When humanity falls into a pit where they get to live an easy life, Hedonistic paranoia comes in. Technology might have taken us to a bed of roses (albeit a rechargeable one) and we are definitely keeping our comfortable position on it. The question though is this: Do we really get to see life through the shifting perspectives technology gives us?
Mikhail Red's first full-length Cinemalaya Film Festival Rekorder opens with some off-tangent scenes that get people's mind into thinking. At first sight, they all seem to be just random video footages that are taken from Youtube or from our own homevideo cupboard, some stuff which we certainly care less about. But as the film progresses the relevance of the videos widen. Apparently, those "gone wrong" videos show us that people get to experience the entire gamut of life, of death and tragedy, with an invited audience that really do not care about what is happening- technology.
The unsettledness of Ronnie Quizon's character Maven definitely looks like a phony at the first glance. He is this long-haired man that can make as an artist whose passion drives him into nuts and turns him into a rather filthy dark man. The greatest irony though is that such a lifeless thing made him that way- still technology.
Along the story, it becomes known that Maven has once been a part of the legitimate filmmaking industry, but something tragic happens and trapped him right at that very moment. With his now immobile nature, he refuses to go with the advent of technology and even go against the filmmaking industry itself. He illegally camcord films with the use of his outdated camera that still rolls with cassette tapes even though Torrent and Webcam filter applications are already brimming the world.
The story rises when he gets to record a vital video that already costs a life and that can even cost yet another life which will be no other than but of his own. With that catalyst, he is pushed to face his inner troubles which then reveal the reason behind his stubborn defiance over technology: a tragedy happened to him with no other witness but a CCTV camera, which is yet another hand of technology. Pretty much obviously, that CCTV camera did not care about him even though it had seen everything, second by second.
As Maven holds that video that got him into facing his shadows again, he is left with two choices: to act like nothing happened and be alike with technology that does not care about anyone and anything; or be brave and act upon that accident and claim autonomy over the complexity of technology. He chooses the one which later gives him liberation.
Rekorder's brave attempt to utilize everything that contemporary filmmaking can provide is unarguably stellar. And through the gaps, the film is filled with powerful and well-written lines that can get you thinking about technology, life and even the crooked way of humanity. It can also be a good springboard to an over-all understanding of the progress of the Philippines' local film industry and the people's reaction to it. And yes, all of that happens within the ninety minutes rolling time, though over and above it.
Technology might already become a governing factor in our lives, but we can always choose the other way around: us, being the governing rule over technology. And Rekorder further emphasizes on this fact as it teaches us that there is something that only we can give to ourselves, and that is redemption.