Saturday, September 09, 2006

Local Flicks (Junkie Article)

By Reymundo Salao

They say, we must watch Tagalog movies so that we can save the Philippine movie industry from being destroyed by Piracy. Oh sure, we must watch and endure the annoyance of Kris, the tackiness of Juday, the idiocy of Bong, and the corniness of Vhong. I rarely see the two big rivaling TV companies actually advertising the really good Filipino movies, but they do excel in saturating TV airtime to advertising movie projects from the big film production companies that make really awful movies. I have realized that watching these really awful movies actually destroys the Philippine movie industry. How? Simply by promoting a very low standard of film appreciation among the masses. Big film outfits like Regal, Viva, and Seiko have long been so skilled in the art of taking the mass audience for fools. Many of the best movies they could come up are actually copycats of already-established prominent movies. Movies like “Kutob”, “Sukob”, “So Happy Together”, and among many other big Tagalog movies have been mere copies, products that prove a lack of originality, products that make us conclude that there is a great irony going on: these movies are made by the richest film outfits in the country, yet they could not afford to hire production teams, writers, and directors with ACTUAL Brains that can brew the imagination of a real filmmaker. Shame on them.

In contrast, Pinoy indie filmmakers can make marvelous movies on a shoestring budget, and they even manage to be triumphant as champions in international film festivals. Films like “Kubrador”, “Ilusyon”, “Crying Ladies”, and “Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros” have been champion films. But they are never hailed locally. The masses are never familiar with them. Their fame is drowned by the publicity of really bad Pinoy movies like the cheesy romance stories that have been done over and over again without a glint of originality. And indeed, many do flock to these rotten garbage movies, while we see that the really good Pinoy movies manage to attract a handful of audiences. Who’s fault is this? Well, the big production companies of course. THEY have the power; THEY have the money. Yet they continue to breed the culture of dumb film appreciation among the masses. THEY have the power to influence maturity among the movie-going public, yet they choose to continue riding on garbage. And they would do it over and over and over again for as long as the production companies continue to be morons.

Quite simply, let’s say for example, they would copy the storyline of the Korean movie “Il Mare” and make their own version which would star Dingdong and Iza. Of course, in the movie (just like in “Il Mare”) there are flashbacks, which would make half of it, a period movie. The film was a success at the box office. Then, the so-called heads would meet and say “Hey, let’s put Dingdong and Iza together in a period movie love story” thereby re-using that old formula again and again and again until somebody would probably complain “Hey! That’s the same garbage we saw last year!” But they do it anyway. They say, it’s all about money. Well, if that’s the case, then, thank God for Piracy which is whipping up their asses. Of course, if you watch these awfully-made movies in the theaters, you are contributing and empowering these big production companies to continue making garbage.

You cannot really judge the people for watching these movies of theirs, because most of them cannot really tell a good movie from a bad one, and of course, some even aren’t aware that these movies have been copycats of other movies. THAT is why it is the fault of the filmmakers. You want to support the Philippine movie industry? Watch good Filipino movies. Watching BAD Tagalog movies really isn’t helping, in fact, it destroys the Philippine movie industry by breeding and cultivating bad filmmaking and promoting bad film taste among the masses.

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