Warning: contains text-heavy uploads as well as occasional analytic discourse, adult content, polysyllabic words, and dry humor. Click here to go to the latest listings. For easier reading on a mobile device, click here.

Ámauteurish! is the open-access repository of the collected work of and/or by Joel David, set up and maintained as a single-source personal archival website. It includes out-of-print publications and links to still-available articles, with occasional relevant public-domain material. For a comprehensive list of posts uploaded since 2014 up to the preceding year (though July to December 2022 still appears below), also in reverse chronological order, please click here. In case the top-page menu is inaccessible, here are the sections and their features:

Abouts – provides extensive descriptions of the rationale as well as of the author;
Books – contains my out-of-print books and links to published books, as well as edited volumes, chapters in anthologies, and papers in proceedings;
Articles – a landing page that leads to listings of all materials published in journals and all other types of periodicals;
Reviews – contains my commentaries on films as well as occasional books and plays, arranged according to title of production (Auteurs & Authors reorders this same list according to each work’s creator);
Remarks – contains my articles and statements published since 2016, opening with “Mega-Meta: A FilmCrit Folio”;
Extras – would be mostly my non-written output, plus selected ephemera and juvenilia, opening with a “Special Folio on Manila by Night (1980)”; and
Queries – provides a means by which I can be reached, as well as answers to some questions asked here and in other venues.
Not included in the menu but a compilation of several sections above would be this Chronologically Arranged Listing of Publications, with its own accompanying Empiricals page.

First-time readers: This current section serves as the home (or front) page of the blog. Buttons for sharing on Facebook or Twitter, or by email, will appear at the bottom of each page of the browser version, along with copyright and other essential notices. In general, when an entry’s permanent listing in this blog is unspecified, it will be found in its appropriate subcategory in the Extras section.

Researchers: Endnote numbers provide same-page two-way jumps – from any endnote number in the body text to the endnote itself, and from the latter’s numerical indicator back to the endnote’s position in the body text. As a demonstration, kindly click on the endnote number at the end of this paragraph.[1]

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March 2023

March 20 – The latest journal section I edited, for Kritika Kultura’s 40th issue, has been uploaded. Starting at page 272, it’s titled Genders and Sexualities in Asian Cinema, and includes an entry I wrote, “From Hostesses to Working Girls: Sex Workers in Late 1970s Philippine Cinema,” on pages 276-310. (Note to readers: the journal now requires registration for those who wish to access its articles; it’s the standard process of providing an email address and awaiting confirmation.) An excerpt from my intro: “Awkward as it may be to start on a defensive tone, I must clarify that the [call for papers] yielded a great handful of responses; but the inordinate lead time of over two years, the longest I ever had among the journal issues I handled, probably resulted in contributory fatigue, loss of interest, and (definitely in a number of cases) decisions to publish elsewhere.”

February 2023

February 14 – A sample of a can’t-win predicament: while my revision of Pinas political film history was mostly a solo effort that took years of mulling, re-watching, and consulting with selected experts, my selections for the trickier “category e” titles of Cahiers du Cinéma’s “Cinema/Ideology/Criticism” editorial derived from more intensive interactions and sometimes outright recommendations. (I imagine most of our historical notions evolve in the same way.) So in response to a few gentle snides that I couldn’t have been that attentive to the entirety of Philippine film complexities, I appended (to the Appendix) a Note on Sources. After which a colleague teased that I should have just written up a report of my friends’ film preferences. Happy Valentine’s Day anyways.

February 9 – Policing activity of any kind is anathema to my constitution, as anyone who knows me will confirm. But colleagues and mentees insist on asking me to intervene when the matter involves Pinas film criticism. Their latest gripe concerns anonymous film reviewers on the social network. Months after considering the situation, and telling organized friends that this should in fact be their call, I drafted a short piece and posted it: “Anonymity & Its Discontents.” Not a battle I’m determined to win, for reasons I spelled out in the article, but the situation does incite some annoyance on my end. I only managed to start writing after I was able to figure out why.

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December 2022

December 16 – Why does December seem to induce these reflective turns of thought? The latest entry in my Queries page (indexed as “Gatekeeping”):

* I remember sending you the question on gatekeeping that appears at the end of this section, way before the other queriers. You gave me what you described as a tentative answer. Do you intend to answer the question, once and for all? Or are you hesitating because of the new controversy you stirred up with your former colleagues in the Philippines? (Which, BTW, I found highly instructive but scary in its rigor – I don’t know if they’ll ever be able to respond to it, roundtable or no roundtable.)

Thanks for the appreciative remark (in re “From Cloud to Resistance”). I do feel worried, not because of any retaliation they might (again) undertake, but rather because their inaction might be indicative of the larger public response. So far, most of the people whose feedback I value have signalled their bemusement, if not outright support. Then again that could also mean that I’m just preaching to the already-converted. I get how blog posts tend to produce an impact nowadays that’s slower and milder than they used to. I get some consolation in observing how publications exclusively featured in Ámauteurish! are starting to show up in the bibliographies of articles in major journals and even in top-university dissertations. I’d prefer though to have such rarefied appreciation shared by the Philippine public while I’m still around to observe how it affects their thinking processes, for better or worse. The fact that entrenched authorities have seen fit to denounce and even censor me convinces me that my recommendations are unacceptable to these soon-to-be-irrelevant mandarins.

11011What I look forward to is a culture where younger critics critique what I write in order to move further onward, instead of spinning back to established ideas and processes (as a few of them actually declared: rather than take a close look at the ideas I spout, they simplistically presume that because I collide with self-identified progressive personalities, then I must be anti-progressive myself). For this reason, I don’t think I’ll be able to answer your query about whether I intend to “gatekeep” Pinas film criticism. I might seem to have that effect right now, but….

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October 2022

October 16 – Nearly entirely forgot to post the results of the deliberations of the council of evaluators (of which I was chair) for the first Shout Out Film Festival of Pelikulove. I uploaded the list of citations and appended the description of the process that I read during the recognition ceremony, held online last September 24.

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September 2022

September 13 – I will continue correcting and refining “From Cloud to Resistance,” my contribution to political discourse in Pinas cinema, but with the completion of a stand-alone appendix, I have to begin letting go. So the multi-part article’s months-long drafting stage is over, and bato-bato sa langit, as old wits used to say, roughly translatable as “a pigeon in flight (craps where it will, or must).” Herewith are the uploads, in one convenient collection: Part 1, “The Problem of Our Critical Approaches”; Part 2, “Toward a More Responsive Critical Practice”; and Appendix, “‘Category E’ Samples.”

September 7 – “The Problem of Our Critical Approaches,” the incomplete article I posted earlier (see August 30 entry below), is now the section title of the first part of “From Cloud to Resistance.” The second (concluding) part has also been uploaded, titled “Toward a More Responsive Critical Practice.” These will continue to be revised until their titles’ “draft” indicator has been deleted.

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August 2022

August 30 – “The Problem of Our Critical Approaches” is not just a draft but also the first of two parts, of an attempt to respond to the recent politicization of film discourse in the country. It will continue to be revised, notated, and expanded; even the title is just a placeholder, an unsatisfying one at that.

August 22 – “The Performances of Nora Aunor et al.” has now become the most extensive feature in Ámauteurish! For this reason, the entries have been organized according to films that feature Nora Aunor, non-films (including TV series or episodes as well as concert excerpts) that also feature Aunor, and films that feature performers other than Aunor. Years of release have also been added, to help casual browsers decide what to read. The opening sentence provides a link to the first category in the newly revised directory.

August 9 – “Artist in a Hurry” is the obituary I wrote on Cherie Gil, first published in The FilAm. Gone too soon, never to be forgotten.

August 7 – A swift tribute in The FilAm to the late film and theater maven, Cherie Gil, who succumbed to cancer last August 5.

August 6 – “A Formative Sojourn” is a personal account of insights I picked up on film criticism, based on my experience with the local awards-obsessed critics’ circle.

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July 2022

July 28 – My latest peer-reviewed journal article is out. It’s titled “This Genre Which Is Not One,” and it’s in a special (centennial) issue of UNITAS: Semi-Annual Peer-Reviewed International Online Journal of Advanced Research in Literature, Culture, and Society. Best part, with more to come, is that the journal now has digital object identifiers, so my contribution has DOI:10.31944/2022950211.

July 15 – The previously mentioned guest feature by Jojo Devera is now titled “The Performances of Nora Aunor et al.” and includes reviews of performances in films made by Aunor’s fellow National Artists for Film, namely director Marilou Diaz-Abaya and scriptwriter Ricky Lee; initial entries are movies that include Vilma Santos (in Baby Tsina, 1984) and Lorna Tolentino and Jaclyn Jose (in May Nagmamahal sa Iyo, 1996).

July 9 – Running for a week now, “The Performances of Nora Aunor,” a special feature by guest critic-archivist Jojo Devera, has 16 entries and counting. Drawn from the author’s Facebook posts, it includes (so far) a TV movie, a live concert, and song performances, posted with video excerpts. The link is now the first entry in the Ámauteurish! sidebar.

Sample Endnote

[1] Endnotes will be located at the end of an article’s body text, before any list of works cited. To return to the position of the endnote indicator in the body text, please click on the number immediately preceding this note.

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