The Supremacy of Lighting in Hanung Bramantyo’s Film: The Cultural Studies of Chiaroscuro in Sang Pencerah and Perempuan Berkalung Sorban Film

Dyah Gayatri Puspitasari, Setiawan Sabana


This paper will present the significant role of lighting in film. The word ‘supremacy’ that became the focus of this research was not interpreted as the King’s entity that illuminates his followers (from the one who holds control into the one who is controlled). Instead, it was understood as an entity that emerged naturally in each individual and would be emitted in many forms. In this context, resistance could also be stated as the expressive supremacy. Chiaroscuro is a lighting technique in film that can produce a dramatic aspect in the scene’s visualisation. The study of lighting is not only limited on technical aspect but also focused on other lighting aspects. As example, the light’s darkness-brightness correlated with the expressive supremacy that was emitted by specific character in the film’s scene. To overcome that issue, this research applied cultural studies and interdisciplinary as its methods. Through this method, the issue of supremacy would be faced as a cultural daily issue. Thus, the issue of supremacy could not be positioned as an individual issue but more as an issue that related with its external aspects. Based on this research, there are some interesting findings. Firstly, the supremacy light that was emitted from the film’s chiaroscuro held significant relation with traditional and cultural values of Javanese societies who became the main focus of the film’s narrative. Secondly, the interpretation of supremacy held a linear comparison with spiritual-religious values, especially in Islamic perspective as the main theme of both films. Thirdly, in some aspects, there were some relations between the meaning of supremacy and righteousness, both in traditional and spiritual-religious values. Lastly, chiaroscuro in the film was not merely a technical issue of brightness-darkness, but more thematic since light is a source of supremacy.

Keywords: chiaroscuro, film, supremacy, culture, Javanese


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