Consuming Modernity and Nostalgia: A Case Study of Cross-border Representations and Fandom of Thailand-Myanmar Transnational Cinema

This paper explores representations of identities and fandom in two Southeast Asia border-crossing films, Myanmar in Love in Bangkok (2014) and From Bangkok to Mandalay (2016). Both films have already been exhibited in Thailand and Myanmar and have gained a huge following in both countries.

Myanmar in Love in Bangkok portrays a contemporary migrant situation: It is a love story between a male Burmese migrant worker and a Thai woman played by Kaew Korravee, a Thai leading actress who has become famous in Myanmar because of her portrayal of this modern and unconventional character. Alternatively, From Bangkok to Mandalay, which notably presents Burmese and Siamese cultural heritage, has successfully created a feeling of nostalgia among the Thai audience, resulting in fan tourism to Myanmar.

Comparing these two cases, I argue that consuming modernity and nostalgia are the main driving forces of the cross-border representations and their subsequent fandom. This paper also engages with the existing fan studies framework put forward by Koichi Iwabuchi and extends the studies of transnational fans further by considering the Southeast Asian sociocultural context.

Locating a Transnational Film between Korean Cinema and American Cinema: A Case Study of Snowpiercer (2014)

This article argues that Joon-ho Bong’s Snowpiercer (2013) is a transnational film. It identifies how categorizing it as either Korean cinema or American cinema falls short of accounting for its unprecedented mode of production, distribution, and storytelling. This is a case study that compensates for the existing literature on the movie that often omits its significance in Korean cinema, neglects the ongoing discourse on transnational cinema, and dismisses the filmic text as having nothing to do with the idea of the nation. This study situates Snowpiercer in the larger context of Korean cinema by identifying the heritage it belongs to, shows that the filmic text embodies the complex notion of nation in today’s world, and argues that cultural signs in the film indicate a transnational imaginary. The results contribute to identifying how national cinema is changing in relation to increasing transnational film productions and theorizing what the transnational may be for a useful framework.

Beneath Still Waters: Brian Yuzna’s Ritual Return in Indonesian Cinema

This article offers the first academic consideration of Brian Yuzna’s recent films created in Indonesia. Since the mid 1980s, Yuzna has worked extensively across the USA, Europe and the Far East (both as a director and producer), pioneering a distinctive international brand of horror cinema that combines social critique with explicit splatter. Despite his transnational credentials, Yuzna’s work in Indonesia has largely been ignored by those critics interested in reclaiming 1970s/80s genre entries as more ‘legitimate’ symbols of Indonesian cult cinema.

However, by considering Yuzna’s 2010 title Amphibious, I shall argue that the film contains the elements of hybridity and generic impurity that critics such as Karl G. Heider have long attributed to Indonesian pulp traditions. Specifically, it shall be argued that the film’s emphasis on performativity, trickery and spectacle are used to evoke Indonesian myths rather than Americanised tropes of genre cinema. As well as considering the transnational elements to Amphibious, the article will also explore possible connections between abject constructions of the transformative female body in both Indonesian film and Brian Yuzna’s wider cinema. The article also features exclusive new interviews with Brian Yuzna and Amphibious screenwriter John Penney discussing the making and meaning of the film.