The Jakarta Post
A still from "Setan Jawa." (Setan Jawa Movie/-)
Setan Jawa (Satan Jawa), the first black-and-white film by Indonesian celebrated director and producer Garin Nugroho, is slated to have its world premiere on the opening night of the Asia Pacific Triennial of Performing Arts at the Melbourne Art Centre, Melbourne, Australia, on Feb. 24.
The screening will reportedly feature a live gamelan orchestra led by Indonesian legendary Javanese gamelan artist Rahayu Supanggah and accompanied by 20 pengrawit (gamelan musicians), who will collaborate with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra conducted by Iain Grandage.
Inspired by black-and-white films, Nosferatu ( 1922 ) and Metropolis ( 1927 ), combined with Javanese mythology, the film is set in the early 20th century at the birth of the industrial era and the poverty it caused in Java. This situation encouraged people to find mythical ways in order to get rich, including pesugihan kandang bubrah (making a deal with the devil). A poor young man, Setio, is no exception. He decides to seek luck through pesugihan kandang bubrah after falling in love a princess from an aristocratic Javanese family named Asih and later having his proposal rejected. However, his decision has its consequences and Setio indeed has to pay for what he has done.
In a press release, Garin says that Satan Jawa is part of his childhood memory during his time in Yogyakarta. “Satan Jawa […] is a phenomena of contemporary and visual language experimentation; it combines visual arts, theater, dance, fashion and music within the room of free interpretation,” he adds.
Starring Heru Purwanto, Asmara Abigail and Luluk Ari, the film is scheduled to be screened in Holland Festival in Amsterdam in June, Singapore in July and the United Kingdom in November. (kes)