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Torralba, J.D.H. (2016). A Composition on Modernist Themes in Visual Art and in the Dramas of Elwood Perez on Balintataw (1967-1972). Unpublished undergraduate thesis. University of the Philippines Diliman College of Mass Communication.

The history of the visual arts has long anticipated and ultimately led to the development of audio-visual media, such as television. Television must therefore itself be seen as an art form, one by which messages of social and political relevance may be effectively communicated, and one which makes use of both its visual form and narrative content in this communication.

This study is an interdisciplinary reading of dramas aired on the Philippine television drama anthology Balintataw (1967-1972), written and directed by Elwood Perez. Twelve such dramas’ television scripts, or teleplays, were located through document and archival research in the Filipiniana Special Collections section of the University of the Philippines Main Library. Additional broadcast information about these dramas, where unavailable or incorrect, were supplemented by Elwood Perez himself.

In my content analysis of ten teleplays selected from among the twelve, I discovered elements of modern visual art in particular movements as important components of the dramas’ storytelling process, both in their visual form and narrative content. Furthermore, I discovered strong congruencies between the dramas’ visual and narrative elements, similar to modern visual art movements such as Futurism, Cubism, and Symbolism. I thus concluded that these congruencies enhance the communicative potency of the dramas, and reflect the deeply rooted relationship between television and the visual arts.

I have ended this study with the proposal of a movement which will guide the production of Philippine television dramas not only as media texts, but as audio-visual works of art that embrace both aesthetic eloquence and social relevance within the context of our socio-political milieu in contemporary times. I have also proposed that endeavors be made towards the refinement of archiving artistic, cultural, and media artifacts in the Philippines.

KEYWORDS: Philippines, Balintataw, Elwood Perez, television, drama, script, art, visual, modern, modernism, history, poststructuralism

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