The eMail I Would Have Loved To Have Sent On July 23 Or So, A Few Days After That, Whenever, Just Not Today Of All DaysPosted 9/02/2009 by Adam D in Labels: alexis tioseco and nika bohinc, life stuff, love, pinoy film criticism, rest in peace
Thanks for the eMail. It's really funny how much reaction the essays are still generating even a few months after the fact, and it's funnier how the reactions are widely more aggressively supportive now than when the shittitz hit the fannitz, so to speak, as if they were these stink bombs of insight that only opened just now, apparently in a time delay fuse.
And it's actually even funnier how I actually miss sharing critical space with you in the Free Press - yes, even after everything that went on (maybe one of these days I could work on mending the few bridges that need mending, ano?) - as however which way you cut it, this lack of critical assessment - however bland, however ranty - continues to be a missed opportunity in such venues of public writing, and only really contributes to the wholesale snowballing Degeneration of the Arts. It's true that we could do lots more with whatever Interweb forum our hands are actively idly fiddling, but something has to be said about having words printed on paper for all to read and dis/agree with, even if in the final analysis, all of these things just stack up as heaps of fish-wrapping paper (if we're lucky) and really just killing more trees for our mere entertainment.
Yeah, we haven't met, yet, even after us sharing Free Press space and minor editorial work for Gaba's Space Philippines, but I can honestly say I've read your essays on Pinoy Cinema, or at least some of them that were available to me through the FPs, and I really found myself always agreeing with your assessments, based off of my semi-regular film viewings from a while back, back when Pinoy Cinema seemed to have an urgency for/in me, but I mainly know you and admire you from that letter piece you wrote for Rogue, and especially because of the anaphoric addendum. I love this bit: "The first impulse of any good film critic, and to this I think you would agree, must be of love." And really, how could it be not? Criticism always starts with Love (or in your case, Lav [haha]). How can it not be driven by Love?
And it's this really very creepy kind of Possessive Love, the this-is-mine-how-dare-you-sully-it sort of Love, the sort of Love that'll get you beat up by the baranggay tanod if its focus was a cutie in your neighbourhood. Maybe from the initial Love you get to Hate, or Even More Love, or oftenly in my case, to Immensely Heart-Shattering Balls-To-The-Floor Debilitating Disappointment, but it's still all primarily driven by Love. How can it not be Love? You take this lummox that really can go on about its business without you and you selfishly/selflessly decide to make yourself relevant to it by sincerely just merely talking about/to it in a way not much people do (ie, smartly) keeping an eye in making this lummox be more relevant to other people, make this lummox as relevant to others - as loved by others - as how it's relevant to - and loved by - you.
And Film Criticism Jesus Fucken Christ is the biggest lummox of them all, bigger than LitCrit as it's dictated by stronger forces than mere ego, ie money, thus more resistant to reform or revolution (unless it's shown to them first by Hollywood or Eiga Sai or Cinemalaya or somesuch institution, and even then ... and of course, you know this more than I do), and Pinoy Cinema as focus Jesus Fucken Christ! But again, how could it be not Pinoy Cinema? It's where we eat and shit and loiter and sleep. What else should it be about? It's quite the brave thing to choose to write about that and expecting something to happen. Or maybe it should be "deluded?" We're only a year apart, still under thirty, with girls smarter than us by thousands of leagues. We have tons of delusions. They love our delusions. Our delusions do us good.
It often feels like Sisyphus up and down his mountain or at worst Prometheus in the Caucasus and I'm half-tempted to say that it's really its own reward but as you well know it's not, it's a thankless rewardless creditless job this Criticism Business of the Arts, as well it should be, as well it ought to be, as some things - and there ought to be more of these things - should be dictated by stuff other than gratitude or money or fame, if only just so our entry point of discussion is and always will be nothing short of Love.
And yeah, we could go on and on and on about it, and hopefully, we will. Dude. I look forward to reading more of your work.
Yours in solidarity Jesus Fucken Christ
(wormfood and rumour all these two thousand years),