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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Go Big Time!

Nora Aunor, Al Pacino, Kristine Hermosa, Heart Evangelista, Dingdong Dantes, Danny DeVito, Hilary Swank, Yoyoy Villame, Iza Calzado, Richard Gutierrez, Dennis Roldan, Jeric Raval, Song Hye-Gyo, Jay-R, Luke Mijares, Sylvester Stallone, APO Hiking Society, and Matet. Yes, Matet.

All of them. Yes, all of them.

They are not in this movie.

"Big Time", the Best Screenplay winner of Philippines' Cinemalaya Film Festival 2005, ventures the mainstream movie industry as it battles head-to-head with sci-fi Zathura, comedy Cheaper By The Dozen 2, and horror flick The Maid, in major cinemas here in Mega Manila.

Big Time is a non-linear story of two small-time criminals, a wannabe actress, the son of the crime lord, and the kidnapping that brings all of them together for what should be the ticket to their dreams.

I am so excited to watch this movie this weekend, just as excited over "The Blossoming Of Maximo Oliveros" (you can check out my encounter with Maxi on December 2005 archive). You see, like The Blossoming, Big Time is an independent film, challenging the boredom that is Philippine mainstream movies with all that recycled love stories, crude special effects, and Hollywood spin-offs (and it's considered tame; back then, there were even song and dance numbers by the beach and never ending dialogue before gunfights).

What do I expect from this movie? Judging from the trailer, I expect a good script and a hearty story. A movie that will cherish in my memory for many years to come.

But what I'm bothered about these independent films is that the themes tend to be the same. Gays, Poverty, Squalor, Gays, Poverty, Squalor. It's in danger of being just as recycled as the mainstream movies.

I have yet to see a modern Filipino movie that screams of beauty. The beauty of the countryside, the majestic culture of our people, the lavish celebrations. Does that mean that our Filipino Beauty is diminishing? Slowly degrading into legends and oral traiditions?

I say, the Philippine movie industry as a whole (mainstream and independents alike) should go big time. For once, show us something good about our country. Show these movies commercially to an international audience. At least, in the eyes of our foreign breathren, the Philippines is different from what they see on CNN and Channel News Asia. Images of children in prison, mountains of trash, political turmoil, and balut, are erased from their minds. For now.


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