David Hanan writes of his work on Indonesian film
My work on Indonesian cinema has focused on cultural specificity.
In contrast to Karl Heider’s 1992 book I do not attempt to define a “national culture” but see Indonesia as a multi-ethnic, society where even filmmakers working in the early 1950s, making films after the achievement of independence at the end of 1949, saw themselves as also working at a sub-national level, and set out to address the specificity of regional societies and regional cultures.
In this short talk I will take two examples of films made in and about the matrilineal society of the Minangkabau in West Sumatra, Djayakusuma’s Harimau Tjampa (“The Tiger from Tjampa”, 1953) and Asrul Sani’s Para Perintis Kemerdekaan (Pioneers of Freedom, 1979), illustrating the way in which traditional cultural elements from the particular society are incorporated in the first film, and how regional history at a time of change in the society is projected in the second.
Both films address the issue of how dialogue and solidarity is achieved, even within a conflicted community, via pre-national local traditions, some of which were incorporated within state ideologies by Sukarno and others.
David Hanan pioneered the Film and Television Studies program at Monash, being the sole Lecturer in the area between 1978 and 1989.
Between 1990 and 1994 he was the Head of the growing FTV section, within the Department of Visual Arts, at the time of the appointment of two more lecturers.
He has researched film in Indonesia since 1983, and his work has included the subtitling of some fifteen Indonesian films, initially at the request of the Indonesian National Film Council, including seven films for screening in a retrospective at MOMA in New York in the mid 1990s, and a film screened in a retrospective at Cannes in 2012.
In 1985 he became Company Secretary of the new organisation formed to renew the Melbourne International Film Festival, and also its South East Asian consultant, and from this position he was involved in numerous cultural relations projects with Indonesian filmmakers, resulting in growing industry links with Australia.
In 1998 he was asked by SEAPAVAA (South East Asia Pacific Audio Visual Archive Association) to be the editor of a book in which local critics, archivists and film programmers would write about film in their own countries, and this resulted in the first book to address the history of filmmaking in the SE Asian region, Film in South East Asia: Views from the Region (Vietnam Film Institute, Hanoi, 2001).
At Monash over the last decade he has introduced the first video production unit, “From Film Theory to Video Practice”, and also established a DVD distribution centre in the Monash Asia Institute, which distributes Indonesian films internationally, to schools and to universities worldwide.
He has supervised 11 postgraduate research theses, a substantial number of them being PhDs by postgrads from Asian countries.
His students hold or have held lecturing positions in Film Studies at the University of Colombo in Sri Lanka, Jadavpur University in Calcutta, Shanghai University, Universiti Sains Malaysia in Penang, the University of Kuala Lumpur, Universiti Teknologi Mara in KL and Griffith University in Brisbane.
He is currently completing a lengthy book on cultural specificity in Indonesian cinema.
Mitchell leaps straight into his career
Before even completing his Monash double-degree Mitchell Newton has jumped straight into his career with Ten … Continue reading Mitchell leaps straight into his career
Ghadeer soars as PR Talent of the Year
Growing up, Ghadeer El-Khub’s dream was to study journalism at Monash. Ghadeer hasn’t stopped there, … Continue reading Ghadeer soars as PR Talent of the Year
Monica comfortable thinking outside the box
Monica Butera says Monash opened her eyes to new ways of thinking and perceiving. Despite … Continue reading Monica comfortable thinking outside the box
Emily’s journalism career constantly evolving
As a producer for Nine News, Emily White has hit her stride in her journalism … Continue reading Emily’s journalism career constantly evolving
Waleed wins Silver Logie from field of celebrities
The Project host and Monash lecturer Waleed Aly has won the coveted TV Week 2017 Silver Logie Award for Best Presenter.
Julia blossoming in multiple directions
A diverse range of interests has led to a diverse range of job opportunities for … Continue reading Julia blossoming in multiple directions
Patrick helps call the shots in state politics
As a Senior Media Adviser in Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews’ office, Patrick Lane is helping … Continue reading Patrick helps call the shots in state politics
Journalism/Business combo opens doors for Marc
In studying a double degree in Journalism and Business, Marc Sudholz is hoping the skills … Continue reading Journalism/Business combo opens doors for Marc
Jade thriving in the right environment
From breaking morning news to writing on the environment, Jade Gailberger is living her dream … Continue reading Jade thriving in the right environment
Fenella seizes her opportunities TODAY
Fenella Wagener’s journey to becoming a Senior Producer of Channel Nine’s flagship breakfast show TODAY, all … Continue reading Fenella seizes her opportunities TODAY
Ellie’s communications career blossoms
Ellie Cope dreams big of a career in investigative journalism. Graduating from Monash Journalism in … Continue reading Ellie’s communications career blossoms
Marc kicking goals in sports journalism
AFL Media reporter Marc McGowan is kicking goals in his journalism career. After juggling study … Continue reading Marc kicking goals in sports journalism