Busting taboos : using idiomatic and linguistic subtleties in undressing questions of sociocultural amorality in Malaysian cinema

Dalan, R 2014, Busting taboos : using idiomatic and linguistic subtleties in undressing questions of sociocultural amorality in Malaysian cinema , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

Download (94MB) | Preview


This research aims to investigate how sociocultural amorality has been portrayed in Malaysian films, and how can these taboos be alternatively portrayed cinematically to a Malaysian audience. Questions as to why Malaysian (mainstream) cinema is seemingly unable to produce films that connect with the Malaysian psyche and mirror its collective realities will be pitted against the notion that Malaysians themselves (as the primary audience) are not ready or unwilling to watch such films, and address the unattractive sides of their society onscreen. In order to investigate these questions, the work will experiment with alternative filmmaking techniques, film aesthetics and modes of representation that may depict taboos within a Malaysian context. It is envisaged that the findings of this research will lead to a more nuanced exploration of taboos within Malaysian cinema and Malaysian society. The approaches adopted by some Malaysian filmmakers in addressing difficult sociocultural issues in their work, and the locoregional challenges they faced in the process of making these films will be looked into in detail. These findings will then be compared with the filmmaking techniques used within a few unconventional non-Malaysian films which have dealt with taboos and difficult subject matters. The outcome of the analyses of both cohorts will then be utilised to inform practice - in this case the filmmaking portion of the work - and help shape the experimental feature film Haruan: The Snakehead which will form the majority of the final PhD submission. A parallel experiment of adopting an almost completely visual workflow using digital drawings - from the feature film’s early ideation, narrative, previsualisation to all the stages of its production process - will also be carried out within the practice component of the study. Two taboos which have raised significant concern within the Malaysian society due to the increase in their reported prevalence will be specifically addressed - infanticide/baby abandonment and incestuous rape - and the possible connection between the two. In interrogating how taboos - within their various sociocultural denominations - have been portrayed in Malaysian Cinema over the years, it is important to ascertain what taboos in the Malaysian context actually are. More importantly, do these so-called Malaysian-specific taboos even exist?

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Themes: Media, Digital Technology and the Creative Economy
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: R Dalan
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2017 12:30
Last Modified: 21 Dec 2021 13:41
URI: https://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/34072

Actions (login required)

Edit record (repository staff only) Edit record (repository staff only)


Downloads per month over past year