Images That Sweat: On the Spectacular Realism of Lino Brocka’s Macho Dancer

Ramos Martinez, Manuel. 2022. Images That Sweat: On the Spectacular Realism of Lino Brocka’s Macho Dancer. Third Text, 36(5), pp. 497-512. ISSN 0952-8822 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This article revisits the cinema of the late Filipino filmmaker Lino Brocka in order to erode the distinction between realism and spectacle at play, still today, in many discussions about the political capacities of the moving image. The work of Brocka is understood here as both realist and escapist, in agreement with the work of other key non-Western filmmakers that work with anti-colonial and Hollywoodian codes. The author focuses the analysis on the expressive amalgamation employed by Brocka in Macho Dancer (1988) and argues that this film develops a poetics of sweat and liquidity opening up the spectatorial experience to unexpected intensities; intensities that invite us to think and feel more and to think and feel differently.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


Lino Brocka, Macho Dancer, Ferdinand Marcos, realism, sweat, Hollywood, anti-colonial cinema, queer cinema, cinema from the Philippines

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Visual Cultures


1 October 2022Accepted
18 October 2022Published Online

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

31 Oct 2022 12:35

Last Modified:

08 Dec 2022 16:56

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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