Saturday, March 31, 2007
Thursday, March 29, 2007
I understand this could be a venue for local budding talents or artists, but God, after hearing three puke-inducing songs about farts and armpits and thick eyebrows, it just makes you sick to the head.
Monday, March 26, 2007
In a special report, The Guardian challenged contemporary authors to be economical. The feature says that Ernest Hemingway considered his best work to have come in a six-word story: 'For sale: baby shoes, never worn.'
Yann Martel, author of the immensely entertaining and courageous Life of Pi has this --
"The Earth? We ate it yesterday."
Elmore Leonard, famous for his film-adapted novels Get Shorty, Out of Sight, Jackie Brown wrote --
Bob's last message: Bermuda Triangle, Baloney.
Read more stories in less than five minutes.
Saturday, March 24, 2007
But human as the doctors of SGH are, they don't suffer from infallibility. They do make wrong choices and sometimes they learn from us too, their students.
The learning dynamics and the reversal-of-role theme is tackled in a minimalist and impressionistic fashion in the debut film by Ryan Fleck interestingly entitled Half Nelson. (Imagine my excitement when I finally got hold of the pirated copy of the DVD for which I was incessantly looking since last December.) A revealing Ryan Gosling plays Danny Dunne, an unconventionally inspiring history teacher in a suburban elementary school populated mostly by Afro-Americans and Hispanics. Instead of forcing historical dates, persons, events and places into their young minds, he impressed upon his students that history is above all a process of changes, of opposing forces.
Such is the logic of the film's title. Half-nelson is a popular wrestling move which obviously depicts these opposing forces. History is a product of two opposing forces according to this teacher, and it is only by understanding these forces that you understand history. His lectures are filled with these descriptions thus enticing his young students to participate. But not to be mislead, the movie is not a full-length history lecture on the Civil War or the emancipation of black slavery. Such opposing factors, more importantly, come into play in Dan's character, once an activist, who enlivens his misplaced idealism by trying to save a female student of his from the dark life of drug dealing. His altruistic motive becomes a moral critique especially that he is a crackpot himself -- sniffing doses of heroin every night and in school restrooms. His being caught by his student (Shareeka Epps) will start the authentic teacher-student relationship and its eventual reversal during the film's denouement.
In Notes on a Scandal, art teacher Sheba Hart (Cate Blanchett) faces the collapse of her own family and imprisonment after being sexually involved with her fifteen-year old student. The wrong choices are made apparent and the script is not lacking of its justifications based on Hart's characterization. What is interesting though is the uncontrollable force in the person of her co-teacher Barbara Covett (Judi Dench), who is bent on making a homosexual relationship out of their platonic friendship. Sheba tells this secret to Barbara but vowed to end the relationship with the boy.
After an almost-humorous incident that hurt her feelings and finding out that Sheba kept seeing his student, she innocently made possible the rumor crept the grapevine and ballooned into media-frenzy. Sheba also uncovered the diary in which Barbara painstakingly immortalizes her sexually-morbid thoughts. The scene explodes with rage only Blanchett and Dench could have delivered. The conflict resolution is predictable but may not always seem vindictive. The screenplay, adapted from Zoe Heller's book, is brilliant with the weight of British prose specifically the lines delivered with cunning bitchiness of Dench.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Habang may tatsulok
At sila ang nasa tuktok
'Di matatapos ang gulo.
The passage above is from the new angsty cut from Bamboo's latest album, which features covers from different rock legends like Pearl Jam. Tatsulok is from an underground band whose name escapes me now.
update: The band's name is Buklod,
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
My officemate quickly followed behind me to sit down. She came from the outside and was complaining about the heat as well. I explained to her a scientific fraud that the sun is exploding anytime soon. I continued to joke around by sounding more scientific. The color yellow of the sun indicates that it’s near its dying phase. Of course it would be in a million years or so. It will have to turn into orange and red till it finally collapses into a black hole disintegrating the entire solar system. What made me laugh though was her remark: “Unsaon na lang ang mga nakapuyo sa Mercury?” (What happens to the ones living in Mercury?). I didn’t know where to laugh at – the fact that Mercury has no inhabitants or that she categorically excluded Earth from such catastrophe.
Speaking of a solar disaster, I’m looking forward to Sunshine directed by Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, 28 Days Later, Millions) and written by Alex Garland, author of The Beach, the movie version of which is also directed by Boyle.
Sunday, March 18, 2007
This surgical action is what really makes me stick through every Grey’s Anatomy episode. The melodrama is a bit soap-ish but then it humanizes the mechanical and artificial feel of the Seattle Grace Hospital. In the operating room, you feel the tension and the knife-sharp precision of every procedure. You think you’re watching real doctors, but in fact they’re really characters who one minute away from the OR are irritably twitchy, sex-starved, egotistic, attention-grabbing bitches and assholes.
They get weird sometimes and totally unpredictable. As weird and unpredictable from the cases they handle – male ‘pregnancy’, spontaneous orgasms, a ticking bomb inside a thoracic cavity. Their candid exchanges sometimes feel perfunctory and unflinching as their initial diagnoses. But they feel – sometimes putting enough emotional baggage in a patient – and sometimes they cry over the death of someone whose life they were heroically saving a minute ago.
I just finished the two-season marathon of the series. (The local channel showing it has 3 episodes left before the explosive finale.) After 30 or so episodes, I realized it was not the amount of blood shed or flesh cut, that would have prevented me from being a surgeon or a doctor for that matter, but the feeling after one declares the time of death. That sudden plunge into silence and grief. Having faced death, it's an emotional pit I don’t think I could ever get out of. It’s a difficult feeling knowing that you could not save lives at all times.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Quite certain they're running out of chances - and hope - some troop to Wowowee grounds to get into the impenetrable line for a chance at a million bucks. Unluckily, some die of a raging stampede.
Eradicating - or quite humbly, alleviating - interminable poverty is the slogan of almost all politicos, some of them even vowing to make your aspirations come true. Because our nation is poor, they want us to plant them in the Senate or whatever damned seat they want to be planted on. But really, they know nothing of what they're talking about. How can they when they're ensconced comfortably in their thrones wallowing in their privileges.
I've witnessed how this ailing situation of a nation ruins the Filipino family itself. It usually starts with blame-pointing, then namecalling - cursing and exhorting every evil name derivative there is in the dark recesses of hell. Then sometimes sharp objects are animated, come to life in the hands of the possessed. Next? You could just think of the unimaginable.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
What tragedy. Well, when one thinks of Holocaust, tragedy would even be an understatement. A moment of unspeakable horror in history. But then of the human spirit's resiliency. God, I so need that right now.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
I looked up my pockets and decided abruptly to spend the extra 100 pesos to catch 300. That left me with 80 pesos until payday. I guess I could just starve myself with my remaining Quaker Oats stored in the office fridge. That wouldn't be a problem. But for now I have to watch that movie, I thought. I walked in an almost-full theatre (quite surprisingly on a Monday afternoon) and Leonidas was throwing a fit himself (though not as discreetly as I did). 300 is pure savagery and I felt that rage surge up in me that I suddenly want to slay the unsuspecting audience with my own spear and bludgeon them to death with my shield. For a moment there, I was in the midst of the heroic 300 soldiers of the Battle of Thermopylae.
When the lights turned on the man sitting beside me attempted to start a conversation. "Mga macho sad ilang gipanguha no?" (They got buffed-up guys for actors, no?) "Lagi," I unenthusiastically said. I tilted my head back and covered my eyes pretending to sleep but he could not be stopped. "Grabe kaayo ang away no?" (What a fight, no?) Now I needed that spear. I pretended to sleep and moments after I felt he stood up. Thank God.
Walking out of the theatre, I still felt stupid. That 70 pesos could have gone to my schooling brother and sister, but no, I spend it to vent my unquenchable rage. I wasted it for a 'dinner in hell'. Riding the jeep home, I said, I'm such a stoopid effin moron. God knows how many times I repeated that line to myself yesterday.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Marie Antoinette -- Sophia Coppola's ambitious and rebellious biopic about the French queen is visually arresting but got me in lost in translation.
Venus -- Peter O'Toole's career-capping performance is wonderfully natural and surprisingly delightful for a not-so sympathetic character.
Shut Up and Sing -- Chronicles the Dixie Chicks' political whirlwind in Bush's America, where artists are not even spared of.
The History Boys -- Really? Being too clever is gay? Anyway, it's witty and the boys show intellectual aristocracy with a swagger can be really really cool.
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Eto na ang mga 'okrayable' friendster profiles. As it is!
>>"do you like listening musics? how about swit musics and rocks? ( anu raw, bato?) by the way, it's good meeting new peaple. (pinya ba yun? )
>>"hi to all of you i want to have friends like you just chat me if you want too"
>>"i grew up in manila then i go to usa for vacation" (talaga lang ha, halatang halata...)
>>"im a shy lady when it comes for boys" (hahaha! Laking states ito! Wohoo!!!)
>>"mah hair s quite long and sleek wit a bang" (pumuputok? happy new year!)
>>"i hv ds pierce on mah upper left ear" (sinong pierce yan?)
>>"kaya pls lng wlang poporma at wag mgbalak manligaw dto!" (ui, dropping hints! style mo!)
>>Affiliations: im friendly and everything:) (goodness... .)
>>im fund of music... (fund? ahh edi ibig sabihin mayaman ka? hehehe)
>>"i want to... build a Europian school here in the Philippines " (mayaman nga....)
>>Who I Want To Meet: "im open for all..." (7-11, Ministop?)
I know you want more...
Monday, March 05, 2007
A year after, I suggested to our journalism professor, Atty. Cha Zarate, if an update on the bombings can be a topic for the investigative story we're supposed to submit for the finals. She gladly agreed and promised to have it published in the local papers in time for the 1st anniversary. Here was the story:
Davao bombings a year after: Scars, hopes, broken vows
Saturday, March 03, 2007
A Guide to Recognizing your Saints: I can’t remember the last time a film moved me to tears. Well, almost. This one moved me close to crying, actually. It’s quite a surprise though; the first half of the film would make it apparent. A Guide TRYS is based on Dito Montiel’s memoirs – a troubled adolescent who vowed to leave his hometown to find his future in
I haven’t actually read the book but I think as a piece of film it readily stands out. The story, the plot, the characters are familiar but the script doesn’t oversentimentalize on these things. It’s unpretentious and actually cool. Chazz Palminteri is outstanding as Dito’s father. The last time I remember him was in The Usual Suspects. Equally competent is Shia Le Beouf who plays the young Dito. Robert Downey Jr. plays Dito.
A Guide TRYS was a crowd favorite at last year’s Sundance. So if you want some tug-in-the-heart kind of thing and not actually having to think of shallow romantic comedies, I suggest you go see this one.
Running with Scissors: This is based on Augusten Burroughs’ memoirs (again I haven’t read it, hehe) – an account of his troubled childhood and what supposedly prompted him to venture into
With a seemingly perfect (sick) cast, it could have been a greater film but it doesn’t seem to take off. I feel that the characters are half-baked and everything seems to be muddled. There are some light and comical scenes reminiscent of American Beauty or something Cameron Crowe-ish but it doesn’t seem to fit into a cohesive whole. I like the soundtrack though and Annette Benning as always pulls her own thing off, but does she really have to play again the role of a dysfunctional mom on the verge of a breakdown?
Stranger than Fiction: This one I enjoyed. Will Ferell is Harold Crick who has spent life with an interminable precision you’d think OC was an understatement. He’d count brush strokes when he’s brushing his teeth, 32 times left and right and up and down and in circular motion. He counts his steps up to the moment he rides the morning bus up to the IRS office where he works as an agent. His calculated life halts when he starts to hear a female voice narrating his actions and thoughts. Apparently, the voice is real and it is from a best-selling author experiencing a writer’s block (Emma Thompson) who has killed every protagonist in her books. The film leads to their eventful encounter and its denouement lies on whether Harold will die or not in the book and so in real life.Will Ferell is actually not annoying here. He has some serious moments. Wait, I think I haven’t seen a single Ferell movie yet. Hehe. But he is treading familiar territory here. Think Jim Carrey in his earlier less comedic roles. If you’re life is like numerical gibberish like Harold’s you direly need a break, so go see this one.
Friday, March 02, 2007
Some of the directors may be just playing with us or, perhaps, acting out their boredom with that Hollywood script-conference menace the conventional “story arc.” But others may be trying to jolt us into a new understanding of art, or even a new understanding of life. In the past, mainstream audiences notoriously resisted being jolted. Are moviegoers bringing some new sensibility to these riddling movies? What are we getting out of the overloading, the dislocations and disruptions?***
I’m prolly on my way to a new addiction. It’s called Justice. No I didn’t join the Crusade Against Violence. It’s the legal thriller/courtroom drama which just premiered last night in a local channel, which is a miraculous thing to have (for those who can’t afford cable), given the tons of crap on TV right now.
Victor Garber who played Sidney Bristol’s father in the recently concluded Alias is ballistic on last night’s episode. I can sense his character is way different than his laid-back one on Alias. And there’s Kerr Smith who you may not prolly remember because you were swooning over James Van Der Beek who, by the way, is where now?
I haven’t seen Boston Legal so I have no chance to compare. But I can sense this will be the closest I can get since The Practice.
The lawyers’ swagger and their scorching arguments (objection your Honor, argumentative!). The unbelievably convincing witnesses. The judge who we could care less about. The conniving jury. The evidences (exhibit 288A) and crime scenes displayed and re-enacted in such sensational fashion.
Sounds like fun.
Thursday, March 01, 2007
I’m still overwhelmed of the euphoria over Marty’s win. I mean, he even thanked (I believe from the bottom of his heart) the common people, i.e. the lady he meets in the elevator or sidewalks, who’d wish he’d finally win. And what was George Lucas doing in the midst of Steven Spielberg and Francis Ford Coppola?
Except for Allan Arkin, I got 7 of the 8 major categories. I was almost certain Eddie’s Oscar-whoring would amount to something but the Arkin’s upset was almost inevitable. Others are really impossible to gauge. Think Live Action Short or Documentary Short. Not even all of the Academy members get the chance to cast their votes on these categories.
Ellen DeGeneres should host next time. She made a real whopper when she joked that “look at Jennifer Hudson in American Idol, America did not vote for her but look she has an Oscar nomination. Al Gore… Well, America did vote for him… So complicated…” Imagine the look on my George W. Bush-sucks face, I almost spilled my glass of water. And that “Hey Clint Eastwood, can we take a picture for my MySpace, and oh Steven Spielberg can you hold the camera while we pose?”
Agonizing montages. I only like the one with Ennio Morriccone and the one ‘celebrating’ the nominees. And Tom Cruise presenting humanitarian award for Sherry Lansing, empress of Paramount Studios who booted him out for tardiness? What’s up with that? Most gorgeous: Penelope Cruz, Eva Green, Kate Winslet, Anne Hathaway, hell even Leo I must say is dashing. Gwyneth is wrapped in fish-like gown.
Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family, Choose a f—king big television. Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players, and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol and dental insurance. Choose fixed-interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose a three piece suit on hire purchased in a range of f—king fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the f—k you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing f—king junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pishing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, f—ked-up brats you have spawned to replace yourself. Choose a future. Choose life . . . But why would I want to do a thing like that? I chose not to choose life. I chose somethin’ else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you’ve got heroin?