The Devil Is in the Details: Garin Nugroho's 'Setan Jawa' to Screen With Live Music

Veteran Indonesian filmmaker Garin Nugroho Riyanto will be honored during the Silver Screen Awards at the Marina Bay Sands Grand Theater in Singapore on Dec. 2. (B1 Photo)

By : Jakarta Globe | on 1:43 PM August 24, 2016
Category : Life & Style, Movies

Jakarta. Film director Garin Nugroho continues to experiment with form. His latest work is a silent movie titled "Setan Jawa" ("The Java Devil") whose screenings will be accompanied by live music.

"Setan Jawa" is a mystical film drama with a pesugihan — sacrificial offering — theme, in which the movie's main characters sell theirs souls to the devil to obtain wealth and power. Starring Asmara Abigail as Asih, Heru Purwanto as Setio and Luluk Ari as Setan Jawa, the film will screen in Jakarta on Sept. 3-4.

In Indonesia each screening will feature 20 gamelan performers. Screenings in Australia will combine gamelan with orchestral music.

"The idea of Setan Jawa is that each screening will be accompanied by music from that particular area [where the movie is screened], and musicians are given freedom to choose the sort of music they want to play," Garin said at a press conference in Jakarta on Monday (22/08), as quoted by Antara.

In Setan Jawa, Garin combined literature, dance, music and visuals. Six countries have shown interest in screening the film. The movie will feature both classical and contemporary music — in the Philippines it will have a rock score and in China it will screen with a traditional Chinese orchestra.

"There will be a variety of interpretations, different in each country," said the senior director, who this year celebrates 35 years in the film industry.

The film is a collaborative effort by Garin and composer Rahayu Supanggah, often credited with introducing Javanese gamelan to the world.

Using live gamelan to create a movie score is a great challenge since there are no conductors in a gamelan performance. Garin promises only top-notch musicians will accompany the Setan Jawa screenings in Jakarta.  

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