Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Blog Rounds January 2009: My Top Ten Movies, For Now

Unlike music, cinema is something I can talk about with a rather wavering conviction. I enjoy movies, both classic and contemporary, but not in the same way as I do music. However, all of the movies I enumerated here have plots and imagery that stick in my mind. The times during which I watched these films also play a big role. These probably work the same way with some people I know who have considerably good musical taste, but secretly listen to baduy music by XXXXX (I will avoid mentioning any band na lang, hahah!), if you get the drift.

So, offhand, my Top Ten for the moment. For the moment, because the list may change when I wake up tomorrow and see a man who looks like Tom Hanks across the street. Who knows.

1. Lord Of The Rings trilogy
I am a Tolkien fan, and for many years I dreamed of his books being turned into films. Peter Jackson may not have been too faithful to the books, but undeniably, he did great: he, too, is a fan. I like Return Of The King best because of Liv Tyler's superb acting. (Oh, Manggy said the same thing? Heheh.) Seriously, my man is Andy Serkis. My precioussssss....

2. Jesus Of Nazareth
Grew up watching this film every holy week. First saw it in the theatre; since then I would see it yearly on TV for several years. A very long and grand film, it stars Robert Powell, arguably the most good-looking Jesus Christ on cinema. Yes, I was a child.

3. Casablanca
Saw this film a few times, most memorable of which was when I was watching with good friends when I was in medical school. I like the scene when Humphrey Bogart, so filled with mirth, was tap dancing in the rain: very very cool.

4. The Matrix I
How mind-blowing, this one. I am not a fan of Keanu Reeves, but never mind. I'll take the blue pill anytime.

5. Fast Times At Ridgemont High
Wow, Phoebe Cates went topless? Jennifer Jason Leigh gone wild? Sean Penn when he wasn't aware of his talent yet? Very 80's. This makes me smile.

6. No Man's Land
Not much of a war movie freak. Oh, but I like Apocalypse and Black Hawk Down. But this film is so unpretty, it grips the mind not with gory visuals but with the plot depicting the pressing situations of the protagonists. Funny too in a dark way.

7. John en Marsha Sa America (or any 60's and 70's Dolphy movie)
I can enumerate some Filipino films that I like (Salome, Oro Plata Mata, etc.) But I remember watching those old Dolphy films (as Golay, as Panchito's partner in crime, and so on), and I adore him so. There was a scene, in John en Marsha sa America I think, when Dolphy, while sleeping on a vacant hospital bed, was mistaken by a nurse for a patient and was given perineal prep (obviously I got this figured in in hindsight) while asleep. When he woke up and felt a little weird, he looked underneath his blanket and exclaimed, "Bakit ako boljak?!" I thought then, what does boljak really mean?

8. [unrecalled title of a French film]
There is this French film I saw when I was around 11. The characters are a fiftyish wheelchair-borne man, his elder sister, a spinster, who took care of him for the most part of her life, and a woman named Yvette. The man fell in love with Yvette, but the twist in the plot is that the sister was harbouring a muted incestual attraction to the man. I saw this on TV while my mom (or was it my grandma) was taking their afternoon nap. If they only knew the ways of the little girl they had always believed to be virginal.

9. The Virgin and The Gypsy
Another one of those films that shook my virginal mind. I have read a number of D.H. Lawrence books before seeing this, but I was still stunned, and yet mesmerized at the same time. I liked the scene when the repressed protagonist said "He (the gypsy) desires me," with conviction. What a gullible girl, I thought, but somehow, she made danger sound so delectable.

10. Almost Famous
I can identify very much with the character of the young music journalist who tugged around with a band to get a good story and got involved with a groupie. He was so in, and yet so out. Very human film.

There you go. What's on your list?

This is my submission to The Blog Rounds January 2009 edition, hosted by Melz of The Philippine Daily Idiot.

Images: Gollum from this site, a scene from No Man's Land from this site, Dolphy in Darna Kuno from this site.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Last Song Syndrome 6: Drink The Money, Don't Go (See Spot), when Shenzhen was still a daily topic in the household

"Don't go away so hastily
I know you work all night
But I drink the money
Don't go."

- See Spot, "Drink The Money, Don't Go"
The rather glum lyrics of this fun-sounding song has little to do with how times were some three to four years ago. My memory of these times is rather hazy, since I was busy training in the hospital. But this was one of the songs we would often play while my housemate and I talked about his daily life in Shenzhen, where he was stationed for a few months.

There is no special reason for associating the song to the memory. It just so happened that this song, which is performed by See Spot and is part of Jump Up Records 10th Anniversary Sampler, was then one of my favorite tunes, in the same way that Shenzhen was a favorite topic for many months. Then more new stuff landed in our players, and more topics became of greater interest (like Bangkok) and for some time, I forgot about this tune.

This morning, I was rummaging through clutter on our table and found the Jump Up sampler. Later in the day, I was pleasantly surprised to see The Meloinks leave a comment in one of my posts. My first comment for the year! This post certainly goes to Meloinks - again, I do not see the association between him and the song. But sometimes things such as life, death, and serendipity need little explaining, if at all. So, cheers, and here's my first "non-mushy" post for 2009.

Jump Up Records logo and See Spot photo from their respective sites.

Happy 2009 to Everyone!

Here's to more stories, more songs, more memories, and more events to look forward to.
More love, friendship, patience, discretion, and compassion.
More sunrises and sunsets to admire, more food to savor, and more riches to share.
More mush (hee-hee) and more strength, faith and hope.
And yes, first song for the year coming up. ;)