BOOK DATA: Rosalind Galt, Alluring Monsters: The Pontianak and Cinemas of Decolonization. New York: Columbia University Press, 2021. $35.00 paperback; 312 pages.

Ghosts possess a special kinship with the cinema, reflecting the medium’s capacity to revive past moments into perceptually vivid but ultimately ungraspable and immaterial apparitions. Cinema’s spectral resonances have been particularly important for scholars of Southeast Asian film given the ghost genre’s popularity across Asian audiovisual cultures. Bliss Cua Lim and Arnika Fuhrmann, for instance, have influentially theorized how ghosts can register multiple, deviant temporalities that undermine how patriarchal nationalism symbolically relies on homogenous conceptions of time in the Philippines and Thailand respectively.

In her new monograph, Alluring Monsters: The Pontianak and Cinemas of Decolonization, Rosalind Galt enters into dynamic dialogue with this feminist and queer discourse within Southeast Asian cinema studies by focusing on the captivating and disquieting figure of the pontianak, a vampiric female...

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