Dr. Jose B. Capino
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.
- 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