Serna: Why ‘escapist’ films win-A A +A
By Roger Serna
Sounds and images
Thursday, January 3, 2013
HAPPY New Year, everyone! Though it’s now the fourth day of the year, I don’t think it’s that late to wish you, my dear readers, a “happy New Year.” May we be able to reach the goals we set earlier.
Former colleague Ellen Joyce Soriano quoted Neil Gaiman in her post in Facebook. It caught my attention because it’s very different from the usual New Year’s wishes we encounter.
It goes this way: “I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.”
Gaiman further wrote: “Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry if it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life. Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, do it.” The guy has a point. What do you think?
A friend posted on Facebook that Cebuana beauty queen Rizzini Alexis Gomez made her compatriots proud by winning the Miss Tourism International 2012 title in Kuala Lumpur shortly before the new year started. It’s truly an amazing and a much-welcomed 2012 year-ender. Congratulations, Rizzini!
For the first time in years, I was able to watch four entries to the 38th Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) in a matter of three days. I watched Thy Womb and One More Try one movie after another on the first day itself.
The first, showcasing the lifestyle of the Badjaos in Tawitawi, is well-crafted and well-acted. Being almost like a documentary, it dwells on serious stuff. In contrast, though complicated plot-wise, One More Try has a happy ending.
Once again, the country’s superstar Nora Aunor, used her expressive eyes to the fullest in Thy Womb. Expectedly, she ran home with the best actress award. Angel Locsin and Angelica Panganiban also gave commendable performances.
Bembol Roco was also in his best elements. I even thought he’d romp off with the best actor award (the plum dropped to Dingdong Dantes’ lap for One More Try with Zanjoe Marudo earning a best supporting actor nomination but losing to Cesar Montano for El Presidente).
Ironically, a day after the awards rites (or on the day itself), Thy Womb was pulled out from movie houses because of low box-office returns. Suddenly, social networks were barraged with posts lamenting that move, plus the wonderment over the fact that the movie did not even figure in the best picture race.
While the film fest was originally conceptualized to showcase locally helmed movies that can hold a candle beside foreign movies in film fests abroad, local moviegoers had, in recent years, been accustomed to watching what others call as “escapist entertainment.”
I even believe that because the film fest is held during the season when people want to be happy could be the reason why movie goers flock to the so-called “escapist entertainment.”
Whatever, many are optimistic that Thy Womb will be “vindicated” in the global movie arena where it had already reaped many honors before it was shown in the MMFF. And that would be a big slap on the face of local moviegoers as well as those who chose to ignore a contemporary masterpiece.
With the excitements for Christmas and New Year already over, the Cebuanos’ attention is now focused on the next big thing in their calendar and that is the Pista Senyor in honor of the Sto. Niño or the Holy Child.
Of course, this includes the foot procession, the fluvial parade and the socio-cultural Sinulog grand parade, and all the other entertainment packages during the festivities.
Except for playing host and treating fiesta guests to food and drinks, I have practically played several roles already connected with the festivity, like joining the grand parade as a dancer, and covering the event as a journalist, a radio and TV broadcaster, a float character and an ordinary onlooker.
All of the above has its own perks and excitement level. Shortly before pounding the keys for this column, I suddenly realized that I missed doing anchor jobs either for radio or TV. I hope I’ll be able to revive that “career” this year (LOL). Once again, happy New Year and—onward to Sinulog 2013!
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 04, 2013.