I got this from Crackhead, a leather wristlet with a customized Lao design. She just got back from Luang Prabang in Laos a few days ago with a travel buddy who is incidentally working near our office so what he did was just to deliver the pasalubong from her.
Laos is the number 1 of the 53 places to go in 2008 according to the New York Times. Crackhead is an adventurer and a traveler by heart so it makes a lot of sense to start her year by visiting this Indochina’s hot spot.
She’s back in China right now, working her ass again as a copyeditor. Coming this April, I think she plans to resign (after 3 years of working in that Chinese company). But before that, she is planning a travel to Lhasa, Tibet this March. She asked me to come, but I don’t think I can. I am having my thesis defense this February (nyar, that’s a few days from now!) and by March I hope to complete at least half of my creative collections (crossing my fingers!). I really like to go. I could be making excuses NOT to go but then again, I dunno. I need not to give to this kind of temptation right? Study first before traveling. This should be my mantra. But then again, it is a graduate course. Who needs to finish that?!
I went to see the Filipino indie film, Confessional the other night during its premier at the UP Film Center. Since Crackhead won’t be able to see it in China, she asked me to look out for it and share to her what I think about the film. She knows Jerrold Tarog personally. I got to know him through Crackhead. Although, I doubt it if he still remembers me. We all went to the same university (that's before he transfered to UP Diliman to take a course in Music). We were formally introduced but I knew him way before that. I knew him (like a ghost) when I was in college. I remember we went to his house one day. Well, it was Crackhead that he invited, and I came there as a tag-along to have a movie marathon. I have totally forgotten the lineups of the films we watched but I remembered his awesome taste for films.
So going back to the premier, I was expecting a big crowd that night. Considering the venue, the attendees were a handful (less than 50 people?!). Jerrold was there. I immediately spotted him from afar. The cap and the eyeglasses were too obvious to miss. And of course, Owee Salva was there too. She's really cute both in the movie and in person. Promise. Love her camera too. I even spotted a well known celebrity manager who was prior to the start of the film was talking on his cellphone asking a fellow manager if she could cast her alaga in a gay film because Luis Alandy did not take the role. He (just) talked loudly, so don't blame me if I heard enough to make my own story here.
Before the screening, Jerrold was called on the stage to introduce the film (or maybe say a few words). He said something like:
“Isa lang ang pakiusap ko. Kung magustuhan n’yo ang mapapanood ninyo, please ipamalita n’yo sa mga kaibigan n’yo. Kung hindi, ipamalita n’yo sa mga kaaway n’yo. Para makaganti naman!”
(I ask you one thing. If you happen to like what you are going to watch, please tell your friends. If not, tell your enemies. It’s a good revenge!)
The film projector came to a halt. I heard people clapping and muttering their own version of “how to appreciate a movie”. A few minutes more, Jerrold stood up and faced the little crowd. A true gentle and appreciative man that he is, he started approaching the people in the audience, shaking hands and thanking them for coming. By the time that he got to my seat, I was already reaching for the door. Coward, silly me! Nyar.
Before that cowardly act, I made a plan. I will approach and shake hand with him. Tell him how good he is in the film. Try to boost his ego (which I doubt if he buys). Tell him how good the movie is (which totally sounds phony considering this was a prior agendum). I will ask him to take a photo with me and (maybe) send it to Crackhead leaving her to a satisfying jealousy. Nyehehe! But even that plan failed. Nonetheless, I walked into the unlighted streets of the university campus, smiling in fulfillment. I was happy for Jerrold. I am sure Crackhead would be delighted too.
So why did I leave? Why?
Maybe because at the back of my mind, I was not expecting to like the film. I have my own reservations about it. I was too pessimitic. I never believe in hype (unless I justify it with my own eyes). But those are minor details. I have never appreciate a film both for its story and its technical soundness. And strictly speaking, one person was able to pull it together (acting, directing, screenplay, sound, and editing). Of course this film is not a one-man job, but Jerrold was a crucial factor. The film won 7 major awards during the Cinema One Film Festival including Best Picture. How's that for a swank.
In case you're still wondering who these people are:
-Roger "TJ" Ladro, who won Best Sound Design was actually an anagram of Jerrold's name.
-Best Editor Pats R. Ranyo was also merely a rearranged spelling of Ryan Pastor, the character Jerrold played in the movie.
-Ramon Ukit, the recipient of Best Screenplay, was a crude Filipinization of (Jerrold's favorite fictionist) Raymond Carver. ---> Now this is ingenious! I am a fan of Raymond Carver., only because Haruki Murakami likes him a lot. :-D
So, please if you have nothing to do, take time to see this film. It’s worth every penny. Promise.