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Kawts Kamote will be no more

You are now here and not in that dark-themed Kawts Kamote blog.

I’ve been trying for a long time to switch to WordPress. Fucking blogger templates are not hipster-friendly and they eat a lot of bandwidth. I only had the time and the “wit” (yikes) to think of a blog name.

So this is now “Missing Codec” which, as you may now, a common error for those who were starting to use PCs to run media (films, music, whatever) files they have downloaded over the internet or for those who are editing videos using old versions of Video Editor for PCs. Recently, these thought of errors by missing supporting files have been attractive to me as much as it irritates me back then, goes to show how much further does the science of computing need to go to attain the Ultimate Stand-Alone program to be released. But, as you may have realized now, stand-alone programs are for the lazy, codec packs are still the way to go, and they are fucking open-source, so, better.

The title, I think, also is going to be the central idea that would unite all of those which I’ve written before and what I would write in the future. I’ll be transferring some posts (especially recent ones) from Kawts Kamote, (which, by the time of this post, is going to be disabled and unpublished) with supplemental editing and commentaries for some.

This will be the new domain, and I thank you for visiting my new mistake.

Lovers in Dystopia

Notes on Nestor Abrogena’s Ang Kwento Nating Dalawa


“The unique thing about Empire is that it has expanded its colonization over the whole of existence and over all that exists. It is not only that Capital has enlarged its human base, but it has also deepened the moorings of its jurisdiction. Better still, on the basis of a final disintegration of society and its subjects, Empire now intends to recreate an ethical fabric, of which the hipsters, with their modular neighborhoods, their modular media, codes, food, and ideas, are both the guinea pigs and the avant-garde.”
Tiqqun, This Is Not a Program

During the past days, commenting on filmmakers (and even critics) who comment negatively on the theoretical practice of film analysis, I mentioned through one of my social media accounts manners of which they perceive how film must be appreciated. They only but affirm Edel Garcellano’s comment on film industry’s cohorts who deem cinema as “an enterprise which needs all the compassion it must have – a baby that must be protected even from the harsh light of the sun” and thus wary of any criticism that uses other lenses than the formal knowledge of the medium. Nestor Abrogena’s Ang Kwento Nating Dalawa is a product of this cinema culture. In this film, we are faced with a seemingly new kind of cinema: a cinema with no theory and history. No theory in the sense that the frames the film conjure tries to resist any more symbolization than it already has: a posture of realism as Real. No history in the way it treats history as its object of nostalgia and nothing more. It begs to be taken as it is. While this isn’t exclusively the genesis of such practice in filmmaking, it is otherwise a candidate as its posterboy. Continue reading “Lovers in Dystopia”

History Lessons

on Jerrold Tarog’s Heneral Luna


It was one of the perks, I guess, of using an outdated text book back when I was in fifth grade primary school to still read bits and traces of the nationalist-democratic movement’s thought in the popular mindset back then. It was in the discussion of post-colonial to fifties Philippine history back then that I get to learn terms such as “globalization” and “neocolonialism”, the conditions by which the IMF and the World Bank was founded, and how the Philippines became indebted to it. Which is why it comes as a surprise to me that most college students I get to talk to recently does not have an idea what these terms are or these establishments are for, or, if I get to find by luck, a certain student know only bits of it too: just the definition or only being left to the informational level (in Barthes’ terms) of the word’s meaning. Continue reading “History Lessons”

Notes on Godzilla Resurgence and Love & Peace


Godzilla Resurgence (left); Love & Peace (right)

Two sides of the same sentiment, but of different political position. Both has something to do with United States’ Nuclear Terror attack back in 1945. Both uses the Kaiju as a metaphor to the Nuclear bomb.

First, Hideaki Anno’s and Shinji Higuchi’s Godzilla Resurgence (2016) as outright rightist, friendly to imperialist US but with critical distance. (Wrote a 600+ word review on this, will probably appear somewhere soon, if not, I’ll just post it here.)

Second, Sion Sono’s Love and Peace, mostly anti-government critique of the use of languages of development, love and peace to censor the nuclear threat and history. Such a way that its critique also goes to neo-liberal politics and literature.

What they both may have missed is that, they both aligned with the government’s and Japanese mainstream historian’s effort to censor Japan’s war crimes from the Sino-Japanese war (Nanjing Massacre) to the World War II (Comfort Women issue), in exchange of their victim stance due to Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

My guess, since I only have the privilege of guessing and not actually witnessing, is that their text books must have soften the narration of the nuclear attack perpetrated to them by the end of World War II, hence the production of literature such as these two not to forget that the attacks were an atrocity; terrorism.

I don’t know if Sono’s trying to address all the Japanese war issues one by one (both the nuclear attacks and the Japanese war crimes), whenever I think about the Comfort Women issue, images from the last part of Tag (2015) appears in my mind. This might be a possible reading, but might be negated otherwise, I can re-watch the film to validate, if I find the time.

Symphony of Development and the Ideology of Speed

on Walter Ruttman’s Berlin: Die Sinfonie der Großstadt and Railways

Walter Ruttman - Berlin, Symphony of a Great City (1927).avi_snapshot_00.08.17_[2016.09.03_16.12.23]

[For Film 220]

Railways, for the last century, has been the metaphor for development and progress. It could be said that a certain country’s richness could be grasped by the state of its railways. It’s very much fitting for Walter Ruttman to open his film, Berlin: Die Sinfonie der Großstadt, with shots from and of rail tracks and train cars, it introduces Berlin as a place of promise and development. Trains also feature an uninterruptible quality (but only until the next stop), which has reduced travel time for different sectors of society, allowing fast market exchange, in consequence, fast market growth. Economies depended a lot on this very idea of growth through speed – so much that speed became an end-all, be-all—and there’s a constant need for things to move faster.

Continue reading “Symphony of Development and the Ideology of Speed”

The Filmmaker as a Scholar

Man with a Movie Camera and the Proletariat


[For Film 220]

Even with the title card, Vertov and his Kino-Eye collective have been very clear about it: Man with a Movie Camera is a proclamation of victory of their movement’s program of “cleansing [the] kinochestvo[1] of foreign matter – of music, literature, and theater…”(We: Variant of a Manifesto) and to establish a “visual (kino-eye) and auditory (radio-ear) class bond between the proletariats of all nations and lands on a platform of the communist decoding of world relations (Kino-Eye).” Other than an experimentation of form, more than what the disclaimer title cards would state,[2] Man with a Movie Camera is an experiment of socialist praxis in cinematic language after Eisenstein’s montage dialectics – to finally realize in cinema what does it mean to be a proletariat.

Continue reading “The Filmmaker as a Scholar”

Notes on Lino Brocka’s essay 2

“The “upliftment of the motion Picture industry” should not, can never be, a package deal; it is, instead, a protracted struggle. One should work perseveringly with the material at hand, should be aware of but not stunted by our cinematic tradition, and should place one’s trust in the Filipino mass audience.”

-Lino Brocka (Philippine Movies: Some Problems and Prospects)

Here, Brocka actually suggested for filmmakers to apply a dialectical materialist method on developing films which, in effect, would have developed a great cinema culture. But it never happened because, you, filmmakers, are busy problematizing how to convey “your own voices” into your film.

This scene is tiring.