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Imagining The Chinese Community Through The Films Of Jack Neo

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses filmmaker Jack Neo?s commercial success and the appeal of his films for the Chinese-speaking mass audience, secured mainly through the comic use of racial, class, gender, and sexual stereotypes; satirical modes of social and political criticism; and simple, moralistic story lines that end happily. It explains the place of this commercial success within Singapore?s culture industry and its importance to the government?s policies for the creative industries. The chapter then describes Neo?s films as sites of ideological struggle where dominant ideological formations come into conflict with Neo?s social and political criticisms, particularly on behalf of the Chinese-speaking community out of which Neo has emerged as an organic intellectual of sorts. And yet, much of Neo?s critical sting has been attenuated by his brand of comedy, the imperatives of commercialism, and the government?s (mainly successful) efforts to co-opt him as a model citizen for the creative economy.

Keywords: Chinese-speaking community; creative economy; culture industry; films; Jack Neo; Singapore



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