CINEMA AND TELEVISION IN SINGAPORE: Resistance in One Dimension
By Kenneth Paul Tan
Series: Social Sciences in Asia, 16
ISBN-13: 978 90 04 16643 1
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?