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Spring 2013 CSEAS Film: A Summary


Image: Anthony Medrano

The Spring 2013 Film Series, marking the 8th season of film screenings from/or about Southeast Asia, was again hosted in conjunction with the UH course ASAN 491 Cinema of Southeast Asia. Eleven feature films, two documentaries, and one short film covered offerings from Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia in the series this past semester. Highlights included the always popular Chinese New Year screening from Singapore as we welcomed in the Year of the Snake, and the kicking (up)country music genre film Luk Thung FM from Thailand.

The films screened each year are purchased in Southeast Asia using Center funds or are given to the Center in support of our educational mission. Most of the screened films are then given to the UH Southeast Asia Library Collection as a resource for use in the classroom and other community educational needs. The film series will start up again in Fall 2013. For more information on the just-completed Spring film series, click here.

Though not technically part of the weekly film series (as of yet anyway!), the Department of Indo-Pacific Languages and Literatures (IPLL), the Center of Southeast Asian Studies, and the Center for Philippine Studies hosted a forum on four Fridays in April titled “Jose Rizal and the Noli Me Tangere: A Century Hence.” This film and lecture series highlighted the 13-part telenovela “Noli Me Tangere” directed by Philippines National Artist Eddie Romero and produced by the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Featuring veteran actors like Joel Torre (Crisostomo Ibarra), Chin-chin Gutierrez (Maria Clara), Rolando Tinio (Pilosopo Tacio), Subas Herrero (Padre Damaso), Tetchie Agbayani (Sisa), Ruben Rustia (Capitan Tiago), among others. The complete 26 hour telenovela, painstakingly translated and subtitled by UH’s own Dr. Pia Arboleda, with assistance from Jorge de Luna Andrada, and Modesto Bala (transcription), premiered at UH with subtitles for the first time since its original release in 1992. An astounding achievement! CSEAS applauds this fantastic contribution to the growing corpus of Southeast Asian film resources.

The Friday forum topics included “Turn on the Subtitles Please: Translating the Noli Me Tangere,” (Dr. Pia Arboleda); “Guerrero, Radaic, Schumacher: Critical Perspectives on Rizal” (Jovanie dela Cruz); “Novels, Failures, and Hopelessness: The Strange Nobility of Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo” (Dr. Patricio Abinales); and concluded with an open forum “Kapihan at Kuru-kuro” led by Professor Arboleda and Professor Abinales.