Buday's tongue-in-cheek take on the industriya had me mining my brain neurons for "scintillating" moments in (mainstream) Philippine cinema.
The last time I sat through an entire screening was in the late '90s, when I was "peer" pressured to watch TGIS the Movie. I can no longer recall what the movie was all about--save for the fact that it was an almost two-hour spectacle of hysterical and angst-ridden teens pretending to be grownups. I went purposely because I thought Bobby Andrews was cute. Halfway through, I realized that his range of acting mostly involved squinting his eyes and parting his lips--the better to show off that gorgeous Adam's Apple. Call it a shallow aha moment, but it was then that I realized that I was too old for TGIS.
Before (mainstream) Philippine cinema entered its The Movie phase--you know, with titles the likes of Okay Ka Fairy Ko, The Movie; Wansapanataym Da Movie, Maalalala Mo Kaya, The Movie (thank God there was no Eat Bulaga, The Movie ha ha ha)--there was an intermittent pa-relevant phase. I thought it would be a plus for then NGO-worker me to watch this glorified movie about comfort women. Unfortunately, I thought wrong.
I'm sure there must have been some semblance of story there, but to this day, all I can remember is that scene where the women beat the Japanese to a pulp with a basketful of sitaw, ampalaya at talong. My gulay! I guess only in (mainstream) Philippine cinema can veggies do that much damage, he he he.
Mainstream, of course is the operative word here. My friend Milo makes award-winning indie movies, and Cinemalaya continues to attract brilliant directors and brilliant movies. Recently, I did catch a TV run of Donsol, a movie that was shot close to home. It had none of the big-name commercial stars, (let's face it the better actors and actresses do not fit the masa's mold of artistahin), which is why it did not do as well in its limited commercial run. Despite--or probably because of--the unshowbusiness of it all, Donsol was quite engaging. If I had caught it on the bigscreen, it would have been worth my box-office money.
Oh well. If something the likes of Donsol suddenly finds its way to the mainstream, I would lift my more than ten-year-old moratorium on Pinoy movies. Until then, I will have to say that back when I didn't know any better, I did contribute immensely to Mother Lily's and Boss Vic's coffers.