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Roles and Images Stars, Awards and Criticism
he Film Desk of the Young Critics Circle (YCC) first gave its annual citations in film achievement in 1991, a year after the YCC was organized by 15 reviewers and critics. In their Declaration of Principles, the members expressed the belief that cultural texts always call for active readings, “interactions” in fact among different readers who have the “unique capacities to discern, to interpret, and to reflect... evolving a dynamic discourse in which the text provokes the most imaginative ideas of our time.” The Film Desk has always committed itself to the discussion of film in the various arenas of academe and media, with the hope of fostering an alternative and emergent articulation of film critical practice, even within the severely debilitating culture of “awards.”
Ibinigay ng Film Desk ng Young Critics Circle (YCC) ang unang taunang pagkilala nito sa kahusayan sa pelikula noong 1991, ang taon pagkaraang maitatag ang YCC ng labinlimang tagapagrebyu at kritiko. Sa kanilang Deklarasyon ng mga Prinsipyo, ipinahayag ng mga miyembro ang paniniwala na laging bukas ang mga tekstong kultural sa aktibong pagbasa, sa “mga interaksiyon” ng iba't ibang mambabasa na may “natatanging kakayahan para sumipat, magbigay kahulugan, at mag-isip... bumuo ng isang dinamikong diskurso kung saan ang texto ay naghahamon para lumikha ng mga pinakaimahinatibong idea ng ating panahon.” Ang Film Desk ay lagi nang nagsisikap na talakayin ang pelikula sa iba't ibang arena ng akademya at media, sa pag-asang magsulong ng alternatibo at umuusbong na artikulasyon ng kritisismong pampelikula kahit sa loob ng nakababaldang kultura ng mga “award.”
Of Broken Records and Promises
Eloisa May P. Hernandez
t was a record-breaking year for Philippine cinema in the box-office. Star Cinema's No Other Woman starring Anne Curtis, Derek Ramsey, and Cristine Reyes generated buzz among the Filipino audience, replete with one-liners and quotable quotes enriching, or diminishing, the lexicon of many teenagers. What the film lacked in profundity, it made up for in the box-office income – it grossed 278.39 million pesos1 setting the record at that time as the highest grossing Philippine film of all time. It did not hold that record for long. Barely a month later, Star Cinema's The Unkabogable Praybeyt Benjamin starring Vice Ganda earned 331.61 million pesos2 and broke the record previously held by No Other Woman, making it the highest grossing Philippine film of all time.3 What does it say about us Filipinos as a film audience that the highest grossing Philippine film of all time is a grossly humorless and unintelligent portrayal of gay men in the military? Certainly, it is time to strengthen film literacy in the country. The number of regular commercially released films in 2011 totaled 29, including seven films released during the annual Metro Manila Film Festival. Of the 22 films released before the MMFF, Star Cinema/ABS-CBN Film Productions produced 13 (with a few collaborations with VIVA Entertainment, APT Entertainment, etc.) while GMA Films made four (two collaborations with Regal Films), Regal Films did two films and VIVA Entertainment had one. The dominance of the media conglomerates and mainstream film companies is apparent with only one film produced by an artist-run moviemaking company, Origin8 Media. The record-breaking boxoffice year for Star Cinema/ABS-CBN conceals the fact that the films produced in 2011, especially the independently produced, did not do as well at the box office and had abbreviated runs in the cinema complexes often replaced by Hollywood blockbusters. Only Zombadings and Ang Babae sa Septic Tank fared relatively well at the box-office. In addition to the films released regularly, many films, mostly digitally produced, were screened in several film festivals. Cinema Rehiyon showed 5 films while Cinema One Originals featured 10 films; Cinemanila International Film Festival screened 7 films (4 Digital Lokal plus films by Lav Diaz, Raya
No Other Woman earned more than The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1
The Unkabogable Praybeyt Benjamin earned more than Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part Two)
3according to records of www.boxofficemojo.com
Martin and John Torres). Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival showed 22 films (9 films in the New Breed section, 4 in Directors Showcase, 8 in Netpac Competition and the opening film). Of the eight shortlisted films by the Young Critics Circle Film Desk for 2011, five are from Cinemalaya.4 Even the MMFF had a New Wave section with 5 films including Haruo, YCC Film Desk's Best Film for the year. Boosting the number of films shown in the Philippines in 2011 are the more than 50 digital films shown in various movie houses and alternative spaces. Some were part of film festivals and were picked up for regular release. Last year displayed indicators of the diffusion of digital cinema in the Philippines. Allen and Gomery posit, “The process of diffusion begins once the technology begins to receive widespread use within an industry” (115). Digitally produced films have outnumbered 35mm since 2005 with several film festivals and competitions funding and showcasing them such as Cinemalaya, Cinema One Originals, .mov and Cinemanila's Digital Lokal. Though not yet widespread, mainstream film companies such as GMA Films have already produced films such as Yam Laranas' The Road using the Red Mysterium X camera, edited in HD, mastered on 2K and while it was transferred to 35mm for its Philippine release, it was shown internationally on Digital 2K format. There is an increasing number of digitally produced films and cinema complexes equipped with digital projectors. There is also a marked increase in the participation in local and international film festivals of digitally produced films. Awardgiving bodies have also recognized numerous digitally produced films through the years. In fact, all the eight shortlisted films by the
4 Marlon Rivera's Ang Babae sa Septic Tank, a Cinemalaya film, was distributed by Star Cinema and had a good run at the box-office earning 30.27 million.
Young Critics Circle Film Desk this year are digitally produced. The introduction of the digital technology in Philippine cinema in 1999 addressed problems in film production; it made filmmaking cheaper and more accessible. The more daunting challenge now is in distribution and exhibition. Several alternative venues for screening films have closed shop such as Robinson's Galleria IndieSine (in 2010) and Mogwai Cinematheque (in August 2011). The Internet in the Philippines remains slow and unstable, preventing filmmakers from using the Web as a major platform for distribution and exhibition (such as live streaming, pay per view, paid downloads, etc.). Filmmakers and producers need to device alternatives to mainstream modes of distribution and exhibition so that digital cinema can finally fulfill the promise of accessibility. The records broken in 2011 at the box-office by films from the media conglomerates and mainstream film production companies sound hollow if one considers the fact that these films offer nothing new and radical in terms of ideas and nothing transformative in terms of ideology. As former YCC Chair Dr. Eli Guieb said in his report last year, “dati naman nang maraming basura buhat sa sektor na ito.” And what of the so-called “independent” films? Most of their films are “digital adult romance” and “digital same-sex romance.” Dr. Guieb says, “Marahil, ang mas higit na kailangang pagtuunan ng pansin ay ang nawalang pangako ng mga independent films na, ayon sa mga apologist nito, ay siyang nagbibigay ng bagong pag-asa sa industriya ng pelikula sa bansa.” Where is the promise of more liberative and transformative “indie” films? The prognosis on the state of Philippine cinema sounds like a broken record. Fortunately, there are still promising films and filmmakers in 2011. The YCC Film Desk had to adroitly sift through the more than 100 films shown in cinema houses, film festivals, and alternative venues in the Philippines in 2011, to arrive at an initial long list of 35 films and narrowed down to 8 short-listed films. Six Degrees of Separation from Lilia Cuntapay stages a critique of Philippine cinema and its star system in an entertaining
fashion. Bisperas is a deft portrayal of a family victimized by robbery during Christmas Eve, and the inner workings, internal conflict, and power play among the family members. Tirso Cruz III and Raquel Villavicencio lead the ensemble in a performance tour de force. For the first time in 22 years of the YCC Film Desk's existence, six different films won in the six categories. Diana Zubiri's portrayal of a nurse in the country's busiest maternity hospital is transcendent in the film Bahay Bata. Her quiet, sensitive yet powerful performance conveys her empathy for the expectant mothers while she walks around the corridors of Fabella Hospital carrying a personal burden and moral dilemma. Rody Vera's screenplay for Niño is an intelligent, penetrating, nuanced, and layered telling of the fall of an elite family and/in their grand house. The decadence could not conceal the decay consuming the architecture and family. Señorita is an attempt at portraying corruption in the local government level through the eyes of a high-class transvestite prostitute who acts as finance manager of a mayoral candidate as well as surrogate mother to a young boy. In Teoriya, we bare witness to a journey as a man searches for the grave of his father, searches for his identity, and searches for a past in hopes of knowing, reconciling, and forgiving. Delicately shot, the film does not merely show us the journey, it makes us feel we are part of it - we are with him through his travails and discoveries. Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa glides in the use of dance as a metaphor and as a plot element, a confluence of literature, pedagogy, music, dance, theater and sexuality. The film receives the Best Sound and Aural Orchestration award but it is in the silences where the film is most poignant. At the heart of the film is love – love for art, poetry, dance, music, and love for life. Love for everything that is important and essential to survive the travails of daily life. It is not a perfect film, but the object of love never is. The YCC Film Desk's Best Film for the year is Haruo, a film by Adolf Alix that portrays an ex-Yakuza's attempt to escape his past by living an anonymous
life in the populous and hurried city of Manila. The title “Haruo” means “springtime man” in Japanese – the quest for atonement, for forgiveness, for a new life - a promise of a new beginning for the eponymous character. Sadly, that promise will be unfulfilled - Haruo's past catches up on him. Alix triumphs in incorporating several Japanese motifs in the film such as the haiku and ikebana while following Haruo's almost silent and invisible life in the environs of Manila. Haruo is an example of Philippine cinema being inflected by a different aesthetic, a promise of Philippine cinema becoming global.
Allen, Robert C. and Douglas Gomery. Film History: Theory and Practice. New York : McGraw-Hill, 1985. Guieb, Eulalio R. III. Paglipad, pag-iwas, paglayo, paglisan: Pagpapakatao sa di-makataong lipunan. 21st Annual Circle Citations for Distinguished Achievement in Film, December 2011.
Tessa Maria Guazon
n the time between writing the first draft of this review and revising it anew, the broadsheets in the days leading up to the Asian Development Bank meeting in Manila last 2 May to 5 daringly announced the demise of corruption. In the same shallow breath, they trumpeted the 'modest' economic gains of the Philippines under the Aquino administration - a futile attempt to excise the image of a lounging, laggard president, 'noynoy-ying' the country's problems away. Promoting the gains of Manila as host to the ADB's annual meeting, Secretary of Finance Cesar Purisima dubbed this as the country's 'comingout party', touting the growth of the economy as a result of good governance.5 An economy, as this expert and others like him claim, had survived the regional crisis of 1998, and whose debt-to-GDP ratio is down to 50- from an alarmingly high 78% in 2004. Contrast these figures to a 2012 survey (and with the year in mid-stride) of 11 million Filipinos who see themselves poor, a 2 million increase from a December 2011 survey.6 The experts' number crunching is a baffling exercise, an estimate farthest from the figures that make our daily working lives a gruelling count, at the very least. Consider this: having been born in the last quarter of the year after martial law was declared makes me the 3,941,710, 096th person on the planet.7 Philippine population specifically stands at a staggering 95 million in 2011 with 20 million in Metro Manila. 8 These figures are more dumbfounding than the droll numbers the experts have us believe. My daily commute transforms the confounding numbers into the viscerally immediate. The experience makes the numbers ominous, the crush of bodies and the scramble over space hint at a downhill doom. Neither Metro Manila's relentlessly-engineered traffic nor the hollow pronouncements of high rise developments and the falsely optimistic picture of the economy the politicians peddle can make sense or keep up with this unremitting, unmindful growth.
5 Remo, Michelle and Domingo, Ronnel. “DBP meeting of top finance men seen as Philippines' 'coming-out' party”, Philippine Daily Inquirer. 27 April 2012. http://business.inquirer.net/55927/adb-meet-in-manilaseen-as-aquino-administration%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%98coming-out%E2%80%99-party 6 Santos, Matikas. “Government hit for 'fencing poverty' during ADB meet” in Inquirer.net. 4 May 2012. Accessed 07 May 2012 7
8 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-15391515 accessed 30 March 2012 Uy, Jocelyn. “Philippines welcomes 7 billionth baby Danica”, Philippine Daily Inquirer. 1 November 2011. Accessed March 2012 http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/86183/philippines-welcomes-7-billionth-baby-danica
The crowded trains speak of this as well as interminable queues, public school classrooms that house close to sixty students in morning and afternoon intervals, shanty towns negating urban oases, working people incarcerated in high-rises where time bides that of a distant continent, and who most probably dream of an exodus to a greener overseas. This picture of motley confusion is echoed by the crowded wards and teeming hallways of the Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital, a government-run hospital in Manila. Welding a stark documentary voice with a narrative both insightful and nuanced, Eduardo Roy reveals, indeed takes us into the 'womb' of the matter. Images of poverty litter independent cinema dangerously dulling empathy and mocking disbelief. Unlike these formulaic peddling of the impoverished, Bahay Bata unsettles with stealth and sureness of aim. The film's opening sequence is a knobby stride through streets leading to Fabella burdened as we are with the weight of something yet to be brought to the world. And thus, we follow a pregnant woman who admits herself to the hospital anticipating the birth of a child. The woman leading us to Fabella's interiors joins eight others awaiting their turn with the triage nurse. Numerous others linger, cued to labour pains. Up to when these women are shuttled into the crowded delivery room and posted to the hospital ward to recover, the film frames bristle with bodies, voices and the means by which they are identified, numbers. Doctors and nurses deliver close to a hundred babies a day at Fabella. This incessant number is proven by the endless queues inside the hospital – be they inside wards, delivery rooms, breastfeeding stations and corridors. They begin at the nurse's triage, teem over hospital nook and crannies and end with those of visiting husbands and relatives. In the recovery ward, women and their newborns are billeted two to a narrow, hospital bed. Our eyes and ears are assailed by voices urging women to push and breathe
along with cries of newfound life, ward chatter of husbands and families. Mixed with the ruckus are doctor's barking orders and the nurses' break time banter. Fabella is a world ordered by numbers, those called out by nurses during rounds, numbers announcing discharge or enforcing release. Newborn cries are supposed to be jubilant but here, they are tinged with dreary expectation. This world is framed for us through the pool of nurses on duty to attend to Fabella's women patients, primarily through the eyes of Sarah, a young nurse stationed at the normal delivery ward. Nurse Sarah makes do with meagre resources in the hospital ward. When milk flow dries up, she calls on Cathy a young mother to supplement the supply. While director Eduardo Roy allows us to view this overwhelming world of women birthing, he tempers its intensity by subtly weaving miniscule tensions into a larger, ominous picture. Ward life is recorded in vignettes, women joking about 'holding in' the birth of their children because cash prizes were given to babies born on Christmas and New Year's Eve. Adolescent girls chatter with delight about how they met their husbands and boyfriends while working breast pumps to feed their babies in incubators. Hospital staff drew lots for their forthcoming Christmas party, gleefully told that a cash prize awaits winners in the dance competition. We learn that Sarah is made pregnant by her married lover. While fellow nurses dream of rounds in a Canada ward, Sarah remains undecided about her application. Christmas is to come and the nurses bemoan the fact that they had been on Christmas Eve duty for two consecutive years. This hospital teeters in perilous order, its staff of doctors and nurses make do with inadequate supplies, slovenly mothers, delayed bonuses and abandoned babies. This precariousness stealthily drifts into nurse Sarah's private world, adept though she is with 'making ends meet' at the normal delivery ward. She delays filing her application for the nursing post in Canada despite prodding from her mother and friends. She holds out for her married lover who eventually leaves her to go back to his family. Sarah is stricken with devastating loss, the realness of the wavering world that surrounds her at Fabella becoming palpable in her own life. The cries of babies become unnerving and the sight of a mother struggling to push is suddenly fearsome. Nurse Sarah struggles to accept her fate and released from her Christmas Eve duty, she trudges the hospital stairs and corridors with unseeing eyes. We will not know for certain if Sarah will keep her baby but we know her life will never be the same as she welcomes yet another year at Fabella. Or perhaps like Cora, a senior nurse demeaned by their head doctor we are unsure whether she, too is to ever come back. Numbers attain a foreboding presence in Fabella. Drawn as lots like fragile chances, called out and announced in cracking voices, tags that mark admission and discharge, numbers that make the shrinking, crowded space life has become for nurse Sarah, the adolescent mother Cathy who feeds others but unable to nurse her own because of a congenital defect; Melba
who births her thirteenth child and still refuses to be ligated because her husband said so; Rose who gave birth to a baby with cord coil and so doing endangers her life, Tess, a prison inmate whose cuffed hands bars her from holding her child, babies suddenly abandoned to be picked up by DSWD. Names float in random chaos across Fabella and their resolute presence in this cramped laboratory of uncertain futures hem us in with stark precision. A flock herded within and released into uncertain worlds, majority of these women and children will flounder in the muck of poverty. It is telling that inside Fabella it is the loosely formed community of women whether patients, nurses or doctors who support and chide each other in turns. How often enough have we watched women of the city's poor cry with quiet indignation knowing their children are to sleep with empty stomachs on yet another night? Bahay Bata traces the roots of this oft-told tale with biting humor and subtlety rare in a film that tackles urban poverty. Most others cast deprivation in an 'other/nether-worldly' manner, paradoxically reversing realities which filmmakers initially set out to capture. We are confronted with sequences of crippling distress, the stark crudity of image one after another assaults and finally deadens us with paralyzed detachment. In Bahay Bata we see a deft coming together of film's capacity for narrative. This story revolves around numbers and bodies which not unlike game, are branded with it. Coupled with sound and image, the numbers and their exactitude conjure trepidation. The film couches a hard truth within a story of frailty and weakness, leaving out the moralizing yet urging us to reflect where falsity truly springs from. The figures that bear weight are those made concrete by our day to day realities, not those descended from abstract universes of false optimism. To the 11 million poor, these numbers may simply be the lean frequency of meals they need to get by day after gruelling day. To have children in the Philippines is to summon courage and somehow fear the future, even for women who did not birth in Fabella. That future remains greatly precarious for women, who often robbed of chance and informed choice, suffer the consequences of entrenched poverty. And this does not in whatever twisted way, make it 'more fun' or make room for a hag's wish of a debut ball.
Remo, Michelle and Domingo, Ronnel. “DBP meeting of top finance men seen as Philippines' 'coming-out' party”, Philippine Daily Inquirer. 27 April 2012. Santos, Matikas. “Government hit for 'fencing poverty' during ADB meet” in Inquirer.net. 4 May 2012. Uy, Jocelyn. “Philippines welcomes 7 billionth baby Danica”, Philippine Daily Inquirer. 1 November 2011. Yapa, Lakshman. December 1996. “What Causes Poverty?” in Annals of the Association of American Geographers. 86:4, 707-728.http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-15391515 accessed 30 March 2012
Home that is Prison
Tessa Maria Guazon
~ The films Nino and Bisperas speak of troubled domesticity and map this state within the spatial materiality of home. In them, we witness the crumbling structure of the social unit that is the modern family. The former enacts one entrapped by longing for an illustrious past and the latter depicts another whose ties are threatened by lies. ~ Tense silence reigns in the home-worlds of Bisperas and Nino as characters tether in the limbo of longing. In Bisperas it is an avowed hope for a renewed future where mistakes are redeemed, while it is nostalgia for a life of ~ refinement and excess in Nino. The families housed in these worlds confront the onslaught of time and decay that is its companion.
Home speaks. By turns witness and burden, home is refuge that is not always all-embracing. Its welcome is deceptive because at times, it can be bosom that chokes. In ways not often obvious, this best describes our fraught relations with family and the uncertain ties constantly negotiated within the home. The house is not only space where narrative unfolds; it is itself a central ~ character in moving these film narratives forward. In Nino, a crumbling ancestral home is silent witness to its inhabitants' recollections, their scrambling for scraps left over from a way of life long gone. The modest, subdivision bungalow of Bisperas suffers a looting and its bowels upturned, the house reveals secrets long harboured, mutely accepted but dangerously transformed once spoken of. Relations characterized by material space are embodiments of these filial ties, those that free and incarcerate. This is the space the essay plots and ~ maps. This review posits the houses of Bisperas and Nino as “rhetorical space”. In Roxanne Mountford's terms this space is the “the geography of (a) communicative event”, which when considered in film is made more complex by the multiple layers of space cinema is able to construct.9 This space includes arrangements that may be “material and cultural, whether intended or fortuitous”.10 Historical by nature, rhetorical spaces represent in physical form relationships and ideas.11 These understandings of space are complicated by the character of film. The houses as mise-en-scene exist materially but narrative endows them with another form of rhetoric.
Mountford, Roxanne. 2001: 42 Ibid Ibid
This rhetorical space extends beyond the limits of the film frame as the narratives find and construct resonant ideas among audiences. Film endows rhetorical space with multiple meanings and transforms it into a highly charged location of utterance. Thus, geography construed within film language is best mapped within the frames constructed by narrative and cinematic device as well as larger social landscapes where these spaces belong. Nostalgia and deceit We meet the Aguinaldo family in a Christmas Eve procession, the panunuluyan that commemorates Mary and Joseph's search for an inn to stay. The family is depicted against this backdrop, a community of more or less known neighbours whose fickle relations with each other are played out on the street. Salud the wife dotes on her granddaughter Steph who for the first time spends the holidays in Manila. Ara the middle child takes family photos but ends limping on blistered foot. Mio, closet gay and youngest of the brood, slips away to meet his lover, while Diane the eldest child seems oblivious to all else except her daughter. The latter works as a nurse in the US and is home for the Christmas holidays. The procession ends in church where they join Ramon head of the family, a lay minister. They drive through the city which is a place both old and new to Diane's eyes. Ensconced in the comfort of their sedan, the family seems no less ordinary. Shrouded by a sheer, almost meditative quiet, their thoughts during the ride home are aired and spoken for by the blast of an evening radio talk program. All look forward to their Christmas Eve dinner (the Noche Buena) but find a home strangely unlighted. Gate ajar and door locks pried loose, they soon discover their house looted. We are again acquainted with the family in this anxious manner. As they giddily scan their rooms and discover what is lost, petty fights erupt and hurtful blame ensues.
In their accounting of possessions thieved, cargo boxes, passports, computer, cameras, jewellery, clothes gone we are cleverly led to that most valued and threatened lost by this family - trust. Salud finds the land titles gone. This discovery causes a ripple of anxiety amongst the women of the family. Ramon seems unflustered by it. Ara confronts him in quiet rage, asking whether he had pawned the titles yet again. He retorts with indignation, bristling at the way his children regard him with distrust. Noche Buena turns nasty as they embark on a heated exchange that threatens to bring back old ghosts, especially Ramon's gambling streak. We discover Diane bravely putting up a front, hiding at best the fact that she singly supports a growing daughter and a jobless husband. Salud loses her steely control in this broiling spat. Enflamed she waves a carving knife before them and declares the US trip meant as Diane's birthday gift an impossibility because indeed “there is no money and passports are lost!”. Struggling to keep the veneer of this ideal family together, Salud regains composure and tidies up the house altar, the family portraits, and the lighted Christmas tree. They attend Christmas sermon next day seemingly having forgotten the tribulations of the night before. The Aguinaldos carry on as they were. We expect the film to end on this tawdry note but Mio spots a man wearing his Ateneo University jacket. Thinking him to be one of the thieves, Mio tries to catch him but loses him in the crowd streaming out of church. There are more secrets to unfold within their lives but Salud once again reigns over them with maddening resolve and stoic tolerance. The family home bears this defeat – defective plumbing, a flickering patio light, a well worn kitchen. Diane screeches in alarm when she finds the ground floor toilet overflowing with faeces (from the thieves no less) and the flush not working. Ara is rankled when her father and Mio insist turning the faulty patio light on. Like a warning sign the defective bulb is symptom of the ruin that threatens this middle class family. This ruin is a mute, roiling emptiness that engulfs a home whose hearth is fed by silent, crackling resentment. The kitchen like Salud is beaten, worn by the countless meals needed to nourish family and guests. Indeed, the kitchen is where Salud regains her composure after learning the rental money she had entrusted Mio is also stolen. This is the same place where she gathers courage to speak defiantly and here, we discover who guards the family against collapse. Like the house, Salud is pious sentinel and quiet presence. Yet like her a faded beauty aged by life's pains, the house struggles against the burden of secrets and decay. Rout is sealed for the once-powerful Lopez-Aranza family as they eke out a living inside the crumbling confines of the Villa Los Reyes Magos. The family had to resort to letting spare rooms to student boarders. This, Merced's job and Celia's occasional voice lessons help the family thrive. The house's serpentine columns, wood plank- and Spanish-tiled floors attest to its faded grandeur. Majority of the scenes are shot in the dining area and adjoining balcony that stretches through the perimeter of the house.
Once the star of the Philippine opera Celia now sings her arias to her fatally ill brother, Gaspar, once Congressman whose bets in local politics had lost when Marcos ran for presidency. His recollections run the gamut of boxing, politics, and parties until overcome with the forgetfulness induced by drugs. Celia wades through this villa of lost hopes reliving alongside her brother the grand balls the family once hosted. She hankers over choices made in the past and dreams of fixing the garden and the house gate. Merced, Celia's daughter tries her best to hold the family together and assiduously works on their toe line finances. She lives with a lover, a female nursing student whom she introduces as the boarder and for whom she provides. All is disrupted when brother Mombic arrives. He is to leave for a job in Dubai and forcibly thrusts the care of his son Antony to both Merced and Celia. All these are unspoken of and propriety demands that they remain heavily guarded secrets, however. Antony explores the house in play, with curiosity second-nature to a child. On his first dinner, illustrious people who once dined at the same table were mentioned in succession. He acquaints himself with the house's occupants by smell – Banang the loyal maid who smells of kitchen fumes, his grandmother of roses, both Aunt Merced and her lover musty like closets. He slips into rooms, witnessing evening ministrations and rituals. He peers through antiquated china cabinets, looks over balconies, and runs through the garden. He is fascinated with altars and the figure of the child Jesus who saved his father from an early death due to meningitis. Believing the Santo Nino (the Child Jesus) will bring about a second miracle Celia dresses ~ him up like the saint figure, all to Mombic's distress. The family stands to lose the villa, as Celia had long given up her rights to the house. They fear Gaspar's imminent death as well as the decision of his daughter Raquel to sell the house. Yet like the doomed fate of this onceillustrious family, the house is destined lost to them. Raquel arrives from the US and ushers a string of connivances and intrigues. Old wounds and secrets threaten to be let loose. We discover Mombic and Raquel drawn together by incestuous attraction as when they were in their youth. Yet all these are trumped by Reinhardt's (Raquel's son from her third husband) admission of his sexuality. In the end, everybody prepares for an inevitable leaving – Gaspar to life beyond, Celia, Merced and grandson Antony to a modest condominium unit, Mombic to a far-off place, Raquel to the US. Her son leaves the fray of the family and seeks his destiny in Manila. To the rest, destiny becomes either severed or tied to the concept of home. Raquel has no attachment to one hardened as she is by life in the States. Mombic only knows perpetual striving after a string of failures and Celia more attached than anybody else to family history which she sees entwined with the house. Merced remains the family's stolid ground because it is only she who accepts this eventuality with sacrifice and resolve. The house's elegant furniture is overcome by the emptiness that pervades Villa los Reyes Magos. The utter gloom of its interiors and its overgrown garden are images of neglect. In the tertulia Celia organizes in the end, the balcony, a space both inside and beyond, takes her back to the past. Here she sings a moving aria, a lament to faded youth and glory. As when the film had begun, she grieves for the past and yearns for refuge, “comfort to a weary soul”.
The balcony is warmed by clear light and here she breathes the fresh garden air. Antony incredulously dressed as the child Jesus runs after a white butterfly in the garden, which like the house has long presaged the fall of the family. A miracle after all is long due coming. Uncertain Peace (and uneasy endings) The home in Bisperas, house No. 9 along a main avenue just beyond Liwayway Street in Quezon City holds the narrative faultlessly together. Jeturian provides the locus of the narrative wholly. By starting with the procession inside the subdivision, he lets us into the world where the story of the Aguinaldos unfolds. He maps their strained relationships within a communal setting and shows how much of these tensions are kept from the public eye. Jeturian succeeds to show that indeed the home, the self and the community collapse into each other. Yet because of the pervasive centrality of ideals of family, of “blood being thicker than water” we endure the stifling coagulations of family more often than wanted. Loy Arcenas on the other hand depicts Villa Los Reyes Magos a world unto itself. We are given little clue as to its location. We glimpse an old Manila street during Raquel's arrival but the scenes mostly unfold within the house interiors, much like the rooms that ring hollow of memories slipping swiftly by. The house in Nino is grave and silent like the crypt that awaits Gaspar and ~ old age where even memory can be wrested from Celia. Much of the home exists in the recollections of Celia and Gaspar and for the generation after, it is only pawn to secure a future. Despite its ornate presence, the villa is like a ghost, immaterial except to those whose opiate memories help it survive. In many ways, this personification of the house in Nino is both weakness and ~ strength. We long to witness the house but it is only after much contemplation that we realize that its deliberate, material absence bespeaks the fate of the remaining generations of the Lopez-Aranzas. In both families, women suffer in quiet grace and in so many instances become one with the house. Stifled by home, they represent ambivalence when confronted with the question of their presence in a precipitously disintegrating family. It is disheartening for the films to end with a seeming resignation, a mute acceptance of circumstance. The houses in both films bide forestalled time. Yet this temporality clashes with the underlying current of their narratives. In Bisperas the house is transfixed in time as its spaces are violated by thieves. The film characters however thrive within an urgency that demands time to move forward, to arrive at redemption perhaps. In Nino on the other hand, the house ~ embodies a headlong fall into the void of decay and the family struggles to yoke time to a past to stop its course. These temporal tensions render these films interesting and thus, it is disappointing to have them punctured by endings made crude by their predictable nature. The narratives collapse with the expectant tone of their closing. To my mind, films that attempt to flesh out issues closest to heart benefit from ambivalence most. Isn't it that human relationships embody this
fragile balance, often unpredictable? In struggles with fate's invisible hand, it is the spirit in ordeals of persistence and survival that keens, trudges, and strains. An ending more enigmatic, more probing, less ~ confining could have perhaps elevated the narratives of Bisperas and Nino to such understanding. Bibliography
Bruno, Giuliana.“The Architects of Time: Reel Duration from Warhol to Tsai Ming Liang” in Public Intimacy: Architecture and the Visual Arts. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007. 189-213. Mountford, Roxanne. Winter 2001. “On Gender and Rhetorical Space” in Rhetoric Society Quarterly 31:1, 4171.
Ang Nawawala at Nag-aapuhap sa pelikulang Bisperas
Jema M. Pamintuan
ng paggalaw ng kamera at pagprisinta ng mga pananaw mula sa lente nito ang isa sa mga birtud ng pelikulang Bisperas, sa direksyon ni Jeffrey ~ Jeturian. Magugunita rito ang husay ng paggamit ng kamera sa isa pang pelikulang idinirehe ni Jeturian, ang Kubrador, na nagmapa ng paglalakad ng pangunahing tauhan sa komunidad bilang pagsubaybay sa pangangalap nito ng mga taya sa huweteng. Ang kamera ang nagtanghal kung paanong memoryado ng tauhan ang pasikut-sikot ng bayan, na paglao'y biglang naging alanganin ang alaalang ito at naligaw ang tauhan, gaya ng alanganin ding kalagayan at temperamento ng pinasukang~hanapbuhay at mga linsad na transaksyong sangkot dito. Pinapatnubayan ng kamera, ng galaw at fokus nito, kung saan at paano titingin ang manonood, kung ano ang ~ hahanapin sa pelikula. Sa Bisperas, materyal ang galaw ng kamera sa pamamaraan kung paano sinuyod ng pamilya Aguinaldo ang kabuuan ng kanilang tahanan pagkatapos itong nilooban. Kagagaling lamang ng mag-anak sa prusisyon kaakibat ng ritwal ng panunuluyan, bilang pagdiriwang sa bisperas ng Pasko. Habang nasa loob ng sasakyan ang mag-anak pauwi ng kanilang tahanan, ang nakaambang tila walang katapusang paghahalughog at paghahanap, at ang paggunita sa mga bagay na nawawala, ay pinangunahan ng pag-awit ng batang apo ng mag-asawang Ramon (Tirso Cruz III) at Salud (Raquel ~ Villavicencio). “Pasko na, sinta ko, hinahanap kita”— ay ilang linya mula sa tanyag na awitin ng pangungulila ng persona sa kaniyang minamahal sa panahon ng kapaskuhan. Pagkapasok ng kanilang sasakyan sa gate, nagsimula na ang pagtatanghal sa mga imaheng iba, kakatwa, at maligalig sa paningin at ekspektasyon ng mag-anak--mula sa nadistrungkang nakasanayang gayak ng tahanan (nakapatay ang inaasahang bukás na mga ilaw) hanggang sa nakaplano na nilang noche buena. Iginiya at isinalaysay ng galaw ng kamera ang paraan ng pag-uusisa at ~ paghahanap ng sagot sa bugtong ng nangyaring panloloob sa tahanan: ano ang mga bagay na unang hinanap, ano ang mga hindi nakita, saan unang pumunta ang mga tauhan, ano ang mga nakita na nakapagpaalala at nagudyok sa tauhang hanapin pa ang ibang bagay, ano ang maaaring ipalagay na pinahahalagahan ng tauhan kung kaya iyon ang kaniyang unang hinanap. Sa pamamagitan ng mabisang disenyong pamproduksyon ng pelikula, malayang nakagalaw ang kamera sa kabuuan ng bahay bilang paglalahad ng posibleng naratibo at proseso ng panloloob. Una munang itinanghal ng kamera ang imahen ng tahanan pagkatapos itong malooban, ang magulo at nakasabog na mga gamit dito. Inihahain nito ang pangunang ekspektasyon sa atin bilang mga manonood, na ito ang problema ng pelikula. Pagkapasok ng pintuan, tumambad kay Ramon ang
nakatumbang Christmas tree. Kumuha ng golf club si Ramon bilang sandata, malinaw na ang/ang mga taong nanloob ang kaniyang hinahanap. Mula sala, umakyat sa hagdanan si Ramon, tiningnan ang silid sa unang palapag, saka tumungo sa ikalawang palapag at pumasok sa lahat ng silid dito, sa silid nilang mag-asawa, hanggang sa silid ng mga anak. Nang maliwanag na wala ngang tao, bunsod na rin ng sambit ng kaniyang kasambahay, “Wala namang tao,” tinawag na niya ang mag-anak upang pumasok sa loob ng bahay. Sa mga sumunod na eksena, ikinuwento ng kamera ang mga nakatanghal sa paningin (tulad ng kasilyas na dinumihan ng nanloob), gayundin, ang mga nawawala sa paningin (gaya ng pagkain para sa noche buena na binawasan ng/ng mga magnanakaw) ng bawat tauhan. Sa gitna ng kalat,
dumi, at gulo ng mga gamit, hinanap ang mga maipapalagay na pinahahalagahan ng mga tauhan—simula sa kamera at cellphone ni Ramon, mga alahas at passport ni Salud, mga titulo ng lupa, ang macbook ng kanilang anak na si Ara (Julia Clarete), ang pera sa drawer ng bunsong anak na si Mio (Edgar Allan Guzman), ang balikbayan box ng panganay na anak na si Diane (Jennifer Sevilla). May hinanap bang natuklasang naroon?—tanging reading glasses lamang ni Salud, ang bagay na kailangan niya upang mabasa ang mga natirang dokumento at kumpirmahin ang pagkawala ng mga titulo ng lupa. Isa sa posibleng aasahan ng manonood ay ang pagdadala sa kaniya ng kamera tungo sa mga ebidensya ng krimen, upang malutas ito, at mabigyan ng maayos na konklusyon ang pelikula. Sa halip, ibinigay ng kamera ang komprontasyon ng mga tauhang nagsumbatan dahil sa mga nawalang kagamitan, na lalong nagpakapal sa nauna nang kinilalang suliranin ng panloloob sa tahanan. Ang proseso ng paghahanap ng nawawala ay kaugnay ng proseso rin ng pag-aalaala. Bawat gamit na hinanap, at lunang pinanggalingan ng gamit na iyon, ay nanganak ng sigalot sa pagitan ng mga tauhang biglang nakagunita ng atraso at kakulangan sa kanila ng kaanak. Mula sa mga hinanakit at argumento, higit pang lumitaw at natuklasan kung ano ang mga gamit na nawawala, gayundin, anong mga bilin at gawaing ipinagkatiwala ang hindi nagampanan ng mga miyembro ng pamilya. Ang kaguluhan ng makalat na lunan ay katumbas ng nagtutunggaling personalidad ng mga tauhan, dahil sa salansan ng mga damdaming naipon at noon lamang naipahayag, gaya ng mga nakakahong dokumentong pinakatagu-tago at ngayo'y ibinulatlat at inuusisa. Ang nakaugaliang hindi pagbabalik ng gamit ni Mio kay Ara, ang hindi naidepositong pera na iniutos ni Salud sa anak na si Mio, ang malalim na pagdududa nina Salud at Ara sa katapatan ni Ramon hinggil sa nawawalang titulo ng lupa, ang mga naitanim na sentimyento ni Ramon tungkol sa pangingibang-bansa, pagaasawa, at di pagpapadala ng pera ni Diane--ang mga ito ang naging sentral na konsepto ng paghahanap sa pelikula. Ang tiwala, at ang pangako ng mabisang komunikasyon na inirereklamong iniwang nakatiwangwang lamang ng mga tauhan, ang ngayo'y higit na hinahalungkat ng mga ito sa isa't isa. Sa gitna ng mga hindi naresolbang damdamin, at mga nakasanayan nang dapat gawin, o mga paalalang nakaligtaan, gaya ng pag-double lock ng pinto (bukod pa sa perang hindi naideposito at macbook na hindi ibinalik kaagad), ang tanging pagdaraos ng noche buena na lamang ang gawain na maaaring isakatuparan nang maayos. Sa eksenang ito ng pagtatangkang ipagpatuloy ang pagdiriwang ng Pasko sa kabila ng pisikal, emosyonal at mental na pinsala sa mga tauhan, ipinakita na ng kamera ang maayos na tahanan—nakatayo na muli ang Christmas tree, ginayakan ng nakapulupot ditong Christmas lights, kumpleto sa tunog pamasko na mula sa mga ilaw. Nakahanda na ang noche buena, nakaayos ang mesa, inanyayahang maupo na rito ang mag-anak para kumain, ipinaalala pa ang muntik nang makaligtaang paghahain ng hamon. Subalit naroon pa rin ang ligalig ng naunang imahen—mga damdaming nahalughog at hindi pa natitiklop ng mahusay na pakikipag-ugnayan, ng pagpapaubaya, at pag-unawa. Tigib ng rubdob ang noche buena, taal ang
transpormasyon sa tinginan ng mga tauhan kumpara noong sila'y kalmado lamang habang nasa prusisyon ng panunuluyan. Mainam ang timpla at gradasyon mula pagtitiim-bagang hanggang hysteria sa hapagkainan. Bagaman nagpakita ng matinding emosyon, nakapa pa rin kay Salud ang pagsisikap na ipagpatuloy ang ritwal at selebrasyon, na animo'y sa kaniya nakatalaga ang pagtatahi at pagsasaayos ng nalamog na mga ugnayan sa pamilya. Gaya ng naunang mga pamamaraan ng pagpapanatili sa kaayusan ng tahanan, pansamantala munang ililigpit at muling isasalansan sa isang eskaparate ang magkakasalungat na pananaw, ang magkakabanggang tinginan, ang nag-aalangang pakiramdaman, sa pamilyang iyon. Si Salud ang nagbigay ng payapang wakas sa gabing iyon, ang nangunang magligpit ng mga pinagkainan, nagayos ng mga bakas ng pinsala ng panloloob, nagpatay ng ilaw, at nagpaalala kay Mio ng pagsisimba kinabukasan, pagkat iba umano ang misa sa bisperas, sa misa sa araw ng Pasko. Kagaya ng ritwal ng panunuluyan, ng paghahanap ng tahanang masisilungan ng mga tauhan nito, batbat ang pelikula ng mga pananda ng paghahanap, hindi lamang ng mga bagay na nawawala. May malinaw na preokupasyon sa mga ritwal, o ang posibilidad ng paggamit sa diwa ng ritwal upang magbigay kaganapan at saysay sa buhay at pagdanas ng mga tauhan. Ang mga regular na fixture ng Pasko ay naroon—ang pagbebenta ng puto bumbong, ang mga kandilang hawak ng mga deboto habang nagpuprusisyon, ang pag-awit ng mga linya mula sa iskrip ng panunuluyan, ang mga dekorasyong pamasko sa mga tahanan ng komunidad na pinagdausan ng panunuluyan. Kasama rin ang mga nakasanayan nang paalalang nakapaloob sa kabuuang pagdiriwang, ang pangangailangang kumilos nang maayos kapag nasa loob ng simbahan, tulad halimbawa ng pagpuna ni Salud kay Mio na tanggalin nito ang suot na sombrero, at kay Ara, na isuot nito nang maayos ang sapatos kahit napaltusan ito ng paa. Bagaman may malaking lubak sa gitna ng pagdiriwang ng ritwal ng Pasko, yaon ngang nangyaring panloloob, naipasok pa rin ang noche buena, at ang pagsisimba sa araw ng Pasko. Sa mga ritwal, nakasanayang gawain, paalala, at bilin, iniaankla ng mga tauhan ang paghahanap ng sarili, at paghahanap ng ugnayan ng sarili sa kapwa, anuman ang hubog o kompigurasyon ng ugnayang iyon.
The Desire Triangle
lvin Yapan, a professor of Philippine literature at the Ateneo, has emerged over the last few years as a filmmaker with promising talent and a unique creative vision. Before he ventured into filmmaking, he was an award-winning fictionist. The first film he made was Rolyo (2007), a short feature about a farming family in Bicol (where he hails) that uses film negatives to scare away birds from the rice fields. He then directed two feature-length entries for Cinemalaya: Huling Pasada (2008, co-directed with Paul Sta. Ana), a mystery-drama about a novelist whose life is paralleled with those of her fictional characters, and Ang Panggagahasa kay Fe (2009), about a battered wife who finds solace from all her misery in an unlikely source: a non-human creature that is a common figure in Philippine folklore. Yapan then went on to film Gayuma (2011), a coming-of-age yarn set in Bicol and featured the Sto. Niño as a key character, as well as Panibugho (2011), a short film about a rural painter and his muse – an enigmatic river swan. Except for Huling Pasada (which was written by his co-director), Yapan wrote all of the above-mentioned films. His latest feature, Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa (2011), returns to the urban setting of Huling Pasada to tell the story of two university boys in Manila, Marlon (Paulo Avelino) and Dennis (Rocco Nacino), who catch the eye of their middle-aged literature professor Karen (Jean Garcia). Aside from teaching literature, Karen also teaches dance on the side, in a studio she rents, where Dennis is a teaching assistant. Marlon harbours a crush on Karen, and he reckons one way to get close to her is to enrol in one of her dance classes. He then enlists Dennis to teach him the basics so he would not be embarrassed during dance lessons with Karen. What follows is a love triangle so delectably charming that you would not want the movie to end. Unfortunately it does, and abruptly so, with the movie clocking in at a brisk 75 minutes. Once the film credits roll, you will be transfixed on your seat, figuring out how to process the film and immediately wishing to see the film all over again. The feeling you get after watching it is the same one you get after reading a good poem. You remember the cadence, the breaths, the pauses, the silences. You remember the sound of your soul stirring, sighing of satisfaction. A big part of the movie's appeal is Yapan's idea to use poems written by Filipino feminists, set to music to accompany the dance routines in the movie, as well as to move the narrative forward. Listening to the songs makes you wish that all pop songs were as poetic, or, conversely, that all poems be turned into songs. The opening scene finds Karen in front of a university class reading aloud Ruth Mabanglo's “Kinukumutan Ka ng Aking Titig” with the following first stanza:
“Kinukumutan ka ng aking titig Isang siyudad ng pag-ibig: Dilim na binabagtas ng mga hipo, Liwanag na kaakibat ng mga pangako. Nililiyo ako ng mga haplos, Binubura ng mga alaala. Ay, tila ugat akong nabubunot, Umaangat, Lumilipad, Mga mata'y nag-uulap.”
[“I cover you with my gaze A city of love Darkness traversed with touches Light accompanied by promises I reel around with caresses Memories wipe me out Oh, I am a root ripped out Levitating Flying Eyes clouding over.”]
While these lines are being read, the film cuts to scenes that introduce Karen as a dance instructor (performing a solo in the studio as her students look on), Marlon as her smitten student (stalking Karen in his car as she rides a jeep, gazing at her as she walks by a campus corridor), and Dennis as Marlon's classmate and Karen's dancing assistant instructor (who notices Marlon gazing at Karen). Yapan skilfully utilizes the said poem and those of other feminist poets (Rebecca Añonuevo, Ophelia Dimalanta, Merlinda Bobis, Joi Barrios, and Benilda Santos) to tell what essentially is a young man's coming-of-age story. When Marlon decides to hire Dennis to teach him dance lessons in private, he did not realize this would be the beginning of his sexual maturity. The first dance tutorial is fraught with unease and awkwardness. Since pair dances are always assumed to be performed by two people of the opposite sex: one is expected to lead (the more masculine, dominant) while the other expects to be led (the more feminine, passive), two dancers of the same sex would be tantamount to dancing with two left feet. Marlon, being the non-dancer, has to first assume the feminine part. With not a little hesitation, he asks Dennis what would turn out to be a loaded
question: “Kailangan ba may lalaki at may babae?” (“Should it always involve a man and a woman?”) It seems like an innocuous question to ask, especially in the context of dance. But a few sequences later, one will realize that Marlon might have asked the same question in the context of relationships in general: does love have to be shared only by two people of the opposite sex? In the very last scene, Marlon himself will answer that question. In fact, that seemingly off-the-cuff query is not the only one that appears to have a deeper meaning. In the scene where Marlon first rehearses with a female dance student in the studio, with the camera focused on Dennis as he was changing into dance shoes, Marlon asks his partner, “Kailangan ba talaga straight?” (“Does it have to be straight?”), perhaps referring to the position of his arm or leg during a certain step. But, as with the first question, it is an ironic one, perchance thrown at a heteronormative society by someone who is on the cusp of discovering the fluidity of his own sexuality. When Karen embarrasses Marlon in front of the whole dance class by telling him he did not have to impress her by asking Dennis to teach him in advance, it makes him furious at Dennis for breaking his trust, when in fact it was Karen who figured everything out by herself. To patch things up, she hires the two students to help her in choreographing a cotillion and, later, to audition for a play she's directing, Humadapnon, an Ilonggo epic. This gives the boys plenty of opportunity to bond by rehearsing and interpreting the meaning of their audition piece: Benilda Santos' “Ang Sabi Ko sa Iyo”, a sexually suggestive and ambiguous poem set to music. Karen is so impressed by their audition that she casts both as leads: Marlon as Humadapnon, a proud king, and Dennis as Sunmasakay, a beautiful woman masquerading as a man to save Humadapnon from the hordes of women tempting him to marry them. During rehearsals, Karen asks the two what the deal is with them, aware that the two share a special relationship. Marlon, still in denial of his feelings, brushes aside her question and confides that he really was after her. Karen, of course, sees through everything, and tells him that he does not have to overthink things, that he, in essence, should not walk back to the beginning of the tunnel just because he thinks that the flicker of light he sees at the end would be too real, too much, to handle. In the next scene, to prove to Dennis (but more to himself) that there is really nothing going on between them, Marlon pays Dennis for his services, which the latter naturally rejects. Literary critic René Girard argues that desire for a certain object is always provoked by the desire of another person for this same object (23). In the film, the object is Karen. Although Dennis does not romantically desire Karen, Marlon desires Dennis' closeness to her, so he uses him as a mediator so that he, too, will be as close to Karen. Through the object, one is drawn to the mediator. In fact, it is the mediator who is sought all along. It is only in the final performance of the play, as Humadapnon and Sunmasakay are locked in a final embrace, where Marlon would acknowledge his true feelings for Dennis, signified by that enigmatic teardrop that only Dennis can see. And that teardrop indeed is a waterfall. It would convey a message better than any word could.
It is not at all surprising that feminist writing is closely tied with queer discourses since they share the same goal: to challenge the traditional patriarchal social system that dominates the world. In fact, feminist research is the wellspring of all gender studies today, including queer and masculinity studies. That is the reason why the gender concept has been traditionally linked to women's issues, and why it is not a stretch to come up with a queer reading of most works of feminist writers. The film is not without its flaws. There are some scenes that feel a tad false, such as Karen's dressing down of Marlon in front of everyone (I felt it would be more realistic if she talked to him in private: Marlon would still feel betrayed), the cotillion argument between Marlon and Dennis, the poetry reading in the car, and the gossiping students under the tree. But these are mere quibbles if set against the film's many virtues: its unique story, a sensitive direction and excellent technical support (particularly its music, photography, and editing), and the commendable performances of the three main actors. Bibliography
René Girard, Deceit, Desire, and the Novel: Self and Other in Literary Structure. Trans. Yvonne Freccero. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1966.
J. Pilapil Jacobo
he figure in question is addressed in a diminutive of the feminine. Her name is Donna, Señorita Donna: petite madame, little lady, precious fräulein. One cannot misrecognize what delicacy is at stake upon her entry into the frame. There she must go, a pageant queen. Goddess of fab and fairy of glam, her drag can only be gorgeous. The swagger seems to be schooled in Balanchine, and perhaps honed through the pasarela. Unflappable is the flânerie, defying all manner of traffic in the tropic city. Gaze is fierce one moment, susceptible the next, without losing a sense of cunning in the shift. Surrounded by the smokiness of dry ice and conjured along proportions of a curious syncope, her soubrette must be most enticing to a seductee. A miniature of what could be magnitude, if not every bit of immensity, this señorita translates the figure of the femme fatale into an idea even more svelte, perhaps into the feminine fatale whose queer maneuvers are premised on a most emphatic political argument through the cinema of Vincent Sandoval, a New York-based Filipino imagineer. Donna is also Sofia. That should be the wisdom behind the maquillage. The crown, the sash, and the bouquet form the accoutrements of a costume that defers the exposure of her investments in the erotic trade. In Manila, Sofia ministers to the fantasies of bicurious boys and polyamorous men; in Talisay, Donna plays keen strategist of an emergent politics and surrogate mother to a precocious adolescent. One should be wont to read this as a double life, an enlargement of sorts of the feminine's fatality, but Donna/Sofia reduces distinctions between fragments of her tangible secret. Donna's savoir-faire is Sofia; they are the same preciosity. That Donna runs the show in the campaign of an aspirant for the town's mayorship is less a passable evidence of a suspicious tolerance of queerness in the far-flung country than a compelling proof of the power of enchantment that Sofia has accumulated in all those torrid nocturnes in the port city. It is not so much the nonchalance of Donna's company that is fascinating but the manner of seduction that is internalized by her immediate coterie. Preciosity begets not just a degree of precariousness but a condition of precarity. To be little is to have less, so to speak. One is unsafe when one holds a thing dearly. In the world of the feminine fatale, what is at stake is the intimate, that scale of affection most prone to danger and its terminus, death. If Talisay offers to the queer subject a consolidation of her political participation in the republican state, its utopian milieu assembles the mood that allows her to deliberate on the opportunities that complicity can provide to assure the perfectibility of her tragedy.
In spinning the desirous into the political, and perhaps a queerscience into politics itself, against, of course, the duress of heteronormative discourses, Vincent Sandoval's Señorita (2011) daresto be compared to Neil Jordan's The Crying Game (1992). The intimate struggle of the Irish Republican Army within late imperial British history should be an awkward equivalent to the histrionic micropolitics of the contemporary electorate in postcolonial Philippines, but Sofia is pivotal in Sandoval's text as Dil is indispensable to Jordan's treatise. Both characters lay bare the devices which make the interstices of power work out and break down, in various guises of efficacy and disrepair. Jaye Davidson's portrayal of the transgender Dil remains one of the most persuasive acting of queer melancholia, but Vincent Sandoval's Donna/Sofia can be argued to have even surpassed that forlorn epitome in his valiant equipoise to contravene the torque of tactic and even brandish potency in a moment of powerlessness through the most refined ministrations of a grotesque image that has triumphed as beauty. Such affect is not exactly the stuff that facilitates the expression of terms of endearment for the feminine fatale yearning to be addressed lovingly by the constituents of an always already failed democratic polity, but the melodramatic method summons the affectations and mannerisms of the foremost dowager of our erstwhile autocracy. Call the maneuver daring, if not altogether desperate, in a productive sense, but Señorita's diminutive discourse does argue a case for a queer promise within national allegory. The mode is often perceived through its amplifying procedure, in its capacity to reference everything else that is excised from the surface and core of narrative, but the more ostensible present of the allegorical, as far as our “queer phenomenology,” pace Sarah Ahmed, is concerned, discloses the total world of violence through the fragile pieces of a fairly honorable villainy and a fairly honorific victimage. Contemporary cinema should find in Vincent Sandoval a cause célèbre. His chamber work has demonstrated the diminution of doom in the flamboyant demeanor of an operatic possibility.
The Peregrine Son
Jaime Oscar M. Salazar
aving lately gotten wind of the news that his father, Mario, had passed away, Jimmuel Apostol II returns to his hometown in order to seek out the grave and pay his final respects to a man from whom he has long been geographically distant and emotionally estranged. What looks at the outset to be a simple errand burgeons into the convoluted quest with which Teoriya, the first full-length feature by Zurich Chan, is concerned with tracing—one that has Jimmuel take a roughly northeasterly route across the Zamboanga peninsula over a number of days, from Zamboanga City all the way to Zamboanga Sibugay. The reason for this is that no one, with the possible exception of his blood relatives, whom he refuses to consult, appears able to tell him precisely when his parent—likely the only one he had grown up with, because he never mentions his mother – had died or where the body had been laid to rest. It must be admitted that a film underpinned by such a premise requires from the audience no small degree of willingness to suspend disbelief, considering that death is one of the occasions around—as well as against—which human beings, at every known moment of history in every corner of the world, have conceived and built elaborate communal rituals, which are crucial to fortifying the bonds between and among the members of the affected family, clan, or other social group, and bringing back for the living a sense of control over an unsettling, if inevitable, experience. Within the first 15 minutes of the movie, Jimmuel is seen discussing the contents of his father's will with a lawyer, who is also his godfather: as obvious a sign as any that, even if Mario had expired far away from kith and kin, his dying had set into motion a flurry of medical, mortuary, religious, and legal activities carried out by sundry personnel, many, if not all, of whom might reasonably be expected to make and maintain records. Granted that his godfather is as clueless as he is—though surely the executor of an estate would have seen a copy of the death certificate, at the very least?—the fact that Jimmuel does not attempt—does not even think—to approach a single doctor, funeral home manager, memorial park administrator, priest, or government functionary for assistance, instead deciding to go from cemetery to cemetery in order to comb through one tomb after another, hoping to discover the place where Mario was buried, is a choice that, in beginning, bewilders. (To his credit, Jimmuel does track down Mong, one of his father's closest friends and colleagues, but when Mong turns out to be in the grip of a mental illness, persistently confusing Jimmuel with his deceased associate, Jimmuel seems to give up on following a commonsensical trajectory to solving his personal mystery, preferring to tread the path of most resistance, as it were.)
The perplexity only increases when one considers that, for the past ten years, Jimmuel has been in Manila, ostensibly thriving in the advertising industry—from all accounts, a cutthroat world that prizes and promotes those who work with speed, creativity, and ruthlessness. Precisely what his job involves is not specified, but the relative profitability of his career is revealed most plainly by the size and the furnishings of his hotel suite, which features, among others, a living room and a king-sized bed. It is his choice of temporary shelter, an exceedingly extravagant one in view of the circumstances of his return to his place of birth, that first suggests something significant about him—something that will be reinforced throughout the film: while, for him, the memory of Mario may be “the most sacred of memories”,12 Jimmuel is not so much a Crisóstomo Ibarra, whose search for Don Rafael's remains spurs him to decisive, even dangerous action, as the parabolic prodigal son—an epithet his own godfather invokes—whose feelings toward his father and everything that his father represents constitute an intricate knot from which clear imperatives are grueling to extricate. As the English historian Theodore Zeldin points out, “few people can extract solutions to their problems from their roots”, especially given what is known about roots today: besides serving as anchors, they also produce hormones, and therefore people “should not assume that roots give nothing but stability: they could say that roots also create moods”.13 It is on mood, rather than event, that the film wagers its artistic energy, persuasively configuring out of Zamboanga spaces within which a grief-stricken Jimmuel wanders in a state of errancy, guided in part by the entries in the journal of his father, in life a medical representative who had traveled everywhere in Mindanao to ply pharmaceuticals. Although he apparently feels compelled to accomplish his goal, he also displays uncertainty as to his readiness to come upon Mario's grave, such that he is willing enough to be diverted, no matter how briefly, from doing so. In addition to assuming the painstaking task of examining sepulcher upon sepulcher in the cemetery of every town he stops at, Jimmuel spends time with a number of strangers that he meets along the way, often to droll effect, as in the case of a strangely equipped hijacker who waylays him one night. It is these same strangers who render his roaming about productive, in that his encounters with them propel him to stay the course instead of drifting off the track. Teoriya is suffused with the strength of Jimmuel's ambivalence, which owes not only to the noteworthy performance of Alfred Vargas in the lead role, but also to the laudable cinematography and visual design by director of photography Dexter dela Peña, assistant cinematographer Mark Leaster Regondola, and production designer Paul Alfonse Marquez. Marked by spare dialogue and frequent silences, the movie is well-served by strong sequences that are vivid and picturesque without lapsing into gratuitous prettiness, being chiefly composed with a cool, somber palette.
12 José Rizal, Noli Me Tangere (New York: Penguin Books, 2006), trans. Harold Augenbraum, 231. 13 Theodore Zeldin, An Intimate History of Humanity (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., 1994), 50.
The reluctance to take responsibility and the yearning to escape that drive Jimmuel's meandering—perhaps a symptom of denial, one of the stages in the model of grief that was developed by Swiss-American psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, which is the subject of an amusing allusion near the start of film, where one scene shows an “inspirational book” written by Charlemagne Alejandro, the protagonist from Chan's short film Boca—are presaged by the opening shot: that of an airplane soaring through slate-blue air over a graveyard dappled with shadows, just before it lands at the Zamboanga International Airport. Unlike the departed over which he flies, Jimmuel is merely a transient presence here: his stay of limited duration, and his stake a nebulous one. Many scenes reveal the distance that Jimmuel covers as he moves into, out of, or across the frame—whether several steps or a few kilometers—underscoring the amount of effort involved in changing position, in following a path, in initiating action. Recurring images of the horizon, of trees thrusting up into heaven, and of the sky at various times of the day all bolster the impression that what Jimmuel—an ineffectual, tentative man distressed by his quest—fervently craves is reprieve, is transcendence, though he also recognizes the impossibility of satisfying such a desire. Where a more conventional work might fall back on the familiar notion of the presumably redemptive power of a difficult journey, particularly one undertaken for the purpose of discharging a filial duty, the film equivocates, resisting facile sentimentality, and choosing to intimate rather than to impose meaning—a strategy fully realized in the character of Jimmuel, who is at once rudderless and resolute with regard to his mission. Ultimately, his search has less to do with the fulfillment of an obligation than with a confrontation with memory, which is both adhesive and solvent in the process of cultivating and constructing a sense of self—a confrontation, Teoriya suggests, that is necessarily arduous and ardently necessary.
Rizal, Jose. Noli Me Tangere. Trans. Harold Augenbraum. New York: Penguin Books, 2006. Zeldin, Theodore. An Intimate History of Humanity. New York: Harper Collins Publishers, Inc., 1994.
Sa paghahanap sa patay, natagpuan ay buhay: Etnograpiya ng sarili, lugar at mga ugnayang panlipunan sa Teoriya
Eulalio R. Guieb III
aanong sisingilin ng anak ang mga pagkukulang ng ama? Paanong ipahihiwatig ng ama na hindi niya sadya ang kaniyang mga pagkukulang sa anak? Paanong aalalahanin ng anak ang katiting na gunitang pinagsamahan nilang mag-ama? Paanong mamahalin ng ama ang anak na hiwalay at inihiwalay sa tinagurian niyang 'angkla ng buhay' – ang pamilya? Paanong mamahalin ang ama na nawalan ng angkla sa buhay? Paanong magmamahal ang ama na nawalan ng angkla sa buhay? Paanong tatayo sa buhay ang anak na tumiwalag sa angkla ng buhay? Paano sasabihin ng ama sa anak at ng anak sa ama na mahal nila ang isa't isa sa gitna ng malalaking pagkukulang at malalawak na guwang ng pagkakatiwalag sa isa't isa? Paanong mamaalam sa isa't isa nang hindi nagtatagpo? Paanong magtatagpo ang mga kaluluwang permanente nang pinaghiwalay ng kamatayan subalit patuloy na nabubuhay sa mga pilas at pilat ng gunita? Hinimay ng pelikulang Teoriya ni Zurich Chan ang mga tanong na ito. Kinilatis nito ang mga buhaghag na damdamin at natitibag subalit lagi't laging pinatatatag na mga ugnayang panlipunan – kabilang ang mga ugnayang pampamilya – sa payak na sinematikong rendisyon ng naratibo. Inugat nito ang ontolohiya ng sarili, pamilya at lipunan sa epistemolohiya ng lugar. Isinagawa ito ng pelikula hindi lamang sa pamamagitan ng mga dialogo, kundi higit sa naratibo ng mga imahe, sa texto ng mga nagtatagpong kahulugan ng mga imahe. Pagsisiyasat sa sarili – sa mga lugar: Sa pagitan ng nag-aagaw na pag-alis at pag-uwi Sa proseso ng pagsiyasat sa mga saloobin ng mga tauhan ng Teoriya ay nagawang bigyan ng matino at matalinong explorasyon ng pelikula ang etnograpiya ng sarili, lugar at mga damdamin sa sarili at lugar na humuhubog ng mga ugnayang panlipunan, na sa bandang huli ay nagbibigay-hugis rin sa identidad ng sarili at lugar. Kinilatis ng pelikula ang mga tauhang naghahanap ng kahulugan ng kanilang mga kakulangan, o naniningil sa mga kakulangan, o kapwa humihingi at nagbibigay ng mga pampuno sa mga kakulangan ng sarili at kapwa. Hahantong ang explorasyon ng pelikula sa mga damdaming ito sa paglalatag ng mga dikotomiya – at resolusyon ng dikotomiya – ng paglisan at pananatili o ng pag-alis at pagbalik – mga engkuwentrong bunsod ng nayuyugyog na mga angkla ng relasyon. Sa kauna-unahang imahe pa lamang ay iniharap na sa atin ng Teoriya ang pangunahin nitong tesis: ang tunggalian ng mosyon (galaw) at istasis (paghinto). Lumilipad ang isang maingay na eroplano sa ibabaw ng isang tahimik na sementeryo. Nakatanghod sa mainit na panahon ang tahimik at maliit na buwan. Ironiya at kontrast na agad ang nililikha ng imahe.
Inilalahad na agad ang interpelasyon ng magkasalungat subalit magkatuwang na relasyon ng mosyon at istasis. Mababasa sa unang imaheng ito ang mga idea ng pag-alis, pagdating, pagyao, pagbabalik at – higit sa lahat – ng pananatili. Kasabay ng mga konseptong ito ay binuhay ng imaheng ito ang magkasabay na existence ng araw at buwan, sinasadya man ito ng pelikula o hindi. Malalaman natin sa pagdaloy ng pelikula na ang isa sa mga sakay ng eroplano ay isang binatang umuwi sa Zamboanga – ang lugar ng kaniyang pamilya. May anak na tumiwalag sa pamilya na ngayon ay nagbabalik (mosyon ng pagalis at pagbalik, subalit kung mananatili sa iniwang lugar ay isang malaking katanungan) upang hanapin ang puntod ng yumaong ama (kontradiksyon ng pagyao sa buhay subalit pananatili ng katawan sa isang tiyak subalit di-batid na lugar at pananatili ng lahat ng gunita sa isip at puso ng anak). Ironikal na hindi dumating ang anak sa burol ng ama, subalit ngayon ay ironikal na nagbabalik upang hanapin ang puntod ng ama. Ang pelikula ay kuwento ng pananatili sa lugar laban sa paglayo sa lugar. Inilahad ito ng pelikula sa mga imahe sa maraming interseksyon ng paghahanap at paggalugad ng mga tauhan sa maraming bagay na nawala, o inakalang nawala at nawawala. Halimbawa, mababatid natin na bumalik ang anak hindi para umuwi, dahil unang-una, ayon sa kaniyang sarili mismo, ay wala naman na talaga siyang uuwian, wala naman na talagang siyang inuwian. Bumalik siya sa Zamboanga, subalit sa isang hotel siya tumuloy, hindi sa sariling bahay. Pero sa pagpapatuloy ng pelikula ay mauunawaan natin na maituturing pa ring umuwi ang anak sa lugar: umuwi siya hindi pa marahil para sa ama kundi para pa sa kaniyang sarili. Sa huling suma, ang pagbabalik ay pag-uwi sa sarili – sa inunan – anuman ang indikasyon ng pisikal na inuwian. Tulad rin ito ng ginawang desisyon ng yumaong ama na galugarin ang kabuluhan ng buhay at sarili sa iba't ibang lugar na kaniyang napupuntahan dulot ng kaniyang trabaho bilang medical representative. Dadalhin ang ama ng mga pagbibiyaheng ito sa salimuot ng sariling loob. Huhubugin siya ng pisikal na lugar na tatagos sa kaniyang internal landscape, na siya rin namang humuhubog ng katangian ng pisikal na lugar. Nabubuhay sa kontradiksyon ng buhay at kamatayan ang mga lugar na kaniyang pinanggalingan at pinupuntahan. Nabubuhay ang Tuwangan sa gitna ng rebelyon. Sa Sidangan siya nabuhay subalit dito minasaker ang kaniyang pamilya – ang angkla ng kaniyang buhay. Nawalan ng angkla ang kaniyang buhay sa sariling lugar kung saan siya naging tao. Matatagpuan ng anak ang ama sa Ipil, kung saan siya nakalibing – isang lugar na nabubuhay rin sa gitna ng rebelyon at iba't ibang uri ng pang-uusig politikal. Sa mga ganitong kondisyon ay malinaw na hindi istatiko ang lugar: binubuhay ng lugar ang tao, binubuhay ng tao ang lugar, at nabubuo ang kahulugan ng mundo sa interaksyon ng buháy na tao at lugar at interseksyon ng pinapatay o namatay na tao at lugar. Paghahanap sa puntod: Pagbibiyahe sa loob ng sarili at sa loob ng maraming kapwa Dadalhin ang dumating na anak ng kaniyang paghahanap sa puntod ng yumaong ama sa iba't ibang lugar at mga di-inaasahang pakikisalamuha sa iba't ibang tauhang may kani-kanila ring isyu ng buhay at kamatayan – mga
isyung may tiyak na pinaglulugaran, mga lugar at isyung nauna nang hinarap ng ama. Pagkatapos ihabilin ng abogado ng pamilya ang dalawang bagay na minana sa ama – ang kanilang lumang bahay na alam mong hindi na magtatagal at isang kakarag-karag na kotse na alam mong hindi na rin magtatagal – ay susundan ng anak ang mga lugar na pinuntahan ng ama. Sa mahabang panahong pagkakahiwalay sa bahay ay buháy na buháy pa rin sa gunita ng anak ang naging hidwaan nilang mag-ama na hahantong sa tuluyan nang pagputol ng anak sa kurdong umbilikal na nag-uugnay sa kaniya sa kaniyang pinagmulan. At naroroon pa rin ang mga maliliit ngunit mahahalagang sikreto ng buhay – tulad halimbawa sa pagkabatid pa rin ng anak kung saan nakatago ang susi ng pinto para makapasok sa loob ng bahay. Hindi ganap, kung gayon, ang pagkakaputol ng nagbabalik na tila estranghero sa lugar sa kurdong umbilikal ng nilisang ugat. At susundan ng anak ang mga lugar na binanggit ng ama sa kaniyang diary na isa rin sa mga iniwan sa kaniya ng ama. Matatagpuan ng anak ang kaniyang sarili sa lumang bahay ng matalik na kaibigan ng ama – na ikinulong na lamang ang sarili sa loob ng inugatang bahay na binubuhay na lamang ng mga gunita. Tulad ng bahay ng ama, namamatay na rin ang bahay ng kaibigan ng ama. Nawawala ang pisikal na buhay, subalit mayaman ang bahay sa maraming gunita ng buhay. Paanong sasabihing patay ang bahay na punong-puno ng gunita? Paanong lilisanin – o bakit hindi dapat lisanin – ang bahay na nililisan na ng buhay subalit nabubuhay – o patuloy na binubuhay – sa pundasyon ng mga iniimbak na gunita? Malinaw na inihatid sa atin ng pelikula ang mga konseptong ito sa mga imaheng ikinulob (o di ipinakita subalit ipinaramdam) ng kamera at disenyong biswal. Bubulabugin ang kaniyang paghahanap sa puntod ng ama ng isang magnanakaw na hindi marunong magnakaw, na magtuturo sa kaniya – nang hindi nababatid ng magnanakaw – na gagawin ng ama, tulad ng isang ina, ang lahat para sa kaniyang mga anak. Matatagpuan rin ng anak ang lumang bahay sa Sidangan, na nilalapastangan na ng mga kabataang walang muwang sa halaga ng gunita. Nasa pangangalaga ng isang di-pa-naman-katandaang babae ang dahan-dahan nang nagigiba at nasisirang bahay, isang pinaglumaang bahay na kabebenta lamang sa isang pamilyang umaasang masasalba pa ang buo-pa-namang bahay. Kinilala ng babae ang estrangherong binata sa pisikalidad ng ama. Ang matanda ang tipo ng taong hindi mawawaan kung paanong nangyayaring hindi nababatid ng anak ang libingan ng ama. Sa gitna ng mga pagkaguho, may mga tumatangan pa rin sa mga pundasyon ng lahat ng mga bagay na patungo sa pagkaguho, tulad ng pagtangan sa luma ng isang bagong pamilya, tulad ng pagtangan ng matandang babae sa gunita ng pisikalidad ng mga naging kakilala. Tulad ng magnanakaw na walang muwang sa pagnanakaw at mga nilalang na nananatili o naghahanap o nagbabantay ng bahay, ganito rin ang pagkamulat na ituturo sa kaniya ng isang pamilyang binubuhay ng isang nagbalik na babaeng overseas Filipino worker (OFW). Isang accountant ang babaeng ito na nagtrabaho sa Malaysia upang matustusan ang mga pangangailangan ng pamilya. Subalit nagdesisyong umuwi ng OFW matapos mamatay ng kaniyang ina upang higit na maharap ang obligasyon sa ama at sa mga batugang kapatid na lalaki. Umuwi siya, kahit tila hindi dapat. Subalit umuwi siya dahil ginusto rin niya – dahil kailangan ng loob niya ang kaniyang pamilya,
isang pangangailangang sa pakiwari niya ay pamilya lamang ang makapagbibigay, sa gitna ng napakaraming pagkukulang at limitasyon ng kaniyang pamilya. Paanong magmahal ng mga limitasyon? Paanong magmahal ng mga limitasyon nang may pagkukusa? Paanong yayakapin ng pagkukusa ang mga limitasyon? Minsan, tila mas trahedya ang lumisan, at may kagampan sa pananatili. At nang matagpuan na ng anak ang libingan ng ama – pagkatapos ng pagtatangka sa iba pang mga sementeryo – ay nasabi rin niya ang noon pa ay gusto na niyang sabihin sa ama: “Putang-ina mo, Pa.” Ibinulalas niya ito sa ritwal ng pagmamahal nilang mag-ama: paghahalik ng kanilang mga noo na madalas nilang gawing mag-ama noong siya ay bata pa. Nakahalik ang noo ng binata sa puntod ng ama. Naghahalinhinan sa sinkroniko ng mga galit at hinaing – mga payapa o pinayapang hinampo – ang mga patuloy na binubuhay, maláy man o di málay, na expresyon o ritwal ng pagmamahal sa kadugo, sa lahat ng mga bagay na lumisan at nilisan, sa lahat ng mga bagay na inilibing at binubuhay, sa lahat ng mga bagay na puwede pa, o dapat sana, o puwede sana, o puwede dapat. Sa kabuuan ng mga biyahe: Pagbubuo ng lugar ng sarili Sa kabuuan ng biyaheng ito ay gamit ng anak ang kakarag-karag na kotseng ipinamana sa kaniya ng yumaong ama. Sa kabuuang biyaheng ito ay suot ng anak ang lumang damit ng ama na natagpuan niya sa aparador ng bahay ng kaibigan ng ama. Sa madaling salita, pisikal na buháy ang ama sa lahat ng pagbibiyahe ng bumalik na anak. Dadalhin ng mga pisikal na extensyon ng lumisang ama ang paggalugad ng lumisang anak sa kaibuturan ng sarili – ang pagkakatagpo ng anak sa kaniyang sarili at ang pagkakatagpo ng anak sa mga iniwang sarili ng ama. Muli, ang lahat ng ito ay ikinuwento at binigyangkahulugan sa sabayang ayunan at salungatan ng mga imahe. Sa kabuuan rin ng biyaheng ito ay natutunan ng binata na iwanan sa biyahe ang mga bagahe ng isang urbanisadong tao, mga bagay na hindi kailangan sa paghahanap sa inunan – na siyang laging babanggitin sa kaniya ng isang kampeon sa marathon na tuwina'y nakakasalubong niya sa maraming yugto ng kaniyang paglalakbay: sa airport noong siya ay umuwi, sa pagtirik ng kaniyang kotse sa gitna ng parang, sa muling pagtirik ng kotse sa iba pang lugar, at sa huling pagkatanto sa kahulugan ng paggalugad sa Zamboanga. Sa lahat ng ito, pansamantala lamang ang pagtatagpo ng dalawa, at maghihiwalay rin, magkaiba ng mga tatahaking landas, maaaring magkaiba ng mga layunin sa pagtakbo o paglayo o paglapit sa pagkatanto, subalit kailangang magpatuloy sa pagtakbo, dahil tila trahedya ang paghinto. Muli, sa kabuuan ng paglalakbay ng binata, bibigyan siya ng mga gunita ng kaniyang mga nakasalamuha: pinagsamahang kabataan ng matalik na kaibigan ng ama sa gitna ng kawalan ng koneksyon ng matanda sa kasalukuyang panahon; gulay buhat sa magnanakaw sa gitna ng kawalan nito ng pagkain; ang kalinga sa kaniya sa maliit na bahay ng pamilyang binubuhay ng bumalik na OFW (kahit na sa simula ay may pagtatangkang linlangin siya ng isa sa mga kapatid na lalaki ng OFW); at ang pinagparayang halik ng OFW sa gitna ng kasalukuyan nitong kawalan ng pag-ibig ng lalaki (liban sa hindi matatawarang pagmamahal niya at pagmamahal sa kaniya ng pamilyang puro lalaki). At nang maaksidente ang binata sa biyahe, kakalingain siya ng isang pamilyadong doktor sa sarili nitong bahay (na kaniya ring klinika), at ipahihiwatig sa atin ng pelikula na ang doktor na ito ay
sarili niyang kapatid na kailanman ay hindi niya nakita at nakilala, na kailanman man ay hindi rin siya nakita at nakilala – liban sa pagkakatulad ng kanilang pangalan at apelyido, at sa alaala ng mga gamit ng ama, tulad ng kakarag-karag na kotse at sa lugar kung saan inilibing ang kanilang ama, sa lugar kung saan nabuhay, namatay at patuloy na nabubuhay ang mga miyembro ng hiwa-hiwalay, nagkakahiwalay, pinaghihiwalay ngunit magkakarugtong na pamilya – sa pisikal man o sa gunita. Ang lahat ng tao, bagay, lugar at karanasan na kaniyang nakasalamuha sa paggalugad sa puntod ng ama ang siyang magiging angkla ng kaniyang nabagong pananaw sa buhay o nosyon ng pagkatao ng sarili. Sa bagong lugar siya nagkaroon ng bagong angkla sa buhay. Explorasyon ng pananatili: Elipsis ng mga paghantong at pagkatanto Sa pangkalahatan, ang Teoriya ay explorasyon ng mga hinagpis at kagampan ng pananatili at pag-alis, ng mga inakalang istatiko at ng mga inakalang dumadaloy. Punong-puno ang pelikula ng mga buhay, bahay, lugar at sariling nangungulila sa nakaraan at sa mga posibilidad ng ngayon, nangungulila hindi lang sa panahon kundi maging sa lugar na binubuhay o pinapatay ng panahon. Hindi istatiko ang lugar. Patuloy itong hinuhubog ng mga nilalang nito, kahit patay na ang mga ito. Madalas, gunita ng mga patay ang bumubuhay sa lugar. Maging lugar ng mga patay ay inaaruga ng mga buháy. Paanong mabuhay sa mga ganitong pangungulila? Paanong mabuhay sa pagitan ng duyan at hukay? Paanong manulay sa buhay at kamatayan nang hindi binabagabag ng mga di-naging-makataong pakikitungo sa pamilya at kapwa? Tulad ng sinabi ng kaniyang ama at ng kaniyang mga nakasalamuha, nakakatakot mawala sa gunita ng mga iniwan, nakakatakot mawalan ng lugar. Ang gunita ay isa ring lugar. Nakakatakot basta-basta na lang mawala sa mundo – tulad ng mga yumayaong kaluluwa, nalulumang bahay, ginigiyerang lugar, minamasaker na mamamayan. Tulad rin ng binatang tauhan na hindi maiwan-iwan ang modernidad ng pansamantalang iniwang lunsod upang balikan ang mga bagahe ng kontemporaneong kamatayan at paglisan, ng mga katiyakan ng mga pagyao, ng mga agam-agam sa pagbabalik, ng masakit subalit niyayakap na pananatili sa isang buháy na lugar, kahit gunita na lamang ang lugar na ito. Sa lahat ng bagay na ito, lagi't laging may mga ispesipikong lugar ng interaksyon at interseksyon na tumatagos sa pagbubuo ng pagkakakilanlan sa sarili, sa kapwa, sa lipunan – kapwa sa loob at labas ng sarili, kapwa at lipunan. Ang Teoriya, sa madaling sabi, ay elaborasyon ng pananatili. Mahirap desisyonan ang pag-alis, at mas mahirap desisyonan ang pagbalik. Subalit pinakamahirap desisyonan ang pananatili.
No Springtime in Manila
Jpaul S. Manzanilla
aruo tells a story of a man deserting a crime syndicate but finds himself inescapably bound up with it. From Manila to Tokyo and back again, Haruo's plight represents inimitable connections of violence and crime, trauma and memory, sacrifice and salvation, all in a sublimated rendition of a man's personal quest for expiation. Tadano Hayoshi recruited Monica, a pretty street vendor, for work in Japan. Forced to become a sex entertainer, Monica refused the sexual advances of Tadano's yakuza fellows but was raped after Tadano's unsuccessful defense of her. Tadano and Monica escaped and went back to the Philippines. One day, Tadano returned to their residence and found Monica murdered, doubtless by his yakuza fellows. He put her in a drum, covered her with sand, and disposed of the body. Tadano, now Haruo, lives a normal and unobtrusive life as an itinerant food vendor. He rarely talks to people but is very kind and even gives free meals to a child and a beggar. We now have an unlikely immigrant: poor, plain, and too quiet as to be almost mute. Living in one of the ancient districts of Manila, Tadano is embedded in a milieu of remarkable people. The prostitute Edna, delicately portrayed by Rosanna Roces, gets attracted to the silent and mysterious Haruo, who is distracted by his past. Aling Lydia, who lives with her two grandchildren, is presumably suffering from mental illness. Popoy persistently sells various goods (rubber shoes, denim jeans, longanisa, luxury watch) of dubious provenance. The house in which Haruo rents a room is an old, big, and previously grand abode now with partitioned spaces for numerous occupants. The raid of illegal drug pushers conducted in the house demonstrates the kind of people who inhabit the place: impoverished inhabitants of the city, petty criminals, like Popoy who seems to source his goods from theft, and migrants seeking temporary refuge and anonymity. The last set includes our protagonist. Just as Haruo is trying to live a peaceful life in obscurity, the world of crime seems to catch up with him. He falls in love with Michelle, who suspiciously lives with her cousin in one of the big house's rooms. One time, a group of men tries to abduct Michelle and Haruo comes in to rescue and thrashes (albeit in awkward, still-to-be-improved fight scenes) all of them in martial arts fashion. The encounter inevitably reveals his tattoos of yakuza vintage. Haruo is now being hounded by the media. And so Michelle has to leave the place because she's a star witness of a top-level graft and corruption case hiding from powerful people out to take her life; the man who pretends to be her cousin is a police protector whom she accuses of being in cahoots with the criminals. Haruo rescues a woman for the second time around and flees a criminal syndicate once again; he identifies himself as Tadano Hayashi and recounts
his past to Michelle. But his yakuza brothers found him, after being tipped off by Popoy who, all along, is spying on Haruo. The yakuza persuades him to return the money he has taken and to reunite with the group. When he refuses, they kill Michelle. Enraged, Haruo fights back and kills them. He is stabbed by Popoy, disclosing complicity, only to kill him in return. The film's excellent cinematography captures our character's movement away from the world of crime only to be pulled back into it. There is a scene where the old railways of Manila are shown as Haruo is traveling to another side of the city. This moment of pure movement, when nothing yet is definitive concerning Haruo's (literal and lifelong) direction, deftly mesmerizes one's vision. In another, a stunning view of two characters on a bridge crossing the Pasig River submits the misery of abandonment as Edna cries while Haruo diffidently commiserates with her. This is the time when Edna's nephew, who has almost become her son, is probably taken back by her sister. Edna and Haruo, then, share the same plight; both are penitent characters who are unfairly deprived of loved ones with whom they could amend their fate. Conceivably the cause of Haruo's silence is the unspeakable crime he was complicit with when he brought Monica to Tokyo resulting in prostitution and murder upon return to Manila, and his sealing of Monica's dead body in a drum. This sin haunts Haruo and precludes the possibility of a normal life. Every time, he atones for his crime by being kind to the poor and helping a victim of robbery. His fatal attraction to young women coupled with a desire to salvage them from a life of destitution and danger only leads to a life of more danger. Haruo's existence is a never-ending story of menace and the impossibility of escape: from crime, from reforming one's character, from unrequited love, from responsibility. In one telling incident, the policeman interviewing the thief whom Haruo has apprehended and brought to authorities asks “Ilang taon…?” (How many years…) referring not to the age of the criminal but to how many years he, the thief, has been involved in crime.
The question could also be asked of Haruo. The man he helped warned him that he should be cautious as it is foreigners like him who are targets of criminals. This points out his situation as an alien, that is, indubitably marked and Monica's situation as an alien in Japan who had become target of the sex industry. A smoldering question in the film is how Haruo – literally “spring time man” – works out his trauma, both as victim and perpetrator, in the violent death of the woman he loved. Dominick LaCapra, in commenting on recent study of perpetrators of profoundly traumatic events, says that “[i]t is also important to recognize both that the perpetrator may be traumatized by extreme acts and that he or she may transfigure trauma into the sublime, the regenerative, or the sacred” (78). The sublime gains paramount importance here. It is a thing which cannot be represented in strictly concrete forms, albeit often assuming aesthetic manner.14 Haruo's pain is deeply felt, but unspoken. Silence keeps him from disclosing himself but also prevents him from relating significantly to other people. Our main character, therefore, is in a bind and, owing to a sacrificial disposition, he inevitably exposes himself and reinstates his criminal past. Forever struggling to renew himself, Haruo realizes that there is no spring time in his life. This fact is subtly signified by a petal that falls from a flower, when he is on the verge of redeeming another woman. It is autumn, once again. Haikus by the renowned poet Matsuo Basho suggest intuition of time and nature's struggles within it. The last one is very telling: “The winds of autumn/Blow: yet still green/The chestnut husks.” Even in the fall, Haruo, like a chestnut, husks so that his essential goodness may come into fruition.
14 “The sublime may be described in this way: It is an object (of nature) the representation of which determines the mind to regard the elevation of nature beyond our reach as equivalent to a presentation of ideas.” Kant, Immanuel. “Critique of Aesthetic Judgement.” The Critique of Judgement. Trans. James Creed Meredith. Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1952. 119.
Such sublime efforts lead us to a burdened viewing, one that probes Tadano's moral predicament. Analyzing the political uses of the sublime in late nineteenth to twentieth century Japan through its figuration in the aesthetic, Alan Tansman argues on its actual implications that go beyond the aesthetic: “While the sublime moment is aesthetically constructed, it contains existential force, for it depicts a moment when the self is broken down and infused with a higher form of consciousness” (135). This “higher form of consciousness” is palpably social because “[w]hat we feel links us with society” (135). Tansman studied evocations of the sublime through novels and political tracts at various historical moments in Japan: national identity in modernizing Japan of the 1880s and 1890s, fascism in the imperial 1930s, and the antinuclear campaign of the post-war era (144-145). In Haruo's example, the sublime may intimate the individual's fraught relation to others by means of working through his trauma. Only a retelling of his crime and a painstaking examination of it can deliver closure and set him free and ensure that he does not commit the same mistake once again. Tadano's mere leaving the yakuza could only imperil his rescue of another being who, like him, is running away from the law and its dialectical opposite – crime. The kind of social de-linking that Haruo begets because of his unutterable sins is quintessentially sublime, according to Kant: “we have to note the fact that isolation from all society is looked upon as something sublime, provided it rests upon ideas which disregard all sensible interest. To be self-sufficing, and so not to stand in need of society, yet without being unsociable, i.e. without shunning it is something approaching the sublime—a remark applicable to all superiority to wants” (129). There are matters that are instructive for readers who would want to delve into questions of heroism and renewal in this film. Scenes that flash back and forward into Haruo's present arbitrate the repeated—because imprisoned—nature not only of his crime, but his character. Ikebana, the Japanese art of floral arrangement, serves not as a display in the unadorned room of the protagonist, but as embodiment of the temperance which he struggles to achieve for himself. In that small, suffocating quarter, Haruo regenerates for a new life. Aestheticization of violence raises its moral import. While scenes of fighting the villains may glorify righteous retribution, the sight of a brutally murdered Monica and the equally brutal killing of Michelle may tend to eulogize the women's contained agency. Could salvation be attained through an individual act of escape and/or speaking truth to wicked power, or through a rescue by a man actively involved in the crime that precisely enslaves the two women? In such case, Haruo's struggle is credible: only one who is deeply embedded in sin has the redemptive potential to atone for it. Haruo's final act commands respect and all the more makes him all-too human, because he chose to risk life over the steady course of death. Perhaps, this is the most sublime undertaking of all. Bibliography
Kant, Immanuel. “Critique of Aesthetic Judgement.” The Critique of Judgement. Trans. James Creed Meredith. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1952 . 41-246. LaCapra, Dominick. “'Traumatropisms': From Trauma via Witnessing to the Sublime?” History and Its Limits: Human, Animal, Violence. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 2009. 59-89. Tansman, Alan. “Saburaimu/Sublime: A Japanese Word and Its Political Afterlife” Words in Motion: Toward a Global Lexicon. Eds. Carol Gluck and Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2009. 129-147.
Filmografia Philippine Cinema 2011
February 2 (Wednesday) Bulong (Star Cinema; ABS-CBN Film Productions) PG Comedy February 9 (Wednesday) My Valentine Girls (GMA Films; Regal Entertainment) G Romance March 2 (Wednesday) Who's That Girl (Viva Entertainment) PG Comedy March 23 (Wednesday) Catch Me, I'm in Love (Star Cinema; ABSCBN Film Productions; Viva Films) G Romance April 6 (Wednesday) Tum: My Pledge of Love (Star Cinema; ABSCBN Film Productions; RCP Productions) G Romance April 23 (Saturday) Pak! Pak! My Dr. Kawk! (Star Cinema; ABSCBN Film Productions; APT Entertainment; M-Zet TV; Octoarts Films) G Comedy May 4 (Wednesday) Tumbok (Viva Entertainment) PG Horror May 11 (Wednesday) In the Name of Love (Star Cinema; ABSCBN Film Productions) PG Romance June 15 (Wednesday) Forever and a Day (Star Cinema; ABS-CBN Film Productions) G Romance July 6 (Wednesday) Joey Gosiengfiao's Temptation Island (Regal Entertainment; GMA Films) PG Comedy July 13 (Wednesday) The Adventures of Pureza, Queen of the Riles (Star Cinema; ABS-CBN Film Productions) PG Comedy August 17 (Wednesday) Way Back Home (Star Cinema; ABS-CBN Film Productions) G Drama August 24 (Wednesday) Tween Academy: Class of 2012 (GMA Films; SMDC) G Youth August 31 (Wednesday) Wedding Tayo, Wedding Hindi (Star Cinema; ABS-CBN Film Productions) PG Comedy Zombadings: Patayin sa Shokot si Remington (Origin 8 Media) PG Comedy September 7 (Wednesday) Thelma (Star Cinema; ABS-CBN Film Productions) G Drama September 14 (Wednesday) My Neighbor's Wife (Regal Entertainment) R13 Drama September 28 (Wednesday) No Other Woman (Star Cinema; ABS-CBN Film Productions; Viva Entertainment) R13 Romance October 26 (Wednesday) Praybeyt Benjamin (Star Cinema; ABS-CBN Film Productions; Viva Entertainment) PG Comedy November 2 (Wednesday) Aswang (Regal Entertainment) PG Horror November 30 (Wednesday) The Road (GMA Films) R13 Horror Won't Last a Day without You (Star Cinema; ABS-CBN Film Productions; Viva Entertainment) G Romance December 25 (Sunday) Enteng ng Ina Mo (Star Cinema; ABS-CBN Film Productions; M-Zet TV; APT Entertainment) G Fantasy Comedy Adventure Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story (Viva Entertainment; Scenema Concept International) R13 Action My Househusband (Octoarts Films) PG Comedy Ang Panday 2 (GMA Films; Imus Productions)G Fantasy Action Adventure Segunda Mano (Star Cinema; ABS-CBN Film Productions; MJM Productions) PG Horror Shake, Rattle and Roll 13 (Regal Entertainment) PG Horror Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (Regal Entertainment; Studio 5) PG Drama
Digital Full Run Haliparot (Lara Films) R Digital Adult Romance 011911 Presa (Sunflower Films; Astral Productions) PG Digital Drama 011911 <MMFF Digital Features 2010> Rindido (IFC) R Digital Drama 012611 <MMFF Digital Features 2010> Bikini Boys (Sunflower Films) R Digital Same-Sex Romance 020911 Brod (Sunflower Films) R Digital Same-Sex Romance 021611 <Cinemanila 2010> Untamed Virgins (Artistic Scoop Productions) R Digital Adult Romance 022311 Masikip sa Tatlo (Metro Films International) R Digital Adult Romance 030211 Mayohan (Quantum Films) PG Digital Drama 030911 <Cinemalaya 2010> Senior Year (Digitank Studios) PG Digital Drama 030911 <MMFF Digital Features 2010> Student Project (Sunflower Films) R Digital Adult Romance 031611 Hinala (Sinehan Digitales) R Digital Adult Romance 032311 Lihim ni Adonis (M-Six Films) R Digital Adult Romance 032311 Bata Pa si Rafael (El Niño Films) R Digital Adult Romance 033011 Seksing Masahista (Artistic Scoop Productions) R Digital Adult Romance 040611 Senior Year (Digitank Studios) PG Digital Drama 041311 <MMFF Digital Features 2010> rerelease Lamog (Leo Films) R18 Digital Adult Romance 050411 Law Law Gang (Lara Films) PG Digital Comedy 050411 Ombre (Phylum Productions; Ignatius Films; Pro Pro Artists) R Digital Same-Sex Romance 050411 Rigodon (El Niño Films) R Digital Adult Romance 051111 Taksikab (Astral Productions) R Digital Drama 052011 M2M Eyeball 3 (Sinehan Digitales) R Digital Same-Sex Romance 052511 Third World Happy (Creative Programs) PG Digital Drama 052511 <Cinema One 2010> Tubero (Sunflower Films) R Digital Adult Romance 052511 Dose, Trese, Katorse (Sinehan Digitales) R Digital Same-Sex Romance 060811 Manong Konstru (Sinehan Digitales) R Digital Same-Sex Romance 062911 Tiyo Pablo (Jimgital Video) R Digital Adult Romance 070611 Dulas (Fortune Arts International) R Digital Adult Romance 072011 Mainit (Big Dream Kreations; Sunflower Films) R Digital Adult Romance 072711 Ang Babae sa Septic Tank (Quantum Films; Star Cinema; ABS-CBN Film Productions) PG Comedy 080311 <Cinemalaya 2011> Private Nights (Silverline Entertainment) R Digital Same-Sex Romance 081011 Wanted: Male Bed Spacer (Sinehan Digitales) R Digital Same-Sex Romance 082411 Trabajador (El Niño Films) R Digital Same-Sex Romance 082611 Bahid (Good Vibes Films) R Digital Same-Sex Romance 090711 X-Deal (Digital Viva) R Digital Adult Romance 090711 Bingwit (Fortune Arts International) R Digital Same-Sex Romance 091411 Ikaw ang Pag-ibig (Marilou Diaz-Abaya Film Institute; Star Cinema; ABS-CBN Film Productions) G Digital Drama 091411 Rakenrol (Regal Entertainment) PG Digital Drama 092111 Ligo Na U, Lapit Na Me (Regal Entertainment) R13 Digital Romance 092811 <Cinemalaya 2011> Sulot (Fortune Arts International) R Digital Same-Sex Romance 092811 Kape Barako (Lexuality Entertainment) R Digital Same-Sex Romance 100511 Kubli (Golden Pot Film Productions) R Digital Same-Sex Romance 101211 Bahay Bata (Ignatius Films) PG Digital Drama 101911 <Cinemalaya 2011> Baywalk (Dagli Films) PG Digital Drama 101911 Sexventure (Sunflower Films) R Digital Adult Romance 101911 Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa (FDL Entertainment and Talent Agency) PG Digital Drama 102611 <Cinemalaya 2011> Babang Luksa (Creative Minds Production) PG Digital Horror 110211 Batang Ifugao (NJ Films) R Digital Adult Romance 110211 Laro (Silver Line Multimedia) R Digital Adult Romance 110911 Daklot (Fortune Arts International) R Digital Same-Sex Romance 112311 Di Natatapos ang Gabi (FDL Entertainment and Talent Agency) R Digital Drama 112311/121411 <Cinemanila 2010> Playmates (Sunflower Films) R Digital Same-Sex Romance 113011 Sigwa (Beginnings at Twenty Plus) PG Digital Drama 120711 <Cinemalaya 2010> 4some aka Foursome (Silverline Multimedia) R Digital Adult Romance 121411
Ani ng Sine (1-5 February 2011) Sakay sa Hangin (Regiben Romana) <postponed> Askal (Marc Misa) Cine/Sine: Spanish Beginnings of Philippine Cinema (Nick Deocampo) <1st screened 2009> Cinema Rehiyon (9-13 February 2011) Balangay (Sherad Anthony Sanchez) <Cinemanila 2010> Mananabang aka The Midwife (Orvil Bantayan) Ganab di Anos aka The Price of Perseverance (Donna Kebeng) Amianan aka North (Ron Bryant) Baboyirongbuang aka Mad the Swine (Keith Deligero) Cinemalaya (15-24 July 2011) Amok (Lawrence Fajardo) <New Breed> Ang Babae sa Septic Tank (Marlon Rivera) <New Breed> Bahay Bata (Eduardo Roy Jr.) <New Breed> Cuchera (Joseph Israel Laban) <New Breed> I-Libings (Rommel Sales) <New Breed> Ligo Na U, Lapit Na Me (Erick Salud) <New Breed> Niño (Loy Arcenas) <New Breed> Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa (Alvin Yapan) <New Breed> Teoriya (Zurich Chan) <New Breed> Bisperas (Jeffrey Jeturian) <Directors Showcase> Busong (Auraeus Solito) <Directors Showcase> Isda (Adolf Alix) <Directors Showcase> Patikul (Joel Lamangan) <Directors Showcase> Boundary (Benito Bautista) <Netpac Competition> Gayuma (Alvin Yapan) <Netpac Competition, 1st screened 2010> Huling Halik (Zig Dulay) <Netpac Competition> Liberacion (Adolf Alix) <Netpac Competition> Local Girls (Ned Trespeces; Onnah Valera) <Netpac Competition> Tha Natural Phenomenon of Madness (Bebs Gohetia) <Netpac Competition> Nono (Milo Tolentino) <Netpac Competition> San Lazaro (Wincy Aquino Ong) <Netpac Competition> Maskara (Laurice Guillen) <Opening Film> Cinema One Originals (9-15 November 2011) Anatomiya ng Korupsiyon (Dennis Marasigan) Big Boy (Shireen Seno) Cartas de la Soledad aka Letters of Solitude (Teng Mangansakan) Di Ingon 'Nato aka Not Like Us (Ivan Zaldariaga; Brandon Relucio) Ka Oryang (Sari Dalena) Mga Anino sa Tanghaling Tapat (Ivy Baldoza) My Paranormal Romance (Victor Villanueva) Sa Ilalim ng Tulay (Earl Bontuyan) Sa Kanto ng Ulap at Lupa (Mes de Guzman) Six Degrees of Separation from Lilia Cuntapay (Tonette Jadaone) Cinemanila (11-17 November 2011) Lawas Kan Pinabli (Christopher Gozum) <Digital Lokal> Sa Kanto ng Ulap at Lupa (Mes de Guzman) <Cinema One Originals; Digital Lokal> Sakay sa Hangin (Regiben Romana) <Digital Lokal> Señorita (Vincent Sandoval) <Digital Lokal> Siglo ng Pagluluwal (Lav Diaz) Buenas Noches, España (Raya Martin) Mapang-akit (John Torres) MMFF New Wave (17-21 December 2011) Dyagwar (Ogie Diaz, Sid Pascua) Haruo (Adolfo Alix Jr.) HIV (Neal Tan) <Cinemanila 2010> Ritwal (Yeng Grande) Pintakasi (Imee Marcos , Nelson Caguila)
More Releases Crossfire (Arnel Mardoquio)<international exhibition 2011> Watawat (Cinecilio Productions) <1st screened 2010> Botelya (Gener8 Productions) <1st screened 2008> Son of God (Khavn de la Cruz) <international exhibition 2010> Subject: I Love You (Francis de la Torre) <international release> Dominic: Light of the Church (Dominican Province of the Philippines) <1st screened 2010> Deadline (Xiti Productions) Kasambuhay Habambuhay (Nestle) 061211 Paglipad ng Anghel (De La Salle University) Reinvigorating Documentary Filmmaking: Tundong Magiliw (Jewel Maranan) .mov Fest: Elegy to the Visitor from the Revolution (Lav Diaz; 2-6 September 2011); Mapangakit (John Torres); Ex Press (Jet Leyco) Animahenasyon (22-25 November 2011) EDSAngangdaan (7-8 December 2011) Huling Halik (Zig Dulay) <Cinemalaya 2011> Maligalig (Paul Singh Cudail) Sponsor (Mark Shandii Bacolod) <Cinemalaya 2011– Midnight Treat> Marcie (Gerardo Calagui) Idnal (GA Villafuerte) Gayuma aka Pilgrim Lovers <Cinemalaya 2011> Mestizo (Gabs Ramos) Sinelas (Gerardo Calagui) <live action short> Paano na Kaya? (Star Cinema, ABS-CBN Film Productions) G Romance
Best Picture: refers to vision and direction that pay sensitive and keen attention to both the language of cinema (“presentation”) and social reality (“representation”), in the process refunctioning the possibilities of film as progressive art and popular culture. The Best Picture citation is awarded to the Director not so much because he or she is the auteur or the central intelligence of the film, but because his or her work lies at the conjuncture which coordinates filmmaking. Best Screenplay: refers to the rhetoric of writing for film that articulates the complexity of social life and personal perturbation through narrative logic or political conviction; or simply through well-thought out dramatic tension that explores contestation between the personal and the political, the individual and the collective, the private and the public. The Best Screenplay award is given to all the writers of the film. Best Cinematography and Visual Design: refers to the mise-en-scene and its visual/plastic qualities production design, lighting, art direction, visual effects that lend form to whatever representation is projected on screen; and absorb the differences of social forces and cultures in instances of contradiction, confluence, contact, resistance, or affililation with one another, as well as imbibe the relationship between people and the structures and institutions they mediate through social practice. The Best Cinematography and Visual Design honor is conferred on the cinematographer and the production designer. Best Editing: refers to the configuration of relationships of time and space among scenes in a film that is able to synthesize, engage in collision, reconcile, or transgress connections through the complex interplay of mise-en-scene and montage. The Best Editing trophy is given to the editors. Best Sound and Aural Orchestration: refers to the rendering of the auditory aspects of film music, natural sound, sound effects as these are counterposed against or harmonized with the language of image, and so become meaningful sign systems on their own. The Best Sound citation is awarded to the sound engineer and the musical scorer. Best Performance: refers to acting, to the playing out of a role or character that implicates emotion, feeling, and experience in the social conditions of the personal and in the political economies of habit and gesture and how these forge the body politic. The Best Performance citation is handed to the Performer, whether male or female, adult or child, in major or supporting role, individual or ensemble.
Pinakamahusay na Pelikula: tumutukoy sa pagdidirihe at bisyon na nagbibigay ng sensitibo at matalas na atensiyon kapwa sa lengguwahe ng pelikula (presentasyon) at panlipunang realidad (representasyon), sa proseso inaayos at pinakikilos ang modo ng pagpapahayag ng pelikula sa realidad sa konteksto ng kakayahan nitong makipag-usap sa malawak na manonood at pukawin ang buhay ng publiko; sa gayon, naaangkin ito para isulong ang kapangyarihan ng midyum at ang sulong na interes. Ang gawad para sa Pinakamahusay na Pelikula ay ibinibigay sa Direktor hindi dahil sa siya ang auteur o ang sentral na diwa ng pelikula, kundi dahil ang obra niya ay nakalugar sa hugpungang nagbibigay koordinasyon sa paglikha ng pelikula. Pinakamahusay na Dulang Pampelikula: tumutukoy sa retorika ng pagsusulat para sa pelikula na nagpapahayag ng kasalimuotan ng buhay panlipunan at personal na ligalig sa natatanging estruktura ng naratibo o politikal na paniniwala; o sa pamamagitan ng pinagisipang dramatikong tensiyon na sumisiyasat sa tunggalian ng personal at politikal, ng indibidwal at ng kolektibo, ng pribado at ng publiko. Iginagawad ang Pinakamahusay na Dulang Pampelikula sa lahat ng manunulat ng pelikula. Pinakamahusay sa Sinematograpiya at Disenyong Biswal: tumutukoy sa mise-en-scene at sa mga kalidad nitong biswal/plastik disenyong pamproduksiyon, pag-iilaw, direksiyon ng sining, visual effects na nagbibigay anyo sa anumang representasyon na inilalantad sa telon; at ikinikintal ang pagsasaanyo ng mga puwersang panlipunan at mga kultura sa mga sandali ng kontradiksiyon, pagsasanib, enkwentro, pagtatagpo, pakikipagtunggali o pagkakaugnay sa bawat isa. Ipinagkakaloob ang Pinakamahusay na Sinematograpiya at Disenyong Biswal sa sinematograper at sa taga-disenyo ng produksiyon. Pinakamahusay na Editing: tumutukoy sa konpigurasyon ng mga ugnayan ng panahon at espasyo sa mga eksena sa isang pelikulang may kakayahang maglagom, makitunggali, bumuo at bumaklas ng mga pagkakaugnay sa pamamagitan ng masalimuot na paggamit ng mise-en-scene at montage. Ang tropeo para sa Pinakamahusay na Editing ay pinagkakaloob sa mga editor. Pinakamahusay na Tunog at Orkestrasyong Awral: tumutukoy sa paglalapat ng mga aspektong may kinalaman sa tunog sa pelikula musika, likas na tunog, sound effects habang ang mga ito ay isinasalungat sa o inaayon sa lengguwahe ng mga imahen, at kung gayon ay nagiging makahulugang sistema ng pananagisag mismo. Iginagawad ang Pinakamahusay na Tunog sa sound engineer at sa tagapaglapat ng musika. Pinakamahusay na Pagganap: tumutukoy sa pagganap ng isang papel o karakter na nagsasangkot ng emosyon, damdamin, at karanasan sa mga panlipunang kondisyon ng personal at sa politikal na ekonomiya ng kaugalian at kilos, at kung paano nakatutulong ang mga ito sa pagsasakatauhan ng sarili. Ipinagkakaloob ang Pinakamahusay na Pagganap sa Gumanap, lalaki o babae, matanda o bata, sa isang pangunahin o pang-suportang papel, sa indibidwal o kolektibong pagganap.
22st Annual Circle Citations for Distinguished Achievement in Film for 2011
Conferred on June 27, 2012 at the Bulwagang Rizal University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City
BEST FILM OF THE YEAR Winner: Haruo directed by Adolfo Alix Jr. (Forward Entertainment and Annex Inc.; Yoshiyuki Ohira, producer)
Nominees: Bahay Bata directed by Eduardo Roy Jr. (Cinemalaya Productions; Almond Derla, Demy Derla, Marlo Derla, executive producers; Ferdinand Lapuz, producer); Señorita directed by Vincent Sandoval (Autodidact Pictures; Vincent Sandoval, Darlene Malimas, producers; Jose Marie Gochangco, executive producer; Abdallah Tabbara & Jonathan Lee, associate producers)
BEST SCREENPLAY Winner: Niño (Rodolfo Vera)
Nominees: Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa (Alvin Yapan); Bisperas (Paul Sta. Ana); Haruo (Jerome Zamora); Señorita (Vincent Sandoval and Roy Sevilla Ho); Teoriya (Zurich Chan)
BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY AND VISUAL DESIGN Winner: Teoriya (Dexter dela Peña, cinematographer; Paul Marquez, production designer)
Nominees: Bahay Bata (Ogi Sugatan, cinematographer; Harry Alcasid, production designer; Armand Samonte, art director; Tessa Aquino, costume); Bisperas (Roberto Yniquez, director of photography; Rodrigo Ricio, production designer; Tessa Aquino, costume); Haruo (Albert Banzon, director of photography; Roland Rubenecia, production designer); Señorita (Ruel Dahis Antipuesto, director of photography; Armi Rae Cacanindin, production designer)
BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN FILM EDITING Winner: Señorita (Charliebebs Gohetia)
Nominees: Haruo (Aleks Castañeda)
BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND AND AURAL ORCHESTRATION Winner: Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa (Arnold Reodica, sound designer and engineer; Christine Muyco and Jema Pamintuan, musical scorers)
Nominees: Bahay Bata (Albert Michael Idioma, sound designer and engineer; Toni Muñoz, musical scorer);Niño (Albert Michael Idioma, sound designer; Jerrold Tarog, musical scorer)
BEST PERFORMANCE BY MALE OR FEMALE, ADULT OR CHILD, INDIVIDUAL OR ENSEMBLE IN LEADING OR SUPPORTING ROLE Winner: Diana Zubiri in Bahay Bata
Nominees: Arthur Acuña in Niño; Fides Cuyugan Asensio in Niño; Shamaine Centenera-Buencamino in Niño; The entire cast of Bisperas; Vincent Sandoval in Señorita; Alfred Vargas in Teoriya
1st Circle Citations, 1990
GOLD PRIZE Andrea, Paano Ba ang Maging Isang Ina (Gil Portes) SILVER PRIZE Bakit Kay Tagal ng Sandali (Chito Roño) Kasalanan Bang Sambahin Ka (Chito Roño) Bakit Ikaw Pa Rin (Emmanuel Borlaza) Hahamakin Lahat (Lino Brocka) INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT PRIZE Nora Aunor (actress, Andrea, Paano Ba ang Maging Isang Ina) Ricardo Lee (screenwriter, Andrea, Paano Ba ang Maging Isang Ina and Hahamakin Lahat) Jun Pereira (cinematographer, Bakit Kay Tagal ng Sandali) George Jarlego (editor, Gumapang Ka sa Lusak) Augusto Salvador (director, Angel Molave) Pangako ng Puso Sa Kabila ng Lahat Joey Boy Munti Dinampot Ka Lang sa Putik BEST EDITING Kailan Ka Magiging Akin Sa Kabila ng Lahat Hihintayin Kita sa Langit Shake, Rattle and Roll III Dinampot Ka Lang sa Putik BEST SOUND AND AURAL ORCHESTRATION Hihintayin Kita sa Langit Shake, Rattle and Roll III Sa Kabila ng Lahat BEST PERFORMANCE Nora Aunor (Ang Totoong Buhay ni Pacita M.) Aga Muhlach (Joey Boy Munti) Maricel Soriano (Dinampot Ka Lang sa Putik) Vilma Santos (Ipagpatawad Mo) Gina Alajar (Kailan Ka Magiging Akin) BEST SOUND AND AURAL ORCHESTRATION Hiram na Mukha Tag-Araw, Tag-Ulan Aswang Ikaw Pa Lang ang Minahal BEST PERFORMANCE Maricel Soriano (Ikaw Pa Lang ang Minahal) Lorna Tolentino (Narito ang Puso Ko) Nanette Medved (Hiram na Mukha) Gabby Concepcion (Tayong Dalawa) Dawn Zulueta (Iisa Pa Lamang) Maricel Laxa (Ikaw ang Lahat sa Akin) Vilma Santos (Sinungaling Mong Puso) Gabby Concepcion (Narito ang Puso Ko)
4th Circle Citations, 1993
BEST PICTURE Hindi Kita Malilimutan (Jose Javier Reyes) Aliwan Paradise (Mike de Leon) Inay (Artemio Marquez) Ikaw (Joel Lamangan) Gaano Kita Kamahal (Butch Perez) BEST SCREENPLAY Hindi Kita Malilimutan The Maricris Sioson Story: Japayuki Aliwan Paradise BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY AND VISUAL DESIGN Ikaw Lang Aliwan Paradise Kung Mawawala Ka Pa BEST EDITING Aliwan Paradise Ikaw Lang Kung Mawawala Ka Pa BEST SOUND AND AURAL ORCHESTRATION Kung Mawawala Ka Pa Aliwan Paradise Ikaw Lang BEST PERFORMANCE Nora Aunor (Inay) Aga Muhlach (Hindi Kita Malilimutan)
3rd Circle Citations, 1992
BEST PICTURE Ikaw Pa Lang ang Minahal (Carlos Siguion-Reyna) Iisa Pa Lamang (Jose Javier Reyes) Tayong Dalawa (Laurice Guillen) Lumayo Ka Man sa Akin (Laurice Guillen) BEST SCREENPLAY Ikaw Pa Lang ang Minahal Iisa Pa Lamang Tayong Dalawa BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY AND VISUAL DESIGN Tag-Araw, Tag-Ulan Ikaw Pa Lang ang Minahal Hiram na Mukha Lumayo Ka Man sa Akin Ikaw ang Lahat sa Akin BEST EDITING Ikaw Pa Lang ang Minahal Tayong Dalawa Narito ang Puso Ko Aswang
2nd Circle Citations, 1991
BEST PICTURE Sa Kabila ng Lahat ( Lino Brocka) Class of '91 (Gil Portes) Ipagpatawad Mo (Laurice Guillen) Ang Totoong Buhay ni Pacita M (Elwood Perez) Joey Boy Munti (Maryo J. de los Reyes) Dinampot Ka Lang sa Putik (Maryo J. de los Reyes) BEST SCREENPLAY Sa Kabila ng Lahat Dinampot Ka Lang sa Putik Ang Totoong Buhay ni Pacita M. Class of '91 Ipagpatawad Mo BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY AND VISUAL DESIGN Kailan Ka Magiging Akin Hihintayin Kita sa Langit Shake, Rattle and Roll III
Vilma Santos (Dahil Mahal Kita: The Dolzura Cortez Story) Dawn Zulueta (Kung Mawawala Ka Pa)
BEST SCREENPLAY Nena Sana Maulit Muli The Flor Contemplacion Story Pare Ko BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY AND VISUAL DESIGN The Flor Contemplacion Story Nena Dahas Sana Maulit Muli Inagaw Mo ang Lahat sa Akin Sa Ngalan ng Pag-ibig BEST EDITING Dahas Sa Ngalan ng Pag-ibig Pare Ko Nena BEST SOUND AND AURAL ORCHESTRATION Dahas Sa Ngalan ng Pag-ibig Pare Ko Nena BEST PERFORMANCE Nora Aunor (The Flor Contemplacion Story) Aga Muhlach (Sana Maulit Muli) Nora Aunor (Muling Umawit ang Puso) Jaclyn Jose (The Flor Contemplacion Story) Lorna Tolentino (Sa Ngalan ng Pagibig) Amy Austria (Nena) Sharmaine Arnaiz (Ipaglaban Mo: The Movie) Maricel Soriano (Dahas)
BEST SOUND AND AURAL ORCHESTRATION Mumbaki Isla BEST PERFORMANCE Christopher de Leon (Madrasta) Nora Aunor (Bakit May Kahapon Pa) Jaclyn Jose (May Nagmamahal sa Iyo)
5th Circle Citations, 1994
BEST PICTURE Vampira (Joey Romero) Pangako ng Kahapon (Joel Lamangan) Wating (Ishmael Bernal) Sana Dalawa ang Puso Ko (Laurice Guillen) BEST SCREENPLAY Bakit Ngayon Ka Lang Vampira Pangako ng Kahapon Sana Dalawa ang Puso Ko Massacre Files Separada Kadenang Bulaklak BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY AND VISUAL DESIGN The Fatima Buen Story Wating Vampira Pangako ng Kahapon Sana Dalawa ang Puso Ko BEST EDITING Vampira Pangako ng Kahapon Wating The Fatima Buen Story BEST SOUND AND AURAL ORCHESTRATION Sana Dalawa ang Puso Ko Wating Pangako ng Kahapon Vampira The Fatima Buen Story BEST PERFORMANCE Maricel Soriano (Vampira) Dawn Zulueta (Buhay ng Buhay Ko) Maricel Soriano (Separada) Dina Bonnevie (Sana Dalawa ang Puso Ko) Alice Dixson (Bakit Ngayon Ka Lang) Carmina Villaroel (Wating) Snooky Serna (Koronang Itim) C
8th Circle Citations, 1997
BEST PICTURE Batang PX (Jose Javier Reyes) Damong Ligaw (Jose Mari Avellana) BEST SCREENPLAY Batang PX Minsan Lamang Magmamahal Damong Ligaw BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY AND VISUAL DESIGN Milagros Batang PX Hanggang Kailan Kita Mamahalin BEST EDITING Milagros Batang PX BEST SOUND AND AURAL ORCHESTRATION Milagros Damong Ligaw Hanggang Kailan Kita Mamahalin BEST PERFORMANCE Patrick Garcia (Batang PX) Nora Aunor (Babae) Nonie Buencamino (Milagros) Maricel Soriano (Minsan Lamang Magmamahal) Romnick Sarmenta (Damong Ligaw) Lorna Tolentino (Hanggang Kailan Kita Mamahalin)
7 Circle Citations, 1996
BEST PICTURE Mumbaki (Jose Antonio Perez) BEST SCREENPLAY Mumbaki Segurista Ganti ng Puso BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY AND VISUAL DESIGN Isla Mumbaki Segurista BEST EDITING Isla Mumbaki Ganti ng Puso Segurista
9th Circle Citations, 1998
BEST PICTURE Bata, Bata, Paano Ka Ginawa (Chito S. Roño) Babae sa Bubungang Lata (Mario O' Hara) Sana Pag-ibig Na (Jeffrey Jeturian) CurachaAng Babaeng Walang Pahinga (Chito S. Roño) BEST SCREENPLAY Bata, Bata, Paano Ka Ginawa Babae sa Bubungang Lata Sana Pag-ibig Na CurachaAng Babaeng Walang Pahinga
6th Circle Citations, 1995
BEST PICTURE Nena (Ike Jarlego, Jr.) Sana Maulit Muli (Olivia Lamasan) The Flor Contemplacion Story (Joel Lamangan)
th BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY 11 Circle Citations, AND VISUAL DESIGN 2000 Babae sa Bubungang Lata CurachaAng Babaeng Walang Pahinga BEST PICTURE Bayaning Third World Bata, Bata, Paano Ka Ginawa Tanging Yaman Senswal BEST EDITING Mother IgnaciaAng Uliran Sana Pag-ibig Na Sugatang Puso Bata, Bata, Paano Ka Ginawa CurachaAng Babaeng Walang Pahinga BEST SCREENPLAY Tanging Yaman BEST SOUND AND AURAL Senswal ORCHESTRATION CurachaAng Babaeng Walang Pahinga Mother IgnaciaAng Uliran Bata, Bata, Paano Ka Ginawa BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY Sana Pag-ibig Na AND VISUAL DESIGN Bayaning Third World BEST PERFORMANCE Pedrong Palad Vilma Santos (Bata, Bata, Paano Ka Senswal Ginawa) Pangarap ng Puso Nida Blanca (Sana Pag-ibig Na) Serena Dalrymple (Bata, Bata, Paano Laro sa Baga MarkovaComfort Gay Ka Ginawa) Tanging Yaman Anita Linda (Babae sa Bubungang Lata) BEST EDITING Cesar Montano (José Rizal) Bayaning Third World Senswal Tanging Yaman th
BEST EDITING Minsan May Isang Puso Sa Huling Paghihintay La Vida Rosa Hubog Yamashita: The Tiger's Treasure BEST SOUND AND AURAL ORCHESTRATION Minsan May Isang Puso Yamashita: The Tiger's Treasure Sa Huling Paghihintay Hubog BEST PERFORMANCE Jaclyn Jose (Minsan May Isang Puso) Mark Gil (Sa Huling Paghihintay) Carlo Aquino (Minsan May Isang Puso) Ricky Davao (Minsan May Isang Puso) Rosanna Roces (La Vida Rosa)
13th Circle Citations, 2002
BEST PICTURE Dekada '70 (Chito S. Roño) Buko Pandan (Uro Q. de la Cruz) Itlog (Francis Jun Posadas) Diskarte (Edgardo Boy Vinarao) Mga Munting Tinig (Gil M. Portes) BEST SCREENPLAY Dekada '70 Itlog Diskarte Mga Munting Tinig BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY AND VISUAL DESIGN Ikaw Lamang Hanggang Ngayon Buko Pandan Itlog Diskarte Mga Munting Tinig Dekada '70 BEST EDITING Diskarte Mga Munting Tinig Dekada '70 BEST SOUND AND AURAL ORCHESTRATION Dekada '70 Buko Pandan Diskarte BEST PERFORMANCE Vilma Santos (Dekada '70) Piolo Pascual (Dekada '70) Regine Velasquez (Ikaw Lamang Hanggang Ngayon) Celso Ad. Castillo (Itlog)
10 Circle Citations, 1999
BEST PICTURE Sisa (Mario O'Hara) Pila Balde (Jeffrey Jeturian) Saranggola (Gil M. Portes) Phone Sex (Jose Javier Reyes) Bulaklak ng Maynila (Joel Lamangan) BEST SCREENPLAY Sisa Pila Balde BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY AND VISUAL DESIGN Pila Balde Phone Sex Bulaklak ng Maynila BEST EDITING Pila Balde Sisa Luksong Tinik BEST SOUND Phone Sex Pila Balde Bulaklak ng Maynila BEST PERFORMANCE Elizabeth Oropesa (Bulaklak ng Maynila) Lester Llansang (Saranggola) Christopher de Leon (Bulaklak ng Maynila) Jhong Hilario (Muro-ami)
BEST SOUND AND AURAL ORCHESTRATION Bayaning Third World Sugatang Puso Tanging Yaman BEST PERFORMANCE Entire Cast (Tanging Yaman) Rio Locsin (Bayaning Third World) Elizabeth Oropesa (Senswal) Alessandra de Rossi (Azucena) Dolphy (MarkovaComfort Gay) Johnny Delgado (Tanging Yaman) Gloria Romero (Tanging Yaman)
12th Circle Citations, 2001
BEST PICTURE Minsan May Isang Puso (Jose Javier Reyes) Sa Huling Paghihintay (Erik Matti) Yamashita: The Tiger's Treasure (Chito S. Roño) BEST SCREENPLAY Minsan May Isang Puso Sa Huling Paghihintay Yamashita: The Tiger's Treasure BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY AND VISUAL DESIGN Yamashita: The Tiger's Treasure Sa Huling Paghihintay Minsan May Isang Puso La Vida Rosa
BEST EDITING Minsan May Isang Puso Sa Huling Paghihintay La Vida Rosa Hubog Yamashita: The Tiger's Treasure BEST SOUND AND AURAL ORCHESTRATION Minsan May Isang Puso Yamashita: The Tiger's Treasure Sa Huling Paghihintay Hubog
BEST SCREENPLAY Minsan Pa Sigaw BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY AND VISUAL DESIGN Sigaw BEST EDITING Sigaw Spirit of the Glass BEST SOUND AND AURAL ORCHESTRATION Sigaw Feng Shui BEST PERFORMANCE Jomari Yllana (Minsan Pa) Dennis Trillo (Aishite Imasu) Nora Aunor (Naglalayag) Jericho Rosales (Santa Santita)
BEST SOUND Inang Yaya BEST PERFORMANCE Maricel Soriano (Inang Yaya) Cherry Pie Picache (Kaleldo) Entire Cast (Inang Yaya)
18th Circle Citations, 2007
BEST PICTURE Foster Child (Brillante Mendoza) Endo (Jade Francis Castro) BEST SCREENPLAY Foster Child Endo BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY AND VISUAL DESIGN Death in the Land of the Encantos Foster Child Still Life Tirador BEST EDITING Endo Tirador BEST SOUND Endo Still Life Tirador BEST PERFORMANCE Jason Abalos (Endo) Cherry Pie Picache (Foster Child) Eugene Domingo (Foster Child) Ron Capinding (Still Life)
BEST PERFORMANCE Jaclyn Jose (Minsan May Isang Puso) Mark Gil (Sa Huling Paghihintay) Carlo Aquino (Minsan May Isang Puso) Ricky Davao (Minsan May Isang Puso) Rosanna Roces (La Vida Rosa)
14 Circle Citations, 2003
BEST PICTURE Babae sa Breakwater (Mario O'Hara) Anghel sa Lupa (Jose Javier Reyes) Homecoming (Gil M. Portes) Malikmata (Jose Javier Reyes) BEST SCREENPLAY Babae sa Breakwater Anghel sa Lupa BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY AND VISUAL DESIGN Babae sa Breakwater Anghel sa Lupa Malikmata BEST EDITING Malikmata Babae sa Breakwater Anghel sa Lupa BEST SOUND AND AURAL ORCHESTRATION Anghel sa Lupa Babae sa Breakwater Malikmata BEST PERFORMANCE Katherine Luna (Babae sa Breakwater) Maricel Soriano (Filipinas) Elizabeth Oropesa (Homecoming) Entire Cast (Malikmata)
16th Circle Citations, 2005
BEST PICTURE Masahista (Brillante Mendoza) BEST SCREENPLAY Masahista Let the Love Begin BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY AND VISUAL DESIGN Masahista Paraiso BEST EDITING Masahista BEST SOUND AND AURAL ORCHESTRATION Masahista BEST PERFORMANCE Coco Martin (Masahista) Entire Cast (Nasaan Ka Man) Jaclyn Jose (Masahista) John Lloyd Cruz (Dubai)
19th Circle Citations,2008
BEST PICTURE Adela (Adolfo Alix Jr.) Serbis BEST SCREENPLAY Adela Serbis BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY AND VISUAL DESIGN Adela Serbis
15 Circle Citations, 2004
BEST PICTURE Minsan Pa (Jeffrey Jeturian) Sigaw (Yam Laranas)
BEST EDITING Adela BEST PICTURE Serbis Inang Yaya (Pablo Biglang-Awa and Veronica Velasco) BEST SOUND Adela BEST SCREENPLAY Serbis Inang Yaya (Veronica Velasco) BEST PERFORMANCE BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY Anita Linda (Adela) AND VISUAL DESIGN Paolo Paraiso (Imoral) Inang Yaya Ronnie Lazaro (Yanggaw) Kubrador Carlo Aquino (Baler)
17th Circle Citations, 2006
20th Circle Citations, 2009
BEST PICTURE Bakal Boys (Ralston Jover) Last Viewing (Roni Bertubin) Biyaheng Lupa (Armando Lao) Engkwentro (Pepe Diokno) BEST SCREENPLAY Biyaheng Lupa Last Viewing Ang Panggagahasa kay Fe Last Supper No. 3 Bakal Boys BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY AND VISUAL DESIGN Biyaheng Lupa Engkwentro BEST EDITING Engkwentro Last Viewing Bakal Boys BEST SOUND AND AURAL ORCHESTRATION Biyaheng Lupa Engkwentro Bakal Boys BEST PERFORMANCE Janice de Belen (Last Viewing) Anita Linda and Rustica Carpio, duo performance (Lola) Ensemble Performance by the entire cast (Biyaheng Lupa) Meljon Guinto (Bakal Boys)
21st Circle Citations, 2010
BEST PICTURE Himpapawid (Raymond Red) Ang Damgo ni Eleuteria (Remton Siega Zuasola) Punerarya episode of Shake, Rattle & Roll 12 (Jerrold Tarog) BEST SCREENPLAY Himpapawid Ang Damgo ni Eleuteria Punerarya BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY AND VISUAL DESIGN Himpapawid Ang Damgo ni Eleuteria Punerarya BEST EDITING Himpapawid Ang Damgo ni Eleuteria Punerarya BEST SOUND AND AURAL ORCHESTRATION Punerarya Himpapawid Ang Damgo ni Eleuteria BEST PERFORMANCE Carla Abellana (Punerarya) Raul Arellano (Himpapawid)
Ang Film Desk ay binubuo ng mga miyembro ng akademya na sa loob nang matagal-tagal na ring panahon ay naging mga matalas na tagamasid ng pelikulang Filipino. Galing sa iba't ibang disiplina, linalapat nila sa pagsuri ng pelikula ang interdisiplinaryong lapit. Sa ganitong perspektiba, ang salitang “young” sa Young Critics Circle ay tumutukoy hindi sa literal na pakahulugangaya ng edadkundi sa isang metaporikal na pagunawa sa kabataang pananaw. Ang ibig sabihin, ang “young” ay tumutukoy sa pangangahas ng bago at sa giting ng pagsalungat. The Film Desk of the Young Critics Circle is composed of members of academe who, through the years, have become attentive observers of Philippine cinema. Coming from various disciplines, they bring into the analysis of film an interdisciplinary approach. In this perspective, the word “young” in the Young Critics Circle pertains not to a literal mode of understandingas in agebut rather to a metaphorical sense of appropriating youth. “Young” is construed as the daring of the new and the courage to be different.
Romulo P. Baquiran Jr. (on leave) is a reviewer, editor, translator, and poet. His articles have appeared in Today and the Philippine Daily Inquirer . He edited the classic Urbana at Feliza, ASEANO: Poems from Southeast Asia, and a number of literary anthologies, including Beauty for Ashes and Kuwentong Siyudad. He translated into Filipino William Shakespeare's The Tempest and Antony and Cleopatra. He won five times in the Filipino category of the Palanca Awards. His poetry books were published by Anvil Publishing in 1992, and most recently, by the University of the Philippines Press. Flaudette May V. Datuin is Associate Professor of Art Studies at the Department of Art Studies at the University of the Philippines. Recently appointed as Visiting Research Fellow of the University of New South Wales (2010-2013), she was also a recipient of a Visiting Fellowship at the Australian National University, research grants from the Asian Scholarship Foundation (ASF) and Asian Public Intellectual (API) fellowships, which enabled her to conduct pioneering research on contemporary women artists of China, Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Japan. Major exhibitions and multi-pronged projects on women artists, trauma and migration emerged from these field works, the most recent of which is Nothing to Declare, held October 2011 to January 2012 in three venues in Manila. She is cofounder of the House of Comfort Art Network, Ctrl+P, digital journal of contemporary art, and author of two books on women artists of the Philippines. Noel D. Ferrer (on leave) is a Philosophy graduate of the Ateneo de Manila University where he is taking up his M.A. in Communication. He has lectured on literature and media studies at the Departments of Filipino, English and Communication of the Ateneo de Manila University as well as at U.P. Diliman. He is a producer-headwriter in various print and broadcast media projects.
Patrick D. Flores is Professor of Art Studies at the Department of Art Studies at the University of the Philippines, which he chaired from 1997 to 2003, and Curator of the Vargas Museum in Manila. He is Adjunct Curator at the National Art Gallery, Singapore. He was one of the curators of Under Construction: New Dimensions in Asian Art in 2000 and the Gwangju Biennale (Position Papers) in 2008. He was a Visiting Fellow at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. in 1999 and an Asian Public Intellectuals Fellow in 2004. Among his publications are Painting History: Revisions in Philippine Colonial Art (1999); Remarkable Collection: Art, History, and the National Museum (2006); and Past Peripheral: Curation in Southeast Asia (2008). He was a grantee of the Asian Cultural Council (2010) and a member of the Advisory Board of the exhibition The Global Contemporary: Art Worlds After 1989 (2011) organized by the Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe and member of the Guggenheim Museum's Asian Art Council (2011). He co-edited the Southeast Asian issue with Joan Kee for Third Text (2011). Tessa Maria Guazon is Assistant Professor of Art Studies at the University of the Philippines-Diliman. She writes on art, film, cities and urban space. Most recent of which is a chapter on state-commissioned public art in Manila for an anthology on Asian cities to be published by Routledge in September 2012. Her essays have appeared in the Philippine Humanities Review, Humanities Diliman, Agham Tao, Culture 360.org, Asian Art News, among others. Her interests center on art and their urban and spatial contexts. Eulalio R. Guieb III obtained his Ph.D. in Anthropology from McGill University (Montreal) through a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the International Development Research Centre. He completed his M.A. in Philippine Literature and B.A. in Broadcast Communication from the University of the Philippines-Diliman. He received a scholarship in 1998 from the Agencia Española Cooperación Internacional to attend the Escuela de Verano of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. He currently teaches criticism, research, creative writing, ethnography and development at the U.P. Department of Broadcast Communication. He has published two anthologies of short stories: Pamilya®: Mga Katha (U.P. Press, 2003) and Pitada (Anvil, 1994). He is a recipient of several awards for his literary works from the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, Gantimpalang Ani and the Cultural Center of the Philippines. He also received recognition for his experimental films, video documentaries and radio dramas from the CCP, the New York Festivals and the Catholic Mass Media Awards. His creative works and researches have been published in both popular and refereed journals and literary anthologies. His research interests include the politics of representation; oral literature; history of the drama in Philippine television; political ecology of marine conservation; and ecological, development and legal anthropology. His main research areas are Bohol and Palawan. He is currently the editor-in-chief of Social Science Diliman. Eloisa May P. Hernandez is Associate Professor at the Department of Art Studies at the University of the Philippines where she teaches art history, photography and Philippine cinema. She also lectures at the Ateneo de Manila University Fine Arts Program. She finished her B.A. Art Studies, M.A. in Art History, and Ph.D. in Philippine Studies at the University of the Philippines. Her dissertation on The Political Economy of Digital Cinema in the Philippines, 1999-2009 will be published as a book. A recipient of the Southeast Asian Studies Regional Exchange Program grant, she researched on digital cinema in Southeast Asia the results of which will be published as a chapter, “The Beginnings of Digital Cinema in Southeast Asia,” in the book Glimpses of Freedom: Independent Cinema in Contemporary Southeast Asia to be published by th Cornell University. She is the author of Homebound: Women Visual Artists in 19 century Philippines.
J. Pilapil Jacobo is Assistant Professor at the Department of Filipino in the School of Humanities of the Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) where he teaches Literature and Literary Theory and Criticism in English and in Filipino. He holds the Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and the M.A. in Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook where he was Fulbright Fellow from 2006 to 2011, and the A.B.-M.A. in Filipino Literature from the Ateneo de Manila University where he directs the graduate program in Filipino Literature. His most recent publications dwell on the cusp between tropology and tropicality in various incarnations of the Philippine poetic. He is currently preparing book manuscripts on the epistolary discourse of Spanish colonial Philippines and on the poetics of tropical reverie.
Skilty Labastilla is a Ph.D. Candidate in Anthropology at La Trobe University (Melbourne). His dissertation examines transitions to adulthood of marginalized men in the Philippines. He obtained his M.S. in Social Development from the Ateneo de Manila University and his B.A. in Anthropology (cum laude) from the University of the Philippines. He has previously taught anthropology courses at U.P. Diliman, U.P. Mindanao, and La Trobe University. He is currently teaching at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Ateneo de Manila University. He maintains Pinoy Rebyu, a website that compiles reviews of recent Filipino films by Pinoy film bloggers and critics. Nonoy L. Lauzon (on leave) is the Programmer for Screenings at the U.P. Film Institute. He has double degrees in Philosophy and Humanities from the University of the Philippines. He is a published film critic and has previously worked for a number of national newspapers including the Philippine Journal, People's Journal and The Manila Times. He used to contribute a column for the old Mirror Weekly and now regularly writes for two of the country's leading national tabloid dailies. He is currently pursuing an M.A. in Media Studies (Film) at the U.P. College of Mass Communication. Eileen C. Legaspi-Ramirez (on leave) earned her degrees in journalism and art history at the University of the Philippines Diliman. She is the outgoing curatorial consultant of Lopez Museum, and a member of the Advisory Board of Asia Art Archive. She is a faculty member of the Department of Art Studies, University of the Philippines and was a 2009 fellow of the USA National Endowment for the Arts International Arts Journalism Institute in the Visual Arts. Her writing has appeared in the Philippine Humanities Review, Daluyan: Journal ng Wikang Filipino, Forum on Contemporary Art and Society, n.paradoxa: international feminist art journal, C-Arts: Asian Contemporary Art and Culture, Metropolis M: Magazine on Contemporary Art, and Ctrl+P: Journal of Contemporary Art, among others. She was recently a guest curator of the 2011 Jakarta Biennale, and since 1996, has been overseeing the 2012 Alice Awardee for Publications, Pananaw: Philippine Journal of Visual Arts. Gerard Lico (on leave) is a Professor of Architecture at the College of Architecture, University of the Philippines in Diliman and practices architecture as the Campus Architect of the university. He is the author of several books in Philippine architecture and design. He is currently the Head of the National Committee on Architecture and Allied Arts of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. Jpaul S. Manzanilla earned degrees in comparative literature and art history from the University of the Philippines. He has taught in the Department of Arts and Communication of UP Manila and served as staff member head of the Amado V. Hernandez Resource Center. He was also Chairperson of the UP Diliman University Student Council, Student Regent, and Chair of the UP Center for Nationalist Studies.
Jema M. Pamintuan finished her Ph.D. in Philippine Studies at the University of the Philippines, Diliman and currently teaches at the School of Humanities, Ateneo de Manila University. Some of her critical essays appeared in Bulawan: Journal of Philippine Arts and Culture, Plaridel, Humanities Diliman, and Positions East Asia Critique. Her chapbook of poems, Bunton-buntong Hininga, was published by the National Commission on Culture and the Arts. She created the film scores for “Ang Panggagahasa kay Fe” (The Rapture of Fe),“Gayuma” (Pilgrim Lovers), and “Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa” (The Dance of Two Left Feet, co-scored with Christine Muyco), which received the 7th Cinemalaya Best Original Music Score and the 35th Gawad Urian Best Musical Score. choy pangilinan teaches at the Department of Broadcast Communication of the College of Mass Communication of the University of the Philippines. His critical essays have appeared in Plaridel: Journal of Philippine Communication, Media and Society; KONTRA-GAHUM: Academics against Political Killings (Ibon, 2006); and SERVE THE PEOPLE: Ang Kasaysayan ng Radikal na Kilusan sa Unibersidad ng Pilipinas (Ibon, 2008). He has also co-authored a screenplay awarded first prize by the Film Development Foundation. Jerry C. Respeto (on leave) teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in Philippine Literature and Theater at the Department of Filipino, School of Humanities, Ateneo de Manila University where he served as Chair from 2000 to 2001 and 2009 to 2011. He obtained his A.B. Social Science, M.A. Philippine Literature, and Ph.D. Philippine Literature from the University of the Philippines. He has published essays on Philippine theater history, film criticism, theater translations, public rituals, and sacred performances which merited recognitions from the Ateneo's Loyola Schools Publications Awards. His translations of plays from English to Filipino have been staged by major theater companies in the Philippines. As Fellow to the United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia, he attended courses in theater and humanities at the International Christian University (Japan) and St. Olaf College (U.S.A.) from 2004-2006. Jaime Oscar M. Salazar graduated with bachelor's degrees in literature and business management from De La Salle University-Manila. He is presently writing his thesis toward a master's degree in art studies at the University of the Philippines Diliman. He has received national fellowships to workshops on criticism, namely KRITIKA 2012 and the 3rd UST Varsitarian–J. Elizalde Navarro National Workshop on Arts Criticism Neil Martial R. Santillan (on leave) teaches Philippine and Asian History at the University of the Philippines where he completed his A.B., M.A., and Ph.D. in History. He is currently Associate Dean of the U.P. College of Social Sciences and Philosophy. He is a scholar and writer on film history, contemporary Philippine history and Mindanao Studies. He is co-editor of a book of essays on Philippine History and Culture. He is presently conducting intensive research on the urban history of Cagayan de Oro. Galileo S. Zafra (on leave) is Professor at the Department of Filipino and Philippine Literature at the University of the Philippines. He is a summa cum laude graduate from the U.P. where he completed his Ph.D. in Philippine Literature. He served as Director for two terms of the U.P. Sentro ng Wikang Filipino which is tasked to develop the Filipino language as the primary language of academe. He is currently Visiting Professor at Osaka University. He is an active cultural scholar, writer, translator, and editor in the fields of language, literature and film.
The 22st Annual Circle Citations for Distinguished Achievement in Film is presented in cooperation with
UP Diliman Office for Initiatives in Culture and the Arts UP College of Arts and Letters ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
The Film Desk of the Young Critics Circle would like to thank the following for all the support: U.P. Department of Art Studies U.P. Department of Broadcast Communication U.P. Departamento ng Filipino at Panitikan ng Pilipinas U.P. Film Institute U.P. College of Mass Communication Audio-Visual Library Department of English, School of Humanities, Ateneo de Manila University Kagawaran ng Filipino, School of Humanities, Ateneo de Manila University U.P. Chancellor Caesar A. Saloma Prof. Ruben D.F. Defeo, Acting Director of the OICA Dr. Cynthia Grace Gregorio Victor Robinson III Ada Tayao Glen Charles Lopez Napoleon Rivera and all YCC friends from media, academe and the arts
Film Desk of the Young Critics Circle, Current Members: Flaudette May V. Datuin, Patrick D. Flores, Tessa Maria T. Guazon, Eulalio R. Guieb III, Eloisa May P. Hernandez, J. Pilapil Jacobo, Skilty Labastilla, JPaul S. Manzanilla, Jema M. Pamintuan, Choy Pangilinan, Jaime Oscar M. Salazar; on leave: Romulo Baquiran Jr., Noel D. Ferrer, Nonoy L. Lauzon, Eileen C. Legaspi-Ramirez, Gerard R. A. Lico, Jerry C. Respeto, Neil Martial R. Santillan, Galileo S. Zafra. Film Desk of the Young Critics Circle, Former Members: Melissa Contreras (1990-1991), Joel David (19901991), Mike Feria (1990-1991), Charlson Ong (1990-1991); Ariel N. Valerio (1994-2006), Clare Salaveria (1994-1999), Ailyn A. Villamarin (1995-1999), James Rañeses (1997-1998) Presidents, Young Critics Circle: Galileo S. Zafra (1996-1997); Romulo P. Baquiran Jr. (1997-1998); Ariel N. Valerio (1998-1999); Noel D. Ferrer (1999-2000); Flaudette May V. Datuin (2000-2001); Patrick D. Flores (2001-2002); Nonoy L. Lauzon (2002-2003); Jerry C. Respeto (2003-2004); Neil Martial Santillan (20042005); Eileen Legaspi-Ramirez (2005-2006); Patrick D. Flores (2006-2007); Romulo P. Baquiran Jr. (2007-2008); Galileo S. Zafra (2008-2009); J. Pilapil Jacobo (2009-2010); Eulalio R. Guieb III (20102011); Eloisa May P. Hernandez (2011-2012) Keynote Speakers, Annual Circle Citations for Distinguished Achievement in Film, 1990, 1995-2011: Soledad S. Reyes (1990); Petronilo Bn. Daroy (1995); Justino Dormiendo (1996); Benilda Santos (1997); Ma. Luisa F. Torres Reyes (1998); Alice G. Guillermo (1999); Teresita Gimenez-Maceda (2000); Brenda V. Fajardo (2001); Basilio Esteban Villaruz (2002); Albina P. Fernandez (2003); Ramon P. Santos (2004); Virgilio S. Almario (2005); Eufracio C. Abaya (2006); Lilia Quindoza (2007); Nick Deocampo (2008); Tito Genova Valiente (2009); Oscar V. Campomanes (2010); Glecy Atienza (2011); Ricardo G. Abad (2012) Founding Members, Young Critics Circle: Mike Feria, Film and Theater Desks; Joy Barrios, Theater Desk; Jojo Buenconsejo, Dance Desk; Eric Caruncho, Music Desk; Melissa Contreras, Film and Theater Desks; Jaime Daroy, Music Desk; Joel David, Film Desk; Gin de Mesa, Visual Arts Desk; Patrick D. Flores, Film, Theater and Broadcast Arts Desks; Francine Y. Medina, Visual Arts Desk; Charlson Ong, Film and Literature Desks; Mozart A. T. Pastrano, Theater Desk; Danilo Reyes, Literature Desk; Antonio Tinio, Literature Desk
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