Rumblings of an occasional moviegoer-A A +A
Saturday, January 5, 2013
I WAS in Cebu when Thy Womb had a special showing in Davao City last November and so was happy when I learned it was to be shown in the Metro Manila Film Festival. Let’s just say, I am very curious about the film style of its director Brillante Mendoza that has been reaping all those international accolades.
Even before I could grab a friend or find time, however, there was no more Womb, mine or thine, as cinema owners pulled it out because of very low ticket sales. On TV old people, young folks and children were waving and shouting, “Ang ganda!!!” over Sisterakas.
I have a confession to make: I don’t have the patience to go to a cinema and I very, rarely watch, not unless you drag me. I did enjoy Kimi Dora so much, I invited myself to my officemates’ cinema date for Kimi Dora 2, and was very disappointed. The writers apparently ran out of creative juices and intelligence, they fell into the plain slapstick horror trap. Sad.
I also watched Patayin sa Shokot si Remington and was laughing so hard. I pray that there will be no sequel lest the magic of Remington will be prostituted as Kimi Dora’s was.
I also watch telenovelas, so you can’t accuse me of being a snoot.
But I drive a very wide line between telenovelas and movies. Telenovelas, I watch for free every night, except pay for the electricity, which after living truly alone for the past two months showed I average a cool sum of P300 per month in consumption. Ten pesos a day, five telenovelas, and I get to write or play the guitar or paint or cook at the same time. Cheap and no time wasted! Movies: I look for friends who are equally interested in the film and share the same time as I have, go find a taxi and pay P100 one way whether it’s from the office or home, line up to buy tickets (or if it’s 3-D like The Hobbit, have a friend to buy the tickets beforehand), buy popcorn and drinks, and do nothing else but sit and watch for the next two to three hours before going back home, paying another P100 for taxi fare if the friend I found doesn’t have a car like me. That is a lot of money, more than what a poor family in the boondocks can earn in a month, and more than my one month’s electric bill that already includes my free TV. So don’t expect me to pay that amount for telenovela or sitcom plot flashed on the big screen for two hours of my precious time where the only other thing I can do is gain more pounds by chewing on popcorn and sipping soda.
In my own sweet time, I watch Iranian films over and over again. I like the very slow pace of their story-telling, the very visual treatment of each and every scene. I bought as many DVDs (originals from Amazon, excuse me!) as I can in that short window when Iranian filmmakers were allowed to produce sometime at the turn of the century. Thus, I enjoyed Thy Womb.
Wait, you may say, wasn’t the film pulled out? It was. But Friday afternoon, I read in one of my friends’ posts in Facebook a news by some national paper that it was being shown again, after winning some awards. Typical Pinoy, really, suckers for recognitions but by themselves will go watch Sisterakas and scream, “Hangggaaandaaaah!” *Shudder*
Thus, I watched the last full show, on the same day I read the news for fear that it will be pulled out again.
Another friend posted what was supposed to be Atty. Ted Te’s opinion about the film: “(Thy Womb) is an extremely bad homage to La Aunor's famous underacting on prozac (it is soooooooo slow that when the plot twist does happen, you realize the movie is over, literally, and you wonder--what exactly was the point)."
God is indeed good and fair, Attorney Ted, he made you a good lawyer.
I would love to see him suffer while watching “A taste of Cherry” by Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami and see the befuddlement in his face with a comical bubble thought: What exactly was the point?
Sometimes, you just have to sit and watch and listen in order to see and feel and understand without going into the mental calisthenics of tracing out a plot (although, sorry again, attorney, Thy Womb has a very strong plot!); because even in life, you can hardly distinguish a traceable plot with your brain, but you can feel and see with your heart. Thus I replied to my friend’s post: (He must have been) So intense on the plot, he was blind to the beauty of a culture.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 06, 2013.