A number of intriguing phenomena can be observed in Indonesian film development throughout 2017. In terms of several indicators, such as the number of screens and audience, our cinematic landscape has grown. The number of films circulated in 2017, however, has seen a decline, albeit in an insignificant magnitude, when compared to 2016. Furthermore, if we see the decline of film circulation in 2017 in terms of audience segmentation, we could interpret the data positively.
The weak position of film adaptations in contemporary discourse can be attributed to several factors, particularly low literacy rates and the corresponding market implications and an emphasis on literature as belles lettres rather than the popular literature from which most films were adapted.
Action movies are closely related to Indonesian cinema history, since the first Indonesian feature film ever, Loeteong Kasaroeng (Enchanted Monkey) produced, was an action-orientated fantasy spectacle. It was followed by many martial arts movies during the late 1920s and 1930s. Every drama had at least one fighting sequence to entertain the audience.
Indonesian exploitation films from the 1980s employed subversive and exploitative techniques to struggle against a dominant order. Produced under the New Order Regime, the films positioned their villains and criminals as symbols of the Suharto government.
The feminine grotesque is a central motif in the explosion of Indonesian horror films following the end of the New Order regime (1967-1998). The presentation of female as both monster and victim always implies and is based on the conservative ideology, i.e patriarchal society.
National cinema in Indonesia is called "film nasional", and commonly appears in commentary, scholarship, and discussions of film and the film industry. One of its ambitions is to be "tuan di rumah sendiri" or "master in one’s own house", meaning that Indonesian films should become prolific and popular enough to beat imported films at the box-office.
The period of 1999 to 2004 was a golden period for Indonesian short films. The growth of myriad film communities and cine-clubs, ignited by technological breakthroughs and social upheavals, helped spur the spirit of Indonesian short films. And the Indonesian films in general.