Monthly Archives: July 2011

Saturday ∗ 30 Jul 2011

the brilliance of two left feet

had an infinitely emotional conversation with this non-fiction narrative of a review of Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa. The teacher of literature, Karen (Jean Garcia), is enigmatic for a reason, but effective like every literature teacher should be. She reads poetry and it comes alive, she asks questions about it with certainty. She is unsurprised by any of her students’ assertions, even as these are necessarily about sexuality and desire, love and intimacy, the act of gazing. Even as… Continue reading »

Thursday ∗ 28 Jul 2011

the gay gaze & the men in briefs

been living under a rock, or just in the midst of book production and thesis writing, that i only realized people were finally angry with Bench for their darn sexy ads when the Philippine Volcanoes’ images (the National Rugby Team for you) were removed from the Guadalupe northbound stretch of billboards. Now know that on this stretch I have seen too much of Kris Aquino, strangely photoshopped Calayan beauty clients, and recently fully-clad Bench boys doing pretend-dancing, that when i… Continue reading »

Wednesday ∗ 27 Jul 2011

death and comedy at the Virgin Labfest 7

The comedy with which death is dealt in two plays at the Virgin Labfest 7, presented at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, was in no way extraordinary. After all, we’re in a country where laughter in the face of difficulty is cliché. Yet what might be extraordinary in both The Valley Mission Care written by Russell Legaspi and directed by Missy Maramara, and Bawal Tumawid Nakamamatay written and directed by Joey Paras, is precisely its reconfiguration of these clichés into notions of letting… Continue reading »

Wednesday ∗ 20 Jul 2011

Rizal as someone who lived

It might be out of the way, and painfully in the middle of the corporate hustle and bustle of Makati, but Rizalizing the Future was a good enough reason to leave anti-corporatism in the car and step into the Yuchengco Museum. The hook, and one of the more powerful things in this exhibit, is the inclusion of Team Manila’s contemporary renderings on wood of Jose Rizal in shades (and later on their other Pepe products), in colors too vivid you forget… Continue reading »

Tuesday ∗ 19 Jul 2011

notes on OPM 1: celebrity versus talent

We say it often, and truth to tell in these shores it is true: many of our less talented singers have albums, and many of our more talented musicians are without jobs. But what of the non-singer, someone who doesn’t sing at all, gathering a strong enough following for her CDs that she’s now on her fifth (count that!) solo album—and yes, that’s not counting the one she did with her son, and another about the rosary. Welcome the celebrity CD! At… Continue reading »

Monday ∗ 18 Jul 2011

Chris Martinez, FTW!

on Temptation Island 2.0 It might have been the more apt title, actually, for the benefit of those who are so strict about originals and remakes, and imagine faithfulness to be about keeping to the level of copy. But there’s no crossing the same river twice, and it’s a foregone conclusion that every remake is a retelling, every retelling a different story altogether. And so the question for Chris Martinez’s remake of Joey Gosiengfiao’s 1981 Temptation Island (Regal Films and GMA… Continue reading »

Monday ∗ 11 Jul 2011

two plays: Virgin Labfest 7

because with a festival pass at P1,000 pesos, these two plays were already value for money. and really it makes you wonder why P1,000 pesos would allow you to watch all 18 plays at Virgin Labfest, yet all it will get you are 4 to 6 movies give or take, at the Cinemalaya. and we wonder where the double standard lies? on Floy Quintos’ Evening At The Opera When a stage is filled with a king-size bed, a dresser, and… Continue reading »

Friday ∗ 08 Jul 2011

have cemetery, will thee wed

1. possible precursor: this pre-nuptial photo shoot of rockstar Jay Contreras and Sarah Abad, in a provincial cemetery. it isn’t the cemetery of heroes and had no crosses, but it sure seems like the peg for the irreverence in the current more controversial pre-nup shoot of Ruskin and Priscilla at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. so no, Priscilla and Ruskin weren’t quite “breaking conventions in pre-nup shoots here.” they were in fact doing a copy of a photoshoot that happened… Continue reading »

Tuesday ∗ 05 Jul 2011

too much Torre 3: on 100 days to heaven

in fact it was a surprise that a television critic would ask for, of all things, a kontrabida. but this is what Nestor Torre asks of ABS-CBN‘s 100 Days to Heaven. he says: Another unfolding element of the show that needs to be remedied is the general weakness of its kontrabida quotient. Thus far, all we have is a cupidacious relative who wants to take over Anna’s thriving business empire. yet this lack of a kontrabida actually works for this soap,… Continue reading »

Monday ∗ 04 Jul 2011

Jose Rizal: simple pero rock

Over Rizal, Monuments to a Hero had all the makings of superficiality. After all, in light of Jose Rizal’s sesquicentennial his monuments seem like the most flimsy of subjects; in light of the more important question of his continued relevance, this exhibit risked the possibility of being absolutely irrelevant. But there was more here than just photos of Rizal statues, and while the curatorial note speaks of memory and remembering, the sheer number of these monuments across the country surprisingly reminds… Continue reading »

Sunday ∗ 03 Jul 2011

too much Torre 2: on Sam’s twang

in 2006, and just the past week, Nestor Torre had the same complaint about Sam Milby, and the same conclusion. complaint: his lack of Filipino language skills. conclusion: his roles and acting are limited by it. in 2006 he said: <…> Fil-Ams’ generally limited ability to speak Filipino drastically limits their roles to Balikbayan or rich-kid characters, of whom we’ve had much too many on our local screens. <…> That’s the sort of role Sam played in his recent film, and on his… Continue reading »

Friday ∗ 01 Jul 2011

on class, the indie film divide, and what unity must mean

the breakdown and aftermath of the Rafael Santos debacle is interesting to me mostly for what’s still unsaid. 1. the fact of Santos’ class, and i use that word not just to point to his lack of social skills (for goodness why would he think a joke like that funny?) and bad manners (he was asked about actors he himself worked with for his film, yes?), but also his social class. that humor, if we’d like to call it that, is… Continue reading »

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