Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Some things you need not know but I like to blabber anyways

Lao wristlet

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.


kyels said...

I like your leather wristlet. Really beautiful!

I have a thesis to defend as well but my deals with computer systems and I need to create a prototype by the 7th week of my studies ... Which is crazy!


Anyway, all the best!!!

pieterbie said...

Good luck with the thesis!
Love the bracelet.
I went to look for the film on imdb, it is on there, but no voting yet, very little information.
Then I went to my online rental service, but they don't have it, I'm afraid.
Maybe I'll have a look in Brussels when I find the time.
Thanks for the tip.

Sidney said...

Good luck with the thesis!

I don't think they will ever show the movie in Belgium...

There is indeed not much info on imdb and I am clueless where I can watch this movie...

If this is indeed the movie about a bisexual sculptor who engages into carnal interludes with a religious woman and a fisherman I doubt I will be able to see it in an SM Cinema... ;-).

And then my question: Was it a good movie?

Sidney said...

Sorry, I see it now, it's worth every penny. So it must be really good... but then I am very conservative and religious! ;-)

Rey said...

Any chance they're sending this to any film festival in Singapore?

my gulch said...

all the best to you too! i hope we finish everything in due time. i have been procrastinating for the last few months trying to justify everything by doing something else. yes, that's right doing something else other than what i am supposed to do.

i don't think you will be able to get hold of this indie film in Belgium. here alone, it's been shown here in limited theaters. so unless they bring it to festivals, there is no way you'll be able to see this. but, i think Cinema One will produce a dvd copy of this. i will let you know. the movie itself has a subtitle (a Tagalog transalation of Cebuano which the main characters spoke in the film). i don't know if they will have an English subtitle. i bet they would, IF the DVD comes. promise to let you know. i also like to get hold of a copy.

Jessica Zafra summarizes the movie like this:

"A filmmaker and his girlfriend go to Cebu for the Sinulog festival. The filmmaker is shooting a documentary that he hopes to enter in a contest. He gets an interview with a former mayor from Mindanao, who proceeds to give him more information than he expects or wants to hear. The simple interview turns into a harrowing confession from a man who’s looked into the abyss and caught himself looking right back. Witty, deceptively simple, and often hilarious, Confessional is a wiseass’s meditation on the nature of truth itself."

So this is definitely for the religious and the conservative! ;) I know for one that you are a fan of the Filipino festivals. Sinulog is the "queen of all festivals" for that reason alone, you will apprecaite this film.

There could be. But I am not sure. I hope so. You could always get a copy when get home. If in case they release the DVD copy. ;-)

tutubi philippines said...

laos is one of my dream destinations too...i read it's like thailand twenty years ago...still undiscovered

19 Seconds Of Spring said...

Wish you good luck!

Ferdz said...

Uy Tibet! Paunlakan mo na.

Laos is actually very near on my list of next destination. Buti me direct flight na from KL aside from going to Udon Thani from SG. Ganda ng pasalubong nya.

my gulch said...

onga daw. napaka-rich din sa tradition and arts. sana makapunta tayo!

hi there, thanks for dropping by.

hahaha. ang daling magsabi kaso mahirap hanapan ng magandang oras. didn't you say you are planning a trip to China? saan nga ba?

Toe said...

Hahaha... this is such a funny story Rayts. E bakit ka tumakbo? He seems nice... love his speech. :)

I would love to go to Tibet too. But you're right... finish your studies first... only if because, malapit na... thesis na pala e. :) Good luck Rayts! I'm sure you'll do just great!

cathy said...

that's admirable and wise rayts. hope you get to see tibet eventually though, for the pics haha.

do they show indie films in commercial theaters? sana naman. wala na ku culture diet e :)

ndiginiz said...

Tena koe ehoa
I doubt if that movie will ever make it's way to New Zealand.... But you make it sound so interesting Rayts I wish I could watch at my own leisure right now.
You sound or seem even more academic than I had first thought but you always have had a wonderful open and natural nature about you.

Jim said...

God bless sa thesis defense.

The first time I was "trained" to watch movies was when I took humanities (forgot the name of the Prof but he used to be an adviser for the UPLB Film Circle, may he rest in peace) watching movie has never been the same. I used to watch movies just for the sake of watching it. I've learned how to watch movies not only because of the plot but the technical issues that goes with it (camera works, cinematography etc.) it's just a joy! so, minsan kahit 'di ko gusto ang istorya basta satisfied mata ko sa cinematography, ayos na din. :)

my gulch said...

bakit ako tumakbo? nahiya ako! natyope ako! ganun pala yun noh? nahiya akong magpakilala. kase siyempre ikukuwento ko pa yung mga details paano ko siya nakilala. E paano kung di na pala nya ko kilala. Haha. magaling talaga siya magsalita. malalim. kasing lalim ng Pacific Ocean. napaka-ideal ng advise mo. pero yun na nga mismo eh, thesis na lang! mas gusto ko pa atang ulitin lahat ng subjects na kinuha ko kaysa magbuno ng thesis at mag-oral defense. hay. pero thank you Toe! i will try my best. double fingers crossed. :-D

mahirap ma-pressure. parang nag-press release na akong gagradweyt this year, kaso laging may nangyayari. pero gusto kong mag-Tibet. gusto ko ding mag-Batanes at mag-Laos. hahahaha. lahat ng pwedeng mapuntahan. i am not sure if Confessional will be shown in commercial cinemas, siguro sa mga festivals like Cinemanila.

i doubt too if they will. thank you for the nice words. :D

you’re right. Somehow watching a movie taught me the discipline to not “just” watch a film but be my own critic of the movie that I should watch and those that I should be wary about.

B said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
drei said...

wow thanks sa NY Times list! :)

waah kakamiss mag travel. and especially mga indie and art films. once lang ako nag sine for the past 3 months, at ito ay iron man lang huhu

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