Discovering cinema is more like a ritualistic digging, like that of an archaeologist. With an axe and thick brush, you pummeled the blade into your site, deciphering the richness of the specimen, and how it would look like, how it would function when it's alive. You do not know what it's going to be: may be one of the shocking discoveries of the century or just a bone of some bird like starling or swift.
Cinema is a big find for me, equivalent to that of finding the pyramids of Giza or the lost kingdom of Machu Pichu. I opened my mind into accepting cinema in my system when I pondered on creating a blog theme. I thought, “I love movies, why not invest time on my favorite hobby and watch films straight from punch." But my road to accepting cinema is paved with manholes. I doubted myself to the importance of my discovery, whether it will be an important part of my history or a big waste of time and money.
I found it hard to gobble the fact that cinema is not what I used to view during my 19 years of existence. I mentioned in my other blog posts that my experiences in cinema, rather mainstream cinema, dated back as a toddler when my father took me into a local rental shop out of town to rent movies. I remembered choosing Disney animated films and hero films and I would cry for more. The rent would come at BETAMAX tapes, my most loved format for its authenticity. You could not find any pirated BETAMAX tape around that time. Everything is 'authentic'.
MY FAMILY and CINEMA
My family love films. My late Lolo was a big fan of James Bond, and my father heralded war films as important as the discovery of penicillin. Cinephilic tendencies runs in the family and it seemed that the next generation of the gene pool was passed unto me. When the VHS format rallied every house in the neighborhood, my Lolo allowed running rentals for the whole neighborhood. I was eight then, and I would usually move like the wind to get the tape rewound. When somebody would like a preview of the film, being the 'operations' manager, I would handle the TV and the VHS player. It was like my first job, something that I would thrive upon. I would dare not to go to school just for the sake of handling the rental of movies. I schedule dmy part time job with my Lolo like I was really in the part time job though my salary would involve ice cream and fruit juice on weekdays and pansit palabok (Filipino-style pasta) and Coke on weekends. I felt fulfilled with that little treats my Lolo gave me.
On Saturday afternoons we would watch action films of Steven Seagal, Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Chuck Norris, of course, the JAMES BOND (again), and back from the 60s up to Pierce Brosnan, though he wasn't really a big fan of the new guys. On Sundays, Filipino oldies of FPJ[Fernando Poe Jr.] and Rudy Fernandez would seem to wake the solemn moments. of course, my father would join us.
I suddenly remember when I was four year old, at my aunt's apartment during my first time in Manila with Lolo and Lola; I cried fiercely and hid myself under the chairs when they viewed the movie "THE EXORCIST". The whole family would try to console me to believe that it's a fake and just an imagination.
"IAN [my household nickname] it's alright! Don't cry, dry your tears, it's just an imagination. A trick to fool one's mind," my uncle tries to dissolved the image of Linda Blair walking inverted down the stairs. I still can recall the true horror in my face, as if the Hiroshima bomb landed in front of me with a lack of better expression.
"NONO [a Bicol term for 'son' usually termed for the eldest], it's okay, you're safe. Come to me!" As always the motherly figure of my grandma would put my tortured soul in sanguine stillness, the pulchritude of her conscience eludes my heart.
My cry subsided a few hours after the movie rolled its credits. By that time, I knew that it deflowered my sensibilities and open my door to the fascination not only cinema but to the whole new world of HORROR FILMS. I knew that at that moment when Linda Blair twisted her head 360 degrees, it would be a traceable memory that would link tothe origin of my fascination to horror movies. It's like my most pleasurable and infantile experience of cinema.
By the time VCDs entered the scene, during the late 1990s and when I was budding from puberty turning into an adolescent, I consider horror movies as a cult. What I love about horror films is when the protagonist enters these series of chained, dumb actions that would lead him or her to the ultimate death. Blood would be spilled here and there like a fountain up at MAKATI Central District, and bodies would be dismembered with so much drama I laughed all the time, or gargantuan human-eating monster taking a limb for a snack, it's a bliss for me. I thirst for thrills, body being chopped, and killers on the loose, animal turning into bizarre forms, just outrageous. I knew that time that all of them were fake which my uncle insisted.
Well, adolescent life had its debut when I turned 10. My classmate invited me to watch a 'movie' during lunch break at his house beside my elementary school. I was hesitant since lunch break would just be 2 hours, and I knew that movies last about an hour and forty-five minutes. My classmate, which I will name Freddy, intensified his invitation by bribing me that if he would come with me and the rest of the gang, I could have a chance to play with, at the time the big thing, GAMEBOY. I instantly agreed, who could have resisted the offer, it's the biggest thing in school before the Play station! We walked about five minutes in the midday sun; my skin was burnt a little for it was July.
We sneak inside and Freddy turned on the television. I sat with the rest of the pubescent audience, all of us were boys, and suddenly a flash from the screen dredged like nails in my head. My body heated up, flames rushed into my insides as if I was about to explode, my jaw dropped, and I remained chained in my seat. My fellow classmates, I guess they have seen it a couple of times, hooted and hopped like a party. I was just dropped dead with a hard-on. Believe me, this was my first response to seeing my first ever PORN in my life.
"Mama mia! Holy molly smokes! Tits tits!" I found this line similar when Archimedes rose from his bath naked and shouted the historical outcry, "EUREKA! EUREKA!" And it was definitely better than GAMEBOY! Of course, the whole treat lasted for about fifteen minutes (not an hour or so), and we headed to the school with horny heads and bulging crotch.
Today, I would consider it as my first taboo psychoanalytic image, a claim that mirrors the level of maturity of my perception of cinema which I have built through rigorous research and viewing. I find it just a part of a massive scale, a small unit too common for viewers and filmmakers alike. The adult film industry is now an institution in some foreign countries such as the US and GERMANY. This subculture proliferated the internet. it is an issue that constitute the large part of Censorship nowadays. Conservative groups alongside with religious groups and feminist groups rallied against these corporations to halt the production of adult videos which can be marketed easily to the internet. They claimed that it poisons the mind of the youth, and they correlate the increasing number of sex related incidences to the proliferation of these adult video entertainments. ADULT video entertainment is still on the hot seat now today. My early experience with adult video entertainment was remarkable, at the same time disappointing. I found myself at the foot of unresolved conflicts of ideologies that even my parent did not know how to emboss in my critical pubescent thoughts.
Nine years later, I was well aware of the issues it continually shrouds. The University explored its central theme: sexuality with a legitimate and academic view that I am very willing to take. Courses like Social Science 3 (Sexuality and society) and Panitakan Pilipino 19(Philippine literature 19, Sexuality and Literature) institutionalize the study of these modes of expressions, not just pornography in cinema but also texts from ancient times that embodies the same theme.
CINEMA, oh CINEMA
Cinema has greatly affected my sense of being.
My life would be colorless without cinema.