, shared heritage, philosophical and religious worldviews, beliefs, and values that foreground the need to investigate the local forms that are associated with Gothic contexts. This underscores a non-generic understanding of Gothic and the need to develop a methodology that can be applied to study a variety of texts. It also signifies the need to redefine the current boundaries of Gothic through the application of new methodologies based on Asian philosophies and viewpoints.

Yet, while such existing analysis offers a very welcome new dynamic to understanding Gothic, this is often dominated by attention to the economically prominent East Asia nations, which all too often seem to signify ‘Asia’ to a large extent in any analysis of the cultural industries.The proposed collection seeks to localize the gothic in the diverse, divided and culturally very different region of Southeast Asia, an area that is becoming increasingly significant on a global scale due to the current economic amalgamation of these nations under the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The collection aims to utilize the existing regional paradigms to promote Gothic as an alternative methodology that can be used to interrogate local works of film, literature and other cultural forms within these nations. Given that the term itself is often unknown to, or severely misunderstood, by local scholars, the collection aims to dispel the common assumption that all instances of the gothic in Southeast Asia are a foreign import and constitute an aesthetic or a set of values that are alien to these cultures. With this in mind we invite the submission of papers that address the various manifestations of the gothic in Southeast Asian culture both past and present.

Topics may include:
Local supernatural narratives: representation of ghosts, spirits, deities, supernatural beliefs and rituals
Gothic aspects of Southeast Asian horror film
The gothic in Southeast Asian cinema (not limited to the horror genre)
The gothic in Southeast Asian Literature
Tropical jungle as the gothic wilderness
Southeast Asian mega-city as the gothic metropolis
History, memory and cultural trauma: Southeast Asian gothic historiographies
Violent conflict and war: armed conflicts, terrorism, foreign military interventions
The abuse of power, inequality and exploitation: gender, sexuality, ethnicity, class, religion
Economic exploitation: poverty, migration, the mass vs. the elite
Colonial and post-colonial Gothic

Proposals of no more than 500 words should be sent to, and by 30 June 2015.

The collection is planned for submission to the International Gothic book series supported by the International Gothic Association and published by the University of Manchester Press

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Next Destination: Global Exploitation Cinemas Conference, May 2015

While preparing myself for SCMS (in 11 days!), I got great news about the my abstract for Global Exploitation Cinemas Conference in May 2015.

Alhamdulillah, I got accepted, but as individual abstract, not a panel. Ben Murtagh also got accepted.
So, see you there!

Here's the program.
Here's the list of the speakers.
What great program, and great presenters they have!