Analog Thoughts on a Digital Age

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Are We Getting The Attention We Dont Deserve Yet?

Since the whole asian film boom, almost all countries in Asia have begun to spawn a series of critically acclaimed films and have garnered oodles of awards form their American and European counterparts. Aside from the given Asian movie giants such as Hong Kong, Japan and the recent wave of excellent cinema from South Korea,countries like Thailand, Singapore and even Vietnam have come out with cinematic gems worthy of international note and global distribution. One such movie is the Thai blockbuster "Ong Bak" which is getting a wide US release as well as financial backing from France's own Luc Besson (Nikita, The Professional), Others include "Beautiful Boxer", Singapore's "I Not Stupid" and a host of others.
Sadly enough, the Philippines (which, I last heard, was an Asian country as well) and its movies,has not been garnering the same interest in the foreign market as it's neighbors. Is it because our movies stink? (The comment board is open).
Recenty I stumbled apon an article in Yahoo News about Filipino Cinema from the
The may be just another foreign blogsite. Usually they feature movies from Europe, the US and asia's big three, surprisingly they featured this year's recently concluded Metro Manila Filmfest and commented , with some acclaim I may add, the movies "Sigaw" By Yam Laranas and "Spirit of the Glass" by Jose Javier Reyes.
I have a double standard for Filipino movies. My recent review for Santa Santita" is evidence of this. Given our budget, we can't really make Captain Barbell fly through buildings and tunnels without making it obvious that it was shot in bluescreeen while the wires are obviously exposed and tugging on his supersuit. But we can at least make up for really original creative writing. We cannot afford to buy world class filmstock and exposure chemicals (I have, by the way, been in an obscure filipino movie as an extra and was able to witness how they develop film) , but we can take advantage of digital filmmaking and at least cut and edit them clean and right . The best part is, we have LOTS of talent. Great writers, young directors hungry to make the first great Filipino film, awesome actors (well, at least they look prettier and more handsome than those Thai talents) and lots of great material. What we lack, though are good producers.
Star Cinema, Viva Films and Regal Films dont exactly look for the most avant garde and experimental scripts to produce (it's pretty funny what these companies consider "experimental"). theu stick to a formula. A tried and tested frormula for successful box office revenure. And do it again, and again and again and again and again. If there are any risk takers out there, its ther relatively new outfit Unitel Productions (Crying Ladies, American Adobo) of Tony Gloria. The reason why we haven't seen a lot of good local movies is because there are no production companies who have the balls to produce one. They want to play safe with the poor good girl, rich bad girl template, they want Vilma Santos on the lead. They want Dolphy to live in a house that falls apart at the end of the movie. They want the three hottest "love teams" make an "anthology" or "trilogy" out of it to "triple" the ticket buying audience.
All in all, its a good thing, getting attention. I just hope that we can take more risks and just make use of what we have instead of pretending to have something we don't.


Blogger drei said...

dude, panaghoy sa suba was good. but sigaw was great! :D

di ko pa rin napanood taegukgi. wala pang time.

5:34 PM

Blogger drei said...

watched SIGAW last monday and loved it! :D

arthouse horror film. the story is not exactly original, but very well made. better than panaghoy.

4:54 PM


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