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, 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.
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.
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 Part 3, Appendix.
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.
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.
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.
June 26 – “A Season of Comebacks” is an opinion piece on issues pertaining to the current batch of National Artists.
June 11 – The latest recipients of the Order of the National Artist have been announced. Since the start of Ámauteurish!, I’d written on two of them – Nora Aunor after an earlier President rejected her nomination, and Marilou Diaz-Abaya after she died. For a third winner, Ricky Lee, I submitted a letter addressed to the ONA Secretariat, which I uploaded some time afterward but embargoed while the process was ongoing. It generated positive responses from the few people who’d read it, and since it has now officially become part of the public record, I’m making it available right here.
June 3 – “What Lies Above” is a mini-commentary that ought to concern folks who observe the state of film criticism in the country.
May 27 – “The Studio System’s Final Movie Queen” is my short tribute to Susan Roces (1941-2022). It was originally printed in The FilAm.
May 24 – A too-short recollection I wrote of the last First Golden Age movie star, Susan Roces, who passed away last May 20. It was printed in The FilAm and is titled “Jesusa Sonora Is Gone; Long Live Susan Roces.”
May 20 – In response to friends who’ve remarked that some titles I announced as forthcoming in the Books section have still not come out: some of these have their own publication dates already indicated, so it’s all a matter of waiting. The rest were affected by the now-subsiding global pandemic, since no one really looks forward to delays in anything, right? In any case, whenever possible, I uploaded some of my own articles. When you find a title that contains a link, just click on it to be able to open my contribution. These links will remain for as long as the volumes stay unpublished, and will be either embargoed or modified, depending on the arrangements I can work out, once the books come out.
May 6 – My first book, still a long way from the nearly $1,000 that Fields of Vision once posted a few years ago, also at Amazon. But the lesson still holds: why shell out precious funds for a pre-owned, pre-corrected, and pre-updated volume when the digital edition’s available on this site, free as any number of world-class plunderers? (Books will be at the Books section. I don’t know till when, but I hope to be around for a while so I can make sure they’ll remain available.)
May 2 – Took out three awkwardly classified entries in my Books listing and provided a new subsection for them, titled Forewords and Introductions.
April 27 – A series of testimonials regarding the short film criticism workshop I conducted was posted on the Facebook page of the sponsor, Pelikulove. I wish I could be narcissistic enough to reproduce the statements here, but you’ll have to content yourself (for now) with logging into your account and following this here link.
March 22 – In order to cover local multicharacter film texts in detail, I brought with me copies of the published scripts of Ishmael Bernal’s Manila by Night and Marilou Diaz-Abaya’s Moral. I also had a transcription of Bernal’s Aliw, completed earlier, and transcribed a VHS copy (purchased from LVN Pictures) of Gregorio Fernandez’s Malvarosa prior to working on my dissertation. I lost the Aliw text, but recently discovered a printout I made of the Malvarosa transcription. So I scanned the material that I had originally written and saved and whose digital copy I’d lost, and uploaded it just now; it will be listed in the FWIW section of Extras.
chart of Filipino film releases from the beginning up to that point in the study, and extended it when I uploaded it in 2016. Then I realized I needed to consider the film-viewing experience from the perspective of the audience, so I requested a research team comprising former students (headed by Melanie Joy C. Garduño) to count the number of foreign releases per month during the martial-law years of Ferdinand E. Marcos. When I got the figures, I realized that the exercise would not have much productive application beyond the usual quantitative accounting, so I set aside the data.I’d also prepared a
Recently I came across the tally sheets again, scanned and processed the material, and decided to upload the resulting chart anyway FWIW (which is why it will be listed in the same section described in the preceding paragraph). It’s frankly fascinating to see the great discrepancy between foreign releases and local productions, especially at the beginning of the era. To save you the trouble of looking for it, I’m posting it right here, where you can click on it for a bigger and more complete image:
March 10 – I uploaded “The Political Is Personal,” my review of Sheila Coronel’s “Marcos and Memory: The Past in Our Future,” which was this year’s Adrian E. Cristobal Lecture of the Writers Union of the Philippines. This will be listed in the Remarks section.
March 6 – My latest review (such as it is) for The FilAm is on this year’s much talked-about Adrian E. Cristobal Lecture, sponsored by the Writers Union of the Philippines. It’s by Sheila Coronel, a former colleague during my campus journalism days, and titled “Marcos and Memory: The Past in Our Future.” I hope to be able to step away every so often from the subject of a long-deposed dictator but his family’s been determined to take over Pinas once more. We’ll see how this spins out after the presidential elections in May.
March 4 – Writing Pinas Film Commentary is the title of a now-forthcoming month-long online course for which I wrote a short, eponymously titled manual. The landing page is still on Ámauteurish!, but the entire text (in PDF format) can only be accessed at Pelikulove, which is sponsoring the activity.
February 22 – Reprint of a reprint: my review of Subversive Lives, the family memoir edited by Nathan Quimpo and the late Susan Quimpo, came out in the January 2022 issue of The FilAm: Newsmagazine Serving Filipino Americans in New York. Titled “The Marcos Dictatorship and the Irreparable Damage to a Family, the Filipino Experience,” it was an abridged version of my original submission to The FilAm’s online edition and was first reprinted in the print edition’s August 2020 issue. I’m assuming that this current round is intended to shore up all available arguments against the Marcos family’s attempt to recapture the seat of power in the Philippines.
For a spell I had this strange notion that the majority of Filipinos, who were excluded from the so-called revolution that toppled the Marcos regime in February 1986, only want to be able to do it their way. I’ll continue to maintain my distance – literally too, stranded as I am in my overseas workplace – from political exercises, in order to maximize my amusement (thank you, Donald Trump & family, for the long-running global clown show! – now watch how a pro like Imelda manages to get away with illegally amassed billions). I’ll also still be entertaining these intensive speculations of how the Philippine political dispositif resolves its manifold contradictions within and outside the hallways of power.
February 21 – A recent addition to the List of Textual Problematics regarding my book Manila by Night: A Queer Film Classic (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2017), on the second sentence of page 69 (described in the post as Lino Brocka’s last-minute rejection of the commerce-vs.-artistry binary):
My primary source for this still-to-be-standardized insight has been Ricky Lee, who kept me updated during the making of Gumapang Ka sa Lusak [Dirty Affair] (1990), the project he was working on with Lino Brocka. Lee mentioned how delighted Brocka was that he could accept an outright commercial assignment yet imbue it with political relevance. This occurred at a felicitous intersection in Brocka’s career, where he had accumulated enough skills in a wide variety of popular genres during the precise historical moment when demonizing elected officials became extremely profitable box-office material. Lee devised a postmodern narrative that blended elements of the dance musical, suspense, melodrama, action, comedy, and soft-core porn to which Brocka once devoted specific projects in the past, within a brazenly reflexive premise. Brocka rose to the challenge while making sure to enjoy himself in the process, and was rewarded with not just what may have been his strongest box-office hit, but also a recognizable mass following: when he died in an accident the year after, the folk-hero dimension of his wake and funeral march would have been the envy of popular movie stars….
February 3 – Will responding to an HTML query enable you to claim techie status? I did provide an answer, although (story of my life) it only raises other issues.
February 1 – Welcoming the Year of the Tiger by easing the efforts of researchers: I went over my journal articles (categorized as peer-reviewed studies, review articles, or non-peer-reviewed items) and decided to upload PDF transcriptions of those whose journals required the user to register. When you see any affected entry, it will be followed by the instruction “Click here to download a PDF transcription,” with the link provided within. This also became an opportunity for me to update or correct any problems I came across in the articles themselves.
Plus an advanced Valentine’s treat for all those Noypi film-history nerds who I’m sure already know where to sniff it out.
January 19 – A researcher asked me whether a well-known movie writer was once a member of the Filipino Film Critics Circle. I knew for a fact that he wasn’t, but I could not point to any existing comprehensive listing of the group’s past members. I looked up my Urian Anthology collections and included a note in my article on the group’s Wikipedia entry where I could provide a list of members since the 1970s.
January 16 – Not my idea of starting the year right, but then the pandemic already made clear that responsiveness is sometimes all that we can allow of ourselves, and that social media will constantly find ways of intruding no matter how far you flee. Then again, I do have more than a passing interest in the sociology of rumor. Melodramatic excerpts from the latest Q&A exchange: “I didn’t want to believe what I heard. Please tell me it isn’t true.” “I’ll be first to acknowledge that I occasionally commit errors, though not in this case.”
 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.