Nusantara — July 2019 Issue

Labocine
Labocine
Jul 2 · 8 min read

20 films from the science new wave

Nusantara in Javanese, Kapuluang Malay in Tagalog, the Malay Archipelago to various historic western interlopers: these names all refer to the teeming Pacific island chain spanning from Indochina to Australia. A place of biological and cultural diversity that crosses continents between Asian and Australian geologic and natural history influences. A region on the front lines of the rising tides and unpredictable weather of climate change. A series of unique film cultures revealing many surprises.

Lembusura

Lembusura, or the legend of the mountain demon. A rain of ash falls on Java. Kelud, a volcano located to this east of the Indonesian island, is active. As one of the island’s most dangerous mountains, it is known for violent and explosive eruptions. And when it rains ash, it pours. Time and again, everything gets covered in fine grey dust — houses, streets, blossoms and umbrellas. According to legend, the ash rain is caused by an angry demon named Lembusura who wears a magic hood and lives inside the volcano. Young men set off to conquer their mythical past. One is dressed as a demon — with the largest breasts, immediately provoking the others to laugh.

Lembusura

Hiwa

Jay wakes up in Manila, yet he dreamed of Athens. He has a nightmare, during which he has a special quest: to save his two daughters from a special surgery: their houses are on them, and they need to be removed.

In his attempt to fetch them, he roams around Athens’ cityscape, seeing things under a very different light, while he narrates his dream to his wife.

Hiwa

Flutter Echoes and Notes Concerning Nature

A sensual immersive visual trip in the world of magic, myth and nature in Indonesia. Ladya is working with a documentary crew who is searching for ancient pyramids and investigates supernatural stories about a lost royal kingdom hidden in the southern sea of Indonesia. In her spare time, she captures nature sounds for her plant breeding experiments at home. Almost unbeknown to her, she starts crossing the path of a group of guerilla ecologists whose main job is to prepare in a hidden garage fake grenades filled with seeds. The main goal of the gang is to protest against the cement sprawl that Jakarta is becoming. They draw their inspiration from the same book that Ladya uses for her domestic botanic experiments. Contemplative and almost floating, hypnotic, the film is a transcendental experience fostered by the camera eye of the director that manages to reveal layer after layer the reality that surrounds us. Flutter Echoes and Notes Concerning Nature is a unique ecological science fiction adventure that allows the spec- tator to enter a never-seen realm.

Flutter Echoes and Notes Concerning Nature

Lost in Words

Independent animation visualising the experience of language confusion and misunderstanding while people living in their second language.

Lost in Words

Paleonaut

A scientist studying the first human time traveller falls in love with her subject. But if her research succeeds they will become separated by eons of history. She must find a way to connect with him across the ages or lose him forever.

Paleonaut

Paradoxical

“PARADOXICAL” is one of the rare science fiction films from Taiwan. A man with a mysterious background meets a beautiful, enigmatic plant designer. As the two embark on a series of unconventional dates, she discovers a mysterious lottery ticket, revealing the man’s true profession and overturns their definition of time. The seemingly unrelated incidents unfold to reveal an unexpected conclusion- offering a thought-provoking commentary on the paradoxical nature of both time travel and life.

Paradoxical

Mental Black Hole

The animation installation, “Mental Black Hole” examines how people perceive depression as opposed to the invisible activity taking place in the brain. This media-based installation, in the form of physical space with three-channel projection, presents a creative interpretation of the amygdala and hippocampus’ physical manifestations of depression.

Mental Black Hole

Disconnector

The animation installation, “Mental Black Hole” examines how people perceive depression as opposed to the invisible activity taking place in the brain. This media-based installation, in the form of physical space with three-channel projection, presents a creative interpretation of the amygdala and hippocampus’ physical manifestations of depression.

Disconnector

Kara

The animation installation, “Mental Black Hole” examines how people perceive depression as opposed to the invisible activity taking place in the brain. This media-based installation, in the form of physical space with three-channel projection, presents a creative interpretation of the amygdala and hippocampus’ physical manifestations of depression.

Kara

Orang Rimba: People of the Forest

The ancestral forests of the nomadic Orang Rimba have vanished. In the short span of three decades oil palm plantations have replaced much of the tropical peatland rain forests in Jambi, Indonesia. The People of the Forest, Orang Rimba in their dialect, have nowhere to go.

Orang Rimba: People of the Forest

Amarta

A city where its people are forced to buy water and work for a Boss who controls the springs. Water Goddess who is believed to be the guardian of the springs gives no answer to the problem. In the midst of misery and despair, a girl appears and tries to help free people from the Boss’s cruelty.

Amarta

Can You Hear Me?

Will the girl succeed in saving the people from the drought? What has happened between Water Goddess and the greedy Boss?

May has a good relationship with her brother Jackson, but everything changes when a smartphone appears.

Can You Hear Me?

Sequence Sago

In Indonesia, multinational corporations have drained millions of acres of swamps and converted them to industrial plantations of oil palm and acacia. Researchers are looking for alternative crops that can be grown in wet conditions, without draining. They’re touting, among other possible candidates, the sago palm, a tree with a trunk filled with edible starch. Some farmers on the Indonesian Island of Sumatra are selling pasta made from the sago palm. For more information, please see this article in the Christian Science Monitor.

Sequence Sago

The Great Escape

Two men and their olive tree.

The Great Escape

River of Exploding Durians

When a rare earth plant is being built near a coastal town, its inhabitants fall into despair, fearful of its radioactive effects. Ming, a high school student, is indifferent towards the changes. All he cares about is spending idyllic afternoons with the childhood friend he secretly loves, Mei Ann.

Meanwhile. Ming’s history teacher, Ms. Lim, has started an activist group to protest against the construction. She recruits her favourite student, Hui Ling, to join her. Their idealism is severely tested.

As the construction goes on, they are all drawn into a chain of events that changes their lives irrevocably.

River of Exploding Durians

Slow Rings

Abstract music video for ISAN’s song Slow Rings. The concept of this piece was inspired from the works of Matt Abbiss and Walter Ruttmann, with the aim to create an animation that times smoothly with the music in an organic motion.

Slow Rings

Leonardo’s Formula

Leonardo’s Formula is a music video animation for the song of the same name by English electronica duo ISAN. The animation mimics mechanical movements to match the fast and stable rhythm of the music. A desaturated colour scheme was chosen to further emphasizes an overall machine-like aesthetic.

Leonardo’s Formula

Eclipse

A son revisits a long-estranged father, on the day of an impending solar eclipse. An event of cosmic significant coincides with an emotional revelation for father and son.

Eclipse

Ways of Seeing

Rumble of train rails; Crashing of ocean waves; Soft caress of distant wind.

Ways of Seeing

Anumbumin

The title “Anubumin” is Nauruan for “night” and symbolises a certain darkness that surrounds the island. T

he largest void is a physical one, the island is a raised reef consisting of calcite and phosphate on a volcanic base, which since 1906 has been mined and exported to Australia, to fertilise the former colonisers’ farms. When phosphate extraction came to a stop in the 1980s, Nauru was bankrupt and 80 percent of the land area uninhabitable and infertile. In an attempt to generate income, in the 1990s Nauru became a prime money-laundering haven. After the disappearance of soil and money, today Nauru involves in the “disappearance of people” — housing one of Australia’s offshore refugee detention centres.

Anumbumin

Labocine is an Imagine Science Films initiative to extend our film programming to a broader and more diverse audience. We have over 2,000 film titles from 200 countries for all ages brought to you by artists, scientists, filmmakers and educators.

By experimenting with cinematic form and style, we are committed to provoking scientific intrigue and understanding, always ensuring compelling and well-founded narratives. Periodically, we release Spotlights online. On the first Tuesday of every month, enjoy our issue selections which complement newsworthy science by proposing a surgically curated online festival. From documentary to fiction to lab footage, we hope to always challenge the way you understand, interpret and appreciate scientific ideas and perspectives.

Submissions: If you would like to submit a film or propose a program forSpotlights, write to us at film@labocine.com

Stay tuned and email us for more information at info@labocine.com.

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Labocine

A new platform for films from the science new wave. From lab footage to documentary to fiction, we are home to over 2,000 science films from over 100 countries.

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