Monthly Archives: January 2017

Tolentino on Clique Formation and Segmentation in Philippine Indie Cinema

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“While the spirit of indie filmmaking calls for a solidarity of the margins, what is consequently being formed in the indie filmmaking scene is segmentation and fraternal links based on filmmaking styles, funding cliques, and international festival exposure. There was a time when indie filmmakers would help each other out in the financing and production of their films. But what is happening are indie filmmakers of the same persuasion assisting each other. The fizzling out of the “indie spirit” stems from the construction of segmentation of filmmakers based on filmmaking practices. When segmentation occurs because of the filters of funding source and exposure to international film festival markets, then what becomes of indie cinema is an unprincipled and wavering kind of film practice, no longers contingent on the very idea of divergent filmmaking practice. The look and feel of indie cinema is reproducible, but the spirit behind indie filmmaking is not. The materiality of indie cinema still lies in its capacity to offer itself as a divergent film practice outside mainstream cinema and within its own confines.”¬†(p. 13)

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Compre Exam Review Notes and Updates #1: Zhang Yimou/Campos/D&G/

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DAY 1 Р3: REFERENCE HUNTING

With only a few days after the orientation last January 9, I spent my few days gathering all the book needed for the review. Very, very special thanks to Rose Roque for providing more than enough reading material for borrowing, especially the Philippine Cinema section. I also bought books available at the academic press. Thanks to mother and father for providing financial contribution for the references I bought. I still have other references to look for and book to photocopy. I managed to find other references in the web and have them printed right away. I will have access to other book tomorrow @ the library.

So far, I have 80% of the required literature reading and I am infinitely astounded by the volume of readings I have read. What more if this is a PhD exams? Can I survive? I enjoy theory a lot and I enjoy reading all these texts, but given the time pressure, it’s a torture. Let’s put it in numbers: 25 books in one month. The hell with it! Let’s read them all, even at lightning speed.

DAY 4: A Day with Zhang Yimou

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JAN 14 (Sat) – I saw for the first time Zhang Yimou’s Raise the Red Lantern (1991), one of the required films for the comprehensive exams. It was astounding! The use of color red as a metaphor for so many things, but does it function only at the metaphorical level? The color red functions also as a cultural index and a territorial marker. I could go at length in discussing the geopolitics of red, and even implicate McKenzie Wark’s Molecular Red for odd reasons. Where am I going? But the¬†delirium and poststructuralist avowal of the color red in the film reactivates the politicization of the mise-en-scene. The mise-en-scene is at work here. ¬†More of writings on this in the next few days.

Day 5A: Campos and Crossings

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Day 5B: C

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Hello 2017!

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Dropping by to say hi!  This note is intended to be short, just a run down on what happened to me these past few weeks of the year and some updates on my research on Lav Diaz:

  • At last, after two and half years, I’m done with my coursework for MA Media Studies (Film) last December 2016. I am currently awaiting for the decision of the Graduate Studies Department of UP CM if whether I am indeed qualified to take the dreaded MA Candidacy Exam this coming February 2017. Wish me luck!¬†
  • UPDATE: MA MS (Film) Comprehensives exam will be on February 11! Shiet! I got 25 books and 10 films to speed read and speed watch in less than a month. I’ll be charting my progress here, so stay tune. Hope I can put some of my digests on chapters/essays here. Wish me luck for the compre exams.
  • Also, after being unemployed for two years, I already landed a job last August 2016. So there.
  • As for my research on Lav Diaz, I’m currently doing a historical study of Diaz in relation to technology and the political economic history of Philippine cinema, following the framework of cultural materialism/techno-criticism. It’ll be a baseline study wherein I can finally look into Lav Diaz beyond his aesthetics and content and dwell on the necessary historical problems that haunt his cinema. One of the main questions that I want to problematize in this study is what were the technological and socio-economic conditions what led to the emergence of Diaz’s long form style.
  • Will try to draft something for DLSU’s 8th KRITIKA: National Workshop on Art and Cultural Criticism 2017 due tomorrow, Jan 15 and KRITIKA KULTURA CRITICISM¬†WORKSHOP due on March 15. I already have ready-made unpublished essays. I just have to refine them. Hopefully, I will not be too distracted tomorrow.

Let’s rock on for 2017! Goals for 2017: more publications, more conference, more blogpost, ¬†more papers!

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