Saturday, January 31

Because I am not Mandy Moore

No matter how much I try or how much earplay her Coverage album may get. This is the nugget of wisdom I got from another blogger's entry:
Another thing I hate is being asked, "can we be friends?" Pucha, do you ever ask someone's permission if you two can be buddies? You just become friends, I don't think you have to agree on that! Gad, I don't think even think you still ask your boyfriend/girlfriend if you can be a couple. It just happens.
If you have to ask for it, then it becomes a chore that both of you will have to suffer. It's like laundry, a necessary evil. But since then I have decided that I don't have to suffer unneedlessly. So there. If you have to ask me for it, then it's not friendship. And it will never be, no matter if you have to ask for it on freaking Friendster.

Friday, January 30

Scorpio Nights Redux

I blogged about watching the original Scorpio Nights movie last week: how excited I was that it was available on video, the quest for my own copy, and then finally watching it. I was convinced that I had an authentic Pinoy cinema gem in my hands. Imagine my consternation when later that same day, I came across a poster advertising a screening of that same movie at the FC Walk a couple of days ago. Apparently, I'm not the only one with a copy.

Then our Sisterhood of the Socks honorary member Rod told me over dinner that the video copy was NOT the complete version of the film. He said that he was able to watch a screening of it years ago at the Film Center and the love scenes were way, way longer than what's on video. Anyhow, I don't even know if I could actually stand longer versions of the climactic scene. It literally gives one a chill than what the French call "little deaths." Those deaths ain't little. It's a freaking Shakespearean tragedy, with lots of Freud thrown in.
Curious ka 'noh?

Nah, this one doesn't have anything to do with Vanilla Coke, but I'm curious if vanilla plants will grow in the Philipppines. I was told that they flourish in places like Madagascar, which is very much like the Philippines, so there's a chance it'll work right?

Now as for why I want vanilla plants? Because I want to make my own vanilla coke and my own vanilla scents, nyahahaha! NOT. If there are farmers out there who know the answer, or if there are people from the Department of Agriculture or something, please let me know.

Wednesday, January 28

Maynila: Kissing Capital

I got this piece of news via e-mail. It might be a piece of publicity stunt for a toothpaste brand and a mayor running for reelection, but what the hell. Here it is:
Close Up and the City of Manila is trying to beat the world record set by Chile on the most number of people simultaneously kissing!

It will happen on the 13th of February. The entire length of Roxas Boulevard would be closed to vehicles. The Boardwalk will be divided into several "gimik areas" that play a specific kind of music. There will be orchestra music by the Manila Philharmonic, house, and r&b by DJ Steve Mills, a rock band area, etc.

Then at the stroke of midnight, people may start kissing each other.

To get in, you must first register at the Close Up website or you can go there directly. But don't forget to bring a Close-up proof of purchase.
The above e-mail has been forwarded to me by a friend who got it from a mailing list for gay people. So obviously the concern was: Will gay people be allowed to participate? But then again, with this sort of publicity stunt, I'm expecting some strict and hideously conservative people to object at the "eradication of our morals."

Ho-hum. At least it's gonna be one exciting Friday the 13th, yeah? If we beat Chile, then I can say that I live in the world's kissing capital. Or that I hold the Guinness Book of Record in kissing. Nifty, huh? nyahaha.

Monday, January 26

Okraying Ladies

Because I might forget and this is just too funny and weird, at least for me: Miriam Defensor Santiago is guesting on a television sitcom. She's appearing with Hilda Koronel on "All Together Now" tomorrow night, Monday, 26 January. Based on the teasers, they're doing a spoof on Crying Ladies. I don't know why they chose Miriam Santiago. Does she relate with the Rhodora Rivera character--a second great trying hard faded politician, er, artista? But it sure is interesting.
Armchair sports

From the New York Times. Google bombing as an extreme sport for those who have the time. Hm, I wonder what'll happen if we google bomb this to the ship+of+fools?It's not that far fetched anyway. Or maybe I should just bomb my own. Like say, "kantogirlblues: more useful everyday." Hehe. :)

The Sundance film festival also saw the premiere of the much awaited Gael Garcia Bernal starrer "Motorcycle Diaries," a travelogue/film memoir about the early days of Che Gueverra. Walter Salles of "Central Station" directs the film, which has been criticized as not being political enough and for seeming like a less saucy version of "Y Tu Mama Tambien." Well, as long as it has Gael Garcia Bernal, I'll watch it and maybe learn something about the manwhose visage is on countless red t-shirts nowadays.

Also debuting at the Sundance is a documentary about Imelda Marcos and her shoes. But I'm disappointed because even if the article's title mentions the film("From Imelda Marcos's Flats to the Golden Arches"), I gain nothing about it from the two lines it merits, thus: "The filmmaker Ramona Diaz spent five years making a documentary about Imelda Marcos that went beyond the shoes. Mrs. Marcos did not attend the festival but participated in the documentary." That's all there is. I don't even have an idea who this Ramona Diaz is.

There's also a documentary on how going on a Mc Diet can have really dire effects on your health. "Super Size Me" follows the travails of a guy who tried eating nothing but Mc Donald's for a month, and three weeks into the experiment, he gets diagnosed for liver disease. That's what we get for super sizing everything.

Sunday, January 25

Scorpio Nights and other consumer updates etc.

I finished reading Kathryn Harrison's "The Kiss," and it depressed the hell out of me. It's a personal narrative of a daughter who had an affair with her long absent father--not exactly coffee table reading, but I finally managed to wade through it.

There's a particular scene there where the mother brought her daughter to the gynecologist to have her fitted for a diaphragm. She wanted to protect her daughter from the "evils of college life." Sounds fine, except that the girl was technically a virgin and should the doctor do that, he would have to deflower her with clinical instruments. But the mother was still insistent and the daughter had to endure all of that. I say, no bleeding way! I mean, what a way to go, right? Pardon the pun and all.

I'm now reading Douglas Coupland's Life After God. I'm just about halfway into the fourth story.

In other worlds, Astrid informed me earlier in the week that the original Scorpio Nights is now available in VCDS in your friendly neighborhood Astrovision. I searched for it last Wednesday at the Glorietta branch and in the other video stores there but they didn't have it. The following day, I went to SM Manila with my brother and found a copy there. A Pinoy cinema gem for Php150. Not bad at all.

I didn't get to watch the video until Saturday though. I realized that the actor I thought to be Orestes Ojeda all my life had to be some other character actor, because the sekyu in the film was definitely not him.

If I'm not mistaken, I think Scorpio Nights has been declared one of the best Pinoy films ever, but it's also been banned because of its many many graphic sex scenes. But it does make a point: what good is it to see many shots of nudity when the object of fantasy lies very very still and apparently doesn't care much for the sex? I felt bothered watching those scenes, which was probably the point of it all: Just how much mechanical sex on screen can you take? Will you even try to get off at something like that?

The movie is set in one of those dilapidated bahay na bato in old Manila, populated with the great unwashed. All the characters in the film are -er beauties: driver, worker, peeper, whatever. Save for this preppie guy who is kind of tisoy and very preppy, they're all greasy and just hang around in their short denim cutoffs, playing basketball or making tsismis and fantasizing about the sekyu's wife. One of the -er guys, a young "Engineer Feati" Danny, fancies the wife. He conveniently lives in the apartment directly above Mr. and Mrs. Sekyu's. There are holes on the floor from which he gets very good views of what goes on in there. He knows the routine so much that when he got the chance, he entered the apartment and mimicked Mr. Sekyu's act and got to sleep with the wife, who sleeps with no underwear for the easy access and just pulls down her nightgown when everything is over. And she doesn't even open her eyes, not once.

It's really freaky to watch it. It has Freud written all over it. And the most popular stills from that film as represented in film books and in all subsequent film homages is that of Danny's eyes peeping into the hole. It's not long before his penchant for peeping turns into a yearning for some, uh, interactive gaming. Both voyeur and bored wife get drawn into mad, animal sex complete with rain effects, meowing cats and transparent raincoats. I pity the cats.

In the film, there's this guy with the guitar who was constantly singing. At one point, he was singing that "Lay-la-lay-lay-la-lay-lay-la-lay psssh!" and then everyone does the sound effects. It was really funny.

My only beef about the video is that it is too scratchy in parts, especially in the beginning where the film stock could have been exposed to the elements and all. But still a very good buy. At least it didn't end up as torotot.
The Requisite Shaider Sunday Update

I woke up this morning just in time for Shaider. So this week's episode is called "Susi ng Kinubukasan," in which Puma Lay-Ar came up with the plan to kidnap kids with genius level test scores and then train them for the next ten years. When they come back, they will rule the world in various pursuits--school, sports, politics, culture, you name it.

I vaguely remember watching this episode, except that I tend to confuse it with another that involves feeding little kids with food laced with something so that they'd fall under Puma Lay-Ar's spell. I think it also had something to do with training kids early for world domination.

Come to think of it, this Puma Lay-Ar dude is scary. He's right on the money in terms of coming up with plans on how to take over the world. Media, kids with high IQs, music. Plus the scoring, particularly the Fushigi theme, really reminds you of cults and it makes you want to raise your hands and sway.

Also, this morning was an Annie episode. I just wish that those women villains would do something more substantial, and Yda would utter more than just "Time space warp, ngayon din!"

My brothers and I were laughing over how the low budget strains were so obvious. The way they superimpose the monster and the stock footage of the blasts and shots of Shaider on his Blue Hawk and how the "disco room" in the time space warp zone is a staple. But all in all, great cheesy fun.
Revolt from Desktop

Why is it that on the weekend that I decide to NOT bring home any work, the multitudes will decide to bombard me with requests to post the poems for the midterm set?Of course I don't have the poems with me. I don't have the books with me at home. And of course, I just had to give them the poems which aren't easily searchable over the internet. Maybe I should have just given them "Revolt from Hymen," or "Soledad" or one of those uber mushy Manalang Gloria poems. But gah, it had to be about the mistress and the old maid. Oh well.

Update: Well, internet still saves my weekend. Hurray for this Infocus article on Angela Manalang Gloria. Yey!

Thursday, January 22

Finding Lino

Somebody's proposed graduate school thesis is to put together a web archive of Lino Brocka's early films. (Look for the blog's Nov 28 entry.) Must be a good idea before everything gets burned for an ounce of silver or before they all become torotot. Whoever owns the blog must be interested in film and a huge dose of musicals. Hm. Might be of interest to someone I know.

Sunday, January 18

Know what, second GREAT or not, I think this was a productive Sunday. Yeah. Good noh?

Now if only I didn't have that lost Saturday. Hm..
Cry me some more

crying ladies screenshot

Mark Meily, director of Crying Ladies, studied film in France. But he also says that doing commercials is the best film school one could ever have. In preparation for the film, he prepared story boards and had a powerpoint presentation of fictionalized bios for the characters, complete with eneagrams. Hm.

Okay, here's some more crying stalking: in inq, an interview, and an article in Variety.
Second great trying hard film reviews

Second GREAT, my foot. I mean, hello. Second GREAT?! If I didn't know my Sharon Cuneta movies, I would have let it pass. Now if only the reviews weren't single spaced and with passable grammar. Person seemed to dashed off the words, printed it without benefit of editing and submitted it haphazardly.

This is one of those moments when you just want to scream and squish them. Die puny grammar, die!

PS. Just to put things into context: A kid in one of my classes submitted a review of Gagamboy. Her argument was, the film was a poor simulation of Spiderman. Therefore it was a second great trying hard copycat. My objection stems from the misuse of a Sharon Cuneta-Cherie Gil quote. Now if the student actually meant that there was a "first great copycat" of Spiderman, then I might let it pass. So I wonder which film was the first great copy. Hm.
Boogey man

So this morning at the Pulis Pangkalawakan headquarters, the monster was this annoying mascot with bongo boobs. I thought he was going to beat Shaider. We just had to laugh because you could see the monster was a huge fake projection on the wall and Shaider still couldn't beat him. Also, since all the discussion on Annie seemed to center on her panty-flashing tendencies, my brother and I really watched closely. Alas, no flashings today.

So in the late 80s, Puma Lay-ar figured that media was the way to world domination. He got a bunch of guys, pre-F4 to roll out this ditty:

Tayo nang mag boogey, mag-boogey-woogey
Wag munang mag-aral, maglakwatsa
Korni ang eskuwela, maghappening na lang muna.
It sounds so distressingly close to Freddie Aguilar's Estudyante Blues. Hm, and Manong Freddie had the hair to go with it. Do you think the guy who made Anak was a Puma Lay-ar disciple? Hehehe.

Saturday, January 17

Cross country blogging

So over at ButasNaChucks, a t has her own "industry epiphanies" for which she didn't have to pay fifty bucks. Nyar. I'm still thinking whether I really want to spend 5 more Wednesday afternoons listening to directors go yaddah. Not especially excited about sitting still for Mr-Homage-Not-A-Ripoff. But maybe I'd go and willingly pay if If I could heckle him.

Yeah, I'm a sucker.

Also a postscript to this previous post. I was at the Reading Room the other afternoon when the sudden blast of "100% so beautiful" filled the room. Apparently one of the girls there was a superfan. She bought the Cream Silk compilation album. My bad. I wouldn't want to pay for that. Then she showed me this printed out captured image of her and Manang Lea from the Songs from Home concert.

Feeling ko minumulto ako ni Manang Lea. Scary.

Thursday, January 15

Shaider xxx?

Okay, as a result of last Sunday's Shaider post, this blog is now the top result for shaider+annie+naked. Just how twisted is that?

Wednesday, January 14

Multimedia monster

I allowed myself to get duped and paid fifty bucks for the first installment of the Take 6: Directors Lecture Series at the UP Film Center. Institute this afternoon. Jose Javier Reyes gave a talk on "Directing and Scriptwriting."

Nothing really mindblowing except that he affirmed several things that I already knew somehow. He shattered the myth going around that he only directs his own scripts. He said that not many people offer him scripts to read, so he writes his own projects. Plus he said that the greatest gift he probably has is his ability to write very very fast. Damn. Wish I had that. And oh, he said that if you wanted to make a lot of money, you should write for tv, but only if you could really hack it and don't mind at all. Damn.

He also has this observation: That film making is no longer the director's medium, but that of the "creative committee." Everyone has a say now on how to make a movie and how to sell it. There are a lot of things to be considered--product positioning, marketable ideas, creating your own hype. Film is a product that has to be sold, and film making is a business blah blah blah, so the producer has to make money so s/he would make more movies. But for movies to sell, it's no longer wise to be just a stand-alone movie outfit. You have to be a multimedia conglomerate. It's not just a movie after all--there's the soundtrack, the t-shirts, the mugs and calendars, posters plus all the cute artistas, the product placements, the video release, and the dvd release among the pirates of Quiapo.

He also says that it's no accident that the most successful "conglomerates" now are also the tv stations. Television jolts the necessary machinery into a film franchise for it to be sold. We are bombarded with all the ads proclaiming the thing to be the "best movie ever, and if you don't believe that you're stoned!" So we are conditioned that it must be a good movie, and we watch it. In the end, we are being fed our own tails and we eagerly chew on it.

Yeah, multimedia is the way to go. I'd say more things about the lecture, and that Joey Reyes is an entertaining guy, but I'm sleepy na. Maybe we should all go out and slay the multimedia monster or maybe learn how to ride it? But damn, do I wish I have his gift.

Monday, January 12

Manang Lea got married, yey!

I'm not going to say much except that this post is about the Salonga-Chien nuptials.
Mano Po 2: My Homecoming

Super delayed reaction post, because it's just too funny (at least for me) to pass up:

So last Christmas Day, one of my friends wanted to watch Mano Po 2. Girl goes to the cineplex and sees the snaking line of kids and parents. There were so many people lining up for the superhero movies. All her nephews wanted to watch flying guys in tights, so she thought she'd watch MP2 first before taking them. So she lines up but all the wailing kids got her confused. When the takilyera asked her what movie she was going to watch, she saw the poster with Alessandra de Rossi in it, but some kids were hanging out in front of it and she could only see the part where it says "home." So she pointed to the poster and said "yung My home." Takilyera gave her the ticket and girl went inside theater. There were like twenty of them inside, and as my friend sat down the credits started rolling. She was convinced that she was going to watch the movie Chinese movie with the dead father and which also stars Alessandra de Rossi.

Ten minutes into the film and Ms de Rossi disappears from it. Elizabeth Oropesa is there on screen and my friend starts to wonder when Kris Aquino will come up. She waits and waits and then finally realizes that she's in the wrong movie.

She had the actress right, Alessandra de Rossi. But in the flux of too many wailing kids, all she remembered was that MP2 had a subtitle called "My Home," and seeing Ms de Rossi on the poster and the "home" on it, sent her into the theater with the strangest movie showing during the Metro Manila Film Festival 2003.

Mano Po 2: My Homecoming is about a Chinese girl who works as an OFW. She returns to her small idyllic town only to realize that she's come down with SARS and along the way she acquires three wives who squabble over multi-billion peso estate. Susan Roces stars as the first wife and she mutates years later into Elizabeth Oropesa and nobody notices the difference. Then Eric Quizon hires mourners for the dead girl and they all put Vicks Vaporub (touch-therapy) on their eyes to make it look like they're Chinese. The film is a science fiction indie, which is also an homage to some obscure Chinese film.

Well, go figure.

Sunday, January 11

Geeky reading

If Frank Moretti had his way, we'd be studying literature without reading. How the hell is that possible? Critics would stop writing about the same old, same old writings by dead white guys and start counting. That's right--study it the way statisticians do the population and everything else--literature by the numbers.

Of course they had to ask Harold Bloom, the guy who wrote an Elegy for the Canon among other stuff, what he thought of the suggestion. It could only be pronounced "absurd." Mr Bloom is interested in reading. "That's all I'm interested in."

On the other hand, more and more teens writing. It's like an online My so-called Blog.

Both articles from the New York Times.
Shaider Sunday

Shaider shaider love Annie!

Woke up early enough to join my brothers at breakfast in front of the tv. We answered questions during the Digital LG quiz. The winning kid was from a school whose gym uniform was very droopy down the waist hiphop. Then came Shaider. I didn't know it was having another run, same as Astroboy. As the starting theme to Shaider came on, it was like I was seven years old all over again. Since the colored tv died, we're back to a black and white world where Alexis and Annie jumped and kicked at Fuma Lay-Ar's monsters. Talk about reliving your memories.

Today's episode was called "Wika ng Kaisipan." Lay-ar figured the way to universal domination is to enslave the mind of young children and teach them their language. The kids in 1980s Tokyo were roused from bed at the strike of 1 a.m. and playthings came alive. The kids swayed their arms and danced and followed the toys, while they chanted "yada-yada!" It's sort of like the Pied Piper of Hamlin.

I told my brother that the actor who played Shaider was dead, and we don't know whatever the hell happened to Annie. Maybe she's a pornstar now, and I'm really sad because when I tried searching for Alexis and Annie pictures, all I get are naked pictures of her. I don't want to see naked pictures of Annie. I want her to stay in my mind in those white leather mini-skirts. We still have the same questions: If Shaider's power is solar driven, then wouldn't he be vulnerable when placed in darkness? Did Fuma Lay-Ar's cohorts ever find out about this vulnerability?

But it was fun seeing them in all their 80s glory, beating the hell out of those foot soldiers--or are foot soldiers from BioMan or the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Anyhow, it was all we could do. This particular episode didn't have much of the women in Fuma Lay-ar's court. It's always fun when they do that dance with the arms thing.

What I want right now is to have that "Shigi-shigi" song as my ringtone. Does anyone know where I can get that?

Friday, January 9

Low Wall

Something happened about half an hour ago that makes me want to really get serious about finding a place of my own. It really pisses me off that it had to happen to me, this late in the night, and that whoever the culprit was is just on that other side of the wall and just calmly turned around and walked away. This is the same neighbor who caused a commotion and a near riot, a rain of stones threatening to break all the glass windows of our house, resulting in calls to the police and a blotter at the police station. Call me a bad neighbor, I hate them, and I don't care whether they have a place to stay or not. I just want them out of my backyard. I have endured enough loud karaoke mornings and evenings and brushes with violence. I'm just plain furious. If I see that shirt, the person attached to it will get a bruising. I swear. Whether they're staying or not, I am definitely leaving.

So people, if you know of a relatively safe, quiet place within or near the Diliman campus, please please let me know. The sooner I get out of this place, appointment papers and savings not withstanding, the better. Thank you.

Thursday, January 8

I am undecided: In the same way I don't want my students to find me, do I really want to find out what's really going on in my students' minds?