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.
Simons, Jarvis shortlisted for Amnesty media award
Monash University journalism’s Associate Professor Margaret Simons and senior lecturer Heather Jarvis have been named finalists in the Amnesty International 2017 Media Awards.
Global Correspondent unit launches in Europe
Take two groups of students at universities situated at the opposite side of the globe, put them at Monash Prato in northern Italy and mix in a few days at EU institutions in Brussels and you get Global Correspondent.
Not jobs and growth but post-capitalism
The term “creative industries” was first applied to the cultural sector by UK New Labour in 1998, … Continue reading Not jobs and growth but post-capitalism
Simons shares wisdom with journalism students
Award-winning journalist, author and academic Margaret Simons recently joined the journalism department in Monash University’s … Continue reading Simons shares wisdom with journalism students
Christiane Barro wins Walkley for Student of the Year
Monash journalism student Christiane Barro won the Walkley Award for student journalist of the year in Sydney last night.
Calla unafraid of challenging storytelling
For Calla Wahlquist, after giving up on becoming a vet it was working as a … Continue reading Calla unafraid of challenging storytelling
Journalism academics engage with Senate Committee
Dr Colleen Murrell from Journalism (MFJ), gave testimony on 11 July before the ‘Senate Select … Continue reading Journalism academics engage with Senate Committee
From screen to sound for Hayley
After completing her Honours in Film and TV studies at Monash, career success for Hayley … Continue reading From screen to sound for Hayley
Curiosity and critical thinking propels Anders’ career
For Anders Furze, studies in Film and TV has led to varied career outcomes. But … Continue reading Curiosity and critical thinking propels Anders’ career
John settles into a career behind the camera
For John Holdsworth, a clear vision of what he wants to achieve has led to … Continue reading John settles into a career behind the camera
Monash gives Alasdair access to industry
For Alasdair Mulligan having access to Monash tutors and lecturers active within the journalism industry … Continue reading Monash gives Alasdair access to industry
Smethurst wins Press Gallery Journalist of the Year
News Corp national political editor (Sunday editions) and Monash University alumna Annika Smethurst has won the 2017 Press Gallery Journalist of the Year.