a commentary

December 6, 2008

I have to download PowerDVD just to watch YI YI: A One and a Two(2000), an internationally acclaimed Taiwanese film directed by Edward Yang. Of course, no body cares about my endeavors to play it on a PowerDVD platform. The thing is I have two defective DVDs now, and I cannot control myself to be annoyed by how abysmal the quality of Stall 1 DVDs nowadays.

Back then (as if years ago), they really impressed me with full-length Blu-Ray DVDs with complete features, playable and clear to the tinge of an eye. Criterion quality, sleek, and affordable. Now, urrgh! Nasty! 2001: A Space Odessy, LOTR: Two Towers - wrecked and unplayable. Perhaps they should have good quality control. I missed a lot of important films because of their defective DVD quality control. Hmmpness!

DECEMBER 7, 2008
NOTE: i hope you read the text before scrolling down for the pictures :-(

Absolutely thrilling. In terms of shock value, the annual College of Engineering Week sweeps the whole campus with cool and variant activities, programs that would defy the laws of nature. Basically, every event is a must-see at a jaw-dropping scale. Engineering organizations will rally the lobby, which will start officially on Decemeber 11 and will close on December 17(last day of classes for the year 2008), showcasing their very best. The Eng'g Week 2008(a contraction) will surely surprise both UP and non-UP students.

Above all these activities, only one will surely shock the sensibility of everyone. Guess what? it's none other than the Uberfamous Miss Engineering. Accroding to my own sources the drag-queen look decended from the past history of my past dormitory, Molave Residence Hall. Molave Residence Hall held it's annual Ms. Molave to recognize newbies who did not made it to the cut-off points for the sigsheet and application process. The bottom ten of the boys would represent the drag-queens and the bottom ten of girls would represent their stylist/hairdresser/creative director. The concept was adapted, alledgedly, by the Engineering Council but placed it on a higher level.

I was thinking a while ago about putting some pictures on my blog. It's for my friend's publicity actually because she(i mean he) is part of this penultimate event. Last night, i was ready to call it an evening when a Plurker, plurkillpurt, plurked urging to vote for MS. Alchemes, i followed the link and boom!!!


------------------------------------------------------- Best Pic MS. Gears & Pinions(Mech. Eng'g org) (LOL)

Appalling, one might say but the Engineering culture celebrates these ranging queens for fun after year-long of hard and grueling academic pursuit. it's a considerable distraction.

If you want to see the rest of the pictures, click here!

Ultimately, this queer picutures must lead to an important question in cinema.

THE DRAG(Transsexualism)

When one speak of drag queens, one film came up to my mind: The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert(1994). I had always thought that this film exacerbates the concept of the DRAG to a new level, almost a cult or a sub-culture in an American sense. It's about three transsexuals' travel across the great Australian outback from Sydney to Alice Springs. It discusses questions on transsexualism and homosexuality, topics which cinema had been discussing for centuries.

The discourse on sexuality or the more general, media studies, is a modern concept and cinema is quite receptive to the discourse. It shreds light to a part of society shadowed by the conservationist repression. Even though the turn of the century offers a freer and considerable way of expression for such topics, it still suffers from discriminatory accusations and censorship.

Hugo Weaving, who played "Smith" of the Matrix Trilogy, did a good acting here. One could not expect him wearing flamboyant costume. It takes a character to non-verbalize the persona.

So i give a clip from The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert(1994).


Issue of censorship is highly evident when Almodovar released his masterpiece, BAD EDUCATION(2004), to appeal not only topic of transsexualism but a lot of things more than that.

How strong is Almodovars' BAD EDUCATION? I can absolutely say that Almodovar is remarkable in depicting a character of Zahara(elegantly played by Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal), not as simple transsexual but a icon of contradiction and distress. He is not even a transsexual here but a mimic of the true Ignacio who suffered from drug abuse. This distinct, isolation of Ignacio, both as a transsexual and as drug patient, pushed his brother Juan and his perverse sexual abuser, Father Manolo, to revolt agaist him since Father Manolo, with a new name Father Berenguer, and Juan are in love. The real Ignacio also had a relationship with the director Enrique who is making a film about the child Ignacio and him, and how Ignacio was abused by Father Manolo.

The metafiction that Almodovar appealed is far reaching because it puts us, the audience, into the actual position as the spectator of cinema. But also, the passage from the metafiction to the real story locates us on the same position but with a different expectation.

I will continue my dicussion of Almodovar's most serious work on my next post, which will be my first critique.

That's all for know!