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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Pathetic Pattern


THE Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has announced the eight official entries to this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) and we are not a bit surprised with its choices.
For its 14th installment, producer Lily Monteverde’s horror franchise Shake Rattle and Roll is again on the list. With only a little twist, Bong Revilla and Vic Sotto are back in tandem with Si Agimat, Si Enteng Kabisote and Me. This time, they have lured Judy Ann Santos to complete their team.
Star Cinema will try one more time to see its formulaic romance stories can still hold steam by fielding a movie called One More Try with Dingdong Dantes, Angel Locsin, Zanjoe Marudo and Angelica Panganiban. The Lopezes’ film outfit will also partner with Vic del Rosario for a Vice Ganda-Kris Aquino movie so gay-ly titled, Sisteraka.
Snubbed by the film festival jurors last year for the Best Actor prize, ER Ejercito is said to be back with a vengeance with his entry El Presidente, and we are just glad that it’s Mark Meily who is taking over the directorial task following Tikoy Aguiluz being sacked by the producers.
The only silver lining we see is perhaps the inclusion of Unitel’s twinbill project Mga Kwento ni Lola Basyang (“Mariang Alimango”/”Pedrong Walang Takot”) and Lawrence Fajardo’s horror film The Strangers. This early, the legion of disappointed Noranians are up in arms in criticizing the selection committee of the MMFF for leaving Brillante Mendoza’s Thy Womb out in the cold.  The film, shot almost entirely in Tawi-Tawi, stars superstar Nora Aunor and Bembol Roco.
We reckon that what the Noranians feel is very valid. The film is reportedly being eyed by a major international film festival for inclusion in its main competition lineup. It will be a big slap on the face of the organizers of the Metro Manila filmfest if the movie gets to represent the country in Europe this August, and a bigger slap if Thy Womb wins international recognition and acclaim.  (It will be just like the Urian denying Asia’s Best Supporting Actress Shamaine Buencamino her rightful recognition in her own country.)
Come to think of it, there’s nothing new with how the MMDA selected its official entries for this year’s filmfest—always be nice and accommodating to whoever is mighty and powerful, whoever controls the theatrical distributions, whoever has all the resources to throw away and spend, let’s give it to them. Never mind those who desperately want to uplift the rotten state of filmmaking in the country by coming up with the most creative concepts, and those who sincerely want to feed fresh entertainment ideas to the movie going public.
Every year, it’s the same players, the same forces, the same strategies, the same monopolies. Indeed, people have long been sick and tired with these pathetic patterns.

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