Books and Movies

This day had been productive. Was able to finish reading two books: Simone Weil’s Letter to a Priest (Allan’s gift to me for Christmas) early this morning, and Herman Hesse’s The Journey to the East (on sale at Dating Kundiman soon) while on a bus ride going back here in QC. Both deal with varied faces (and phases?) of faith; Weil’s nonetheless began with doubts, while Hesse’s with affirmation. I went back to Allan’s “Mga Liham ni Simone Weil” (I first read in The Varsitarian’s Montage, if I remember it correctly) in his latest poetry collection, Kundi Akala, and found salvation and suffering in its first five lines:

Na mayroong dalita. Na ang bawat hapdi
At dusang tinitiis ng sangkatauhan
Sa katawan ay kasal sa Dakilang Sugat
Na hindi naghihilom upang magbigay-lalim
Sa ating pag-iral. ...
Upon arriving here in the dorm, I immediately went to Metro East and watched two (of eight, my earlier goal for today was three; I need to watch all eight, because I required my students to watch and make a review on any of the entries) Metro Manila Film Festival movies: So... Happy Together and Enteng Kabisote: Okay Ka, Fairy Ko... The Legend (what’s with the ellipses?). If I’d give a grade (Ateneo system) to the films, the former will get a C/C+ (2.25) and the latter a D (1.00). But (unfortunately?) Enteng Kabisote seemed to top the box office over Happy Together or even any of the other films. I was actually excited to see Enteng Kabisote, in memory of my childhood Thursday evenings, but the Engkantasya in my memory is far better than the one I saw on widescreen earlier. G. Toengi failed to capture the charm of Charito Solis as Ina Magenta. Instead of Luka (Luz Fernandez)—what happened to her?, the Reyna ng Kadiliman was Satana (Bing Loyzaga), who was not evil and frightening enough. The faces (definitely, not the acting) of Kristine Hermosa and Nadine Samonte saved the film, I guess. Generally, it made me feel like watching a (bad) tv series season finale than a movie.

Meanwhile, Happy Together was feel-good on its first half but failed to sustain the comedy and gave way to drama in its remaining sequences, which were choppy, at the least. Eric Quizon’s acting is the most commendable in the film, mukhang natural. But still have to see Cesar (Panaghoy sa Suba), Christopher (Mano Po III: My Love), and Raymart (Aishite Imasu: Mahal Kita, 1941) in their respective films for my Best Actor forecast.