a commentary(pre-critique)

December 9, 2008

Walks. I am always fond of writing about walks. A walk across Laurel Avenue or plunging into G. Apacible Street, or a tirelessly stride on the busy A. Roces Ave would be as exhilarating as attempting a score in a basketball game(though i never played a game), i admit it, i have this tendency to prompt my own writing via the movement of my body. I am a motor-driven person, as characterized by psychologist, the one who's cognitive stimulant for learning lies on the function of his spatial-motor sense.

I usually have to rewrite the whole notebook before an exam to memorize everything that have been discussed. I noticed that in order to contextualize my thoughts i have to bring a pen and write it down to remember it. The connection of my pen and my brain is very evident and elusive. I cannot recall thinking without a scribbling notebook to write my thoughts.

So it was midday and i did not have a class from 1:00 to 230 pm, and i duly spent the time reviewing, and as what might have expected of me, rewriting my notes on my ChE 131 exam. I have keenly memorized step-wise the procedure on graphical methods of solving solid-liquid extractions. I am glad to have finished my colorful notes by 1:30 so i have an hour to spare some good nap.

After that snap-nap, i prepared my leather bag and head off to the campus to walk about half-a -mile to the Faculty center where my
English teacher would meet us there. I arrive on time, about 2:28 and occupied myself with reading my rewritten notes on ChE 131. 5 minutes later, Maam Ginny arrived. We immediately entered the Arcellana AVR room.

I positioned myself on my seat such that i was neither a too far or too near from the contorted projected screen. I sat without any preconceived notion on the film. The room darkened, we started at around 2:45 PM.


Before i could rush a judgment after the curtain falls, to say and genuinely say, i have fallen in love with it, i want to consider some formal thoughts on cinema. During the following months of searching and forming in my mind the importance of the medium of film, i could not believe my eyes, that within the walls of the AVR i have seen such beautiful majestic picture. I almost cried but hold my tears, to think that i have cried enough, and the only reason to hold it back because it was shot in animated sequence.

I have to honestly say this that my dissatisfaction on ANIME (animated Japanese films) comes from its degradation due to the immense popularity of Animated Japanese Series and the bombast of the Japanese virtual culture to the succinct and peaceful laid back youth of the Philippine Society.

My first encounter with ANIME series dates back during the time when my father purchased an antenna for our television. We used to have a beta max player. My father and I would travel to the next town to borrow tapes from a tape-lender. I am glad that i have seen the beauty of Disney Animated Films before we had an antenna. The antenna connected our television to what now, to what i believe, the drought in Philippine Cinema: mainstream television. For the succeeding years, many Japanese Animated series penetrated the cathode-ray tubes of our television, deeming to what is now an irreversible culture attacking the vulnerable youth with rage, defunct sensationalism and admiration of what is unreal.

It cascaded today as one strong influence to the formation of the hypocritical society of the youth. But it seems a bit odd that i have fallen in love with this ANIME, a sudden rage, a sudden twink in my sensibilities to believe and hail that the animated version of reality is not jaundice to cinema but a flowery depiction of life. Is this a new found perspective, a change in my ideology of what i used to call 'film'? i simply want to reconsider my thoughts on ANIME, like a rebirth, or the more daunting, a Resurrection of my subconscious thoughts on the new, Japanese art.

The rampage of ANIME is irrevocable, i want to cover my eyes and sought for a deepened likelihood that post-modernity is simply a chain events the can passed away anytime. I want to see myself abhor the art, a new found art, and to say that it has damaged the eyes of the youth. I want to call it a brainwashing medium, a termination of the connection of the youth to the REAL. I want to debased the art, with much vigor, calling it a dominion of photography and comics, an artificial disappointment. I want to call an addictive distraction. I want to do all these but stopped after seeing GRAVE of the FIREFLIES, and finding happiness alike.

I want to stop there, or is just a beginning? Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away(2001) convulses in my thoughts. The fact that GRAVE of the FIREFLIES overthrew my dark ideology of ANIME, is Hayao Miyasaki's masterpiece capable of bridging my dainty and dry perspective cinema to the artificial beauty of ANIME?

Realism is explored deeply in the skin from the beginning, when Seita, the main character, strapped Setsuko on his back and floundered against the destruction of their small village in Japan. Earlier scenes, the beginning, when Seita announced his death, an unlikely and heartbreaking beginning of an ANIME, to found that our hero have fallen in the arms of death. It churned my heart, my temple begun to shiver, and i thought i could never hold back that this animated film will overthrow my ideology on ANIME. I simply shut my brain and opened my eyes to see the astonishing picture that left my eyes brimming with tears.

It is as if i have touched the fingertips of wrath of World War II, and my heart burnt in the stake, and my brain, not brainwashed but reformed.

The trailer

To speak that ANIME is one of the most intriguing aspect of cinema that i have ever seen.