Brillante Mendoza’s films immerse us in a hyper-real aesthetic of squalor with Filipinos who won’t stop trying to survive. I am concerned with formulating an ethical response to cinematic encounters across inequalities of authorship and spectatorship. When Brillante Mendoza refuses to give pleasure to the viewer, he forces us to question the basis of our identification with his images. Instead, the viewer must undergo self-destruction and trauma in a new form of watching and listening. The ultimate goal of his method is to create the dynamics of proximity, distance and annihilation necessary to constructing what I call the compassionate spectator.
An award-winning film scholar and filmmaker, Celine Parreñas Shimizu is Full Professor of Cinema at San Francisco State University. Her books are The Feminist Porn Book (2013), Strait- jacket Sexualities (2012) and The Hypersexuality of Race (2007). Distributed by Progressive Films and Third World Newsreel, her films include the feature documentary Birthright: Mothering Across Difference (2009) and the experimental shorts The Fact of Asian Women (2004), Super Flip (1997), Her Uprooting Plants Her (1995) and Mahal Means Love and Expensive (1993). She publishes widely in top journals such as Concen- tric, Frontiers: Journal of Women’s Studies, Journal of Asian American Studies, Journal of Cinema and Media Studies, posi- tions, Quarterly Review of Film and Video, Signs, Sexualities, Theater Journal, Wide Angle and Yale Journal of Law and Feminism. Currently, she edits for Oxford Bibliographies Online and Brill and reviews grants and fellowships for the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Ford Foundation. She received her Ph.D. in Modern Thought and Literature from Stanford University (2001), her M.F.A. in Production and Directing from UCLA School of Theatre, Film and Television (1996), and her B.A. in Ethnic Studies from U.C. Berkeley (1992). She is currently working on the book The Proximity of Other Skins: Screening Transnational Sexualities and the film Maria Clara. For more, go to www.celineshimizu.com
Part of the Gender, Sexuality and Global Capitalism Project of the CSGS.