Sara Merican

Sara Merican

  • Scholar
  • Singapore
  • 2022 MPhil Film & Screen Studies
  • Downing College

I am interested in the politics and poetics of “uncomfortable” art. What are the aesthetic and ethical relationships between “poverty” and “spectacle”, onscreen violence and offscreen audience? How might we think about participatory closeness versus spectatorial distance in cinema? Content like Parasite, Squid Game, Roma and 3% have all carried unflinching narratives of socioeconomic inequalities and violence — yet they are also “enjoyed” widely as popular entertainment. On another front, some of the most gruesome human circumstances have been narrated through the independent films travelling the international film festival circuit — yet the legitimacy and recognition of these films often reside in the well-to-do cultural intelligentsia of the business. I am troubled by these jarring collisions, and will pursue work in the intersection of cinema and ethics through the MPhil. My previous work in film criticism, journalism and programming also informs my approach to pay attention to the business contexts that these content operate within. Outside of film, I play football competitively and am passionate about the growth of women’s sports and the development of more robust mental wellness support in our communities.

Previous Education

University of Pennsylvania Cinema Studies and English 2020