Year of the Lull

Hello folks! It seems like I skipped a whole year, again, without putting a review out there. I’ve actually been doing that more on my public Instagram account whenever I post mini-reviews of films I see, which also get cross-posted sa public author’s page ko sa FB. You can follow that account if you like: @mx_libay_linsangan_cantor. My FB page is: facebook.com/libaycantor.

The year of the lull was actually not much of a choice. I also didn’t feel like seeing, let along reviewing some Filipino films that came out this year, especially the MMFF. While I don’t think I can catch pa the MMFF these last few January days because I’m stuck in bed with a nasty foot sprain, nakakawalang gana na rin actually manood minsan, mainly because of the chika na nakakapagod na ring sundan dito sa industriyang ito, sa totoo lang, industriyang minsang minahal ko nang lubos.

My film-active contacts have been chatting about these on FB the entire year. Lalo na come festival season. Like itong nangyari sa QC Filmfest, nakakaloka nga namang maghabol ka ng sinehan from one end of the city to another. Ang beef ko pa dun, ‘yung ibang movies nasa labas ng QC! Musta namang sa Robinson’s Galleria ba ‘yun o Megamall? Define QC nga, beh. Kalokang geography-challenged problem ituh. Pero nung nakita ko kung sinu-sino ang mga nagpapatakbo kasi nun, aysus… Hindi na ako nagtaka pa hahahahaha. But I managed to get one screening in, primarily because a former student/thesis advisee had an entry (na tinulungan ko siyang i-workshop ang script niya actually, upon her request). I missed the gala kasi, ‘yung kay Sam Lee, kaya I caught it na lang some other day. Apart from that, wala na yata akong masyadong nakita pa. Pero basta mga dati kong estudyante ang may gawa, I make it a point to watch them. Kahit ‘yung mga ‘yun man lang, mapanood ko. And of course, some of my filmmaker friends’ efforts din, kung meron silang ilalabas. Siyempre support din iyon, ever. The rest? Abangan ko na lang sa Netflix ‘yan hehe.

Ito rin kasing MMFF medyo letdown na ang nagaganap, after a hopeful resurgence. Industriyang bulok versus independent openminded thinking na naman. Like what I’ve been saying time and again, “Same mafia, different decade!” Kelan kaya mababago ang sistema? Okay na sana ‘yung a few years ago na may docu, then we go back again to the usual trash cinema cycle. Sino naman ang gaganahan dun? Although this has been a movie marathon ritual for me and my mom for years now, sayang at di namin magagampanan iyon for the past year’s batch dahil nga sa sprain ko. Gusto ko pa namang habulin ‘yung isa, ‘yung gay film ni Eddie Garcia. Sayang. Abangan ko na lang dun sa mga indie cinema houses na nakikita ko, cropping up in Metro Manila. Kakatuwang may mga ganun na! Bisitahin ko kapag may time, lalo na ‘yung mga nasa QC area, sa Maginhawa yata ‘yung isa saka ‘yung sa Anonas branch nung nasa San Juan na isa. Cool! They rerun the indie films and local films there na na-miss ko sa ka-busy-han ng life. I plan to see more of that there. Sige soon.

Sayang itong industriya natin. Minsan talaga two steps forward na, tapos one step back later, then one forward again, then three backwards naman. Wala rin. I thought one giant leap for cinemakind na ‘yung naganap nung mid-2000s with Cinemalaya, but what did it do now? It just produced a newer brand of mafia-like Kami-Kami Productions na naman, junior edition. Like bow down to their system if you want to make your film kind of peg na naman. And it produces egos with cameras, not artistic filmmakers, na kahit ‘yung mga nauna-unang batch of filmmakers ay nakikita kong nasusuya din sa pinuntahan ng mga fests na ito, once hopeful, now ewan na. Sayang ano.

The other fests were no better din, lalo na ‘yang Cinema One na ‘yan. Pero may mga taon namang umo-okay-okay silang pareho, tapos may year na lalaylay na naman o may kontrobersiya na namang puputok, na may kinawawa na namang mga tao. Haaaaaay crap cinema cycle na naman, digital edition. Nakikimiron na lang naman ako sa sirkulong iyan, kasi nga madalas nakakapagod na ang mga tired old narratives that get rehashed sa kalakaran behind the scenes. Ayoko nang madagdagan pa ang dumarami ko nang uban, sa totoo lang. Hayst.

Kaya stick na lang ako sa panonood at pagrerebyu from a distance. I plan to be more active in this department this 2019. (Sorry kung famous last words-sounding na naman ito hahaha pero pramis, talagang tututs na siya.) I’m actually trying to rehash and streamline my online existence, also to house all of my horcruxes online into a cohesive spot. Been chatting with someone about that last year, so let’s see how that goes later on, hopefully within this first quarter. Also, I’m thinking of creating a pop culture podcast, but that one’s just a dream for now. Let’s see.

Hay, sige cinema, hindi pa naman tayo divorced or anything. Siguro diet lang. Life’s getting too short to waste on bad movies and stuff, kaya focus tayo sa mga mas malaman muna.

And happy new year, folks. See you again soon!

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