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  1. JACK NEO Writer, Director, Actor, Host. 2. CONTENTS <ul><li>His Life and Career </li></ul><ul><li>His Contributions to…
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  • 1. JACK NEO Writer, Director, Actor, Host.
  • 2. CONTENTS <ul><li>His Life and Career </li></ul><ul><li>His Contributions to Singapore’s film industry </li></ul><ul><li>I Not Stupid </li></ul><ul><li>His other films </li></ul>
  • 3. WHO IS HE? <ul><li>Born 24 January 1960. </li></ul><ul><li>Started his TV career in 1980, with comedic roles such as Liang Po Po and Liang Ximei. </li></ul><ul><li>Accomplished host and actor. </li></ul><ul><li>Started directing films in 1999, with That One Not Enough . </li></ul><ul><li>Followed this up with a slew of other box office hits such as Money No Enough (1998), I Not Stupid (2002), I Not Stupid Too (2006), I Do I Do (2005), and Just Follow Law (2007). </li></ul><ul><li>Films were often satirical yet in a comical way, and struck a chord with many Singaporeans. </li></ul><ul><li>Conferred the Cultural Medallion in 2005, in recognition of his artistic excellence in film. </li></ul>
  • 4. NEO’S CONTRIBUTION <ul><li>Films offered a political and social commentary in an attempt to effect change. </li></ul><ul><li>Raised awareness and provided a voice for sensitive issues, which conservative (and sometimes the underside of society) Singaporeans are afraid to broach. </li></ul><ul><li>TIME calls him Singaporean’s ‘megaphone on the issues of daily life’. </li></ul>
  • 5. <ul><li>Neo ‘broke artistic ground by writing dialogue in Singlish’. (,9171,501020408-221199,00.html) </li></ul><ul><li>Made interesting use of language in films (recognizes Singapore’s multi-lingual, multi-cultural society). </li></ul>
  • 6. I NOT STUPID (2002) <ul><li>Opened to rave reviews and was a box-office hit, grossing $3.8 million (Singapore’s second-highest grossing movie at that time). </li></ul><ul><li>Singapore’s highest grossing movie is, incidentally, another Jack Neo film! Money No Enough (1998). </li></ul><ul><li>Why the success? </li></ul>
  • 7. I NOT STUPID (2002) <ul><li>Neo’s use of characterisation to present a critique of Singapore’s education system. </li></ul><ul><li>Stereotypes: </li></ul><ul><li>Terry, Guobin and Wenfu (EM3 students) </li></ul><ul><li>Concerned parents (especially the mothers) </li></ul><ul><li>The judgmental Principal </li></ul><ul><li>The haughty EM1 students </li></ul><ul><li>What is Neo trying to say about the Singapore society? </li></ul>
  • 8. THE RECEPTION <ul><li>Did I Not Stupid change anything? What was its impact on society and on the government? </li></ul><ul><li>Critics mostly praised the film as ‘a clever, well-crafted social commentary’ ( ) </li></ul><ul><li>Education reform: Film sparked debate about the streaming system (too young, unfair, condemns students too early, etc). Academic elitism. </li></ul><ul><li>Neo commented that streaming ‘judges you. If you're not good enough, you're useless. In our society, everyone feels like that sometimes.’ (in an interview with Douglas Wong of the Financial Times ) </li></ul><ul><li>2004: MOE merged EM1 and EM2 streams </li></ul><ul><li>2008: EM3 scrapped </li></ul>
  • 9. HIS OTHER FILMS <ul><li>Homerun (2003) </li></ul><ul><li>Political commentary on the water issue between Singapore and Malaysia. </li></ul>
  • 10. <ul><li>The Best Bet (2004) </li></ul><ul><li>Commentary on the ills of gambling – in view of the Integrated Resorts? </li></ul>
  • 11. <ul><li>Just Follow Law (2006) </li></ul><ul><li>Commentary on the rigidity of the civil service, beauracracy, ‘black-and-white’, red tape. </li></ul> /
  • 12. <ul><li>Money No Enough 2 (2008) </li></ul><ul><li>Neo wrote and acted in Money No Enough (1998) </li></ul><ul><li>Films focused on Singaporeans’ seemingly never-ending pursuit of money and wealth. Materialistic society. </li></ul><ul><li>An identity entangled with money. </li></ul>
  • 13. FOLLOW-UP TASK (HOMEWORK!) <ul><li>Write a 300 to 400 word letter to Jack Neo, thanking him for his contribution to Singapore’s film industry and telling him how you think Singapore society/ Singaporeans have benefitted from the issues raised in his films. </li></ul><ul><li>You may refer to other films by Jack Neo that you have watched, beyond I Not Stupid . </li></ul><ul><li>Talk about films that have made an impact on you personally, or whose issues have struck a chord with you. </li></ul><ul><li>Finally, do watch some of his other films to better understand his works and for a good laugh!  </li></ul>
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