i was really sick yesterday but i’m much much better now. i had the chills and my temperature was really high. i thought i was done getting sick last week pero nge, naa pay aftershock. cuzin tootsie is also sick, perhaps because of me. two days ago, a friend (jhem) from fine arts said he got sick because of me too. gemini, who i last had dinner with two nights ago, is also sick now and she blames me! =) anyway, this morning my temperature is back to normal. i’m still trying to take it slow, though. ill write a longer entry here when im really well.
Monthly Archives: September 2001
i just met three of my professors in class today and we’ve already set our final projects for each. since the last day of classes in u.p. is on the 9th, our project deadlines fall on the 8th as that is our regular class schedule. anyhow, i really think our project for visual design is really interesting since we’d be doing a book of alphabets representing the meanings of words that start with that particular letter. for example, an avalanche is depicted on the design of the letter A with one of its side crumbling to pieces, etc etc. in my black and white photography class we now have only one project for a final plate. we’re gonna do an art portrait and i’m still deciding on what to shoot. as for production techniques, all we will be doing is taking a field trip to the inquirer and visiting their printing press. tomorrow we still have to meet my figure drawing professor and my design workshop teacher and discuss our last projects. if all my classes will work on the last-day-of-classes deadline, i will be home earlier this year and even catch high school classmate jill tan’s birthday on the 15th! hope she celebrates with lechon and adobo…
today’s my godchild’s birthday so i’m reserving this space for her in celebration of 7 (is it?) wonderful years. leakathrina padero was just cited for 3rd honors in her school in cagayan de oro. last sunday, she sang solo in all three services in my hometown church to invite the congregation to the children’s choir concert later that evening. i still don’t know what she sang because my sisters would not update me on stuff! anyway, my cousin ace tells me (he was in the band) the concert was great. well, my little niece is on her way to great heights and opportunities in God’s ministry. hopefully she’ll continue to grow up in God’s grace. and so, happy birthday leakat!!!
hi! i’ve been whining about wanting to watch the matrix again on video for quite some time now. the video is actually available in the rental shop where i am a member of. unfortunately, my finances do not permit me to indulge in such hedonistic desires and so i would, in turn, just drown my sorrows in vinegar as i eat my baconsilog every lunchtime. one not-so unusual night tootsie came home from watching a play celebrating womanhood and their vaginas and well, she got a patalikod for me. she bought the matrix video (pirated) along with the terminator 2 and indiana jones and the last crusade. she also got herself a burner for the computer. what fun!
anyway, we viewed indiana jones first as it was, hands down, the choice of the night. tita tems of course is a major fan of harrison ford. whoever among you out there who haven’t seen all of the indiana jones trilogy is missing out a lot! the matrix, of course, is a… do i have to say what the movie is about? there is a possibility that every household (in the world) who has an entertainment system has a copy of the video of this really really great movie.
needless to say (but im still saying here), the movie, set in the not so distant future, depicts a world overrun by artificial intelligence much as the movies, terminator 1 and 2, are about a rebellion of humanity against a society of a.i. terminators (remember t-800 and the ultra cool liquid metal t-1000? yes, they’re a.i.’s).
a lot of us never realized that movies have been tackling the issues of artificial intelligence for years! i’m no exception, it just dawned to me that the terminator movie, which my family have been watching over and over since its release in the 80’s is all about this terrifying vision of a future we wish not to live through. nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, nuclear power, atomic bombs, nostradamus, the end of the world, Biblical revelations, bin laden and the world trade center… i’m straying from the point. anyway, have you ever asked yourself what the matrix is? or who God is? what if God was one of us? just a slob like one of us? did any of you think that he did became one of us… enough digression
i’m sick right now. not sick in the head, but really sick. i’ve been feeling something since wednesday evening already, i was sneezing like mad. by thursday morning, my nose’s been running like hell. by the evening i was feeling under the weather. now i’m just sick. anyway, life goes on and as the americans still try to pursue some military plan undetailed to the major populace i remain here in the house cold and alone. please save your pity to the children of the dust who, like that one who begged me for food while i ate a scrumptious meal of baconsilog at rodic’s, remain an untapped resource in the scheme of things. they can be educated, they can be molded to be better citizens of our country. if not for the money they would have been growing up mightily and strong. i have no point here, allow a sick man to babble nonsense, if you may. i have to go back to bed.
while things are settling down in the US, i found myself back in the audio-visual room of the college of fine arts for another session of film appreciation. screened by CAM (camera as art movement) this afternoon was “cinema paradiso,” the italian film that won the best foreign-language film in the oscars in 1989. i’ve heard so much praise about the film and is continued to be cited to this day. and like, wow! (there i go again with the wow, but i think i can’t further explain in another word how i feel about the film). this time i cried in the movie.
the film followed the story of this man who, as a boy found an unlikely friend and father figure in alfredo, the cinema projectionist. inspired by his passion for film, this boy would continually bother the burly man until he gives in and shares the magic and secrets of film. i always thought there is a certain magic lent by foreign languages on film, there becomes this spirit that so fills the senses of which i never feel in filipino and american films. anyhow, another film that i could relate to cinema paradiso in ‘feeling’ is the french film, “les enfants du marais” (children of the marshland), which also tells its story in a flashback of sorts. both films elicit nostalgia and despite alfredo’s strong reminders not to give in to it, we will always go look for home and eventually return to it, even for a short while. there we realize that even though the more things change the more they stay the same (that’s from interview with the vampire, by the way…) in any case, do watch cinema paradiso and les enfants du marais (shown in last year’s french film fest in shangri-la) and relive the innocence of childhood and the magic of the movies.
yesterday night, millions found themselves glued to their television sets and witnessed the unfolding of a great tragedy. four hijacked planes intentionally crashed into major structures in the united states. you already know the details but i have to say this again, the event is so surreal it was like watching a movie only that this is real. it used to be that art would imitate life; now it seems to have turned tables on us. it was horrifying watching that second plane hit the world trade center right before our very eyes. and a little later, there was no world trade center to behold. it was just terrible and even if we are here in the philippines it doesnt mean we aren’t affected by it not unlike the americans. to think of all those trapped and killed by the blasts and the collapse of the buildings i was reminded by the recent tragedy of the hotel fire that killed hundreds in quezon city. i extend my condolences and prayers to all, we are to find ourselves in more trying times now as war would most probably erupt.
last night ta tems and cuzin toots went to watch artificial intelligence. since i haven’t gone to see it they were practically keeping their reactions and whatnot to themselves and were urging me to go see it first. i didnt have plans to watch it until wednesday though. the next morning, my classmates were also bugging me about the movie and were teasing me on giving out details to the film, which i definitely didn’t want to hear! anyway, they would not stop so one time i had to step out of the room and stayed away from them. sa akong kasapot gidagan ko sa sm to watch the movie. before i left, my professor, with whom i also was speaking to about the movie, told me that i should watch the movie only if my morality could take it. it suggested one should be mature enough to comprehend its issues. i said i think i could take it. and like, wow! this movie is definitely not for everybody. i’ve been hearing lots of people saying they didnt like it. but i thought it was great! for one, they’ve been complaining it was dragging and too long. the length of the film was just right for me, even its pacing, enough to involve viewers and help them absorb what the film had to offer. if you’ve explored stanley kubrick’s 2001: a space odyssey, it showed that human thought was alien in origin. its capacity later evolved from the man-apes to the sciences to space exploration and eventually to aritificial intelligence. later, humanity symbolically overcame a.i. afterwhich humans were “reduced” to pure thought, transcending its physicality. like, wow. now here’s spielberg-kubrick film playing around that same train of thought, basically since it was kubrick’s idea to do this film. based on the book, “supertoys last all summer long,” the film chronicles the journey of one innovation of artificial intelligence. david, a child mecha (mecha for mechanical while orga is for humans who are organic), is the first of its kind programmed to love. its programming also allows it to adopt emotions; the goal is to make it as human as possible. later david is programmed to be child to monica and david, parents to a son who is cryogenically frozen because of… something. when the son, martin, regains consciousness and is “thawed” the kid and david becomes sort of rivals for monica’s affections. later, david was left out of the family and had to search the fictional blue fairy (as in pinocchio) and ask her to make him into a real boy. he feels (i use the word here feel) and believes that if he were real, then perhaps monica will love him and see him as her son. the movie maintains the fairy tale-like character of the story; kubrick of course wished spielberg to direct this film because its sensibilities is more up to the latter. i thought it was interesting to see how humans would create mechanical alter egos and because of the limitations of their own intelligence and capabilities to play god, they later disown their “mistakes” and even label them as freaks. in reality, whatever the mechas are is because of the orgas. there’s the danger there and rest assured, there is method to the madness. in essence, as imperfect beings we have a tendency to make mistakes. the decisions we do can make or break our society, our future, and even our humanity. do we have the right to play god? sure, dolly the sheep is the first and proclaimed as the only by-product of cloning (or is there something else i haven’t read?). but what assurance do we have that they haven’t cloned a human being already? the ethical issues are endless. and with artificial intelligence, humans replicate themselves, generating an alter ego that will move, think, and even look like other humans but is not. it remains that these creations will eventually grow up to realize and wish they had what no human could possible recreate, the indefatigable human spirit. hal 9000 grew to be fearful and guilty of screwing up. david grew up to be unwavering and hopeful that he will become a real boy. it is ironic that while he remains artificial, we know there is truth and sincerity in his dreams and his love. and so think all you want, but go watch the film and tell me if you’re not the least disturbed and touched by it.
dancer in the dark
i just saw dancer in the dark yesterday. it was so good! i loved it! wow, bjork was awesome and i have no doubts why she won the best actress citation in last year’s cannes film fest. she wasn’t like bjork or anything. i mean, whenever she was in her dream sequences she was definitely bjork. but once she snaps out of it, she becomes zelma, the simple-minded single mother who is also slowly losing her eyesight. and the story’s not as simple as just a woman going blind. it’s the story of this incredible woman who would do anything for the people she loves, mainly her son. the cast was also something to be reckoned with! wow! there’s david morse (contact and the rock) and catherine deneuve (ThE catherine deneuve). then there’s the actor from “the lost world” who played jeff, the guy in love with zelma; and the actress (i can’t remember their names) playing the prison guard who befriends zelma (she was the secretary in “the negotiator” and the wife in “men in black”). then there was the doctor (udo something, i’ve seen him somewhere in films screened in shangri-la) and etc. etc. i wanted to cry in the screening but, well… i just wouldnt want to there (but i would have…). the film is so powerful you can’t help but be involved. lars von trier (director) did the camera work himself (on video!). he also wrote the film. bjork did the score. if ever, you come across a copy of the video (although you probably wouldnt find one) rent it out and watch it. you… might not like it (because it’s so uncommercial) but you will definitely be touched by it.