an autotheory of six malayan films


In (re)print

Why did we not explore the Malay world that we formerly inhabited? How did Malaya’s flourishing cinema of the 1950-60’s, a Southeast Asian counterpart of Hollywood, fade into oblivion?
Perhaps this happened by the slander of imagination brought upon ourselves, being in constant demand to construct, upgrade, reclaim and renew. The increased silence of the past rests upon a culture that becomes complicit with silence. It presses, yet probes like a burden, partially self-imposed through the everyday.

This book is a study of six films made between 1958–1963 in pre-independence Singapore, as told through the fictional persona of Remy Shah. In his story, Shah applies characteristics of both fiction and theoretical essays, along timestamps and still images of film sequences. It is a book of autotheory; a kind of meta-novel which is at once a diary, a thesis, and a meditation. The artist novel addresses how we perceive both images in films through the lens of time, and coloniality and history through the lens of film.

Believing in the capacity of art to dynamically narrate points and connections, artist Jeremy Sharma–using the pseudonym Remy Shah–samples history by means of film, painting, writing, philosophy and more, while intertwining them with cultural and personal positions that are contemporaneous with socio-economic topics and matters of affection, both pressing and beautiful. In revitalizing screenshots from past films, he poetically sutures fragments of an archive to become an assemblage that continuously resists identification. As fact, fiction, notes and anecdotes, the information age finds historical, cultural, and personal resonances in the present.


  • Typesoftcover
  • Dimensions170 x 240 mm / 978-90-834041-3-4 inches portrait
  • Pages280 (TBC)
  • ISBN978-90-834041-3-4
  • LanguageEnglish
  • Release date20240422
  • BindingSoftcover: book block with dust-jacket
  • ColorBlack + 1 PMS
  • FontArial, Delvon Black, Minion Pro, Rakesly