The golden age of Malay ﬁlm in the 1950s and 1960s was the product of a musical and cultural cosmopolitanism in the service of a nation-making process based on ideas of Malay ethnonationalism, initially ﬂuid, increasingly homogenised over time. The commercial ﬁlms of the period, and in particular their ﬁlm music, from national cultural icons P. Ramlee and Zubir Said, remain important reference points for Malaysia and Singapore to this day. This is the ﬁrst in-depth study of the ﬁlm music of the period. It brings together ethnomusicological and cultural studies perspectives.
Written in an engaging manner, thoroughly illustrated and incorporating musical scores, the book will appeal to dedicated ﬁlm fans, musicians, composers and ﬁlm-makers interested in Southeast Asia and the Malay world. But equally, the conceptual framework will be of interest to a broad range of scholars of Southeast Asia, as it brings together ideas of cosmopolitanism and cultural intimacy to narrate a history of nation-making in the region.
“A dynamic interweaving of the ‘intimate’ relationships between Malay ﬁlm music and the paradoxes in the making of postcolonial Malaysia and Singapore.” — Tan Sooi Beng, Universiti Sains Malaysia
“Cosmopolitan lntimacies is the ﬁrst overarching study of its kind. It ﬁlls an important lacuna and opens a new vista onto the multifaceted world of Malay ﬁlm music and its ongoing meaning and relevance.” — Anna Morcom, Royal Holloway, University of London