Vibal Foundation art book tells about 123 years of Filipino cinema
Recently launched Vibal Foundation Filipino Cinema, 1897-2020—a richly illustrated art book that not only offers an in-depth retrospective of over one hundred years of Filipino cinema, but also simultaneously traces its history, genres, narratives, tropes and traditions while subjecting its rich filmography to criticism and film theory. The book traces the beginnings of Filipino cinema as a technological marvel and its many turning points to the 21st century as it blindly accepted, appropriated, indigenous, and even attacked Western conventions through intentionally mean but hilarious parodies.
Filipino cinema, 1897-2020 is the latest addition to Filipino arte, the imprint of the Vibal Foundation on art books. Filipino arte promotes Filipino artistic history and culture, and brings art to the general public by combining innovative studies with brilliantly reproduced visuals.
Written by Gaspar Vibal and Dennis Villegas and edited by film educator, curator and archivist Teddy Co, Filipino cinema, 1897-2020 boldly examines the darker side of the film industry with its unwavering examination of DVD fullness and piracy, low content exploitation movie traffic, and the dislocation of mainstream distribution brought on by the advent of streaming and Netflix, and the tragic loss of film archives and the consequent loss of national memory.
Filipino cinema, 1897-2020
In Filipino cinema, 1897-2020, a common thread runs through all its pages: a feverish cinephilia that also values the sublime and the ridiculous, from socially realistic films set in the most miserable slums to the most inspired satires of spy antics and spaghetti westerns, and deeper criticism to an overwhelming listmania of nostalgia and trivia. Its 100 essays contain 1,200 notes and gossip, as well as more than 1,315 images, which will delight both die-hard moviegoers and occasional film lovers alike.
The book is a retrospective survey of cinema from its birth in colonial Spanish Manila to the difficult era of the pandemic. Organized chronologically in four periodizations, the book’s 100 essays on multiple aspects of cinema, such as its artistic language, conventions, narratives, textual sources, discourses on women, gender, modernity and national identity as well as its inherent hybridity and unmistakably transnational character are written primarily from the perspective of the audience or fans.
Seeking to eliminate the divide that traditionally separated academic film discourse from bakya (popular) or commercial, the book offers a holistic approach to the appreciation of Filipino cinematic art. Recognizing this populist bent, an attempt was nevertheless made to balance this history of cinephile art with postmodern criticism and film theory.
Filipino cinema, 1897-2020 is part of Filipino arte series. The art books in the series aim to uplift the artistic history and culture of the Philippines and bring art to the general public. Other titles in the series include Fabian de la Rosa and His Times, The Life and Art of Botong Francisco, The Life and Art of David Medalla, The Life and Art of Francisco Coching, The Life and Art of Lee Aguinaldo, The Life and Times of Purita Kalaw-Ledesma, and The life, art and times of Damian Domingo; Fifty Shades of Filipino Art: Damián Domingo; Fifty Shades of Filipino Art: Francisco V. Coching; Fifty Shades of Filipino Art: Isabelo Tampinco; Fifty Shades of Filipino Art: Filipino Cinematic Art; Fifty Shades of Filipino Art: Toti Cerda; Fifty Shades of Filipino Art: Window Art, Exhibition and Design; Fifty Shades of Filipino Art: Nono: 19th Century Angono Masters; and Fifty Shades of Filipino Art: Lee Aguinaldo.