Bookshelf Spotlight: History, Culture and Art in Southeast Asian Cinema

Featured Books

* A Century of Thai Cinema
* Cinema of the Philippines: A History and Filmography, 1897-2005
* Indonesian Cinema: National Culture on Screen
* Malaysian Cinema, Asian Film: Border Crossings and National Cultures
* Vietnamese Cinematography: A Research Journey

A Century of Thai Cinema


by Dome Sukwong and Sawasdi Suwannapak
River Books Press, 2006

Thais began shooting films in 1900; cinema soon became a very popular form of entertainment, which had its “golden age” in the 1930s. This book provides both a history of Thai cinema and a visual record of all the associated memorabilia, including movie posters.

Goodreads |Amazon | Google Books

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Cinema of the Philippines: A History and Filmography, 1897-2005


by Bryan L. Yeatter
McFarland, 2007

Although Filipino cinema dates to the early silent era and shares many characteristics with Western film, it has been frequently ignored by Western critics and audiences. This book offers a rare study of cinema in the Philippines. The first half of the work presents the little-known history of Filipino cinema. Arranged chronologically, chapters cover lost pre-World War II films, the postwar cinema boom, the Philippines? unique relationship with the United States and its manifestation on film, and Filipino cinema’s current decline. The second half of the book is the most comprehensive published filmography of Filipino cinema to date.

McFarland | Goodreads |Amazon | Google Books

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Indonesian Cinema: National Culture on Screen


by Karl G. Heider
University of Hawaii Press, 1991

A film-goer accustomed to the typical Hollywood movie plot would feel uneasy watching an Indonesian movie. Contrary to expectations, good guys do not win, bad guys are not punished, and individuals do not reach a new self-awareness. Instead, by the end of the movie order is restored, bad guys are converted, and families are reunited. Like American movies, Indonesian films reflect the understandings and concerns of the culture and era in which they are made. Thus Indonesian preoccupations with order and harmony, national unity, and modernization motivate the plots of many films. Cinema has not traditionally been within the purview of anthropologists, but Karl Heider demonstrates how Indonesian movies are profoundly Indonesian. Produced in the national language by Indonesians from various regions, the films are intended for audiences across the diverse archipelago. Heider examines these films to identify pan-Indonesian cultural patterns and to show how these cultural principles shape the movies and, sometimes, how the movies influence the culture. This anthropological approach to Indonesian film opens up the medium of Asian cinema to a new group of scholars. “Indonesian Cinema” should be of interest to social scientists, Asianists, film scholars, and anyone concerned with the role of popular culture in developing countries.

UH Press | Goodreads |Amazon | Google Books

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Malaysian Cinema, Asian Film: Border Crossings and National Cultures


by William van der Heide
Amsterdam University Press, 2002

This monograph departs from traditional studies of national cinema by accentuating the intercultural and intertextual links between Malaysian films and Asian (as well as European and American) film practices. Using cross-cultural analysis, the author characterizes Malaysia as a pluralist society consisting of a multiplicity of cultural identities. Malaysian film reflects this remarkable heterogeneity, particularly evident in the impact of the Indian and Hong Kong cinema.

Detailed analyses of a selection of Malaysian films highlight their cultural complexities, while noting the tension between cultural inclusivity and ethnic exclusivity at the heart of this cinema.

Amsterdam Univ Press | Goodreads |Amazon | Google Books

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Vietnamese Cinematography: A Research Journey


by Many Authors
The Gioi, 2007

This Collection of research on Vietnamese Cinema has been selected from articles published in the Magazine of Culture and Art from 1973 to 2006, and deals with issues ranging from the films themselves to films history, copyright law, socialization, development, aesthetics, semiotics, and management. In this Collection, we have included only articles (a grand total is 90) about feature films. For convenience, these articles have been divided into five sections, basing on their primary content: 1 – Historical documentation. 2 – Art form in outline. 3 – Methodology & style. 4 – Interactions with other art forms. 5 – Film criticism. Obviously, this classification is a relative, since many articles have content that overlaps these categories.

Xunhasaba | Amazon |
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