Dr. Jose B. Capino

Associate Professor

Additional Campus Affiliations

Biography

José B. Capino is a scholar of Philippine Cinema and of American Documentary and Independent Cinemas.  His primary areas of interest are in film historiography, colonial and postcolonial visuality, melodrama, and sexuality in cinema. His work is informed by rigorous multi-archival research and engages both cultural theory and critical perspectives in cinema studies.

His first book, “Dream Factories of A Former Colony: American Fantasies, Philippine Cinema” (Minnesota, 2010) studies the critique of U.S. imperialism and the constitution of a postcolonial cinema in Filipino movies from the 1940s to the mid-2000s. The book won the prestigious cultural studies book prize from the Association of Asian American Studies in 2011.

Professor Capino is currently finishing two major research projects. “Martial LawMelodrama: Lino Brocka’s Cinema Politics and the Marcos Dictatorship” studiesthe figuration of politics in the genre films of the pathbreaking Filipino director. The book draws from numerous primary sources and archival material to offer a textured account of Brocka’s work. Inspired by the writings of philosophers, critical theorists, and film scholars, the book intervenes in broader discussions of how popular cinema registers and responds to political events. “Documentary and American Empire: Nonfiction Cinema in Colonial and Decolonial Philippines” examines the changing ways in which U.S. empire has been conjured in nonfiction films and videos about its only former colony. This study of colonial and postcolonial visuality considers a wide range of films, from late 19th century reenactments of the Philippine-American War to 21st century television documentaries about Filipino émigré teachers in Baltimore.  The product of more than 20 years of research at archives all over the U.S. and in the Philippines, this book is based on “Cinema and the Spectacle of Colonialism,” grand prize winner of the 2003 Dissertation Award from the Society of Cinema and Media Studies.

Capino is the author of various essays on sexuality in the cinema, American independent film, the documentary, animation, Philippine cinema, and Philippine theater. He wrote the teleplay of a landmark documentary on the Philippine National Hero José P. Rizal and has translated both classic and contemporary world drama for the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

Research Interests

  • Film/Visual Culture, Documentary Cinema, Postcolonial Criticism, Gender/Sexuality Studies, Asian American Studies, Philippine Studies

Distinctions / Awards

  • Winner of the 2012 Book Award in Cultural Studies from the Association for Asian American Studies
  • Fulbright Research Fellowship, January-May 2016
  • Fulbright-Hays Fellowship, 1996-1999

Selected Publications

Book Contributions

Photo of publication
Figures of Empire: American Documentaries in the Philippines The Colonial Documentary Film in South and South-East Asia Figures of Empire: American Documentaries in the Philippines Edinburgh Edinburgh University Press 2016, p. 79-104.
Domestic Helper Figures of Southeast Asian Modernity edited by Joshua Barker, edited by Erik Harris, edited by Johan Lindquist. Domestic Helper Edited by Joshua Barker, Edited by Erik Harris, Edited by Johan Lindquist, Honolulu University of Hawai'i Press 2014, p. 23-25.
Cinema and the Usable Past American Cinema of the 1990s edited by Chris Holmlund. Cinema and the Usable Past Edited by Chris Holmlund, New Brunswick Rutgers University Press 2008, p. 180-202.
Asian College Girls and Oriental Men with Bamboo Poles: Reading Asian Pornography Pornography and Culture edited by Peter Lehman. Asian College Girls and Oriental Men with Bamboo Poles: Reading Asian Pornography Edited by Peter Lehman, New Brunswick Rutgers University Press 2006, p. 206-219.
Philippines: Cinema and its Hybridity (or You’re Nothing but a Second-Rate, Trying Hard Copycat) Contemporary Asian Cinema: Popular Culture in a Global Frame edited by Anne Ciecko. Philippines: Cinema and its Hybridity (or You’re Nothing but a Second-Rate, Trying Hard Copycat) Edited by Anne Ciecko, Oxford Berg 2006, p. 32-44.
Wakefield Poole, Independent Cinema & The American Avant-Garde Contemporary American Independent Cinema from the Margins to the Mainstream edited by Chris Holmlund, edited by Justin Wyatt. Wakefield Poole, Independent Cinema & The American Avant-Garde Edited by Chris Holmlund, Edited by Justin Wyatt, New York Routledge 2004, p. 155-173.
Soothsayers, Politicians, Lesbian Scribes: The Philippine Movie Talk Show Planet TV: A Global Television Studies Reader edited by Lisa Parks, edited by Shanti Kumar. Soothsayers, Politicians, Lesbian Scribes: The Philippine Movie Talk Show Edited by Lisa Parks, Edited by Shanti Kumar, New York New York University Press 2002, p. 262-274.

Encyclopedia Entries

Manila: in the Claws of Neon/Maynila: Sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag Routledge Encyclopedia of Films Abingdon, OX Routledge 2014.

Books

Photo of publication
Dream Factories of a Former Colony: American Fantasies, Philippine Cinema Minneapolis and London University of Minnesota Press 2010.

Journal Articles

Seizing Moving Image Pornography Cinema Journal 46 4 2007, p. 121-126.
The Damned: Lino Brocka’s Infernal Melodrama, 'Insiang' Film Comment 42 5 2006, p. 12-14.
Homologies of Text, Space and Spectatorship in All-Male Adult Theaters Cinema Journal 45 1 2005, p. 50-65.
Learning from Darna, Dyesebel, Barbi, and Vampira: Notes on the Hybridity of Philippine National Cinema Ideya 7 1 2005, p. 45-58.
Filthy Funnies: Notes on the Body in Animated Pornography Animation Journal 12 2004, p. 53-72.
Prosthetic Hysteria: Staging the Cold War in Filipino/American Docudrama Plaridel: A Journal of Philippine Communication, Media and Society 1 1 2004, p. 1-14.

Essays

Lino Brocka Exhibition catalogue of the 23rd Torino International Film Festival Torino Museo Nazionale Del Cinema 2006, p. 206-211.