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.