Taking its name from a colonial-era 1950s Straits Times column that observed the unique quirks of the ‘Lion City’, Singaporeana! is a film programme that explores the ways in which Singapore has been represented and fictionalised by international filmmakers, peaking in the late 1960s, but with notable examples from the 1970s and 80s. ‘Singaporeana’ evokes the country’s myths, history, varied cultures, particularly when seen through the exoticizing gaze of the curious visitor.
Over the years, Singapore has been visited by a motley crew of newcomers and old hands, soldiers, virgins, pimps, spies and detectives. Often adapted from literary sources, these films document the transforming environment of the city-state, while creating highly fictional, imaginary ‘Singapores’, a process that has intermittently continued right up to 2018’s Crazy Rich Asians, the latest iteration of Singaporeana.
The Singaporeana! Symposium is a one-day symposium of panels and talks by academics, researchers and students that will complement the film programme in a deeper exploration of key themes presented in the film program. Book now to secure your place!
Reframe: Singaporeana! takes place from 21 September 2019 to 29 September 2019.
About the Guest Curator
A film historian, lecturer and writer, Ben Slater has researched and written extensively about filmmaking in Singapore for over 15 years. He is the author of Kinda Hot: The Making of Saint Jack in Singapore (Marshall Cavendish: 2006), the editor/writer of 25: Histories & Stories of the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF: 2014), NANG 1: Screenwriting (Editions Cinemasia: 2016) and issues of the Cinematheque Quarterly (NMS: 2012). His articles and essays have been published internationally. He’s also the co-director (with Sherman Ong) of a documentary about Singapore cinema, Tony’s Long March (2015). Ben teaches at The School of Art, Design & Media at Nanyang Technological University.