Lewat Djam Malam (Indonesia, 1954) by Usmar Ismail
Written by: Usmar Ismail, Asrul Sani. Director of Photography: Max Tera. Set Designer: Abdul Chalid. Original Music: G.R.W. Sinsu. Sound: B. Saltzmann. Editing: Sumardjono. Production: Persari, Perfini. Starring: A.N. Alcaff (Iskandar), Netty Herawaty (Norma), R.D. Ismail (Gunawan). Running Time: 101’. Country of Production: Indonesia. Language: Indonesian. From: Sinematek Indonesia.
Restored in 2012 by the National Museum of Singapore and the World Cinema Foundation, with support from the Konfiden Foundation and Kineforum of the Jakarta Arts Council. The restoration work was conducted by Cineteca di Bologna/L’Immagine Ritrovata Laboratory from original film elements preserved at the Sinematek Indonesia. Special thanks to the Usmar Ismail family.
ABOUT THE FILM
Lewat Djam Malam (After the Curfew) is a passionate work looking directly at a crucial moment of conflict in Indonesian history: the aftermath of the four-year Republican revolution which brought an end to Dutch rule. This is a visually and dramatically potent film about anger and disillusionment, about the dream of a new society cheapened and misshapen by government repression on the one hand and bourgeois complacency on the other.
The film’s director, Usmar Ismail, is generally considered to be the father of Indonesian cinema, and his entire body of work was directly engaged with ongoing evolution of Indonesian society. He began as a playwright and founder of Maya, a drama collective that began during the years of Japanese occupation. And it was during this period when Ismail developed an interest in filmmaking. He began making films for Andjar Asmara in the late 40s and then started Perfini (Perusahaan Film Nasional Indonesian) in 1950, which he considered his real beginning as a filmmaker. Lewat Djam Malam, a co-production between Perfini and Djamaluddin Malik’s company Persari, was perhaps Ismail’s greatest critical and commercial success.
NOTES ON THE RESTORATION
Lewat Djam Malam has been digitally restored using the original 35mm camera & sound negatives, interpositive, and positive prints preserved at the Sinematek Indonesia. The original camera negative was scanned at 4K resolution.
The digital restoration began by focusing on fixing instability and flicker followed by the meticulous work of dirt removal, carried out both by automatic tools and by a long manual process of digitally cleaning each image (frame by frame). The film also suffered from signs of mould and vinegar syndrome –the laboratory took great pains to address these problems without damaging the definition of the photographic output, specifically with regards to details and faces.
The original sound was digitally restored using the 35 mm original soundtrack negative. Two reels were missing from the soundtrack negative, and were therefore taken from the combined interpositive. The last 2 minutes of reel 5 were missing from all available elements, but were recovered from a positive copy. The soundtrack has been scanned using laser technology at 2K definition. The core of the digital sound restoration consists on several phases of manual editing, high resolution de-clicker & de-crackle, and multiple layers of fully automated noise reduction.
The restoration was completed at L’immagine Ritrovata laboratory on March 2012.