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Wary Dairy
Thursday, January 31, 2008

Everyone probably takes the same route once they go online. They check their mail, first off. Then, since their inbox has been mostly flooded with oh-so-imperative social networking updates, they go through an obligatory round of Superpoke!-ing (I personally prefer the throwing of sheep), bemoaning the fresh batch of perverts (hi poh.. musta poh.. wats ur cp?.. pnx nt ded \m/..) who’ve checked their Friendster profile, reading friends’ blog entries (or people with whom they’d want to be friends because everyone’s a pervert in their own way anyhow), articulating their irreverence on tagboards and comment boxes, etc. And then, finally, right before doing something with their computer for actual monetary compensation, they visit certain non-friend-related sites, the themes of which vary from person to person.

One of my guiltiest pleasures can be found in this last pocket of Happy Internet Time. I go to Hollywood gossip blogs like any other sad sack. Hollywood Rag, Perez Hilton, What Would Tyler Durden Do?, etc. And I am not going to cloak my fondness for this drivel by calling it “research” or whatever else academic enrichment/come-on-I-have-a-Comm-degree-related excuse I can think up of (though it does come in handy sometimes, wushu). I like dirt. I like seeing celebrities morph into twigs or fat cows. I like being informed of who got pregnant or served. I like watching Amy Winehouse smoke crack. I like all that crap. I like it as much as I am ashamed of doing so. I am typical. And I have forced myself to admit to this reprehensible behavior because of one very short article. Came across it during this morning’s round at the rumor mill, and it has pretty much unhinged me from any sense of normalcy I thought I’d have today.


That article stuck out like anything. Not only were the involved parties relevant oh, say, in the latter half of the nineties, which makes their presence in these very timely websites flat-out weird, but they happen to be two of my most favorite bands in the universe (I don’t care much for their rivalry, although it’s pretty obvious I love one more than the other). It was so strange to find any sort of news about them there, not to mention that said news was, well, surreal in its uselessness. Is this a jab at the fact that their significance has dwindled down, still deemed potent only to their hardcore fans? Don’t these sites have anything better to post about? Oh, wait.

It’s nice that they have a chance to bond now, I guess. But really, waking up only to be informed of that was fucking wonky. Wonky, funny, and stupid enough to put me into such a hopeless tizzy. And there are more important things for me to feel weird about right now. Anxious about. Like the fact that I am slated to embarrass myself in a few days. Let’s see if I have the stomach to write about it then.

posted by marguerite @ 9:31 PM


Move Me
Friday, January 25, 2008

Over the past two weeks, I’ve seen The Kite Runner, American Gangster, Juno, and Atonement (the latter just a few minutes ago, hence my drive to get certain film-related sentiments out of my system) on dibidi, all five of which have earned Oscar nominations in varied categories. Money well spent on stolen goods, I have to admit, though I do think seeing them in a proper cinema is also a very worthwhile effort.

Of the five, American Gangster was the least impressive, however. Probably only liked it because I’m physically attracted to black men and loved seeing Russell Crowe’s attempt at some sort of American accent. I do have a Last Shot Syndrome as well, wherein a film, no matter how trite or dragging (which this one was at certain points), can still win me over with its very final scene. Gangster’s last shot was fucking priceless.

The Kite Runner I loved mainly for the acting. The little boy who played the title role, this little amateur Afghan, if I’m not mistaken, gave such a harrowing performance that I felt just plain harassed the rest of the time. If a film can make me feel perturbed for no good reason, make me hug my knees to my chest and bawl like an idiot, then I consider it of worth. This is not necessarily a requirement for me, though it must be said that anything that can reduce me to a runny lump of snot has its charms.

Atonement made the best use of the medium. If it doesn’t bag Best Cinematography (especially considering this single, incredibly pretty, 4 minute-long tracking shot on the beach with hundreds of actors and set obstacles, the difficulty of its filming I can’t even begin to imagine), I’m going to hug my knees to my chest and bawl like an idiot. I have my patterns. And if The Kite Runner starred a most pitiable little boy, Atonement had a piece of prime, 13-year-old bitch. Downtrodden Afghan boy needed a hug. Willowy Brit brat needed a stake through the heart. Plus, Keira Knightly’s skinniness is just so apparent in the film, it's riveting, really. Remember: the more harrowed I feel, the better I believe the film to be.

Which brings me to Juno. Last year, people demanded that I watch Little Miss Sunshine because they thought I was Olive Hoover-incarnate. This year, I had been told by my friends that Juno MacGuff reminded them much too much of me, and when I finally saw the film last night, I knew what they meant. Neither Juno nor Olive actually do mirror me. I believe they are far nicer, kinder people. But I knew what my friends meant. Regardless, these films’ screenplays were reason enough for me to slobber all over both. But the ego trip’s a plus.

My guess for Best Pic: Atonement. Good filmmaking in all respects. (And Best Actress must go to Keira Knightly, if only because her ribcage was so expressive, so moving, so...I can't put my finger on it. Oh wait, I can. Literally. I think it's a method thing.)

posted by marguerite @ 11:53 PM


Shame, Shame
Wednesday, January 23, 2008

It took a night like that one.

I have a friendship with a particular person that is as powerful as it is fragile. This contradiction, in fact, may even be the reason why we get along so fucking swimmingly in the first place. He has his own social sphere in which he thrives very naturally, and I have mine, and when we meet up, a special setting surfaces for us to bounce around in—seemingly impenetrable and substantially indifferent to our differences, especially when it comes to who we are publicly. A tit for tat deal, really. I am nothing like his other friends and he is nothing like mine, and I would like to think we each complement our personalities in a way nobody else can, hence the great value we place in our friendship. (Vague, much? Well, what can you do.)

Having said this, it is thus very difficult—maybe impossible—to introduce each other to our respective home turfs. It had always been understood between us that if we were to take each other to places we as individuals usually go to, were to let each other hang out with our other friends, were to show each other who we technically are as social beings, the one who’d be subject to the different environment was bound to break out in hives.

Last night was an attempt to challenge this curse, with me as the inductee into a strange new world (a club/café at a high-end district, basically), but it just didn’t work. I kept an open mind, I did. Hyped myself up, put on a chirpy, devil-may-care disposition. But I still cared. Or, rather, couldn’t care less about the great mass of pretty people I was idling on the fringes of, couldn’t care less about their version of nightlife—one in which you couldn’t really sit still and talk decently, in which a drink or five was absolutely imperative to appreciate each other, in which chaos was king. Not to say that I don’t like noise. I do. Very much so. But it is still a different cacophony I crave.

Okay, I’ll say it. I don’t like having to be brainless to party. I don’t like having to shout into people’s ears to give piddling commentary. I don’t like needing to be intimidatingly gorgeous to look like I belong even remotely. I don’t like having to prove to others that I’m ridiculously hot and you are sooooo freaking not. So I told my friend that I was going to leave. Shouted into his ear that I just wasn’t feeling it. He understood.

Am I being insecure? Immature? I don’t know. But I felt like pure shit last night. Like a troll. Like no single sliver of my body nor speck of my personality was worthy of registering in that room. That I can say for certain. And it was such an unnecessary feeling.

My friend and I met up again this afternoon, had lunch and coffee at our usual dive. We were okay. Still, there was a certain muck lining our meeting that we just couldn’t ignore, one quite possibly of embarrassment. On both our ends.

Dear god. There is surely something to be said here about caution.

posted by marguerite @ 1:31 AM


Sunday, January 13, 2008

UPDATE: The shots are up!


Nante and I embarked on a classic Let’s Get Lost in Manila and Take Photographs day today. Our gumption endurance made up for shoddy navigational skills, and I think we did a good job kibitzing in the area. Photos from my Oktomat (provided that something half-decent came out of my roll) will follow. For now, a few highlights in bullets shall suffice since I am dead-tired and in need of a shower.

+ Took the ferry to Escolta because we’re giddy little tourists that way. One of the ferry personnel mistook us for Thai. Thailanders, he called us. Our faces, apparently, are too warped for the motherland.

+ Walked all over Chinatown. Eng Bee Tin appears to have imposed a Fascist regime, their trademark ube color the paintjob of choice for the district’s fire trucks. Bought hopia later on that afternoon to pay our respects.

+ Wound up in Divisoria for some reason. Dumbasses that we are, we had no idea that certain places were that near to each other (oo na, oo na). Similar revelations occurred later on as we stumbled around the Intramuros area.

+ Had noodles and dumplings for lunch. Encountered the World’s Most Harried Waitress, who screwed up our orders with such fantastic ineptitude that we could only feel sorry for her. Her fuck-ups made perfect sense, however, since we shared the restaurant with one long table of famished Chinese, and it looked like she had no idea what the hell they were saying. (It must be noted that the Chinese owner, who looked every bit Miss Chin Chun Su, mistook Nante for Chinese as well. Hah! Incapacity to Look Pinoy: Nante-2, Margie-1.)

+ Attempted to get to Luneta but were a hair too stupid to actually find it. Demmet. I could have brought Nante to the middle of the park where the speakers blast Akon all through the day. Would have filled his heart with the hope of (someday, someday) finding true love.

+ Entered Intramuros and had sampaguita ice cream at Ilustrados. I highly recommend it. Tasted like church.

It was a good little outing, I have to say. It’s nice to get better bearings in a place so charming in its bedlam. Will help us look less bewildered should we end up there again, although Nante might have a slightly harder time. Since he looks a race more exotic and all.

posted by marguerite @ 8:46 PM


Monday, January 07, 2008

Spent the weekend watching Desperadas and Resiklo with Cousin Whammy, who, like every other college student in Manila, was required to write film reviews on the current, vainglorious batch of MMFF entries. I’d end up an echo if I blog my own detailed assessment. Haven’t written anything yet, but already I find that sense of redundancy flitting around my keyboard, the buzz of its stunted vocabulary ringing in my head. Loopholes (holes…holes…). Melodrama (ma…ma…). Budget (dget…dget…). Weak attempt (tempt…tempt…). And the dialogue! (ogue!...ogue!...). My god! (od!...od!...) Bong Revilla’s so fat (fat…fat…).

And let us not forget the most employed reverberation of all: For a Filipino film (ilm…ilm…).

For a Filipino film, the lighting wasn’t bad.
For a Filipino film, they used good angles.
For a Filipino film, that robot looked pretty agile. I guess.
For a Filipino film, it was funny. (“I say, I quite fancy that part when Miss Ruffa Mae Quinto waved those dildos around in the lobby of 8 Waves Waterpark. Yes, yes. Quite, quite,” says the bajillionth film blog critic as he holds his monocle and strokes his shaft with aplomb.)

I won’t be able to laud either flick without seeing them as earnest yet poor ventures into Hollywood-style filmmaking. And this fact sucks eggs. And I am quickly beginning to regret my use of the word “earnest.” And god, do you see what’s happening here? My sentiments can’t help but resonate what’s already been said not just about this season’s batch, but about each and every batch since this “fete” began. A complete waste of space, this.

But I really can’t say anything good about Desperadas even within this context of consolation. Resiklo, however, did deserve a smidge of approval. It had set-ups and pay-offs that were executed smoothly. For a Filipino film, this modest employment of screenplay structuring skills was pleasantly satisfying, and I left that cinema without feeling all that ticked. Not as livid as I was after Desperadas, anyway. What a load of doody that was.

Nonetheless, sexual tension between Bong Revilla and Jennylyn Mercado? Holy hell. For an MMFF film, even that was retarded.

posted by marguerite @ 2:05 AM


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