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Singapore as non-place: National cinema through the lens of temporal heterogeneity

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This article suggests that Singapore and Singapore cinema serve as a good site to return to debates surrounding the national. First, I investigate the disconnect between the present and the past in contemporary Singapore and argue that contemporary Singapore cinema is microcosmic of the nation’s uncomfortable relationship with the past. Drawing from Marc AugĂ©’s work in order to understand this temporal disconnect, I propose to think of the nation as a non-place, where the nation is thought of as a liminal entity. Ultimately, I call for a reconsideration of Singapore cinema through the lens of temporal heterogeneity, suggesting that the notion of the nation as a non-place allows us to not only understand the evolving present of the nation(al) but also cinema’s role in helping access the past.

Keywords: Anthony Chen; Liao Jiekai; Singapore; national cinema; non-place; temporality

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 0000000121662407University of Manchester

Publication date: April 1, 2020

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  • Asian Cinema is a seminal journal, which has been published since 1995 by the Asian Cinema Studies Society under the stewardship of Professor John Lent. From 2012 Asian Cinema will be published by Intellect as part of our Film Studies journal portfolio. The journal currently publishes a variety of scholarly material - including research articles, interviews, book and film reviews and bibliographies - on all forms and aspects of Asian cinema. The journal's broad aim is to advance understanding and knowledge of the rich traditions of the various Asian cinemas, thereby making an invaluable contribution to the field of Film Studies in general.
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