Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Making people "contented" in "repetitions"

Making people "contented" in "repetitions"

(a writeup-critique regarding the use of "masses", emphasising "box office hits",
everything related to the state of Philippine cinema
after Metro Manila Film Festival)

It was last month when this writer did made a writeup regarding the issue concerning box-office hits as the usual basis for last time's Metro Manila Film Festival. Usually consists of movies made by top producers in the Philippines, these movies somehow were advertised much making people compel to watch their shows especially those of "Comedy" or "Fantasy."

At first, quite nice that it encourages people to watch Filipino movies and appreciate it, but coming to think that most movies are rather repetitions of past movies gone popular, and some that made primarily for the sake of box-office hits, it seems that the festival itself become a mere event for producers propagating "bread and circuses" and hence be described as "part of pop culture" later.

To a common person, it rather accepts a (terrible) truth that those movies presented reflects contemporary culture such as those be described as box-office hits, of those made by premiere producers of the country whose movies dominate much the silver screen no matter had been made just to increase sales and profit; but to others, most movies rather deprive artistry, ingenuity and perhaps idea save for cinematography whilst the rest rather made "primarily" to satisfy the rest especially in regards to the movies made last MMFF. 

That, this writer felt thinking other than profitability, how come most producers, in pursuit of winning entries tend to be repetitious in regards to movies if not for exaggerating roles and hence be described as "pop culture?"

As evidenced by the usual interpretation that box office hits capable enough of winning, such idea peddled to many rather unveils unfairness "rather than for propagating good movies in general thinking on how most cinemas rather favor what is "profitable" such as a "box office hit" like Star Cinema's "Sisterakas" with a single day gross of Php 39,200,000.00, followed by "Si Enteng Kabisote, Agimat at AKO" with the gross rate of Php 29,500,000.00 and Regal Films' "Shake Rattle and Roll 14" with Php 10,500,000.00. Such movies made for MMFF, mostly featured repetitions of existing movies like "Enteng Kabisote" and "Shake, Rattle, and Roll" tends to dominate the silver screen and somehow meant bigger income for cinemas controlled by mall magnates especially Henry Sy's SM." (sorry to use the article from Allvoices)  After all, true enough that most producers like Monteverde's Regal Films, ABS-CBN's Star Cinema, GMA Films and Viva entertainment tried its best to dominate the silver screen through their hits despite emphasising the actor and its role than the story itself, being supported by its graphics, cinematography and everything that makes the movie appealing, yet most would say that people rather focus on the title instead, the actors, the skits and the graphics, nevermind the story proper for they're there just to entertain!

Quite strange isn't it? With the festival seemingly all about gaining the top with its movies featuring artists that would make the highest bidding in the eyes of the judges, and with its audiences being curried favor by the usual genres especially comedy, fantasy and drama or anything "wholesome" in the eyes of the judges, does it mean the festival emphasises popularity through what is according to the profitability, sales, or simply "box-office hits" with people struggling to go to cinemas carrying tickets, and admitting that the festival is merely for bread and circuses than those of supporting Filipino cinema as part of Filipino culture in general as envisioned before?

Perhaps, in admitting that the filmfest is made for mass audiences, this means disregarding other films being produced also for the festival. Admittingly speaking, movies such as El Presidente and Thy womb had been appraised well but coming to think that these are low-rated compared to the so-called "box office hits" made by premiere producers in the Philippines, this writer would say that they are less to be observed unless that person is a Nora Aunor fan especially after Tikoy Aguiluz urging people to watch Mendoza's movie in response to threats of pulling out "Thy Womb" in most cinemas. In regards to the so-called threats given, just because the movie was low-rated in box office hits yet part of the festival be limited in certain cinemas?

How about El Presidente? Admittingly speaking, the movie reflects the founding of the first ilustrado republic under Emilio Aguinaldo. This writer haven't watched the movie itself but to think that how come the movie haven't been reached same as those of Sisterakas and Enteng Kabisote compared to last year when Asiong Salonga topped the rates? The actor who played Emilio Aguinaldo was as same as Asiong so to speak, the graphics is somehow good, yet how let this happen that all after a different movie compared to the usual ones been top end up regained by the usual producers featuring usual movies being played much-in other words, repetitions that made people contented to it.

Speaking of the title itself, this writer would say that the Philippine movie industry tries much to get in par with foreign ones. Quite nice to hear, but most movie producers rather emphasise what is profitable by using the "masses" as its audience. As expected, they made the masses contented in what is common despite far from reality such as those what was shown last MMFF to the extent of making repetitions such as those of Enteng Kabisote or Shake, Rattle, and Roll.Obviously, it rather appeals to the mass audience to watch those movies in pursuit of winning the prize other than increasing profits both the producer and the cinema being shown; but this writer also think that how come El Presidente didn't reached the top list despite having good cinematography, a powerhouse cast led by the one behind Asiong Salonga that won last year?

Anyways, despite the millions both spent and earned by producers, especially those who took opportunity through repetitions of same old brand new movies, still most people rather cue not for the ticket but for a pirated DVD of the movie that was shown. Otherwise, choosy enough as one would favor watching Hobbit or Despicable me.

Sorry to say so, but true.