Monday, December 25, 2006
Sunday, October 29, 2006
We just finished shooting the Carillon docu-drama, and despite the few glitches in scheduling the talents, the day went pretty well as planned. This was quite special for me because I haven’t directed a narrative script in like four years. The last one that I did was for a friend’s graduation film for the film school in UK. That film was shot in its entirety in Ilocos, using 35mm.
I always considered myself as a diehard “film” purist, but judging with the results that I saw with the docu-drama, now I couldn’t give a damn if it’s shot in film or digital. My cinematographer did a great job, Mo made me a convert and I can’t wait to really explore the medium. I love the glide-cam, this new toy that Mo Zee invested to get that superb fluid handheld shots. I saw its full potential in Yon Fan’s COLOUR BLOSSOMS, I was inspired by the movie and it’s good to know that these camera movements are achievable even for low-budget indie-productions.
Carlo, my production manager, was able to get a good ensemble from the U.P. theatre group. Their range impressed me. We didn’t really have enough time to rehearse and it was great that they were able to deliver. Kudos of course to the lead – Ms Boot’s Anson Roa. It’s very surreal for me because I can still remember that the very first film that I saw in the bigscreen was a movie where she was also a part of - “P.S.I LOVE YOU”. I’ve directed a number of actresses before but she’s just really amazing. It’s just sad that she’s not given the meatier roles that she deserves.
It was already around 4:30 in the afternoon and we were racing with the available light that we had so I had to finish the sequence in an hour and a half. I was blessed with two great actors so we were able to close the sequence just before it got dark. Miss Boots was already in tears and when I asked her what the matter was she told me that the scene got into her and that it was great to reminisce the days when she was still a student in U.P. The Carillon was a very special landmark for her.
It’s always good to reminisce the days that have passed especially if there are landmarks to help you bring back those precious memories. I usually have this tingling feeling everytime I passby Cubao for example, because I grew up in Quezon City and we’d usually spend our weekends in Fiesta Carnival and or catch the latest movies in New Frontiere. both establishments are not there anymore but the buildings are still there… one can’t help but remember the formidable days that have shaped ones upbringing.
What makes a landmark? Does a place have to be historical? Does it have to be a place where heroes were killed, bloods were shed? Does it have to be a place of importance? I honesty think that the term is very subjective. If a place brings back special memories or if it evokes the familiar feelings that once have been part of ones history then it can be referred to as a personal landmark. Just like the kaimito tree in our ancestral house in Pampanga, where me and my cousins would usually spend our summer break, or the McDonald’s in Greenhills where my mom would bring us after school for merienda, or the C.O.D store where we’d usually watch the Christmas show, or the street in my parent’s place where we’d usually play patintero with the neighbor kids. It may all be trivial to others but these places are special to me because these represent special moments in my life. One may not share the feelings that I had with these places but that doesn’t mean that they are less special than the Monumento or the CCP for example.
These are my landmarks… these are the foundations that keep me grounded.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Leilanie Pierce – Reality Bites
My friend Joanna and her boyfriend Rob brought some popcorn last night to my request. I was craving for some caramel popcorn and since she was about to pass by to borrow some dvd’s I asked her if that can be the trade off. Was supposed to finish an edit but we ended up watching Reality Bites when she said that they can spare some movie watching time with me. I haven’t really seen REALITY BITES in ages... and it was like going back to memory lane for me when we were watching. The movie was really good because it was able to truly depict the era that has just passed. It’s almost like opening a time capsule and examining how we lived in that point of time.
It’s just so refreshing to see how we lived and looked, what we believed in those days… REALITY BITES was the seminal film of GENERATION X during the ninety’s. As far as I can remember there’s no other movie that can come close by the gravity it depicted our generation. There was this interesting article in DETAILS saying that our era has just passed – GEN X has reached it’s peak and in this point in time, there is no turning back… we have lived our youth, we had our fun and we should already be living our dreams right now. It’s scary to even think about it really…
The Babyboomers, the generation before us, are now the ones who are in command… and the Millenial’s, the generation after us is now the center of attention by the powerful world of consumerism. That leaves us in the very awkward age of being in the middle – the lost generation. Did we really loose our edge already?
To quote the article: “The BABY BOOMERS are having sex, staying young. Retiring in high style… gearing up for their second act. The aggressive Millennial’s speak with none of the doubt and skepticism that have marked and hampered GEN X. They love stuff. They love technology. They love name brands. Their happy to do with what advertising wants them to do… and by being so, they also command power. We, on the other hand are the generation that’s defined more than the lasts than firsts. Last to produce and hold albums in vynil, last to type in a typewriter, last generation to read newspapers, last generation to express resistance to corporate servitude, last generation to care in a way about the “culture” part in the phrase pop culture.”
So where did this lead us… we the all-knowing? We were the ones who didn’t want to be put inside the box. We didn’t want to be just a part of the status quo… we were all about individuality that in the end we ended up exactly what we wanted to be - a generation scattered. A generation forever hesitating before making the leap. Literacy leads to self-reflection and critical thinking - and self reflection and critical thinking open the door to both doubt and skepticism… and we really don’t need this when we want to get ahead.
Or then again, maybe we didn't really care much about getting ahead. That's what defined our generation. We seem to revel in the perversely liberating thrill of being marginalized. We just want to do things on our own. We dine success differently.
Our we obsolete then… I sure hope not. Personally I still have lots to offer this world. But I will still not lower my standards, will still not put my self in a box and will still fight for my individuality… and if I fail in doing so… at least I gave up a good fight in the end…
FAVE REALITY BITES QUOTES:
Lelaina Pierce: I'm not going to work at The Gap for chrissake!
Troy Dyer: The only thing you have to be by the age of 23 is yourself.
Lelaina: Yeah, well, I'm not sure who that is anymore.
Lelaina Pierce: I'd like to somehow make a difference in peoples' lives.
Troy Dyer: And I... I would like to buy them all a Coke.
Lelaina Pierce: And you wonder why we never got involved?
Troy Dyer: And I know that scare the living shit outta you 'cause you know I'm the only real thing you got.
Lelaina: Yeah well that ain't real much.
Troy Dryer: I'm gonna get a job... I'll soon get my own place to live in.
Lelaina: Sure... that's the American dream of the 90's.
Troy Dyer: I'm bursting with fruit flavor.
Lelaina Pierce: Hey Sammy, what's your goal?
Sammy: My goal is... I'd like a career or something.
Troy Dyer: I am not under any orders to make the world a better place.
Troy Dyer: There's no point to any of this. It's all just a... a random lottery of meaningless tragedy and a series of near escapes. So I take pleasure in the details. You know... a quarter-pounder with cheese, those are good, the sky about ten minutes before it starts to rain, the moment where your laughter become a cackle... and I, I sit back and I smoke my Camel Straights and I ride my own melt.
Saturday, October 14, 2006
It really is a tedious work... doing AVPs. Cramming all these informations in one or two sittings, clients expecting you to be an overnight expert on their field. I haven't really had a decent sleep for a week now. Not my favorite thing in the world but it's the most satisfying. At least it really pays you well. So does that make me a whore, a soldout? I don't care. And I'm actually very happy with the outcome. Given the time constraint I was still able to deliver a good one (yabang, but I'm really proud of it). My clients are happy, I'm happy with the extra dough that I'll be using for something that I will really enjoy.
My friend Ivan and I are brewing up something come first quarter next year. I've enjoyed backpacking so much I'm actually inviting a number of friends to join me in my next journey. This time it'll be different because I'd be touring with dear friends. I'm beginning to enjoy this life of a "gypsy"... I'm living the life of a bohemian and I'm really ok with it. Working 9 months straight and enjoying the first three months in another country. It's actually a good way to start the year.
I actually felt that I was more productive this year and more efficient because I was able to really get that much needed rest. Got the inspiration to get me going. I have at least two or three months to go before the traveller in me packs his bags again. I'm working double time to really get more things done. It's good that the rackets are coming... too bad that there's no time to even slow things down... grab a beer, get a good book, party the night a way... but that can wait. It's always good to strike the iron while its hot and that's what I'm actually doing.
It's good also that I'm learning the value of money now. Slowly saving for the real future... unlike before where I can just be so impulsive and spend them hard earned money with the useless stuff. Now I'm trying my best to save the spare dough for the rainy days. But ok... I'm no hypocrite. I kinda still treat myself from time to time and try to enjoy the fruits of the loom.
Here are some of my great finds...
SNOW PATROL CD
This has gotta be the coolest band for me right now. I don't know... I just really dig Scotish musicians. The first time I heard Damien Rice's song from the CLOSER Soundtrack I knew I had to get the name of the singer... which turned out was a part of a band called SNOW PATROL. I"m listening to my favorite track called "YOU COULD BE HAPPY" - my current state at the
I'm always having difficulty with my ipod headphones. Maybe I was just too clumsy that the headphones always find their way out of my ears. I was really looking for a new headphone with a headband of some sort when I saw this in Greenhills. It was such an eyecandy. The price wasn't that bad, and the sounds are just amazing. Had to get it in the end.
WONG KAR WAI COLLECTION
I just had to get the fix for my celluloid rush. And when I heard that there was the Won Kar Wai collection, I just knew that I had to get it by hook or by crook. Wong's like my film god if ever there's one. He's not just a director that I look up to but his movies in a way mirror the chapters that I'm actually going through in my life at one way or another. The Wong Kar Wai collection was like made for me.
I'm just like a kid bragging his new toys... hehe. Life of a media whore isn't that bad after all. :P
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
But I'm really excited with this new found passion. And for the last few months I found myself traveling again to different places to take some stills and just basically practice photography. Here are some of favorites...
Not Your Everyday Mascot - Angono
Voodoo Doll - Baguio
Blue Moon - Tarlac
Sunday Brunch - Olongapo
Lady in The Forest - Angono
Raise The Red Lantern - Binangonan
Gone for the Weekend - Subic
A friend was kind enough to support me with a photography series project which I'll be starting on the next few months. A new found passion that I'll be taking seriously... Am excited!!!
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
This group was also the same people who got me to do a mining documentary in Zamboanga last January. This is a fun agency because they really try to push ideas out of the box from their creative group to really come up with interesting AVP's. Take for example the mining AVP, instead of your regular run-of-the-mill-with-lots-of-talking-heads, they decided to concentrate on the mining process per se. The treatment was mala National Geographic's, and they gave me four days to shoot the whole lot which was actually a luxury for other productions.
It was great that I got to really immerse myself with the local mining community, got to get first hand experience on how it is to live in their environment and get to talk with the locals which incidentally were mostly members of a local mountain tribe. Our nights were spent up in the mountains, with the tribesmen indulging us with their local dance set around a bonfire. It was a great experience to behold and the set-up was just cinematic. We had a grand time filming them.
This time, we're going to capture a whole new environment. And I'm very excited. The environment does not exist anymore but we're going to try to recreate it to capture the grand era that was long forgotten. We're doing a docu-drama of the Carillon bells in UP. And since its heydays were during the early 60's, we’ve decided to dedicate a segment reliving the nostalgia of those days. What was it like to be a student during the early 60's, in U.P.? How did the bells (sadly not working any more) affect the lives of the students who daily got to hear its haunting sounds?
The docu-drama will be done to promote awareness for the National Artist Nakpil designed bell tower. And hopefully it will gain enough support for institutions to actually restore the bells, which is not just a landmark but also a sense of national pride to us all.
It's one of the few projects that I'm really excited to do because with these types, I'm not just a media whore but I'm actually doing something with a cause, things that really do matter. Hehe… I've just finished meeting my scriptwriter and we had a fun time brainstorming. I've even collated a number of pictures of Manila during the 60's from the net to come up with my visual treatment.
THE WAY THEY WERE...
This is no work. This is fun!
Monday, September 18, 2006
We arrived early Saturday morning to survey once again our location. We booked in the afternoon in Fontana and went back to the mall to prepare the Sunday's event. After 3 hours of sleep. I had to push myself out of the bed to try starting the day right. First of my tasks was to facilitate a motorcade that will go around the municipalities of Angeles and Mabalacat. Armed with the local hagads and around 10 cars, I had to see to it that the approved route was followed. That was easy, but the challenge came in the afternoon which was in a form of a Mini-fair. I had to coordinate and closely monitor 6 booths. I had to get an overview of the traffic of the mall, plus handle the main event, which was a chorale competition from 6 participating schools. On top of that I had to head more than 200 people involved in this event.Wheew!!!
A friend, who was into events, said before that I'll be getting myself into trouble if I insist myself into taking it. He said that I'm being short-changed. He said that I'm actually doing the work of three people. But I did it anyway and the event was ( I don't want to make yabang but) actually a success. The turn out was apparently one of the biggest in Clark. I was pretty proud about it. There were glitches but the sheer volume of the people who participated more that made up for our shortcomings. I again proved to myself that when you really put your heart into it, no job is small or big enough to stop you in pursuing your goals.
Having said that – I don't think I'll involve myself again with these type of projects… certainly not my cup of tea. My boss was very happy with the turn out. She said that the client is already planning for a follow up. I just smiled at her.
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
My mom asked me if I can attend an office seminar for her company. And since I'm also partly-part of her company, I just really had to give in to her request. Plus it was also her birthday weekend, and it'll be a great way to spend it with the family together with Aeon, the first apo, the present muse of the clan.
The seminar was actually a good experience for me. The modules where all about proper management of business and taking use of a team's full potential. It wasn't your regular seminar, there were lots of activities actually. The three days were subdivided into a number of physical. mental and emotional tasks and modules. There was even an Amazing Race Type, in our last day, we got to be a chambermaid in the Manor, dance with the igorots, do boat rowing in Burnham, rapel on a 150 foot drop, get to slide down the flying trapeeze, check out a cemetary at a fullmoon. A lot actually. I wasn't actually quite sure what I was getting into and how will these help my marketing skills but during the process of analyzing the activities, it actually hit us how these extreme activities parallel our busy ives at work. It was also great that I got to spend time and bond with other people out of my circle. It was great to be grounded and meet other types.
I had another day free to spend with the family. Got to really enjoy John Hay again this time. The last time I was here was roughly a year ago with another friend. Baguio's a total different world for me. For the last few years I always usually go to Bora for fun with friends. Baguio is a place where I feel more at home though, maybe because I grew up going here with family. My idea of a Baguio Morning is the brunch in the Comissary, or Sunday mass at the cool pink parish, or strolling at the palengke to buy fresh produce to be cooked by mom come lunch time.
There's this sense of tradition, sense of family. I know that I can always go back here 5 years, ten years, or even twenty years from now and even though the look of the place may change, the sense of belonging will still be there.
My niece Aeon
A trip to Baguio will not be complete without riding the love boat...
My Sister gamely poses for the camera.
Baguio Trinkets for the shabby chic.
A side trip to Luisita for late lunch.
I had the grandest weekend. And I'm pretty sure there will be others to enjoy...
(Photos were taken using the Canon 350D. A great new toy... hehe. Check out my other photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/bohemian_child/)
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
I just recently accepted the Executive Producing job for a new show in Studio 23. The kid show called "TAG TEAM" will premiere in three weeks time and we're busy producing all the segments for the pilot episode. This is something new for me. First time in my 6 years of working on television that I'll have kids as host. Last weekend we shot the continuity speils (Intro/Extro of the show) and it was really difficult to get it right. But I did admire the stamina of the kids, the call time was at 8am, by 4 in the afternoon I was already on lowbat mode but the kids were still on a roll. I half-joked that these kids should take Ritalin because their energy was just abnormal.
I'm also now the headwriter for two more lifestyle shows. CHINOY TV is the first and the only trilingual magazine show in the country. It's your magazine show on TV which features the lifestyle of the influential Chinese-Filipino community. It's a great concept, very aspirational, talks about the movers and shakers in the economy.
The other new show BX- BADMINTON EXTREME, as the title would suggest is all about Badminton. It's actually turning 1 year already. I was part of the group that conceptualized the show but I had to leave because I was busy doing other stuff then. So when the opportunity knocked once again, I didn't think twice and took the position. I'm really interested in the sport of badminton. At least this will not be work for me cause it's something that I'm really interested in.
I'm of course still part of DTOUR, and we're all excited because the show is turning 6 this October. Time surely flies fast. I can still remember the day the executive producer interviewed me when I was applying for the producing job. I can't believe that it has been six years already.
And as if four shows is not yet enough, I'm also back in doing movies again. I'm helping some friends finish a digital movie for Regal. It was a killer schedule. We went to Boracay for a 7day shoot. Our call time was like at 9am everyday and we usually finish at around 4-5 am. That leaves us 3 to four hours of sleep. I enjoyed it a lot though. It has been like 3 years since the last movie that I was involved in. And the hectic and testosterone filled environment in the set still gives me the goose bumps.
Berna joined us on our last day. She flew in to take a break. She's actually in Cebu right now and is part of an international movie production company. I think that it's really cool. It’s great opportunity for her.
I miss being busy. I must admit that the last five months of taking it slow was a really great thing. I was able to recharge myself and that creative juice is flowing once again.
I was really born for the fast lane. Who was I kidding... I can't live without that killer schedule, the sleepless nights, and the stress of working too much. I wasn't called superboy for nothing... hehe.
Welcome back Superboy...
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Our day three in Sim City. I'm still overwhelmed with the magnanimity of this event. Cool mobile phones, drool worthy mp3's, notebooks... this is Alice in Wonderland for the tech geeks. I didn't have time to check the gadgets because we were really busy covering for Motorola. But I'm not regretting anything. As it is, the Moto Communicasia camp already takes a wallop.
Colour is the new innovation for Motorola this Communicasia 2006. The Razor is still there, the Slivr is still the thinnest chocolate bar, and Pebl, still the zen inspired wonder, take the spotlight in this year's Singapore Expo. But what makes this interesting for tech savvy consumers are the colors that will soon be available in the market. Electric Baby Powder Blue, Bright Fuschia, Matte Melon Green and Pumpkin colored phones will take your breath away. They did to me.
I'm now sporting the new pumpkin colored Pebl phone thanks to the cool guys of Moto. It's actually my first Pebl, I was toying with the idea of getting one before but I kinda hesitated because I felt that it was a bit too girly. But I drooled the first time I saw the pumpkin colored one. It's so slick and so masculine chic... very Danny Boyle's Trainspotting orange if you want to get the feel.
I'm still a fan of Razor (heck, I still feel that the Razor is the best ever invented phone in history, and I will still use it as my everyday phone, but my new baby Pebl will give me that extra kick if I want to dress up and be that glorified fashionista wannabe).
Color my world seems to be the battle cry of Motorola. And when everyone is racing to deliver new (read: somehow redundant) techie innovations, Moto decides to paint the town orange. I welcome this move from HelloMoto... after all, style and form will always take the center stage.
Amen to that.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
We actually arrived a day early just so that we wouldn't miss the launch the morning after. It's such a great group, my very own motley crew that consists ofpeople from Motorola, the PR agency and the other print people - The challenge is to cover the event in different angles -someone from lifestyle, someone from business and someone from the I.T. page, were then invited. The make up of the group is such diverse that it was such an interesting bunch.
After depositing our stuff in the hotel (I checked in at a budget youth hostels tha last time I was in Singapore , so the 5star Mandarin Suite that was provided for each and everyone , was definitely a welcome break), we all prepped ourselves to review the itinerary . The first agenda was the dinner, and the Singaporean chili crab was just too hard to resist. Their version of the sweet and sour chili crab where in you'll dip your bread (pandesal-like) in to the sauce is definitely to die for. I can't wait to go back home and try to recreate this delight.
The night slowly became a food trip of some sort. The chili crab was complemented by the Singaporean Shark's fin soup. The satay with their peanut sauce was just immaculate, I've never tasted something so good, not even comparable to the satays from Banana Leaf Curry or Penang (the best satays I've tasted back home).
Just when I though that it couldn't get any better, out came the dessert. The Mango-Sago- Pomelo, the concoct totally blew me away. Sweet, sour and bitter and with the right kick, I think they've added some rum or something. I'm such a food freak, I can humbly say that I'm very much well versed in the food category especially after working for two cooking shows and a lifestyle magazine show where in we do reviews of the best restos in the metro every week. I eat everything but it's quite rare that I go out of my way to recommend a good food or something - these Singaporeans really know how to satisfy the most disserning tastebuds (yabang, hehe).
The idea that Singapore nightlife is bland is slowly becoming a thing of the past. After the great dinner, we checked out some of the chill-out spots that's still open on a Monday night.
We ended up in En Lounge. En-lounge is perhaps one of the cosiest clubs that I’ve been to, to be honest this is my first official visit to En-lounge, I remember I dropped by there last February but only to pick up a friend. Despite its mature crowd, En-lounge gives people a fresh but laidback appeal, a place where good music mixes with good atmosphere. It became very big right after the brit K-Klass performed there.
K-Klass is perhaps one of the most hardworking producing groups that have come out of the British house scene in the 90s. Having worked with artist such as Bobby Brown, M People, Kylie and New Order etc etc... I saw them in Camden when I was still in studying in London. As a matter of fact, they were one of the very first groups that introduced me to house music. Going back to En-Lounge, the vibe is great, the music superb, overall, a really good club to unwind... a great way to end the night.
Tomorrow, the grand eyeball of gadgets... can't wait for Communicasia.
Monday, June 19, 2006
Again am packing my bags because I am flying to Singapore in the next few hours to cover Communicasia for Studio 23. I haven’t been into one of these events but I’ve heard that it’s such a big thing in the I.T. world. Last year my fellow producers from DTOUR were sent to cover for Samsung. I really don’t know what to expect but being the techie geek that I am (I always believe that I’m a geek-at-heart), I’m already hyperventilating with excitement on the chance to check out the best that the I.T. world has to offer.
I can’t believe that it’s also the Great Singapore Sale, damn, just when I’m trying to save again and rebuilding my egg nest. I’m such an impulsive buyer and I don’t know how I’d be able to handle this. Well, I’m leaving my ATM card and I’m really just planning to bring some cash for emergency.
Singapore is slowly becoming my comfort place. It’ll be my fourth time this year to go there and my perception of it as an antiseptic city is slowly wearing off. I’m actually slowly liking the city every time I go there.
The food is such a major turn on. The curry, the laksa, the satay’s, the mythical Singaporean Hainanese chiken rice... mmmm....my mouth is already watery just by thinking of the hawker food stalls that I’ll be visiting… damn forget the diet thing. Life’s just to short to be restricted.
Food and Gadgets… aahh… damn just too hard to resist… I’m sure that this will be another great trip…
Love La DolceVita.
Saturday, June 17, 2006
Last Thursday, I kinda jammed with the cool members of Kala in the house of their bassist, JP Tanchanco. I was asked to produce a feature on local musicians who use the internet to expand their audience. I haven't seen JP in a year, the last time I saw him was when he gave me a copy of a rough recording of his band's single Jeepney. Low and behold, a year later, not only is Kala the most promising band in the market today, their single Jeepney has been on the top chart for almost six or seven weeks now.
The single is really great, a mixture of bossa manila and the 70's bubble gum funk of the likes of Hotdogs and Rico J. Puno. But the single is no copy cat, it's actually a whole new genre on its own. The music is bubble gum but is edgy at the same time. I interviewed the band for two hours and they kinda played unplugged for the camera.
I wanted to see them in action, I haven't really seen them performed live so I didn't think twice when they told me that they'll be playing at Saguijo for the Kerplunk Anniversary. I blocked it off my schedule and I waited eagerly to see not just KALA but the other bands as well...
I really miss the indie music scene especially after I left for my journey. The last time I was banging my head at the mosh pit was almost a year ago for the Terno Augogo stint. I miss the energy and the community and how the bands would play on their top of their lungs for their appreciative audience. I mean this is not like Cueshe in ASAP, this is the real deal, bands playing raw and unapologetic.
So you can just imagine what a treat it was to see Urbandub, ChicoSci, Greyhoundz, Neruda, Angulo and Kala in one venue. I arrived with another indie band enthusiast friend Art to check it out. It was almost impossible to get in by around 10pm, there was a mammoth queue but that didn't deter us from going inside. The testosterone filled Saguijo was again a delight, the thick atmosphere of enthusiasm gave me the best hit ever minus the tabs or the charlie. It was such a natural high, a few bottles of redhorse after and I was already floating.
Kala then played and though the audience wasn't as much as enthusiastic compared to the other bands that played especially since their set was right after Urbandub, their music was a blast nonetheless. Maybe it was the crowd, but their music really stood out, and that's in a good way though I think. Their new version of Southside, remixed no less than by Brian Cua if I'm not mistaken, is the best chill out track I've listened to next to the Floating remix of Hed Kandi.
Kudos to their other singles like Pulis Pangkalawakan (definitely a homage to Shaider generation and not to people who's minds wander whenever they get the hit) and Piso-pisong Paraiso (Apparently no drug reference) and Manila High (Umm... again about natural high). Kala's so addictive minus the pharapernalias. I ended up with my pinoy indie music scene fix ad I'd definitely want to get some more.You can always visit their website at www.kala.co.nr, defintely worth the click.
Sunday, June 04, 2006
I did some DVD watching binge with a couple of friends the other day. I haven’t had the chance to do a film marathon in a long time so watching with Mark (a fellow film buff) and his partner David was a welcome break.
I brought BEE SEASON (borrowed from Charles, another film buff friend) and Mark just recently got THE DOUBLE LIFE OF VERONIQUE. I was so excited because I’ve been looking for a copy of DOUBLE LIFE OF VERONIQUE for the longest time now. I saw it exactly a decade ago, my professor before from film school showed it to the class for our lighting classes and I remember that I enjoyed the movie very much.
It tells the story between two girls who are both called Veronica. They are very similar in terms of their characters. They are of the same age and they are very identical, the other one is living in Paris and the other is living in Warsaw. One day though, the French Veronica goes on a trip to Warsaw and by chance her Polish counterpart sees her and the plot of the movie thickens.
Written and Directed by Krzysztof Keislowski, it was definitely one of his monumental works. It was acted by the then unknown Irene Jacob. The movie totally blew me away. It had a very good premise; people apparently, are very connected to each other more than they think it’s possible. I mean there are five billion people in the planet, what if by chance, not in a parallel universe mind you, someone is actually living the very same life that we’re living. It’s very interesting indeed.
The next movie was THE BEE SEASON. I was also excited to watch it because I enjoyed reading the book almost a month ago during my long travel. It was in fact one of my comfort books. It was faithfully adapted but for some reason, the film version didn’t work as well as the book. The film turned out very cold, too cerebral, and a bit scattered.
The movie tells about this dysfunctional family that gets entwined with spelling bee competitions and Jewish mysticisms. The esoteric novel was very clear with its subjects but in the movie version, even though all the elements were there, we really don’t get the point what the family is going through.
And so when during the highlight of the movie, when the family slowly breaks down, we really don’t get to empathize with them. We’re completely more baffled with the ethnicity that was presented to us…our unfamiliarity with the Kabbalah, the over romanticized treatment of the Hare Krishna, and anachronous take on Hinduism and Judaism. In the end we really don’t know why we’re presented with all these elements… we didn’t get the longing of faith and direction of our characters.
I still love the book though, and I’m actually re-reading it again just to get more insights about the characters. It’s ironical because I enjoy reading books but not as much as watching movies. Film is and will always be my first love. It’s my passion and definitely my medium of choice.
When I was traveling, I usually would call the day very early, especially when I was trekking up in the mountains or when I was in the small towns of Laos and Cambodia were HBO was non-existent. There’s really nothing much to do when the clock hits six in the evening. No cable television, so we usually just ended up getting drunk and pissed.
Books became a good source of entertainment; I’ve never read so many books in so short span of time - Myla Goldberg’s BEE SEASON, Mark Haddon’s THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT TIME, Lauren Weisberger’s THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, Augusten Burroughs’s RUNNING WITH SCISSORS, J.K. Rowling’s THE ORDER OF THE PHEONIX, and Dan Brown’s DA VINCI CODE.
I would usually read two to three books in the same day, one book in the morning, a different book in the afternoon and another in the evening. I would never finish them of course but I would usually do the same order of reading the following day. The books turned out to be my alternative to TV programming. And since they have different genre’s – memoirs, suspense, comedy, pop culture I always had a great alternive fix for my movie rush.
I was surprised then from learning that all of the titles that I’ve read are already in Film Production. I knew that DA VINCI and ORDER OF THE PHEONIX were being filmed already but it never crossed my mind that some of the titles would end up in the big screen. I’ve seen DA VINCI and though I enjoyed the movie, I enjoyed the book a lot better. I like it that in the book, I was solving the mystery with Prof. Robert Langdon, and that I was learning different things with him. In the movie though, I was really just a spectator. They had to put all the details in a 2 hour movie, and I didn’t have time to breathe and digest all the information that I was getting.
The same thing will happen with THE ORDER OF THE PHEONIX I think, being the longest book in the series with over 700 pages, I don’t know how Hollywood will be able to adapt the book for the movie. Five hours will not even do it I think, there’s so many cool things that have happen to our dear Harry Potter and it will be a let down if some of his adventures will be omitted in the movie version. They should maybe do it in two parts, but as we all know they are all racing to finish the entire series before the actors outgrow their characters. They’re kinda getting too old for their roles.
I can’t wait to see THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, I’m sure Meryll Streep and Anne Hathway will be able to pull it off. Judging from the publicity stills alone it’s definitely gonna be a hit... and boy, I wasn't really too happy when I learned that it was Streep who get's to do the part of the boss from hell but judging again from the pictures she's just so perfect.
Another favorite, and now one of my best picks, RUNNING WITH SCISSORS is a memoir of Augesten Burroughs while growing up in the suburbs with his alcoholic father, a delusional poet mother, the family shrink and the shrink’s bizarre extended family. With a tagline like BRADY BUNCH ON VIAGRA – you definitely can’t go wrong with this memoir/ novel.
Lovers of the John Waters will love this American family satire. It’s one of the most disgusting and the funniest books I’ve ever read. There’s this part where in the shrink asked his children for some stool sample believing that by studying the shape of the stool, he’ll be able to predict whether they’ll be having a lucky week ahead.
And the ensemble will definitely be a front runner come awards season – Gwyneth Paltrow, Brion Cox, Annette Benning and Joseph Fienes, and not to mention Augesten Burroughs will be played by the “indie-it-boy” of the moment Joseph Cross.
I can’t wait to see all these movies and I’m glad that I was able to read the books first. I definitely will be watching the movie as it is but then again you can’t help but compare which medium worked better. Having said that I’m pretty much open-minded.
Happy reading and happy watching!!!
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
I forgot who I was talking to about this thing called the age of Aquarius before, where in we are about to enter an era of universal brotherhood, where it will be possible to solve social problems in a manner equitable to all. It apparently will end the devisiveness of any fractions exisitng in religion, politcs, and even of the sexes.
It seems like it was a far shot but apparently bisexuality is part of it. People’s preference for companion will not just be limited to the opposite sex. We’re all going more for what’s inside someone’s brain than what’s inside someone’s legs. Interesting things to think about, true… but then again, I think it’s really all because nowadays we are more in tune with our emotions and we’re not afraid to manifest it no matter how other people may react.
I was having late lunch with my friend Mark after meeting him in Moro Lorenzo in Katipunan after I got some school requirements - (sidelight: I was toying with the idea of getting a non-degree course in Ateneo, I so want to go back to school, checked out the list but I’m late for this term already). We were sitting beside a group of three seventeen year old looking people, two guys and one girl. I was having difficulty trying to guess who’s dating who. The two guys were sitting beside each other and the girl was facing them.
It was easy to dismiss that the two guys were a couple because they have this whole vibe going on between them. It’s always good to see same-sex couples comfortable hanging out together. Obviously, they all came from the gym; they had these big bags with them. Low and behold – (I didn’t want to eavesdrop but couldn’t help it with their loud voices) the other boy was groping the right bicep of the other guy, complimenting him for his arm. It was like an opening scene from a porn… more touching and more complimenting followed and there was really this naughty vibe between the two boys and I couldn’t help it but to look at the reaction of the girl who was in front of them.
Then to my surprise after they had their food, the other guy and the other girl said their goodbye to the other guy and walked away with the guy’s arms around her. Apparently, Mark also saw the group inside the gym, and confirmed that the guy and the girl was a couple.
It’s really different nowadays- male bonding has reached new heights. It’s difficult to sense who’s playing on what team… Blame it on the Age of Aquarius?
I say blame it on Brokeback Mountain! Hehe…
Saturday, May 20, 2006
My Work Life isn't as toxic as before. A show just folded up, I declined another producing stint and I decided to focus in just one show. That was actually a relief. I have more time now and I actually love it. I like it that I can spend more time with family and friends.
It's a very different lifestyle for me. I sleep early, I wake up early. I don't have to rush from another work to another work. I don't have to work 28 hours straight which I did before every Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Now I have time to go to the market and buy stuff for myself. I get to cook fresh food as oppose to grabbing a bite in fastfoods and stuffing myself with the junkfood upsized. I get to stroll around the park and quietly finish the long list of books that friends have lent me.
I get to sleep in my parent's place every weekends. I get to wash my own clothes. I get to be domesticated for a change.
I think that it's a sign that time is telling me to slow down, that I'm getting old and that there are other things worthy to spend my precious time with.
It's time to realize old dreams, to re-ignite the fire in the belly...I'm finally trying to finish a screenplay that I started ages ago. And what a way to boost my morale... I just received an email from my friend Hana, and she was excited to tell me that some friends from LFS won the highest award in the recently concluded Cannes Film Festival.
Bobby Peers and Jakob Ingimundarson were actually two batches lower. They’ve been a big help to me especially for my graduation film where they became part of my film’s Cinematography department. I really admire these guys because even from before you can already see their determination and their love for their work.
I’m so happy to be reading news about them and their triumphs. Bobby directed the Norwegian film Sniffer and Jakob was the Director of Photography. And their dedication landed them the Palme D’Or.
(SNIFFER: Written and Directed by BOBBY PEERS)
The movie according to the Cannes Website is about a society where everyone has the ability to fly, the citizens anchor themselves to the ground via "gravitation boots". Devoid of sunlight and the open sky, the members of society go about their routine without any hope of personal gratification. One day, however, a man decides he has had enough attempt to challenge the status quo. He quits his job, loosens his bindings, and literally takes off.
I haven’t seen the movie but the synopsis alone is just amazing. Metaphorical and very subversive… It’s about challenging what is perceived to be the norms and taking the extra mile to take off. Life is what we make out of it. Decisions are for us to make. Success is there for us to achieve.
To Bobby and Jakob, I’m very proud of you guys. Thanks for realizing our dreams.
Monday, May 01, 2006
It was about five years since I first saw Wong Kar Wai's In The Mood For Love. It was also the start of my love affair with the great Angkor Wat. I've read a lot of books about it and I knew that one day I really have to check it out for myself.
I actually have planned my trip to culminate in Cambodia because I want it to be the highlight and the climax of this very long journey. And the Ancient Angkor didn't disappoint me. I slept early the day before to catch the sunrise, and what I witnessed was just magical.
A fellow traveller, Andreas, and I spent the whole day there doing nothing but trying to get lost in the beauty that the monuments have to offer.
No words can really describe it. It's just truly magical.
I really had a great day taking pictures. Check out more pictures in my flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/bohemian_child/.
I'd like to thank the people who left cool comments. Photography is a new found passion and I'm humbled with the words that people say about my work.
The Angkor experience was something spiritual for me. It just shows what greatness humans are capable of. And with this, I close this chapter of my journey with great hope and with much enthusiam.
Life is indeed beautiful.