Monday, July 27, 2009
A Day at the Movies
Four movies, two restaurants, and three coffee shops—all in 10 hours. That was last Saturday, my day with my two boys, son number one and son number three. By 11 in the evening, way past my bedtime, my eyes were bloodshot and my back, half-bent.
It was the loveliest night of the year!
As they did last year, JC and JR took me to Cinemalaya. It was a birthday treat for their long-suffering (they won't agree to that adjective) mother. This year, now that he has a job, Atty. JR took care of the tab.
It had been a week-long festival of Philippine Indie films, dubbed Cinemalaya Cinco (year five), but the three of us only had one day free together. Their father is a regular guy—he preferred to watch a regular action movie in a regular movie house.
We trekked to the Cultural Center of the Philippines two hours before the first scheduled screening to beat the long queue. Unlike last year, we didn't argue over which among the ten movies to watch. I had a list ready, from the blog entries of my friend, Lilit, who had earlier been reviewing the films and whose taste in movies I respect.
Lilit didn't disappoint. The three of us agreed all four movies must be among the best from this year's harvest. They were. One of them, Last Supper #3 (a funny social commentary) was the grand prize winner. And the other three—Mangatyanan, Colorum, and Nerseri—got plum awards in other categories.
Now, aside from the gift of fine movies and food was the grace of seeing old friends, art buffs. There were fewer of us this year. Those who comprised the crowd were students and yuppies, which, to me, is a good sign. Like spring, they're new shoots from new roots and they will inject new life and a new level of intellect and dignity to the film industry. There was no frenzy for celebrity and glam. Only sincere miens with appreciation for this emerging force of moving art.
Next year, we promise to watch all the full-length movies, as well as the shorts. Which means, as early as now, we should be making the whole of Cinemalaya week red-letter days in our calendar. But if I recall, that was what we promised ourselves last year.
Filipino film has a future, a very bright one. This I have always believed—we have never been wanting of talents, just of budget.
(Photos by JC)