Research Output
Malaysian cinema and negotiations with modernity: film and anthropology.
  This thesis examines Malaysian cinema in the context of the various processes and
discourses of modernity. Analysing the processes of modernity which Malaysians
are engaged with provides a crucial theme by which to demonstrate how various
socio-political ideologies, institutions, and mechanisms may be promoted, rejected,
or otherwise negotiated. This negotiation takes place in both Malaysian society and
the cinematic representations of that society. Therefore, two discrete disciplines
have been incorporated, those of anthropology and film studies. In the course of the
thesis, discourses of modernity, encompassing processes and institutions, are
addressed in terms of existing ethnographic literature, my own ethnographic research,
and in the analyses of contemporary films. The introduction of an ethnographic
background for the society in which the films are produced opens new vistas for film
analysis. However, while the injection of anthropology into a film study has been a
major concern, the importance of the reverse is also argued. Further, this thesis
provides a multiple rendering of analyses, arguing that, as a symbolic media and/or
art form, cinema is inherently open to alternative readings, 'mis'-readings, and rereadings.
One of the goals of thesis is, through a different synergy between film and
anthropology, to provide some alternative answers to the ever-present question
haunting the Malaysian cinema industry, namely "Why aren't our films successful?"

  • Type:


  • Date:

    31 May 2002

  • Publication Status:


  • Library of Congress:

    TR Photography

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    791 Public performances


Gray, G. T. Malaysian cinema and negotiations with modernity: film and anthropology. (Thesis). Edinburgh Napier University. Retrieved from



Malaysian cinema; modernity; socio-political ideologies; ethnography; film; anthropology;

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