A Lecture by Celine Shimizu at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History

Friday, February 28, 2020 - 12:00
Celine Shimizu

The Asian Pacific American History Initiative at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History presents a lecture by filmmaker and scholar Celine Parreñas Shimizu, “Making the Compassionate Spectator: Annihilation and Affliction in the Films of Brillante Mendoza.”

Brillante Mendoza’s films immerse us in a hyper-real aesthetic of squalor with Filipinos who won’t stop trying to survive. Shimizu is concerned with formulating an ethical response to cinematic encounters across inequalities of authorship and spectatorship. When 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 Shimizu calls the compassionate spectator.

An award-winning film scholar and filmmaker, Celine Parreñas Shimizu is Full Professor and Director of the School of Cinema at San Francisco State University. Her work focuses on race and sexuality at the site of representation in global popular culture. In addition to her five books, she publishes widely in top journals such as Concentric, Frontiers: Journal of Women’s Studies, Journal of Asian American Studies, Journal of Cinema and Media Studies, positions, Quarterly Review of Film and Video, Signs, Sexualities, Theater Journal, Wide Angle and Yale Journal of Law and Feminism. Currently, she is Associate Editor of GLQ and has reviewed grants and fellowships for the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Ford Foundation. She serves on film juries and has produced and directed two feature films and several shorts. 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). For more, go to www.celineshimizu.com.