Showing posts with label movies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label movies. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Still on Philippine history - the British occupation and the Silangs

I have mentioned to friends that perhaps there should also be a movie about an often overlooked if not forgotten part of Philippine history, which is the victory of the British over Spain back in 1762. While some sources refer to this as the British occupation of the Philippines, what the former actually succeeded in holding was an area (very) roughly the expanse of Metro Manila. The British managed to hold this area for only short of 2 years as they withdrew after an agreement between Britain, France and other nations involved in the Seven Years' War in Europe.

There were some interesting persons back then and there were no lack for heroes with a couple no less who are now remembered for their efforts against Spain back then - Diego and Gabriela Silang. I'm sure there will be actors and actresses who would be lobbying if not auditioning for these parts. Perhaps, too, and more likely, the story for such a film will be revolving around this couple. Is any film maker or producer up to the challenge in coming up with this movie?


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Still on Philippine history - looking back at the Philippine-American War and the elite in the Philippines

An important part of the movie on Antonio Luna is the depiction of the Philippine-American War that included atrocities made by the Americans as they invaded and subjugated the Philippines. This was no mere insurrection but a war for independence against foreign rule. The events leading to the war as well as events during and after the war are barely mentioned in many textbooks included those used in our schools. No, this is not a case of being revisionist like how China and Korea accuse Japan for atrocities during the latter's occupation of those countries in the last century. The events whether good or bad need to be part of what is being taught in our schools because that is part of our history and it is important from the perspective of setting the context for how our country and its systems came to be.

Inevitable would also be the depiction of what people did back then to cope with life under a new foreign ruler. How was it in the countrysides? How was it in the cities? Did our elite collaborate with the Americans? To what extent and for what? These are questions that will haunt many who are afraid to confront that past in part due to the pains of wounds that could be reopened and in part because of the complicity of our ancestors especially those who may be depicted as the villains in those times. Aguinaldo, Buencamino and Paterno, for example, are now seen in a different light after watching "Luna" but we also need to understand their circumstances rather than just immediately judge them for alleged actions including the attribution of the deaths of Bonifacio and Luna. 

In my case, I am also interested with the role of the elite and circumstances of what is considered the first Philippine Republic in what could have been the first attempt at Public Private Partnership (PPP) in the Philippines. Based on what I have read, it was a disaster and our elite basically held our government hostage to the opportunistic terms for funding the government. There are writings somewhere probably stating how these very same elite with prominent names quickly sided with the Americans as the latter offered better terms for them to flourish. Perhaps some of the favourable terms included lands that were seized from the friars that were turned over by the Americans and became part of certain haciendas and other expanses of land that seem to be owned by few families?


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

At the movies - Sequel to the Clash

I finally got to watch a movie at the theater after maybe more than three months. The reason is not that I had no time for a viewing but that there was no movie I felt I needed to watch. It's one thing to sit there and be disappointed ("I wonder why I watched this movie?") and its very similar to feel you could have done better doing other things. I was quite curious for "Wrath of the Titans" after feeling that aside from the special effects, it wasn't as good as the original. This time around was slightly better but I again feel they could have done better with the plot. So this evening's screening was only slightly enjoyable for me though it essentially launches my cinema schedule for 2012.

On my radar are the following movies with numbers 1 to 5 in that particular order:
1. The Hobbit
2. Avengers
3. The Amazing Spiderman
4. The Dark Knight Rises
5. Men in Black 3
6. Battleship
7. Ice Age 4 - Continental Drift
8. Despicable Me 2
9. Les Miserables
10. The Expendables 2

Others I would most likely watch would be:
The Bourne Legacy
Madagascar 3 - Europe's Most Wanted
Snow White and the Huntsman

Other films I would probably consider as they come along. These include those that have not been hyped so much but would be delightful to watch. In the past, such movies have included Love Actually, Taken, and The Hangover.

It's not so easy to watch a movie by yourself unless that's what you generally do. In my case, the past year saw me schedule my cinema time so I could watch movies with the Clairvoyant in Singapore. I guess this will be the case until maybe July when she most likely will return home and we will continue our adventures together including watching films together.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Cinema ticket sales

I was in line to purchase a ticket to watch a film this morning and was refused, along with about a dozen other people, because the staff said it was too early and the cinemas weren't open yet. Of course, they were not open yet because we're all lined up for the first screenings of the movies we'd like to watch. Also, since there are staff assigned to the entrances to the cinemas, they may inform people if they could already enter the theaters. I really couldn't understand why the box office could not sell tickets earlier considering the films had schedules and they were also selling tickets in advance anyway, according to one poster at the box office.

I casually asked the staff who would give the go signal for her to start selling tickets and she replied that the ones in-charge of each cinema will be telling her if they were ready. I thought this was a lame excuse for a policy (if ever that was a policy) given again that they could have simply blocked the entrance to the theater if they weren't ready to allow people to get in. That was the logical thing to do rather than advise people to wait for the time when they could buy tickets while the staff stood idle at the box office. In fact, when they did start selling tickets a few minutes before the screening time of the earliest film to be shown, the staff couldn't handle the queue quite efficiently because they also took time processing transactions made by the senior citizens in the line. For the uninformed, senior citizens in the Philippines are given discounts provided they present their IDs and sign forms to avail of the discounts.

A word of advice to the different malls' managements - sell the tickets as soon as you have your staff manning the box office ready. There's no sense at all not to do so early considering people get to choose the screening schedules and it takes time to process purchases especially when seats are selected or when senior citizens are involved. You have staff assigned at the respective cinema entrances. They have and should do their jobs of letting people in according to the schedules on their tickets. Unless of course your cinema box offices still employ primitive ticketing where it may be difficult to determine the time when a customer is supposed to enter the theater. In that case, it's time you realize that you need to modernize your ticketing. It will be good for business.

Monday, February 1, 2010


In the 1990's I've wondered how Titanic grossed so much and had beaten favorites like Star Wars, ET and Indiana Jones (which were personal favorites by the way). Columnists have lauded Titanic's mass appeal and I must admit that it had the combination of excellent film-making and great acting. It had a good story to tell, never mind that there were other Titanics preceding it and for some the romantic angle seemed to be just another one of those attempts to come up with a mushy movie.

I was in Japan when the film was screened in the Philippines and in Japan (surprisingly it was one of a few films at the time to screen in Japan at the same time it was being shown in the US - films usually screened a month or two after even in Tokyo)and was only able to watch portions of the film on a long bus ride back from Laguna in 1999. I was only able to watch it in full thanks to cable TV in my hotel room during one field project. This despite a copy in VHS sitting at my parents' home just waiting to be loaded and viewed. I guess I just was not into such movies though I could sit through it if the conditions were right (just like I could listen to different types of music including heavy metal given the right conditions).

A lot of films that I was excited about came and I really thought some of them could have challenged Titanic. The Lord of the Rings trilogy were among the most awaited films and did quite well at the box office but just couldn't budge Titanic from the top spot whether in the US Box Office or internationally. And then Avatar happened...

I began learning about Avatar from the Clairvoyant and first read about it from a copy of Wired magazine I purchased at Changi airport. Maybe because Avatar was a project of the same director of Titanic, James Cameron, probably was a factor in making it the highest grossing (without considering price/inflation and otehr adjustments) film ever. It had appeal across a wide audience given that it has as its ingredients SciFi, environment, romance, action and even comedy. Most important I think is that it represents a landmark in movie-making, what with the state of the art 3D filming that is best experienced in the IMAX theaters. I truly look forward to more 3D films in the future when perhaps other directors and producers will take the art to a higher level.