Rethinking Cinemas of Asia: Preliminary Thoughts

Rolando Tolentino

[Author note: This essay was presented for Nick Deocampo’s Seminar on the Origins of Cinema in Asia held in Manila, Philippines this past July, including the latter section, originally presented in a conference in South Korea. Deocampo asked me to present a short paper to introduce a panel in July 2005, incorporating issues of – hold your breath – colonialism, nationalism, transnationalism and globalism in the analysis of Asian cinemas. What is presented here are preliminary thoughts on the matter, including the section from a paper on the Hollywoodization of Asian cinema which I feel is also relevant.]

Let me make some broad strokes for the understanding of the cinemas of the Asian region. But like any broad strokes, this outline may not altogether cover all the surface and depth of the cinemas of the region. This is just by way of introducing some issues of the cinemas of the…

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