This chapter establishes the historical context and theoretical framework of this study on Singapore and its cinema. It introduces the fragmented history of the cinema and resulting discursive fracturing that Celluloid Singapore will address. The chapter also explains the book’s approaches to national cinema as a reframing of the relationship between nation and cinema; the transnational and national as constitutive rather than mutually exclusive conceptions; identity as performative; and films as cinematic performances that produce multiple Singapores. Each of these Singapores adds to and negotiates with the myriad ways that Singapore can and has been performed on screen and elsewhere. As such, the Singapore we see on screen are not only transformed versions of material reality, or different from the Singapores performed in other contexts. Celluloid Singapore is essentially already (an)other Singapore.
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