Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Nitpickers of the new DOT campaign are entitled to their own kind of fun - nitpicking. As for me, I’s having fun of my own. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

It’s a City... and It’s Global!

Where am I? And why am I being pretentious?! 

Because I’m at Bonifacio Global City! Never liked this place during the times when it’s only attraction was the once celebrity and socialite ridden Embassy. I never go to such places. 

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Mama's Halloween Kitchen

Tonight, Mama prepares to configure her witch’s brew. Divine, she huffs and she puffs…  in her kitchen she prepares to cast her spells in welcoming the merry making of the dead. Tig-kalalag in Isabela, Negros Occidental – the festival of souls commercially known as Halloween, nationally Araw ng mga Patay, religiously All Souls Day. But with a vague idea of what the Roman Catholic dogma defines on the subject, or lacking the knowledge of how it colored the culture in foreign lives, I simply expect this day to be a concert of local gastronomic delights, all cooked up under my Mom’s baton – luhag in Hiligaynon, sandok in Tagalo.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

The Legs Review

When a friend of mine came to Cebu to conduct a seminar, I played my best role again aside from being bitch, diva, and bully. That is, being a good host.  Friend requested to be shown the gay bars of Cebu, and I obliged. 
I just have to make this declaration: I am no fan of gay bars. The paid gogo-boys wear too much make-up and their costumes are so predictable. I would rather sit through a Chinese acrobatic circus than watch these men contort their bodies in redundant dance moves as they bid for my attention and paper bills.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Ode to Laughter on Campy Zombading

I insist, dear five readers, that I don’t do movie reviews. That’s because I’m so bad at naming names and their personages, and I dread the science of film making as much as I detest teaching it. But for days now, the itch to write about a comic breakthrough (I told you I can’t do movie review) has been quite disturbing. Before I down a bottle of Caladryl Lotion, I blog.

Zombading Patayin sa Syokot si Remington, started with a curse...

Saturday, August 11, 2007

I Say Narcolepsy, You Say Necrophilia.

Sorry. I don’t mean to show off on some medical terms. I leave that to doctors. Some of them only has those words to display their vocabulary. Hah?! You don’t know what they mean? My last name is Lloren. Not Webster. Go grab him.

So there we were, Praxedes and D’Bully, sitting in one of SM Megamall’s theatre for the screening of Joey Gosienfiao’s Nights of Serafina. The movie was one of the series of films being shown last week as Cinema One honors the said director. Hey, I admire the guy. He’s an icon, to say the least. You can’t blame a fan for paying Php120.00 to watch a film that has been shown several times on cable. To think that this one is also said to be a pito-pito movie (made in seven days). Ok, no more apologies. I’m just a fan. Yes?

Sitting in orchestra (here is one for another blog: Megamall still dichotomize between special and regular cinema seating), I noticed a video projector set up behind us. Praxedes was quick to fear that we are up to watch the same television version of the movie. Honestly, it was a kind of fear that edges on the horrified state as, though we came for the opus of an idol, we came for Mike Magat who was said to be showing more than just his torso. We expected that at Php120.00 we will see more blood and sex. How do they call it? Director’s cut. We feared correctly. Yes, we were made to watch exactly what one may see for free on television! Front, butt and expletives deleted.

Cinema One, why?!

But we were determined not to be disappointed. In times like this, it’s mind over matter. In this case, it’s intellectualization over the unintelligible. Simply put, in our bid to salvage our reason for braving the traffic on Edsa to get to Megamall, we tempered the disappointment with abject rationalization. Let’s just say we still want to believe that this film is the epitome of camp (only after Joey’s Temptation Island) and, therefore, is one for laughs and Mike Magat’s pecs is one to recall on those lonely cold nights. The latter was indeed a justification. Mike Magat, I must say, was one of the best pieces of meat that came out of Divisoria Market. Unless you don’t know, my dear hordes of four avid readers, Mike Magat used to work at the said wet market as a porter (it’s a kinder word compared to its Tagalog equivalent - kargador).

Who is Serafina? She’s a mannequin in a catatonic state. A mannequin because, among others, she could crack her ever-pouting lips whenever she attempts to speak, cry, or - God forbids - laugh. Catatonic because her acting requires strings attached to her limbs for actuation. A puppeteer may have been more expensive in those days that Joey instead opted for her to animate a character. Or maybe she was just such an obedient actress she followed Direk Joey’s every instructions right down to the nine. He may have told her, “You’re a mowdel (yes, there is a w). Walk, talk and eat like a mowdel.” She gladly obliged, thus, we see her being raped or slapped and she still comes out as a magazine print. She was pushed against the ground in a rape scene. The attacker had second thoughts when tears fell from her eyes so he leaves her be. She stood up and did a cat walk. She was running away from a pursuer along the street. She came to an alley. She couldn’t decide which way to go. She acted this out by a sudden stop from running, arms reaching forward, paused, then turned the other way with the other arm reaching forward. Yes, it’s a choreography by the Aldeguer Sisters. Serafina could win an Urian for Most Promising Performer by simply falling asleep within the whole duration of an entire film. Which in turn led me to think that the guys who fell for her would find the morgue more stimulating than a girly bar. I assume Mother Lily could have saved more production money by having cardboard cut-outs play the role.

O, I’ve been so mean to this actress I should accordingly hide her identity under her “real alias”, Georgia Ortega. Where is she now? I think I spotted her among the crowd of zombies in Night of the Living Dead. She was perfect.

The story line is quite the usual. John Apacible as heir to a rich logging family who travels to Manila to meet his bride (none existent) and to hire a labor arbiter (Mike Magat). In Manila she stops by a road to admire the woman in the billboard. Before he drives off the same face was on the page of a magazine that blew against his car’s windshield. And, surprise, the woman who owns the magazine is the woman in the billboard, the woman in the magazine, the woman now standing beside his car to pick up the magazine. She was having a pictorial meters away. She says in a monotonous low voice consistent in all her deliveries, “Sorry, nilipad ng hangin ang magazine ko.” No, I don’t suspect the director was imploring a film technique. If he was, it has something to do with economy. Making several things happen in one place at one scene shortens the story line, which cuts scene sequences, which shortens production and post-production, which results to shrinking the budget, which by the way characterizes a pito-pito movie.

With this meeting along the road established, you can rightly presume what happens to the rest of the movie. Don’t fail me.

So much could be said about this film for being camp. Every other guy was wearing chaleco if they’re not in padded coat! And Oscar Dela Renta is in the credits?! Yeah right. Using binoculars, the two pesky kids admire Serafina standing at the terrace while they were just five meters away from her location. Another floozy character punctuates her every line with annoying laughter. That was her idea of a slut. There was a party. And as such in a provincial setting, the rich would hire a band, the kind that plays in fiestas and parades. While they play some jolly old country folk tunes, our subject characters were modern dancing along the mansion’s portico. My head ached as I tried so hard to synch what I see with what I hear.

Gosiengfiao films are also known for explosive lines and I had a blast of gas when Serafina drawls, “Alam kong nabili na nya ang aking katawan. Pero walang karapatang bumili ang di marunong gumamit.” Referring to John Apacible who was impotent. That gorgeous body is inutile. He may have a chiseled body compared to Mike but Mike is an animal. I’m all hands down to Serafina for letting herself get insnared by a butcher instead by a logger. At least, the movie was quite successful in this character contrast. You have an impotent Olympian god on one hand, a rough but ravishing mortal on the other. I’d go for an anatomically complete human.

This will not stop me from watching Gosiengfiao films. What I see in his films is a man who enjoys his craft. When one is having fun with his pursuits, a genius comes out. Then the audience has no choice but to react with spontaneity, whether by irritation or admiration, disgust or commendation. And as I was trying to find a statement that would sum up my impression of his movies, I serendipitously found it while watching the Lifestyle Channel: a comedian trying to simplify his impression on a Ron Howard sci-fi starring John Travolta as an alien villain. She goes, “The movie is so bad, it’s so good.”