Tagalog Cinema and Tamil Cinema:Some Similarities
Among the lesser known cinemas of SE Asia, Tagalog cinema of Philippines provides striking similarities with Tamil cinema and other Indian cinemas. Making use of a conference trip to Manila last month, I did some field work (on shooting locations and directors’ abodes) to come to terms with my notions of similarities between the essential conditions of subaltern cinemas in different geographical and cultural locations of SE and S Asia.
One of the essential conditions in which subaltern cinemas of Asia find themselves concern the institution of film censorship. The other essential conditions are defined by factors such as star system, piracy, crossmedia competition, steady erosion of theatre going film audience and the haunting possibility that cinema as we know it will be a thing of the past in the not distant future.
I had a lively session with one of the doyens of Philippines cinema, Mr Maryo J. de los Reyes, during my visit and also spendÂ hoursÂ watching him and his crew at work on hisÂ yet to be named current project with Star Cinema.Â For a taste of what is doing rounds about the film, visit http://www.pinoyexchange.com/forums/showthread.php?t=273587&page=3
Maryo’s last film Magnifico (2003) won him laurels at home and abroad. In particular, the awards it won at the Berlin film festival are seen as proof that Tagalog cinema can be counted for its contribution to world cinema.
I will write more on the similarities between Tamil cinema and Tagalog cinema in the days to come.