Polychrome Interest

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An Interview With Marky Jahjali – Indonesian Director Who Will Direct A Stephen King Adaptation Movie

About two days ago, I posted a post called How I Met Another Stephen King’s Fan and I also mentioned that I will have a simple interview with him.

Why would I want to interview a King’s fan? you might ask!

Well…this fellow King’s fan happens to be a talented Young Director.

Marky Jahjali

Marky Jahjali

Meet Marky Jahjali!

I was born from an artistic father & a scientific mother, under the August moon and constellation of Leo. Been writing stories since 7 years old. Love science, art, tech, good food, movies, and books. A grandson of an actress of the 50s. Has a twitching third eye.

Marky was graduated from Bandung Institute of Technologyโ€™s school of fine arts and design. He had directed 4 short films,ย  His Chair, Lolonii and Strangers (click on the title to see the film) . All three of them have been nominated in many movie festivals. He has also received many praises from critics. He had also directed art video and documentary

Marky is not only a Director but also an actor and a writer.

It’s going to take a whole page to write about his achievement…therefore, I have created a second page for you to read more about his works. Please go click>> HERE.

Now…let’s begin the interview … and since we both are Stephen King’s fans, I can’t resist the urge to ask him few things about SK ๐Ÿ˜‰


Hi Mark, thank you for allowing me to ask you some questions related to your involvement with Stephen King’s first adaptation in Indonesian Movie Industry. Since we both love Stephen King so much, I hope you don’t mind if I ask a bit about your admiration toward one of the best authors the world ever produced.

#1 How did you discover SK’s works? And what separate his works from other authors?

I love reading ever since my childhood. Ranging from picture books, comics to short stories, & novels. But I also love to wach movies, & it was through movies that I first discovered SK. Not until later when I was 15 or 16 years old that I started reading his books. I love all genre. And there are so many authors that I fancy, from Shakespeare, Joyce to William S. Burroughs, Chris van Allsburg, Alice Sebold, etc. But if I had to pin my choice down into just one author, then it would be Mr. SK.

But if you asked me for a specific genre preference, I’d say that it is the ‘fantastic’ that I always feel at home in, either science fiction, fantasy, or horror.

What differs SK from the others? SK’ works tend to have that imagination & emotional facet balance that I find crucial in artworks. He applies everyday realism to bring out the fantastic aspect of his yarns. It is always about people. The human. It is, his strong characterizations that draw me the most. This technique is also demonstrated by my favorite Spanish surrealist – Salvador Dali, & my favorite movie director – Steven Spielberg.

You see, some writers are cerebral, while some other, like SK writes with their heart. That’s the main reason why he could reach out to such a vast array of constant readers, world wide. He writes with his heart. Even though he is an imaginative fiction writer.

‘Hearty’ writing as you so eloquently put it.

#2 Have you ever met another Indonesian who loves King’s works as much as you do? I ask this because you are the first person I know who admires his works as much as I do, even more. To know that there is more than one would be amazing.

My whole family is a fan. My close friends are fans. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have that tendency in influencing my surroundings w/o any intention to do so by my habit of sharing. I love to share, you see. Good food, good books, movies, music, anything I find interesting and wonderful, I share w/ people I care about.

#3 Why do you think there arenโ€™t many people read King’s books here in our country?

There aren’t many readers in our country to begin with. We do have quite a crowd of populations. It’s just that, not even 1% of it falls into the category of active avid readers. It is improving though. At least, as far as my observation goes.

And our readership is controlled by the publisher. And the publishing (just like the distribution in the movie business here) is monopolized by a particular party – one gargantuan publishing entity. It is almost authoritarian, sadly. What they publish, promote, & offer, the readers would eventually buy & read. It’s the mainstream situation here. So, since they haven’t introduced SK to this country until later in the mid 90s or so, & (to my opinion) their capability in choosing SK’s books to be published are quite inadequate, SK readership in Indonesia grow so slow.



The Woman in The Room by Frank Darabont

The Woman in The Room by Frank Darabont

#4 Knowing that there aren’t many King’s fans here, why do you want to make a movie based on his work? And why do you choose The Woman In The Room?

The story always comes first, for me, regardless of the writer who writes it.

And I’m certain that a lot of people can identify w/ this particular drama w/o even knowing anything about SK. And most of Indonesians don’t care too much about such background. It is a perfect story that I want to retell in a movie medium, that has some significances as a device for my personal sentiment.

And I also got some treat for SK fans in this movie, you’ll see. I’m not going to spoil the fun. ๐Ÿ˜‰

#5 Was it difficult to get the right to make the movie?

They’d been incredibly wonderful in the whole process, until the contract was signed. I’d understand if they hesitated or reluctant, since this is the 1st ever non English movie adaptation of SK’ work so far, but, they waved the GO flag for me, so here I am.

#6 Did you talk to Stephen King yourself?

O I wish..

#7 Then, do you want to meet or at least talk to him one day?

He’s one of the heroes that shaped my dreams & creative life. For me, there are three Kings of Pop (as in popular culture) Michael Jackson, Steven Spielberg, and Stephen King. Oh how they inspire and fill me with power! So no question about it!

#8 I read some articles about your plan to make Wanita Itu (the Indonesian title for The Woman in The Room) and those were from October 2012. So, how far has the production gone? And when will be released?

It has got to be released this year! I’ve been trying some experiments with it, from an extremely bold to an incredibly verbatim-faithful to the source. All approached with extreme caution. It is not the hardest work, but it is the most demanding for me. Since it is an SK piece that I’m working on, so, It takes more time & thinking than my other work usually do.

Skylar Pictures owner/exec. producer – Mr. Sarjono Sutrisno is a long-time SK fan himself, and he’s going to support this production all the way. He’s one of the best in the industry. I mean, really, to my personal experience, it is so rare for Indonesian movie producers to have such an audacity, and gutsy enough to boldly to go unique, w/o dismissing the business aspect of the production. I’m hoping not only to write for him (we’ve been working on some ambitious project developments), but to direct his movies too. It is such a treat to know him. Such a dream-maker!

Are you familiar with Guillermo del Toro? He’s been called ‘Godfather’ for his industrious prone to discovering & orbiting new young talents from all over the world into Hollywood-dom, usually from their short movies. And for me, Mr. Sutrisno is the closest thing that we got to this.

#9 Who are the actors/actresses you like to play in the movie?

Topnotch actor/actress that could bring the characters to life better that the ones in Frank Darabont’s movie! ๐Ÿ˜‰

#10 Do you think Wanita Itu will attract Indonesian viewers or are you aiming for festivals?

Both (especially SK fans all over). But my proposal was to adapt this into a movie that is powerful enough for world-wide festival circles.

#11 As a young director, you still have a long way to go. Can you tell me what kind of director you want to be?

The best there is. The one that is worthy to carry on the torch of the story-tellers of the world. You see, story-tellers hold the most important floor in a civilization.

Red Shore

Red Shore

#12 For my last question, I love to know what have you done so far. I read bits of you through google, like youโ€™ve made a short story called Red Shore and youโ€™ve won several award for your short films. I would love to know it all straight from you.

Red Shore is a science fiction/dark fantasy feature film, inspired and based on H.P. Lovecraft universe. It will be ground breaking, especially in Indonesia. Lovecraft has millions of fans all over the world, so it has solid prospect. To adapt Lovecraft universe within Eastern angle would be such intriguing fresh approach.

I’m still looking for the right producer – local or overseas, for Red Shore.

Yes, I was lucky enough that my previous short movies got awards & nominations from Indonesian, some other regional & international film festivals.

I have been working on a heavily computer generated FXed short movie entitled SHE USED TO BE PANDORA (the 1st in Indonesia to utilize digital VFX technology in such a scope). I’m hoping, this one will open up Hollywood opportunity for me & my team.

And some other movie & art projects, including comics and picture books.

Once again, thank you so much for doing this Q&A with me, Mark. Itโ€™s really nice to meet you and hope we can meet for real and talk endlessly about the man we both love. I wish you the best of luck with your career and may you be one of Indonesian greatest Directors.

No, thank you very much, Nov!

And, yes, we will.




I honestly think that Mark is a real artist, kinda remind me of my favorite actor, Cillian Murphy, who is willing to try everything possible to be better in their career…better in the sense of perfecting the art not in the sense of gaining more money.

Although I haven’t yet met Marky (I sure wish one day we can meet and talk endlessly about books and movies in general and of course about Stephen King).

There are things that I didn’t ask him because I have already read it in The Jakarta Post. He chose The Woman In The Room because of how it relates to his experience with his mother who had cancer. Stephen King, Marky and I…all of us have mother who had passed away because of cancer.

I wish Marky the best of luck for Wanita Itu (The Woman In The Room) and hope it’ll be a success both artistically and commercially.

…and, you can see clearly that the Q & A is a bit random, not focusing much on the upcoming movie. I really hope Mark will let me do another Q & A once the movie has been released ๐Ÿ˜‰

Don’t forget to click page 2 to see his achievements. Unfortunately, I can’t put his short movies here because they were uploaded in facebook, but here are the links if you are interested:

  • His Chair : A minimalist drama about a mother, a son & his chair in between.
  • Lolonii :ย A short drama about an ignorant mother, her rebelling son & how powerful a mother’s prayer can be.
  • Strangers : A short movie which consists of even shorter 10 mini stories. Depicting live fragments of some strangers (characters) ensemble that happen almost simultaneously one morning in a park.

Once again….Terima kasih Mark ๐Ÿ™‚

About Novroz

I actively maintained 2 blogs. My personal blog is about things that I love: Turtles, Books, Movies, Music, Larc en Ciel, Muse, Cillian Murphy, The Mighty Boosh and many more. I also help my 3 super cute turtles, Kroten, Papoe and Kurome, to maintain their own blog: http://kamekroten.wordpress.com

33 comments on “An Interview With Marky Jahjali – Indonesian Director Who Will Direct A Stephen King Adaptation Movie

  1. Fariz
    April 9, 2013

    Wow I think I had heard about this a few while back, but I thought it was just a rumor lol.
    It must have been a really great experience knowing that you have the rights to make a film out of your favorite author’s work, especially from an overseas and widely known writer like Stephen King. It is also a very huuuge news to Indonesian movie industry as a whole. Haven’t read the subject matter itself, but hoping Marky can pull it off. I am curious to watch Marky’s past works, they all sound so intriguing. I also hope that this will push many more similar things to aspiring Indonesian filmmakers in the future. Tons of luck for Marky!

    • Novroz
      April 10, 2013

      I gave the link of his previous works…you can watch it ๐Ÿ˜‰ I really like Lolonii, it feels so Indonesia-ish.

      The Woman in The Room is a short story. It’s a story of heart rather than horror. I honestly thought I haven’t read it and it turned out I have.

  2. Genki Jason
    April 9, 2013

    “some writers are cerebral, while some other, like SK writes with their heart.” Hit the nail on the head. I’ve only just started reading his works but that about sums up what I think he excels at. Good luck to Marky with this project. I’m also interested in the work influenced by Lovecraft.

    • Novroz
      April 10, 2013

      I totally agree with what he says there too….and that’s what makes me a fan. For me, it never only about scaring people.

      I didn’t know you read King too … we really have so much in common, Jason ๐Ÿ˜‰

      If the movie has come out, I hope you’ll give it a chance to see it as Indonesia is still part of Asian ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Genki Jason
        April 11, 2013

        I know where Indonesia is ๐Ÿ˜‰ If I get the chance to see it I’ll give it a review!

  3. Alice Audrey
    April 10, 2013

    Seems to me SK writes with both heart and mind.

    • Novroz
      April 10, 2013

      He is ๐Ÿ™‚
      Well at least that’s the way I see it. I like horror and thriller but he doesn’t write just to scare people meaningless

      • Alice Audrey
        April 12, 2013

        He wouldn’t be so good or well known if he didn’t have depth. Plenty of other authors have tried shallow horror. The market has proven that no one wants that.

        • Novroz
          April 18, 2013

          So true!!
          I read a collection of Horror short stories called Dark House and I still unable to finish it…some has depth in just few words but others are a bit off.

          I wish I can be a writer like King.

  4. Tim The Film Guy
    April 10, 2013

    See now if someone was adapting my novel i’d insist on meeting them, mainly to micro manage everything! haha ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Novroz
      April 10, 2013

      Hahaha…let’s hope King does that and shows up in Indonesia. I would love to meet him too

  5. ruth
    April 10, 2013

    WOW, this is awesome Nov. Great interview, nice to *meet* you Marky Jahjali [I think he’s gorgeous btw ;)] Curious who his mother was who’s an actress in the 50s. My dad was a writer/director around that time, I wonder if their paths ever crossed. In any case, that’s so exciting that he’d be adapting Stephen King’s work. Do keep us updated on that (I’m sure you would as you like this author), and tell him best of luck! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Novroz
      April 10, 2013

      Thank you Ruth ๐Ÿ™‚
      And I agree on the gorgeous part too (tho not as gorgeous as Cillian ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) … Jangan GR ya Mark ๐Ÿ˜‰

      I think I have read his mother’s name in one of the articles but I forgot which.
      I will definitely update this project as I am so eager to see King’s work through the Asian eyes.

      • ruth
        April 10, 2013

        Mark looks like an *indo* y’know, part bule ๐Ÿ˜€ My hubby is 1/8 Dutch so some of his family members are fair skinned and have that Caucasian features. Would you ask him what his mom’s name is? Just curious. My dad used to work with Yenny Rachman I think, if I remember her correctly, and also August Melasz.

        • Novroz
          April 11, 2013

          Yeah he does look like bule, I might ask him one day ๐Ÿ˜‰
          It’s not his mom who was an actress, it was his grandma. Her name was Titin Sumarni. Do you know her?
          Here’s her photo> here

          • ruth
            April 11, 2013

            No I don’t think I know Titin Sumarni. Btw, I’m so stoked about my interview w/ Paul Laverty tomorrow, can’t believe I’ve only seen one of his films. I know you really like The Wind that Shakes the Barley, I need to watch that and Looking for Eric.

          • Novroz
            April 11, 2013

            Is it a face to face interview?
            Yeah I think you should at least watch his most famous one, The Barley…it was a great movie. In my opinion, it was well written.

          • ruth
            April 11, 2013

            Yep it’s a 10 min one-on-one interview. It’ll be at the hotel where he’s staying. I did the same thing w/ Anton Yelchin when he was in town 2 yrs ago, he’s the actor who played Checkov in Abram’s Star Trek movie, I think he’ll be in the sequel too w/ your Benny ๐Ÿ˜€

          • Novroz
            April 12, 2013

            I wish I have your luck ๐Ÿ˜‰
            I’d loved to interview someone for real…by someone meaning someone important ๐Ÿ˜‰

            I have never seen Star Trek movie, the one with Benny will be my first.

  6. TBM
    April 10, 2013

    Great interview and it’s nice to meet someone who thinks the story comes first. That seems rarer and rarer these days. I was startled by this fact: not even 1% of it falls into the category of active avid readers. What do you think accounts for that?

    • Novroz
      April 10, 2013

      Thank you TBM ๐Ÿ™‚
      As I grow older I find myself caring for good story movies than great special effect movies and as you have said it, it’s getting rarer and rarer.

      Not many avid reader in my country I think it’s because of the fact that school teachers don’t emphasized on reading. I remember when I was at school I never had an assingment to read a book by my language teacher and even today not many language teachers ask their students to read. However I agree with Mark there, there are more readers now than before.

  7. Club Stephen King
    April 11, 2013

    will it be a full-length feature or a dollar baby/ short movie?

    • Novroz
      April 11, 2013

      Hi ๐Ÿ™‚ I am so happy you stopped by as I have been following your tweets since forever.
      Marky said it will be a full-length feature.

  8. Great article, Novia. And nice to know about Marky Jahjali. We have the same almamater ๐Ÿ˜‰ I also graduated from fine arts n design. Although I don’t know much about Stephen King, but his excites me as well. Best of luck for the movie!

    • Novroz
      April 11, 2013

      Thank you Andina ๐Ÿ™‚
      Whoa…one almamater..who would have thought. I think you two should meet ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Oh, you have to read at least one King’s book in your life because he is a storytelling master.

      Maybe we can see the movie together when it’s finally released ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. shadow
    April 11, 2013

    wah bang marky anak ITB juga, sama kaya bang joko.semoga bang marky jadi the next generation dari joko anwar..

    • Novroz
      April 11, 2013

      Wah sy malah br tau kl Joko Anwar dr ITB juga. Saya turut mengaminkan ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. rakhmadpermana
    April 19, 2013

    aduh managernya dapet bagian ga ya ? hahaha

    • Novroz
      April 19, 2013

      Manajer dapat senyum aja ya ๐Ÿ™‚

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ยฉ Polychrome Interest [bokunosekai.wordpress.com]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material and/or photographs without express and written permission from this blogโ€™s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. All requests to republish excerpts, articles, or photos must be made to the blog owner/author.