Cosmopolitan Nostalgia in Tan Pin Pin’s 'Invisible City': The Failure of a Historical Essay Film
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AbstractMy paper will focus on Tan Pin Pin’s failed essay film, 'Invisible City,' which aims to uncover suppressed historical narratives that deviate from the ruling Singapore government’s official account. The recent explosion of public dissent through historical writings and memory blogs has caused her work to be interpreted as subversive. Corrigan sees the essay film as interrogating the limits of the capacity for epistemological and cultural representation. In portrait and editorial essay films, history becomes the stage for testing and reconstituting subjective agency as the essayistic subject explores and negotiates the terms of its engagement with it. I will argue that 'Invisible City'’s effort to inquire into the character of conventional history derives not so much from an historical outlook than from a nostalgic attitude. Trendy in bustling Singapore, where the state continually reconfigures the cityscape, nostalgia constrains avenues for politics in that the fissures it opens in collective memory lead only to an emotional fixation with the past. Although the film may attempt to unsettle the validity of historical knowledge and convey the diffusion of subjective agency, it reveals a predisposition towards the official mode of cosmopolitan nostalgia that the state promotes through its media and museum institutions.
All Author(s) ListElmo Gonzaga
Name of ConferenceWorld Cinema and the Essay Film Conference
Start Date of Conference30/04/2015
End Date of Conference02/05/2015
Place of ConferenceUniversity of Reading
Country/Region of ConferenceGreat Britain
LanguagesEnglish-United States

Last updated on 2018-23-01 at 03:22