Mystics in Bali: a warning to the western gaze

The following is a piece I wrote for a special issue on global folk horror in Altyazi, the Turkish-language film magazine, in a project funded by the British Academy. Other contributors of the issue include Rosalind Galt, Bliss Cua Lim, Gary Needham, among many otehrs. Turkish version here. *** By the 1980s, Bali had established… Continue reading Mystics in Bali: a warning to the western gaze

Comments on Alluring Monsters: The Pontianak and Cinemas of Decolonization

On 28th January 2022, I was invited to discuss Rosalind Galt’s new book, Alluring Monsters: The Pontianak and Cinemas of Decolonization (Columbia University Press) at NTU’s Asian Cinema Research Lab. We had a great audience and Rosalind was superb. The following are my comments on her book, soon to be published in the journal of… Continue reading Comments on Alluring Monsters: The Pontianak and Cinemas of Decolonization

On women’s laughter in Malay horror (Part 2)

This is Part 2 of a two-part post on the pontianak and women’s laughter in Malaysian horror cinema. Read Part 1. Consider laughter’s capacity to upset and as a vehicle of resistance. More specifically when women laugh at men, laughing at patriarchy, laughing at power, laughing from below. Situated below speech in the register of… Continue reading On women’s laughter in Malay horror (Part 2)

On women’s laughter in Malay horror (Part 1)

This is an edited version of a conference paper presented at the Inter-Asia Cultural Studies conference in Seoul, South Korea in July 2017 The meaning of laughter, seen as springing from humour and moral degradation, has been a matter of philosophical preoccupation with human morality since the ancient time of Aristotle. And for much of… Continue reading On women’s laughter in Malay horror (Part 1)

What is Islamic about Islamic cinema?

I’ve written a short essay for the Indonesian film journal, Cinema Poetica, ahead of my forthcoming book, Gender and Islam in Indonesian Cinema (2017), published by Palgrave Macmillan: There is perhaps a queasiness on the part of filmmakers, critics, and audiences alike about the label ‘Islamic cinema’. Such feelings are understandable because the creation of… Continue reading What is Islamic about Islamic cinema?

New journal article publication – the female gaze in Malaysian horror film

I have a new journal article published in the latest issue of Asian Cinema, Vol. 26 Issue 2. Abstract: Female ghosts and other supernatural entities, including the pontianak, in Malaysian horror cinema are excessive psychosocial articulations of traditional Malay femininity gone awry. In Malay ghost stories, the pontianak is a vengeful spirit. She is the… Continue reading New journal article publication – the female gaze in Malaysian horror film

Sound, fury and écriture féminine in Violette (2013): a review

When I first heard about the film Violette (2013, dir. Martin Provost), I had little knowledge about the life and work of the French writer, Violette Leduc (1907-1972), on which the film was based. What drew me to the film was the fact that she was one time a protégé of Simone de Beauvoir. Imagine… Continue reading Sound, fury and écriture féminine in Violette (2013): a review