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Title: 再现/见南洋 : 香港电影与新加坡(1950-65) = Filming Nanyang : Hong Kong - Singapore Connection (1950-65)
Authors: 麦欣恩
Keywords: Hong Kong cinema, Singapore, Cathay, Kong Ngee, cultural rim, Cold War
Issue Date: 14-Aug-2009
Citation: 麦欣恩,MAK YAN YAN (2009-08-14). 再现/见南洋 : 香港电影与新加坡(1950-65) = Filming Nanyang : Hong Kong - Singapore Connection (1950-65). ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Filming Nanyang: Hong Kong ¿ Singapore Connection (1950-65) Although films made in Hong Kong in the 1950s occupy a central place in film industry of the Colony, it received less attention than it deserves. Cold War diplomacy changed not only the geo-political relationship between large countries but also affected Hong Kong¿s ties to Southeast Asia. Most importantly, the Cold War broke the link between Hong Kong and its motherland China and drove it closer to Southeast Asia under the umbrella of the Commonwealth, which allowed the Hong Kong Chinese a borderless access to Singapore and Malaya. In the 1950s Hong Kong became the center of the Chinese film production outside mainland China. Cathay and Kong Ngee¿studios with a Singapore background¿produced a series of "Nanyang stories" which gained a big box-office success. These films reflected the social changes in Hong Kong and Singapore-Malaya after World War II, projected images of modern cities, and showed the diasporic Chinese cultural identities in overseas. This thesis studies Hong Kong cinema as an independent field for academic research, which also conducts dialogues in the notion of national Chinese cinema(s) within recent scholarship. I situate Hong Kong cinema parallel to the development of the national cinema in Singapore during the 1950s and 60s. Through the analysis of the geo-political context and critical interpretations of six relevant films made by Cathay and Kong Ngee, my thesis demonstrates how a diasporic cultural rim developed between Hong Kong and Singapore-Malaya under the umbrella of British colonialism in the context of Cold War. In the thesis I also examine the ¿nation building¿ political discourse in Singapore-Malaya out of which grew a Malayanized Chinese cultural movement. Diasporic ties and cultural diplomacy played a crucial role in understanding Hong Kong cinema in the Cold War period. I argue that the political discourse of ¿nation building¿ throughout Singapore-Malayain the 1950s and 60s generated an overwhelming desire in developing an ¿alternative national cinema¿ in Singapore. It later broke the diasporic cultural rim between Hong Kong and Singapore. My dissertation synthesises the method of cinema studies and area studies, providing a dynamic Southeast Asian perspective on the study of Hong Kong cinema.
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