Wednesday, January 2, 2013


The production team and cast of Thy Womb director Brillante Mendoza and Superstar Nora Aunor, Mercedes Cabral, Glenda Kennedy and executive producer Melvin Mangada
The production team and cast of Thy Womb director Brillante Mendoza and Superstar Nora Aunor, Mercedes Cabral, Glenda Kennedy and executive producer Melvin Mangada

Manila Standard Today
This question is always the topic of serious movie critics. Are the Filipinos ready or willing to pay good money for a serious movie?
Case in point is how Thy Womb is doing at the box office. TheBrillante Mendoza film is clearly the best among the eight movies being shown (or has it already pulled out?) in the ongoing Metro Manila Film Festival. Yet, it trails in the box-office tally, being at the bottom, behind another worthy film El Presidente.
Congratulations to the two, you deserve the award. In fact, the Thy Womb deserves to win first Best Picture but the jurors gave it to One More Try, a film of lesser importance, even beating El Presidente. I don’t understand why a film can’t win both the Gatpuno Antonio Villegas Award and Best Picture at the same time.A friend says that Brillante Mendoza and Nora Aunor of Thy Womb are vindicated after winning in last Thursday’s MMFF Awards.
Vindication is nothing but affirmation of the quality Thy Womb. It is a world-class oeuvre, acknowledged by film cognoscenti overseas with its awards and citations.
With the award at the MMFF, I am curious if more Filipinos would now watch the movie?
I am inclined to think that it will remain to be at the bottom in the box-office race. And despite the honors the festival gave the film, theater owners will continue to pull the movie out and replace it with a film that guarantees box office.
What’s the problem, really?
No, Thy Womb or El Presidente are not watchable films. The audience just doesn’t want to watch either of them.
They are the kinds of films parents can’t bring their children along. And this is the holiday season, the marketing strategy of any business outfits is focused on children.
Now, what happens in the long run when we have the Metro Manila Film Festival every year?
So, parents drag their children to the movies, but they dictate what their children watch. In most cases, they use their children as excuse so they can watch the movies they like. When parents taste drag their three-year old kids to theaters, film education begins. When the kids are exposed to movies like Si Agimat, or Sisterakas all the time, their taste in movies are gradually defined, and what is developed is carried through their adult years. So now, do they want to drag their children to Thy Womb? I doubt it.
Actress Ruby Ruiz with director Brillante Mendoza
Actress Ruby Ruiz with director Brillante Mendoza
So, the problem of films like Thy Womb or El Presidente is not because they’re not good, but parents choose to expose their children to bad movies, instead of  helping them develop a good sense and taste for cinema by watching films like El Presidente (for a lesson in history) and Thy Womb (for an insight into fellow Filipinos culture in the South).
In the process, constant exposure to bad cinema among children results to audience shying away from good films because they think that the bad movies they have seen when they were kids are what is actually good cinema.
Do you agree with me, Amable Tikoy Aguiluz?

1 comment:

  1. This is in response to your question, "Are Filipinos ready for quality movies?" No, I do not think so. I am just so glad that directors like Brilliante- Mendoza and actresses like Nora Aunor pledged to continue to deliver quality and meaningful movies in spite of the multiple challenges they are currently face with. Their deep commitment to this goal, only strengthens their resolve and their belief that Filipinos only deserve the best. I am looking forward that day when we as Filipinos will prefer to watch movies we create that are original, unique and with deep sense of value for like Nora and Mendoza I believe in our own capability to have our own identity and to thrive on it without being superficial in the way we create our stories and not superficially being copycats.