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About usHow to find usA. (Ari) Purnama, MA

A. Purnama, MA

PhD Candidate in Film and Visual Communication Studies

Ari Purnama is a Ph.D. candidate and practitioner in film and visual communication studies at The Groningen Research Institute for the Study of Culture (ICOG), University of Groningen, The Netherlands. He holds a Research M.A. degree (cum laude) from the Research Master Literary and Cultural Studies Program at the University of Groningen with specialization in the Stylistic Studies of the Moving Images (Film and Television Arts). 

His doctoral research examines stylistic innovations and constraints in post-New Order Indonesian film industry (1998-2014). In 2014 he was appointed as a visiting research fellow at the Communication Arts Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has written and directed several short fiction films independently as well as for CinemAsia Film Festival, Amsterdam, with the theme focusing on inter-generational conflict. It is entitled Our Attachment to Rice (Dutch: Onze Band Met Rijst) and it tackles the theme of the ageing Indo-Dutch community members in the Netherlands. The film is available online on his Vimeo page: His objective is to bring theory, history and filmmaking closer, strengthening the scholar-practitioner symbiosis. 

His master’s thesis "Cinematizing the Bad-land: Vince Gilligan’s Breaking Bad and the Visual Stylistic Eclecticism of Contemporary American Basic Cable Television Drama" (2011) analyzes the workings of the cinematization of television fiction aesthetics in a specific domain of American ‘high-end’ televisual drama, i.e. basic cable-commissioned drama serials, through scrutinizing a particular televisual work critically noted for having a distinct ‘cinematic’ visual appeal: Breaking Bad (AMC, 2008—present). By employing a close visual stylistic analysis of Breaking Bad, this research finds that the streamlining of cinematic analogy in this particular case study is engineered for a great part by inflating three salient visual stylistic strategies: the selective intensification of the continuity system, the foregrounding of mise-en-scène components of setting and lighting composition, and the embellishment of cinematography. Furthermore, the implementation of these chief technical strategies demonstrates the creative effort of the show’s creator/writer/producer Vince Gilligan and his creative team to attain the cinematic approximation by drawing upon a wide range of visual stylistic frameworks associated with clusters of cinematic (sub)genres such as the film noir and the Western. Next to this, the show also installs an intensified texture of continuity in several aspects of its visual stylistic properties in line with the contemporary continuity style of post-1960s Hollywood cinema. By doing so, Breaking Bad elicits eclecticism and idiosyncrasy in its visual style that not only works effectively as a brand distinction strategy for the basic cable channel AMC, but more importantly, as transformative artistic gestures that contribute to enriching the aesthetic vocabularies of American television drama.

Last modified:17 August 2016 07.43 a.m.

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Department of Arts, Culture and Media Studies