Malaysian Cinema and Beyond: Genre, Representation and the Nation


SIRD (First published, 2024)
xvii + 218 pages


Only 1 left in stock

ISBN: 9786297575148 Product ID: 40557 Subject: Sub-subjects: , ,

Malaysian Cinema and Beyond: Genre, Representation and the Nation charts the evolution of Malaysian cinema and its cultural significance from the golden era of P. Ramlee’s musical comedies to contemporary horror, action, and arthouse films in Malaysia. Therefore, this book not only provides an understanding of Malaysian cinema, but of Malaysia and its journey of nationhood. The book itself comprises seven unique perspectives of Malaysian cinema from film academics whose passion towards national cinema goes beyond the walls of the classroom. Though a little eclectic in its compilation—covering historical perspectives, social constructs, social reflections, identity, feminism, global trends and technology in Malaysian cinema—this volume aims to provide varied insights into local filmic culture. However, the scope is limited to the exploration of the Golden Age of Malaysian cinema up to Dain Said’s Bunohon, the first quarter of the new millennium. As many academics are attracted to works by filmmakers such as Yasmin Ahmad, Amir Muhammad, Mamat Khalid, and Amanda Nell Eu, to name a few, the relationship between contemporary cinema and past cinema remains significant. There is a synergy between past Malaysian cinema and the contemporary as its international and transnational linkages go beyond a singular national framework, a perspective that is explored in the book.

As Norman Yusoff frames through his article, since its inception, Malaysian cinema has borne witness to three important, distinct eras: First, the golden age from 1947 to 1972 saw the production and distribution of more than 300 Malay language films from three film studios. Second, the post-studio era from 1975 to 1999 witnessed a proliferation of homegrown production houses in the wake of the New Economic Policy. Third, the millennium digital era post-2000 sawa transformation and the production of films in various languages other than our national language. Films from each era are important cultural artefacts, part of our regional and national heritage, embodying social values and attitudes and reflecting the sensibilities of the time. Many early Malay films were directed by filmmakers from India, China and the Philippines, not to mention the Singapore and Hong Kong connections through the studios like Shaw Brothers and Cathay-Keris. Even the history of the golden age of Malay cinema is shared with Singapore cinema, marking an intersection between the history of Singapore and Malaya. The three distinct eras of Malaysian cinema also saw a number of co-productions with Indonesia. As a body of knowledge, we may conceive of Malaysian cinema as a discourse and critical inquiry of the relationship between cinema, culture and society, through which a synergy between the past, the present and the future can be reflected.


1. Cyclic Repetition or Trendy Mutation? Historicising Genre in Malaysian Cinema
Norman Yusoff

2. The Malaysian Fantastic Film and CGI Attractions
Khong Kok Wai

3. The Question is, Who ‘Sees’ Who? Omniscient Focaliser of the Saka in Bunohan
Norlela Ismail

4. Re(-)membering Bunohan: Magical Realism in Postcolonial Malaysia
David H.J. Neo

5. Representing Malay (Muslim) Women in Malaysian Cinema, 1933-1999
Mastura Muhammad

6. Myth ofa Nation: The Post-War Formation of Modern Malaysia
Wan Aida Wan Yahaya

7. Theorising Sinema Nusantara: A Transnational Film Studies Approach
Mohd Erman Maharam

About the Authors

Weight0.367 kg
Dimensions22.8 × 15.2 × 1.4 cm

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