at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

New Releases on Southeast Asia Film


Identity and Culture: The Politics of Indonesian Screen Culture
Ariel Heryanto

Identity and Pleasure: The Politics of Indonesian Screen Culture critically examines what media and screen culture reveal about the ways urban-based Indonesians attempted to redefine their identity in the first decade of this century. Through a richly nuanced analysis of expressions and representations found in screen culture (cinema, television and social media), it analyses the waves of energy and optimism, and the disillusionment, disorientation and despair, that arose in the power vacuum that followed the dramatic collapse of the militaristic New Order government. While in-depth analyses of identity and political contestation within the nation are the focus of the book, trans-national engagements and global dimensions are a significant part of the story in each chapter. The author focuses on contemporary cultural politics in Indonesia, but each chapter contextualizes current circumstances by setting them within a broader historical perspective.

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Glimpses of Freedom: Independent Cinema in Southeast Asia
May Adadol Ingawanij and Benjamin McKay (Editors)

Glimpses of Freedom is the outcome of a project collaboratively conceived by a new generation of scholars of cinema in Southeast Asia, inspired by the growing domestic and international visibility of notable films and videos from the region. Contributors include internationally esteemed independent filmmakers, critics, and curators based in Southeast Asia, such as Hassan Abd Muthalib, Alexis A. Tioseco, Chris Chong Chan Fui, and John Torres. International scholars such as Benedict Anderson, Benjamin McKay, May Adadol Ingawanij, and Gaik Cheng Khoo contextualize and theorize Southeast Asia’s “independent film cultures.” The interaction between practitioners and critics in this volume illuminates a contemporary artistic field, clarifying its particular character and its vital contributions to cinema worldwide.

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Film in Contemporary Southeast Asia: Cultural Interpretation and Social Intervention (Media, Culture and Social Change in Asia Series)
David C. Lim and Hiroyuki Yamamoto (Editors)

This book discusses contemporary film in all the main countries of Southeast Asia, and the social practices and ideologies which films either represent or oppose. It shows how film acquires signification through cultural interpretation, and how film also serves as a site of contestations between social and political agents seeking to promote, challenge, or erase certain meanings, messages or ideas from public circulation. A unique feature of the book is that it focuses as much on films as it does on the societies from which these films emerge: it considers the reasons for film-makers taking the positions they take; the positions and counter-positions taken; the response of different communities; and the extent to which these interventions are connected to global flows of culture and capital. The wide range of subjects covered include documentaries as political interventions in Singapore; political film-makers’ collectives in the Philippines, and films about prostitution in Cambodia and patriotism in Malaysia, and the Chinese in Indonesia. The book analyses films from Burma, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines, across a broad range of productions – such as mainstream and independent features across genres (for example comedy, patriotic, political, historical genres) alongside documentary, classic and diasporic films.

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Malaysian Cinema, Asian Film: Border Crossings and National Cultures
William van der Heide

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.

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