Regional Cinema in Patay na si Hesus

The majority of the time and effort dedicated to Philippine cinema is directed towards understanding and appreciating Manila films. The golden age of Philippine cinema is synonymous with the peak of Metro Manila films. And to the eyes of the intellectual and popular Filipino film crowd, national cinema means films that depict the lives of those in the nation-center. The term national cinema is supposed to refer to films that represent the national identity. These films should have to embody the essence of being a Filipino. But oftentimes, only films that depict the Imperial Manila get to be considered as worthy of the title “national films.”

In this video essay, we examine the 2016 film Patay na si Hesus directed by Victor Villanueva. We focus primarily on how the film underlines issues and discussions on regional cinema. We use the film in explaining a film concept that may have been present from the beginning, but remains seldom discussed.

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Patintero Review: Lessons from Children’s Cinema

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Children’s cinema is a film genre that remains under-valued and undiscussed. In the country, much of the films for children are either imported from Hollywood or from the Metro Manila Film festival run. And this trend in the industry posits several problems and concerns. One, we continue to favor the colonial narrative when it comes to teaching the next generation. Two, the so-called family-oriented, comedy films during the MMFF bring no value to viewers, both adults and children. Often times, they propagate sexism, classism, and ageism to their audience. Meng Patalo, a 2015 film by Mikh Vergara, is a good reminder of the need to create children films in the country. The film teaches us how the use of children’s perspective in telling a story in film incites innovation and creativity. It shows us that tales, when seen and told in the eyes of children can be new and revolutionary.

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Bliss and the Helpless Woman: Criticism on Psycho-Thriller Films

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We have seen the surge of women in lead, even titular, roles in the recent years. In a way, they are a sign of progress for women inclusion in the field of cinema.

Meanwhile, it is essential to examine further how women, much like other vulnerable sectors of society, are depicted in films. Is their inclusion in cinema empowering? Is the use of their image revolutionary? Does the cinematic work support the plight of women?

In this video essay, we look at how Bliss uses the image of a woman in a psycho-thriller narrative. Particularly, we discuss how the film depicts a woman as a protagonist while also silences her and deems her helpless.

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Character Development in Four Sisters and a Wedding

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Good character development often happens in television shows where stories are stretched out for a long period of time and characters literally and figuratively grow. This is particularly notable in American television programs where shows are created annually or in seasons.

A simple exercise in assessing character development is to put the characters in a certain environment and expect their reaction to be what you expect him or her to react based on how they are branded by the show. It is where they respond to a new stimulus without losing who they are or how they have become known to the audience.

In the case of Philippine media, a good example of effective character development isn’t found on TV. One, because television series creators are not often given the ability to plan how to unfold their stories. When the show flops, the story must end prematurely. When it succeeds, the story is extended to the point of it being ugly. Hence, the best way to see character development in Philippine media is in cinema, a medium where the creators have much more control over how to tell stories i.e., length of the film and number of characters involved.

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What makes a good film poster?

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In this episode, we talked about movie posters and their value in understanding films as well as their tie to the history of cinema. Also, we discussed how to identify good film posters and how specific film genres often employ a certain vibe and look for their film posters. Lastly, we picked certain posters from Filipino films and explained how they are effective representations of their films.

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