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Celluloid SingaporeCinema, Performance and the National$
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Edna Lim

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474402880

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474402880.001.0001

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Influence, Hybridity and How the Past is a Foreign Country

Influence, Hybridity and How the Past is a Foreign Country

(p.43) 3. Influence, Hybridity and How the Past is a Foreign Country
Celluloid Singapore

Edna Lim

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter discusses two ways that films from the golden age could be considered Singapore films. First, when viewed within the context of its time, the golden age is a cinema of hybrid films produced by a culturally heterogeneous and transnational industry and country. The hybridity of the films is apparent in the narrative, musical style and language which reveal a diversity of influences ranging from other cinematic conventions such as Hollywood and Bollywood cinemas and performance practices like bangsawan theatre. Second, watching these films now creates a ‘consciousness of doubling’ between the Singapore in the films and the one materially present today. It is precisely because we see (an)other Singapore being performed at each viewing that the films from the golden age can be considered Singapore films.

Keywords:   Malay, Bangsawan, Performance, Hybridity, Bollywood, Hollywood, Musical, Language, Cinema, Singapore

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