Recent trends in film discourse are taken up and examined from a national position in Wages of Cinema: Film in Philippine Perspective. Issues such as deconstruction, historiography, cultural policy, postcolonialism, and psychoanalysis, plus reconsiderations of earlier questions on structure, genre, gender, race, autobiography, and authorship are discussed in the light of how these may best contribute to the interest of Philippine film criticism, production, and viewership.
Wages of Cinema presents a variety of film texts in the course of discussion. These include several Philippine titles such as Manila By Night and Maynila: Sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag, American products such as Nashville, Dressed to Kill and Raising Cain, and the celebrated Japanese erotic sample In the Realm of the Senses, the Canadian queer sex film Super 8½, and the French Vietnam-war entry Indochine.
Philippine cinema, the dream factory of the former U.S. colony, teems with American figures and plots. Local movies feature GIs seeking Filipina brides, cold war spies hunting down native warlords, and American-born Filipinos wandering in the parental homeland. The American landscape furnishes the settings for the triumphs and tragedies of Filipino nurses, GI babies, and migrant workers.
By tracking American fantasies in Philippine movies from the postindependence period to the present, José B. Capino offers an innovative account of cinema’s cultural work in decolonization and globalization. Capino examines how a third world nation’s daydreams both articulate empire and mobilize against it, provide imaginary maps and fables of identity for its migrant workers and diasporan subjects, pose challenges to the alibis of patriarchy and nationalism, and open up paths for participating in the cultures of globality. Through close readings of more than twenty Philippine movies, Capino demonstrates the postcolonial imagination’s vital role in generating pragmatic and utopian visions of living with empire. Illuminating an important but understudied cinema, he creates a model for understanding the U.S. image in the third world.
In this anthology of essays about Philippine cinema, geopolitics takes off from the post — World War II detente foreign policy of the United States to illuminate issues of transparency of power and power relations. It seeks to answer such questions: how has the visible image been constructed such that it implicates issues of colonial, imperial, and nationalist representations and discourses? How has geopolitics, the mobilization of a global discourse of capital, liberal democracy, and modernity been rendered in the Philippines? ‘Geopolitics of the Visible’ lays bare the geopolitics of the visible in order to render the almost invisible working operation that makes both visibility and invisibility possible.
Long out of print, Revaluation is a compilation of Bienvenido Lumbera’s critical essays on Philippine literature, cinema, and popular culture between 1962 and 1984. The 1997 edition adds 22 new articles and an interview to the original 13 essays of the 1984 edition, all of them hallmarks of Lumbera’s consistent nationalist and democratic outlook. The result is an impressive survey of Philippine culture as reinterpreted—and revaluated—by an important critic and teacher who has exercised a strong influence on the directions Philippine cultural scholarship has been taking for nearly three decades now.
Although Filipino cinema dates to the early silent era and shares many characteristics with Western film, it has frequently been ignored by Western critics and audiences. This book offers a rare study of cinema in the Philippines. The first half of the work presents a history. Chapters cover lost pre-World War II films, the postwar cinema boom, the Philippines’ unique relationship with the United States and its manifestation on film, and Filipino cinema’s decline. The second half of the book is the most comprehensive published filmography of Filipino cinema to date.