《新客》：从“华语语系”论新马生产的首部电影》 = "Xin Ke" 新客 (new immigrant) : the first locally produced film in Singapore and Malaysia from a sinophone perspective
Hee, Wai Siam
Date of Issue2013
College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
本文從大量 1920年代的舊報刊中，搜尋到新馬首部電影《新客》 的出品史料證據，糾正國際學界認為《新客》沒有上映的說法，從而 確立《新客》作為首部新馬電影史的歷史意義和地位，並追溯「南洋 劉貝錦自製影片公司」的成立和社會反應，以及劉貝錦從電影公司老 闆到南僑機工、從新馬投奔中國抗戰的悲壯一生。本文也梳理《新客》 製作班底和觀眾對此片的討論，探討這部電影當年面對的難題，這涉 及 1920年代英殖民政府的影片審查制度、《新客》電影劇本內容風格 擺蕩於「南洋色彩文藝」和「中國文藝」之間，以及電影對當時南洋 兩大華人群體，即新客和土生華人之間的糾葛處理等等。本文要把《新 客》和劉貝錦至今被遺忘的問題，置放回一個更普遍的當代新馬華族 歷史知識生產的脈絡裡，進行反思和追問. Based on historical evidence from a large number of newspapers in 1920s, this article overturns the assertion of the international academic circle that the film “Xin Ke” was never released. It demonstrates the historical significance of “Xin Ke” and establishes its status as the first Singaporean-Malaysian film. This article also makes several important contributions to our understanding of “Xin Ke” and its creators. First, it describes the origins of, and public response to, the Nanyang Liu Bei-jin Film Company. Second, it examines the moving and tragic life of Liu Bei-jin, the film company’s head and former Namchow mechanic, who left Singapore and Malaya to fight in the Chinese War of Resistance against Japan. Third, the article describes the “Xin Ke” production team and the film’s reception. It investigates the problems that the film confronted at the time of its production, including the censorship imposed by the British colonial government during the 1920s. Fourth, it discusses the oscillation found in “Xin Ke’s” screenplay between the Nanyang and Chinese styles of literature and art. And fifth, it examines the manner in which the film addressed the disputes between the two major Chinese communities in Nanyang; that is, the “Xin Ke” (the new immigrants) and the Peranakan (the Straits Chinese). In an effort to encourage reflection, this article locates these issues within the general context of contemporary Singapore-Malaysian Chinese historical discourse. The unfortunate death of Liu Bei-jin and the existence of “Xin Ke” have been obscured in the history of the so-called Chinese diaspora, the history of China, and in the historical discourse regarding imperialism and universal chauvinism that have resulted from English-language hegemony. This obfuscation suggests that the historical discourses that rely on above-mentioned theories must be countered by an entirely new theory. The Sinophone theory, in which Chinese-language is studied as a minority language, can serve as a starting point for our reflection on this topic. Finally, this article discusses how “Xin Ke” displays the characteristics of multiple sounds and multiple orthographies that typify the creolization of Chinese. Liu Bei-jin was well versed in six languages, and his “Xin Ke” provides critical historical evidence regarding the origins of the Creole frequently heard in contemporary Singaporean-Malaysian films as well as a valuable perspective on the disputes regarding indigenousness, colonialism and Chineseness.
Tsinghua journal of chinese literature
© 2013《清華中文學報》Tsinghua Journal of Chinese Literature. This paper was published in 《清華中文學報》Tsinghua Journal of Chinese Literature and is made available as an electronic reprint (preprint) with permission of 《清華中文學報》Tsinghua Journal of Chinese Literature. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic or multiple reproduction, distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper is prohibited and is subject to penalties under law..