Will mainstream audiences embrace ‘Aparisyon’?

Aparisyon movie poster

I met Darlene Malimas early last year when she lent me a copy of Vince Sandoval’s earlier film, Señorita, for Sine Bahaghari. That time, she already told me of the preparations for what eventually will become Aparisyon.

Months later, Darlene invited me to a test screening of the film. Even watching the earlier cut of the film, I knew I was seeing something special.

It was watching something different unfold in a Filipino movie. It was a quiet, intense work that was emotionally riveting. I was fascinated and affected. The small group in that test screening gave some critique, suggestions on a few minor changes that still can be done to improve the film. But really, even then, we all know this film will be making waves.

(And this is the reason my name appears in the credits. I haven’t seen that myself; a friend who also saw the film in Cinemalaya told me.)

After Cinemalaya, Aparisyon garnered praise from local and international critics. I’m so happy every time I hear the movie win another award and yet I’m hardly surprised. After all, great work will always speak for itself.

But the true test for Aparisyon will be how the mainstream audience will appreciate it. It’s different from most commercial movies. There are no impossibly glamorous characters, no rags-to-riches story, no histrionic confrontation scenes.

But I’d like to trust the Filipino audience. They are not the unthinking masses mainstream producers think they are, happy to receive whatever trash was released by the mainstream film industry.

There had been several small movies that were embraced by the mainstream audience before, proving that good independent film-making still has a place in commercial theaters. I really hope Aparisyon will be included among them.

Sine Bahaghari at Cinema is Incomplete and Kanto. Tarot Monkey at The Collective Art Fair. The Forsaken House at UP.

I was telling Philip Paraan of Kanto earlier this afternoon that the next time we mount an LGBT film screening for Sine Bahaghari, it won’t be on February. There are too many things going on for the National Arts Month and mounting a film festival bars one from attending other art-related events around the metropolis.

From tonight until Sunday, I don’t expect I will be getting enough sleep.

Tomorrow evening, Sine Bahaghari will screen two love stories at Cinema is Incomplete: the romantic comedy “Lovebirds” and the gorgeous-looking drama “Muli”.

In “Lovebirds”, a young man introduces his Spanish chatmate to his conservative mother; said chatmate turned out to be another young man, to the mom’s disbelief. “Muli” is the story of the affair of a lawyer and an activist innkeeper in Baguio, spanning several years. The two films offer two facets of gay relationships and it would be interesting to see contrasts between the two films.

The Collective Art Fair 2012

On Saturday, Sine Bahaghari will also participate in the first The Collective Art Fair. Several artists and entrepreneurs will gather at The Collective for a day filled with art, music, books, clothes, movies, and food.

At Kanto, Sine Bahaghari will be screening two short films by Sigrid Bernardo: “Little”, an internationally-acclaimed film which was only shown once in the Philippines, and “Babae”, a favorite among LGBT film screenings. They will be followed by the noir-ish “Señorita” by Vincent Sandoval.

For the fair, Sine Bahaghari will be selling the soundtrack of “Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa”, DVDs of “Ang Panggagahasa kay Fe” signed by Irma Adlawan, and Sine Bahaghari shirts and bags. The fair will also have tarot readers available, courtesy of the Tarot Monkey, SP Lovecraft Productions, and Yam Lacaba.

Speaking of Irma Adlawan, by Sunday morning, the boyfriend and I will be watching her perform in The Forsaken House from Dulaang UP. We were supposed to watch the afternoon staging instead of morning so we could have some rest after the art fair, but Ms Irma will not be playing during the afternoon. Why should one miss catching Irma Adlawan on stage if one has the chance to do so? You just don’t.