“Yes, you belong to me!”: Reflections on the JaDine Love Team Fandom in the Age of Twitter and in the Context of Filipino Fan Culture
Article

The concept of love teams—a pair of good-looking stars launched by a mainstream studio to appear in a succession of films, TV series, adverts, mall shows, etc.—is unique to Philippine entertainment not just because of their intense popularity among mass audiences but also because of their rich cultural history spanning decades since the beginning of Philippine cinema. This paper looks into one of today’s biggest Filipino love teams, JaDine, the portmanteau of James Reid and Nadine Lustre. It situates them contextually in the past (how love teams are packaged and sold, how the audiences express their fanaticism, etc.) and present (in the age of Twitter and “block” screenings, the fan behaviour developed in social media, etc.). As equally important for analysis as these stars are their fans, and in light of JaDine’s most recent film, Never Not Love You, this paper also looks into an incident on Twitter that reveals a lot about fan culture enabled by technology that further complicates the often overlooked position of love teams in cultural studies.

From Colonial Policy to National Treasure: Tracing the Making of Audiovisual Heritage in the Philippines
Article

This study traces the history and construction of institutionalized cultural and audiovisual heritage in the Philippines and investigates how evolving views of heritage have shaped the country’s audiovisual archiving and preservation movement in the last fifty years. It examines the impact of naturalized definitions of heritage, as globalized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and the implementation of audiovisual archival institution building, cultural policies, and archival priorities in the Philippines under the heritage banner set out by the organization. Considering the formation of what heritage scholars call “authorized heritage discourse” (AHD), this paper argues that a heritage hierarchy emerged in the country’s contemporary audiovisual archiving landscape, privileging an industrial view of cinema while marginalizing other forms of moving image practice. The study calls for an awareness of and resistance to institutionalized archives’ claims to social, cultural, and political power in their heritage construction and discourse.

Between the Walls: The Shanty in “Hellow, Soldier” from Lino Brocka’s Tatlo, Dalawa, Isa (1974)
Article

“Hellow, Soldier” is the second episode in Lino Brocka’s Tatlo, Dalawa, Isa  (1974). It is set in the slums of post-war Manila and follows a young slum dweller named Gina who lives with her mother, Lucia, as they attempt to work out the knots in their internal and domestic conflict. This paper attempts to illustrate how the shanty reveals the characters’ nature through their use of their space, which leads to crafting their identity and their perception of society. The study inquires: how does the shanty reflect the characters’ self-identity? How do they shape the space in relation to their perception of society?

Bamboo Gods and Bionic Boys: A Brief History of the Philippines’ B Films
Article

As one of the Asian region’s and (at one point) the world’s most prolific film cultures, the Philippines is distinguished by an under appreciated parallel cinema that comprises films for international release. This paper considers the heretofore untold history of the emergence of this phenomenon, from the breakdown of the post-WWII studio system, inspects the usefulness of available descriptors such as “independent” and export films, and focuses on the still-problematizable “B films” term as the most appropriate one for the present study. It tracks the many twists and turns in the narrative of B-film production, with careful attention to the auteurs (not just directors but also producers and performers) who played prominent roles in ensuring that this parallel sub-industry would be able to thrive alongside the better-recognized mainstream one.

Thinking Straight: Queer Imaging in Lino Brocka’s Maynila (1975)
Article

The separation in so-called public political discourse and private identity issues attained recent cultural cutting-edge status in the articulation of gender issues. In view of the artificiality of disciplinary boundaries, this paper seeks to evaluate the potential of queer politics (focused on gay-male practice) within the exploratory terms provided by a major city film, Lino Brocka’s Maynila: Sa mga kuko ng liwanag (1975), produced during martial rule. The area of application of this analysis will be Philippine popular culture, in consideration of the country’s position as a post-colonized territory that had set up a dictatorial regime to facilitate neocolonial control by the US.

The Intersection of Philippine and Global Film Cultures in the New Urban Realist Film
Article

With the rise of indie cinema in the Philippines, many say that another golden age is again in the making, and, like its predecessor, the films are being produced in the midst of widespread poverty and political instability. Understandably, a significant number of indie films has consciously returned to and explored the limits of the urban realist film of the ‘golden age’ (1975-1984), revisioning city spaces and signifying patterns in Philippine and global film cultures.

The essay has three intricately connected sections. On the one hand, it delineates the shifting contexts of Philippine and global film cultures and situates current indie cinema in these contexts. On the other hand, by considering several key films, it traces the development and revisions of urban realism from its birth until today and reflexively problematizes the critical discourses that define and are defined by such realism.