Lately, I’ve become more interested in Filipino films. I’m not really sure why. I mean, I actually wanted to see Vice Ganda’s This Guy’s In Love With You, Mare when it was out in cinemas and that’s hardly ever happened before. Maybe it’s Cinemalaya making me realize that there are actually Filipino movies worth watching. Maybe because it seems to me that filmmakers are actually trying harder to make quality movies. Maybe there are just better actors to watch nowadays Maybe it’s also a change in taste. I’m not really sure, but I do like to think that nowadays the Filipino movie industry is trying to make things better.
For the longest time, it seemed that Filipino cinema was bombarded with movies that were more extended product commercials or just plain stupid or formulaic. Sure, people watched to be entertained, but surely there must be something wrong about them if they do nothing but make you lose brain cells as you go along. There were just too many so-called “bobo” movies with big movie stars who are only doing it for the money.
I like to think that the mainstream movie industry is trying harder to impress its moviegoers. They’ve got huge competitors not only from the US and other foreign countries, but also locally. Indie films aren’t anything to scoff at and they’re getting more and more attention. Cinemalaya movies are getting spots in local cinemas outside of the festival. And while the Cinemalaya Film Festival only happens once a year, no one can deny that it draws a huge audience and slowly, it’s also becoming more commercialized but I think that’s good in a way. More funding for unknown and talented filmmakers who would like to tell a story! I think that’s definitely good.
So now I see that mainstream cinema is doing its best to face the challenge of the times. GMA Films is trying out new technology and then is able to produce Tiktik: the Aswang Chronicles. Star Cinema is trying to make more dynamic and meaty stories and screenplays like it did with No Other Woman. Nowadays, we’re treated to a more varied selection of genres, too. It’s not just sappy, love-team-centralized romantic comedies. Now we’ve got comedies and horror movies and coming of age stories, et cetera. The industry is also sticking to some tried and tested strategies like using big name stars like Eugene Domingo and Vice Ganda and putting them in movies that would effectively showcase their comedic chops. There’s a mix of the traditional and the experimental and I’m actually finding myself looking forward to what else would be released in the cinemas soon. The Metro Manila Film Festival is just around the corner too, after all.
But anyway. I guess there’s more to talk about later when the MMFF is upon us and I’ll be making my selections on what to watch. Meanwhile, I’ll de-stress here and try to decide whether I should watch Praybeyt Benjamin first or go for The Reunion instead.