There was this one person I ran to during the Cinemalaya Film Festival 2013 who thought that it was my first time being there. I guess it was because I still look lost and unsettled, and that I was so star-struck with Joey Reyes that I pretty much swore right into his face. I have got no sentiments against her, and if ever I unconsciously have one, it is not that grudging.
But then she sort of made me realize something: I would always love to be a first-timer, or at least to always feel like one. I would love to keep my unsettled ways, and that electrifying sensation whenever I see someone big. I would want to keep that ecstasy whenever I see the blinding lights with the word CINEMALAYA on it. I want everything to feel like it is the first, because if it no longer feels that way, then that is when I will lose it.
And I would never take the risk of losing it, even if it costs me looking like an ignorant person, each and every time.
The good thing though is that since we are speaking about the Philippine Independent Filmmaking, it would never be a hard time making it feel anew. The films would always catch us off-guard, and each and every one of them would always be an entirely new thing even if it got such a strong resonance to those which we have seen before. I guess this is one of the major reasons why I can never, and never will I, let go of my strong adherence to the independent filmmaking: you will never know so much about it.
Darn. Why am I being so sentimental? See, this is how I always go, an emotional first-timer. And again, I would not change a thing.
This year, I have managed to watch three New Breed entries during the entire run of the film festival itself, exactly how it had been for me last year. Perhaps most of you would find this one rather preposterous as I have settled the fact that I value the film festival so much, but there is still the UP Film Institute and occasional mainstream releases which can back me up, so I am not that furious or anything.
I have watched Debosyon, Rekorder and Babagwa. I will not divulge so much about these three films as I am planning to do concise and critical film reviews for them as much as my ability can serve me. But things like those demand time, and a great amount on that to be specific, but I can promise that this week will not come to its end without those reviews being published.
However, here are some pictures which can serve as a quick summary about my verdicts.
I was not able to watch Sana Dati, the only Director's Showcase entry I was looking forward to. This might sound rather lunatic but this is the truth so I am saying it anyway: I want to watch it because it is about love, and I am somehow pressured to feel, understand, contextualize love or whatever the right verb should be. The reason though is still about my writing, since they say that love is the key to poetry, and that is one door I have always wanted to open.
And here is the cliche photo dump:
With National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera. Look at the super happy kid in me!
To wrap up this experiential post, here is my over-all view on the Cinemalaya Film Festival 2013: on the line-up par se, last year's was still a lot better. Actually, when I had read about the synopsis of the films, it sort of scared me how sex became a pre-requisite- again. We have already reached the point where we see independent filmmaking as something that constitutes authenticity, and that I think is really what makes something free (hello existentialist in me!). But then we came back to the dominance of bed and moaning, and I am seeing an unconscious cycle no matter how much I detest it.
The best thing, on the other hand, was that I had seen an abundance of the statement SOLD-OUT to the point that I had missed one of the films I wanted to see. The Hedonist in me was of course, kicking ferociously, but I have realized that Filipino people are becoming more and more inclined to the Philippine Independent Filmmaking and that has always been one of the things I have been wishing ever since.
Wish granted perhaps?