Malaysian Cinema in the New Millennium

Transcendence beyond Multiculturalism


Adrian Yuen Beng Lee

ISBN : 978-988-8528-52-3

Film, Media, Fine Arts Crossings: Asian Cinema and Media Culture 跨越:亞洲電影與媒體文化

November 2022

288 pages, 6″ x 9″, 25 b&w illus.

  • HK$650.00

Malaysian Cinema in the New Millennium offers a new approach to the study of multiculturalism in cinema by analysing how a new wave of filmmakers champion cultural diversity using cosmopolitan themes. Adrian Lee offers a new inquiry of Malaysian cinema that examines how the ‘Malaysian Digital Indies’ (MDI) have in recent years repositioned Malaysian cinema within the global arena. The book shines a new light on how politics and socioeconomics have influenced new forms and genres of the post-2000s generation of filmmakers, and provides a clear picture of the interactions between commercial cinema and politics and socioeconomics in the first two decades of the new millennium. It also assesses how the MDI movement was successful in creating a transnational cinema by displacing and deterritorialising itself from the context of the national, and illustrates how MDI functions as a site for questioning and proposing a new national identity in the era of advanced global capitalism and new Islamisation. Covering all these interrelated topics, Lee’s book is a pioneering and comprehensive work in the study of Malaysian cinema in the recent decades.

Adrian Yuen Beng Lee is an associate professor, head of the Department of Film and Performing Arts, and programme leader of postgraduate studies in the School of Arts, Sunway University. Awarded a PhD from the University of Melbourne in 2012, he has researched Malaysian cinema, communication, media and cultural studies, and creative industries. He is co-editor of Media and Elections: Democratic Transition in Malaysia and an award-winning academic, filmmaker, and author.

‘Lee is well versed in theories of transnational and postcolonial studies and provides detailed and knowledgeable information about this period of filmmaking in Malaysia. I believe this book will make a valuable contribution to the studies of film in Southeast Asia.’

Olivia Khoo, Monash University, Australia

‘The author comprehensively discusses the rise of Malaysian Digital Indies (MDI) in post-2000 Malaysia, the revival of form and aesthetics in comparison to mainstream films, the MDI’s emergence in the Malaysian context, and finally the MDI’s incorporation into the mainstream films.’

Nunna Prasad, Abu Dhabi University, United Arab Emirates