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15) I wish I didn't lose my Catholic faith. Nowadays, God is just like Santa Claus for adults. And it saddens me, that in my darkest moments, I wish I could just cling to someone bigger than fame, bigger than love, bigger than television, bigger than all this waking up and working and looking for a companion...But nowadays, it's a struggle to pray because in the end, you know that all you would get is frustration.

14) I wish I never learned smoking. The reason why I smoke? I smoke because of the friends I've lost, because of the great what-ifs in my head, because of missed opportunities, because of failure, because I'm afraid, because I'm nervous, because I'm happy, because I'm lost. I think people smoke because it's a small form of suicide.

13) I wish I was more confident when I was in high school.

12) I wish I had the discipline to create art everyday (write a short story or a screenplay, draw a comic book, record a song,make a prop) and not be worried about the chances of futility it might have.

11) I wish I could've taken up sports like football, or a martial art and just get lost in it. I think if I were more engrossed with sports than I would be with art, I'd be a lot more assertive.

10) I wish I could be more aggressive. I wish I were more capable of doing bad things, of cheating, of promiscuity, of backstabing. I wish I could be a master of my own guilt.

9) I wish I already knew what I wanted to do for my entire life when I was 8 years old.

8) I wish could cook.

7) I wish I could play the drums.

6) I wish that I could've lost my virginity earlier in life and slept with a lot of women before I reached twenty so that I wouldn't be my awkward, uncertain self right now. If I had done this, I probably would have grown up so fast that I wouldn't be doing this filmmaking crap-dream and I'd just be married and happy with kids.My dad got married when he was 26.

5) I wish I could be content with just having a simple life. The life of a banker, the life of a churchgoer.

4) I wish I could have people in my life who are more like-minded. I think I could relate to only about 5-percent of the whole human population. Most people might as well be aliens to me.

3) I wish I could've asked the name of that girl I saw in a comic book store in New York.

2) I wish I could be less humble, and be a bit more arrogant.

1) I wish I could fucking live the life of ***** *******.

"François Truffaut defined a great movie as a perfect blend of truth and spectacle. Now it's become bifurcated. Studio films are all spectacle and no truth, and independent films are all truth and no spectacle."

Iron Man- It's a pretty tricky in-between that I'm in with regards to this movie. Big, big Robert Downey Jr. fan ever since I watched Wonderboys. And he practically owned the movie. But you got lukewarm performances from Gwyneth Paltrow, Terrence Howard and an unbearable Jeff Bridges. Jon Favreau's work is clean as usual, but I was looking for something more... I guess it lacked the big Marvel Comics signature of a small story in a big setting. I was pining for moments, and all I got were explosions.

Speed Racer- Strangely enough, I enjoyed this more than Iron Man. I admit I am a (guilty) big fan of cartoon-to-movie adaptations that have turned sour ( Casper, The Flintstones, The Scooby Doo movies... and the mother of them all: Robert Altman's Popeye.) These kinds of movies become stranger as they age, and it leaves you with this weird taste in your mouth after watching it. Speed Racer was cheesy, yes, and some of the anime pastiches didn't work at all, but hey, it's got that feel-good Hanna Barbera lovin' behind that awful Wachowski Bros. direction.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull- Indy has such a special place in my heart that all is forgiven for this. Bad bits: the wonders felt segmented as if Spielberg and Lucas were playing catch-up with the pacing, zero chemistry between Mutt and Indy, a one-note low-stakes villain courtesy of Cate Blanchett, a lack of those old Indiana Jones whiz-bang action scenes and ALIENS?! What the hell were you guys thinking? ALIENS?! . Good bits: the movie's knowing winks to classic Hollywood films like The Wild One, Tarzan, the Elvis movies, etc. and a Ray Bradbury-esque nuclear testing site sequence, probably one of the best that Spielberg has ever directed in his whole career. It's by way of classic Hitchcock and it could might as well trump the T-Rex/ plastic cup scene in Jurassic Park as my favorite Spielbergian moment.

My palms are sweating for: Wanted, The Incredible Hulk, Get Smart
Ahhh...will check it out in Metrowalk two months from now: Wall-E, The Love Guru
Why bother?: The Dark Knight, Hellboy 2

Shakeyerhead: An Eraserheads Retrospective

Posted on 2008.04.28 at 22:11
Current Location: quezon city
Current Mood: artistic
Current Music: "Run Barbi Run" - Eraserheads
Tags:


Hello guys! I have directed my very, very first television episode for the documentary show Myxposed on Studio 23. The topic I've chosen is a band very close to my heart, the Eraserheads. In doing the show, I gathered some familiar faces and some close friends to share their stories about the legendary band. Please please catch it at these times: April 29 Tues 930 pm / May 2 Fri 12am & 9am / May 3 Sat 12 pm / May 4 Sun 11 am. Woohoo!

Holy! My Most Anticipated Movie of the Year!

Posted on 2008.03.06 at 19:45
Current Mood: amusedamused
Tags:


A screenshot from the new Get Smart trailer. Please please be good. =)

Alfred Hitchcock Presents...Cueshe?!

Posted on 2007.07.09 at 02:39





These are behind-the-scenes pics of the new Cueshe video I directed last week. I wanted to evoke the feel of some favorite '50s and '60s paranoia movies like Psycho, The Birds, The Innocents, Repulsion, The Night of the Hunter and some Vincent Price movies such as The Bat and The Abominable Dr. Phibes. Please watchout for it on MYX.


Open Up your Heart And Let The Sunshine In

Posted on 2007.07.02 at 20:11
Another sleep-deprived afternoon in Eastwood with my best friend, waking up to puffs of cigarettes and bottled water. After the nostalgia assault we had after watching Transformers a week ago, we were talking about the immense effect of cartoons in our lives. Especially on us, cartoon-boys, who some people find weird when we start speaking in tongues about the greatness of Alex Toth or the number of characters Casey Kasem voiced for Filmation. How our childhood obsession with cartoons shaped the way we talk like we talk now, live our lives and see the world in general.

It’s an understatement that I owe a lot to the world of the heavily color-schemed, bold-outlined, animated wonders that are cartoons. It has informed my world views in general, kept me afloat when I just want to escape my life, and has offered me an alternate universe to whisk away to whenever I’m at the dentist’s office or waiting in line at the MRT station or when I feel loveless.

So here are some nuggets of nostalgia and wads of wisdom I’d like to put into print, after that life-changing conversation:

1) There were cartoons that you were fond of, and there were those that fucked you up bad, looking back at them now, i.e. The Secret Of Nimh, the Boogeyman episode from The Real Ghostbusters, and the villains from the Care Bears movies. Who thought of these fucked up concepts, man?
2) There were cartoons that you thought were awesome as a kid, but now that you’re a full-grown man, you’d deny your inklings. (Wish Kid, anyone?)
3) My first memory of an erection was when April O’Neill undid her boots and showed her feet to the Ninja Turtles. Kids are strange, my friend.
4) My second memory of an erection was when Baroness disrobed to a revealing bikini in G.I. Joe: The Movie.
5) Don Bluth cartoons were invented for the sole purpose of making one cry. When the opening bars of “If We Hold On Together” in Land Before Time swelled, I felt my eyes welling up. Damn son! Affected by a brontosuarus’ death.
6) Sure, you love all the Ninja Turtles toys when you were in Grade 4. First, they were only four of them, then the frogs came, then a duck, and a bat, and a gecko, then Tokka and Razar. But come Grade 7, Playmates were still hashing out new lines and the characters of the action figures became more and more obscure, and you’d ask yourself who the fuck thinks of all these fucking concepts? Pizza Face? A giraffe that plays basketball? A guy made out of Mutagened garbage? An elephant? Did they even appear in the cartoons?
7) Big, big fan of Hanna-Barbera. Not Warner Bros. Not Disney. Just Hanna-Barbera. I just love the way that the designs all look so classic, timeless. And what I loved the most were the ones that took a cue from Jack Kirby-esque designs: Mighty Mightor, Moby Dick, The Galaxy Trio, Jonny Quest, Birdman…And those scores by the legendary Hoyt Curtin? My god! Genius! He was the Bernard Herrmann of cartoons. And the sound effects? Wow! Campy shit! Every pratfall, every Mutley snigger…amazing!
8) There’s only one hockey player I know in the entire world: Wayne Gretzky. And there’s only one baseball player I know in the entire world: Bo Jackson.
9) Whenever they had public service announcements in the endings of shows like G.I. Joe or M.A.S.K., and what they were presenting was anti-drug message, for some weird reason, it scared me as a kid.
10) The best collection of music ever was the music for the show bumpers for Sky Cable’s now-defunct I-Channel: REM’s “Shiny Happy People”, The Cardigans’ “Your New Cuckoo”, The B-52’s “Walk That Dinosaur”…and a whole lot more.
11) I-Channel…Oh my Lord…that was where my misspent youth went all along. I just remember the plethora of shows they had: Babar, Amigo and Friends, Wacky Races, The Perils of Penelope Pitstop, The Flintstones Kids, Jem and the Holograms, Bunch of Munch, Timeless Tales, Richie Rich…how I miss thee…
12) Is Garfield Peter Venkman reincarnated as a cat? They talk similar.
13) I remember staying late nights Saturday to get a hijacked signal from ABC USA Channel 45. They showed the new Addams Family, Sonic the Hedgehog and Darkwing Duck. They even showed American commercials that made you feel you were living in the States.
14) I was a sucker for toy commercials from Kenner which ABS-CBN showed every Friday night.
15) When I was in Grade 5, they released a Saturday Morning Cartoon album which featured bands like The Ramones and Juliana Hatfield covering the classic cartoon theme songs. The one by Frente (which someone told me was a Flintstones song) was amazing. Hence, the title of this entry.
16) I got swept by all those environment-friendly shows like Toxic Crusaders and Captain Planet. It made me pick up stray bits of trash on the streets.
17) There were cartoons whose color schemes made you feel like you had dengue fever. Bucky O’Hare, anyone? Inhumanoids?
18) Batman: The Animated Series. Genius. Pure genius. Bruce Timm is a golden god.
19) I remember watching Ray Bradbury’s The Halloween Tree one Halloween when I had a fever, and couldn’t go out trick or treating. I ate pizza and just watched it. Great, great cartoon I love and cherish.
20) Don’t you just find it fucking weird that the Harlem Globetrotters has teamed-up with Scooby Doo? What the hell do they know about solving a mystery?
21) The Shazann character, the genie guy Hanna-Barbera created was fucking scary shit. Whenever he went, “Hohohoho, young masters!”, I’d get the willies.

‘Nuff said. Thank God for cartoons.

The Five Greatest Music Videos of All-Time (Or Where I Get My Ideas From Whenever I Go Mental)

Posted on 2007.06.20 at 21:08
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
Current Music: Mihk Vergara feat. Prod Madnezz RBT Team "Pag-Ibig 2007"
As most of you know, my friends and I, who aren't lucky enough yet to direct our own feature-length movies or television commercials, have to stick it out with the ever-great, ever-poverty-inducing world of music videos. I have directed some and save for the money issues, it has been a fun and wild rollercoaster ride. (Sometimes, at 6 AM in the morning, you're in the middle of this place where all your friends are dressed in bumblebee costumes or worse, you have to ask yourself, "Hey, why am I doing this?) So in no particular order, here are the five reasons I'm still doing them,the five music videos that have inspired me much in the same way that Ed Wood and Taxi Driver made me want to become a filmmaker. (Naks! Pretentious talaga ang lolo mo.)



1) "Beetlebum" -Blur
Directed by: Sophie Muller

Blur dressed as Nirvana. I used to watch this all the time when I was in second year high school. The sheer simplicity of the concept and the gorgeous, gorgeous trashy photography got me floored. I'll raise my glass anytime to the part where Damon Albarn pulls at his mouthcheek as he sings, "It's on...It's on...It's on me..." The prime reason why I go bedhead and wear a hoodie half of my waking life.




2) "Special" - Mew
Directed by:

I heard this was inspired by an Ingrid Bergman movie, whose name escapes me at the moment. Beautiful black-and-white photography with all the cheap tricks in the book that will make a shot look awesome: water, bulbs, smoke, lights, coniferous foliage, and sharp Britpop fashion. (Hey, haven't I been doing these things over and over again ever since?) Plus, a talking head riding a dolly? Amen.Puwede...




3) "Cayman Islands" - Kings of Convenience
Directed by:

The video that people say looks like the music video I did for Pupil. ( Walastik! Ang yabang!) Elegant antique production design coupled with fashion straight out of Zara or Top Shop...puwede. The pulsing furniture lamps, things of beauty. The one music video that made me want to become a cinematographer. Loved Eirik's expression when he sings, "If only they could see...If only they had been here..." Puwede...Galing niyo, Erlend and Eirik!




4) "Hanging Around" - The Cardigans
Directed by: Sophie Muller

I heard that this is a moving tribute to Roman Polanski's Repulsion. (Naks! Pretentious na naman ang lolo mo.) This is an excellent video by one of my favorite directors of all-time, Sophie Muller. Nina Persson as Catherine Dennevue works like a charm. Loved the desaturation and the desolate production design.



5) "The Universal" - Blur
Directed by: Johnathan Glazer

Wala na akong masabi. A classic. The one piece of film literature I will always rip-off. Walastik! Puwede....

O kayo naman...What's yours?

What's Your Origin Story?

Posted on 2007.06.16 at 15:19
Current Mood: awake
Current Music: "Special"- Mew
I was twenty. Never had a girlfriend. Was in a course I forced myself into liking. And was a sad little fuck daydreaming of (depending on the weather) either publishing a graphic novel or directing an M. Night Shyamalan-inspired short film, more than passing my Accounting exams. CUT TO: Ever Gotesco, a rainy afternoon. I was in a dark and dank movie theater. The floor smelled like semen. I barely had money to buy popcorn since I had a meager weekly allowance, not to mention, a bad habit of spending my money on either expensive charbroiled burgers or detective novels. The movie: Quark Henares' GAMITAN. Thirty minutes into the film, I was floored. The possibility of directing a film of your own tastes in this one-horse country was a pipe dream at best, or a fantasy that will never be: I knew that I wouldn’t be a happy man if I directed romantic comedies starring Juday or comedies of the Enteng Kabisote ilk. The kinds of stuff that I would love to plaster on the screen would be too Western or too high-brow for this Third World limbo-hell we call the Philippines. My tastes were too Western, but honestly, is there anything wrong with that? The things I loved could never be seen in a Filipino movie: a 1930s setting, a whole menagerie of exotic animals (giraffes and octopi are most welcome), dinosaurs, mustard fogs, serial killers, superheroes, conspiracies, trench-coated detectives, rain-slicked streets, Victorians in unicycles, a genuine rock band acting in a film, zombie apocalypses, hipster indie chicks in hoodies, washed-up actors making comebacks, cool one-liners that characters say before they fire a gun…all impossible. But seeing GAMITAN, wow, it felt different. No flailing-of-the-arms, classic TVJ achecheche’s. No cheesy song-and-dance numbers. Hey, this was one of the myriad movie plots that I daydreamt of while staring into space during Sunday mass homilies. Puwede….

xoxoxoxoxoxox

CUT TO: Third year college. I was twenty-one. Still no girlfriend. But thankfully, I was enrolled in Quark Henares’ class. Being in the Comm Studio every Monday afternoon was one of the most terrifying experiences ever. Your eyes scan for faces…faces and auras that tell you that these people are far better than you, are more knowledgeable in the film language than you are. Intimidating faces. Even if you haven’t seen their works, there were faces that spelled that they were great filmmakers. Their auras ate you alive. “Hmm…that guy in the newsreporter’s vest looks like he’s the second coming of David Lynch…” I didn’t have advantages with me. The only thing I was confident with was the brain inside my head that has digested far too many Premiere magazines. A brain full of pop culture references, nothing more. The time has come. One day, you were daydreaming of telling your story, shooting it and then showing it to a crowd who would bowl over at the jokes you’ve planted so hard during editing, or frown at the heart-rending line of dialogue you’ve re-written seven times. The next day, you just want to throw up.

xoxoxoxoxoxox

I remember the feeling of wanting to vomit before I show any of my stuff. I remember seeing the panel of judges during Quark’s music video finals. Giants, man. Fucking giants. People who I’ve seen on TV and magazines. Giants sitting on the far corner of the room, squinting their eyes if they disapproved of a shot.

xoxoxoxoxoxoxox

I was technically a freak in all my production classes back in college. I was usually the one who got picked last. I was the one who did not have a proper group. I was the one who was paired up with those who took the class because they were jocks looking for an easy A or management-majors in dire need of film-showing classes to escape their moribund number-crunching lives. I was Ed Wood. I was the rebel without a crew. And man, looking back at it now, it sure was fucking crazy. I could’ve given up. Easily. I was an embarrassment unto myself. Most of my projects I shot with my family’s 1-CCD Digital-8 camera, friends outside class who were frustrated Christopher Walken-type character actors, and one-thousand five hundred pesos of my allowance so I could edit my footage in that wedding video shop in Burgundy. I had nothing on me. No Steadybear. No Isaw Space. No Jess Yap editing suite. Nothing. Nothing but a head full of stories and a desperate need to tell them. It sunk me into a deep hopelessness oftentimes. Imagine being alone creating a film and pouring your heart out. Imagine being embarrassed alone in class. Haha. Just the thought of it makes me want to scream the insanity out. I just wonder sometimes what pushed me to keep on doing it. Was it the kid in me who just wanted to tell stories? Or was it the kid in me who wanted get laid, like good movie directors such as PT Anderson could get laid by Fiona Apple?

xoxoxoxoxoxoxox

(Funny story: I befriended a group mate who fast became the first mate to this sinking ship called S.S. Wincy Ong. He was enrolled in Physical Therapy, and he quit on his last year because he realized he just wanted to make horror films for the rest of his life. Cutting half of our classes, we made several films in his dormitory in E. Abada with me and him as actors, and our trusty tripod as our DOP. Now that’s fucked up.)

xxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

CUT TO: Four years later. I am still doing this. God knows I have had stops and starts. I’ve had the bad case of the SNF (Sleepless Nights of the Freelancer). I’ve had my parents shooting me down,before they truly embraced my chosen path in life. But I am still here, standing on the shoulder of giants, giants like my teachers, my ex-girlfriend, my friends. I’m happy here. It feels good. Puwede….

When nostalgia attacks

Posted on 2007.06.14 at 14:15
Current Mood: anxiousanxious
Current Music: "Sorry Or Please" - Kings of Convenience


New York, 2004.

If life were a Harvey comic book...

Posted on 2007.06.09 at 23:06
Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: Theme from Ghost World - David Kitay


An absurd comic book cover I drew and colored. Save me from myself, Daniel Clowes.


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