Sunday, March 07, 2004

MARCH 7, 2004 (SUNDAY)

It’s a quite a nice feeling when everything starts coming together, and the pieces are starting to fall into place. Somehow, with every project that I do – whether it’s a writing job or a school project or whatever – I find that I panic less and become more aware of my capabilities as a person. I don’t know, but it’s a nice feeling to not crumble to pieces because of the pressure.

I’d like to think that half of the preparations for the CW 198 exhibit are already ready. Now it’s only the little things that I have to deal with: mounting the pictures, binding the portfolio of works, ensuring that people will attend the opening tomorrow evening. But otherwise, I know that everything else will take care of themselves. I think I’m also lucky that most of my classmates are responsible enough to know what to do, and I’m incredibly lucky that Arvin and Kurt are there so I can order them around.

Kidding. These guys are incredibly important to me.

At least after tomorrow evening, I can start working on my other school requirements. This means that I will be able to finish everything by the 19th. This means that I will actually have a summer vacation to look forward to.

Spent yesterday buying materials for the exhibit, having a (rather sad) GRAIL GA, and working at Peloy’s house – he has a printer, I don’t. No contest. Haven’t been to the mall in ages, on account of lack of money and/or company. Most of the time, I find myself spending my hours around the neighborhood; I am now intimately acquainted with most of the small eating establishments around the Kamias-UP area. Not that I mind; but it’s always nice to spend time walking in a place that’s (a) air-conditioned, and (b) has a floor that’s not muddy or cracked cement. So sue me: the mall appeals to my consumerist soul.

Managed to get a bit of work done for GRAIL, at least enough to know that we will still survive until next schoolyear. Hoping to every loving god out there that we push through with the folio, and with finally becoming a real organization. I mean, it’s all well and good to just spend the afternoons at the tambayan, whiling away the hours and watching the people pass by while we discuss the meaning of life, the universe, and everything else, but it’s also nice to be busy doing work that is interesting to us and will be better for the org in the long run.

Watched Lost in Translation with Peloy in the evening – thank you Ate Tin for lending us the DVD. It was okay, as far as I’m concerned, but it feels as though I’ve seen it before. Tatay was totally dissatisfied with it; he saw it at the cinemas and I think he thought that it wasn’t worth it. For me, I liked the subtleties of the film, and that the boredom that the characters felt were almost palpable. But there wasn’t anything new about it; or maybe it’s because Sofia Coppola was mainly inspired by Asian films. If there’s one huge difference between the Eastern and Western sensibilities with regards to film storytelling, it’s that we don’t need to have a lot of things explained to us; we just take things as they are. Westerners need logic and a sound explanation before they agree to suspend their disbelief.

(Edward Said would be having a field day if he reads the last paragraph; but hey, orientalism is something that isn’t so easy to ascribe to.)

So the hegemony of the Academy Awards, which is a Western structure, would be astounded to find a film of such brilliance and such philosophical subtleties and of course award it with numerous nominations and the award for Best Original Screenplay. We, on the other hand, being exposed to styles of storytelling that are vastly different from what the Americans are used to, find Lost in Translation a good film, but not necessarily the best film. In other words, it’s all about what films we watch.

However, one part struck me there: where Bill Murray’s character, Bob Harris, is in the bathtub talking to his wife Linda on the mobile phone. And she asks him in exasperation, “Bob, do I have to start worrying about you?” to which he answers, “Only if you want to.”

That was perhaps the most poignant scene for me in the film.

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