Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Where're our film critics?

NUS Assoc Prof Dr Kenneth Paul Tan has a new book on Singapore cinema (well, and TV too) out in mid-Mar 2008:

By Kenneth Paul Tan

Series: Social Sciences in Asia, 16
ISBN-13: 978 90 04 16643 1
ISSN: 1567-2794

Through close readings of contemporary made-in-Singapore films (by Jack Neo, Eric Khoo, and Royston Tan) and television programs (Singapore Idol, sitcoms, and dramas), this book explores the possibilities and limitations of resistance within an advanced
capitalist-industrial society whose authoritarian government skillfully negotiates the risks and opportunities of balancing its on-going nation-building project and its "global city" aspirations. This book adopts a framework inspired by Antonio Gramsci that identifies ideological struggles in art and popular culture, but maintains the importance of Herbert Marcuse's one-dimensional society analysis as theoretical limits to recognize the power of authoritarian capitalism to subsume works of art and popular culture even as they attempt consciously — even at times successfully — to negate and oppose dominant hegemonic formations.

I'm all for more academic writing about film, but it's clear that the films here are props for what's really a social science work.

So where's the writing that analyses the films in and of themselves, or with respect to other films? Is the odd article on Criticine enough?

1 comment:

Yoyo said...

Nowadays it seems that the only way to get anyone to read your work is to write like a soulless Mr Freeze, oops I mean Michel Foucault. If postmodernist critique wasn't so self-indulgent, people might take it more seriously. The way academia write about films sometimes is like they hate these films and no wonder, they always seem to reference horrible films :D