[Daily article] January 20: Oriental Film

Oriental Film was a film production company in Batavia, Dutch East
Indies (now Jakarta, Indonesia). Established by ethnic Chinese
businessman Tjo Seng Han in 1940, it completed four black-and-white
films before it was closed in 1941. All the company’s films were
screened into the mid-1940s but may now be lost. They were directed by
two men, Njoo Cheong Seng and Sutan Usman Karim, and launched the
careers of actors such as Dhalia and Soerip. Established during the
revival of the Indies film industry, Oriental released its first film,
Kris Mataram, in July 1940. It starred Njoo’s wife Fifi Young, and
relied on her fame as a stage actress to draw audiences. This was
followed by three more films, targeted at low-income audiences and
scored with kroncong music. Njoo showed a proclivity for sensation,
using bright, extravagant costumes. Oriental’s final production was
Panggilan Darah, completed in 1941 after Njoo and Young had left the
company. Oriental’s Dutch-owned studio facilities made them the largest
and most modern studio in the Indies, but they were unable to recoup the
rental fees on the property, and in 1941 the company was shut down.

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Today’s selected anniversaries:


According to legend, freeholder Lalli slew Bishop Henry of
Finland with an axe on the ice of the lake Köyliönjärvi in Köyliö,


Tây Sơn forces of Vietnam annihilated an invading Siamese
army who were attempting to restore Nguyễn Ánh to the throne.


Honório Hermeto Carneiro Leão, Marquis of Paraná, became the
de facto first prime minister of the Empire of Brazil.


Favouring stronger executive power than the draft constitution
for the French Fourth Republic provided, Charles de Gaulle resigned as
President of the Provisional Government.


In Washington, D.C., over 1 million people attended the
inauguration of Barack Obama as the first African American President of
the United States.

Wiktionary’s word of the day:

1. (intransitive) To roam, or wander about at random, especially over a
wide area.
2. (transitive) To roam or wander through. […]
3. To practice robbery on the seas; to voyage about on the seas as a

Wikiquote quote of the day:

  There is no conflict in the absolute universe, but there is
conflict in the relative world.  
–Koichi Tohei

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