Violence and the supernatural in Singapore cinema

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


This article surveys the approach of two important film-makers to the experience of redevelopment projects and the spatial reconfigurations of the urban landscape in Singapore. Tan Pin Pin's documentary Moving House depicts the violent collision of modern development with traditional rituals, showing the mass exhumation and transfer of graves to apartment-like style blocks to accommodate public housing construction. The ghosts of the dead return to such public housing estates in Eric Khoo's fiction film 12 Storeys (1997) to pass through the claustrophobic spaces of alienation containing the struggles of upward mobility. In such examples, the supernatural and fantastic provide a violent reconstruction of the social memory of postcolonial Singapore.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-223
Number of pages11
JournalNew Cinemas: Journal of Contemporary Film
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011

User-Defined Keywords

  • Eric Khoo
  • Singapore cinema
  • Tan Pin Pin
  • supernatural
  • violence


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