Snobbery, the superior form of emotional expression.

February 22, 2010 at 8:17 pm | Posted in Snobbery | 5 Comments

I am a snob, at least when it comes to films. Yes, it does feel great to know that I seem to know more than most people and that I am not ignorant when it comes to different kinds of issues. You should hear the dumbest and most awful things I hear from people when they talk about serious issues and stuff. I know I am limiting myself to one medium but maybe next time when I do find the time and when I think I have watched enough to know almost everything there is to know about cinema (which may be never or in the far future), I will get to read more books that are outside the bestsellers and the canon, more of the ones that really make you think and get you out of your comfort zone, that really test your patience, and that offers a lot of possibilities and a whole lot of new points of view, of perceiving things. In the meantime, I expect to get all of those in celluloid, along with the frequent doses of entertainment, camp and escapism which keep me sane.

My taste in books and music is pretty much the same as the average person’s. So I don’t get to laugh at people’s poor and superficial choice in books. Although I do not want to end up being caught reading those readable yet awful bestsellers that seem to be dumbed down for our Hollywood movie-going audience, I still have yet to read sci-fi, philosophical novels, graphic novels, pulp magazines, and all other subgenres and forms of literature. I do read but not as obsessively as I do with movies. Just last year, I only read a number of books, probably around 6-10. Can’t recall. That’s not a lot especially since I didn’t include books that I didn’t bother finishing out of boredom and lack of interest.

When I don’t like a film, I still force myself to finish the whole damn thing even if it means doing something else or having my mind someplace else while watching it. Maybe, the ending will make up for the rest of it. Maybe, my patience will be rewarded. Nah, usually the case is that I still think the film is awful. With books, I can’t do that since I don’t want to spend weeks or a month finishing something that I am not really interested in. At least, films are, what, a minute to 10 hours long. I still have yet to prepare myself for a film more than six hours long. And to think that most of the time, I think a two-hour film should be cut because it is too long or just too boring. Oh, I can handle minimal activity and dialogue in films… when I love them and I see the point of the whole thing. Not when it is too self-indulgent.

I literally roll my eyes whenever people, usually people who label themselves as cinephiles or film buffs, imitate critics and pull off “personal” lists of their favorite films, including only films either listed in IMDB’s top 250 films (which is just a ranking in popularity, the same thing as the box office list) or claimed as the greatest movies ever by film critics, students, and historians. If personal favorite films are only films that aren’t outside the film canon, only films that are widely recognized, highly promoted and loved by most, then I don’t know what personal means anymore. Isn’t something personal supposed to be something that is unique, individualistic and of your own?

And why are people unwilling to watch anything that is not in the English language, is slow-paced, is non-narrative, has minimal dialogue, has been made more than a decade ago, makes you question your own belief system, and gets you out of your comfort zone? Must people only watch films that reinforce their preconceived ideas about the world? Must people only watch films that make them comfortable and cozy in their world of goodness, hypocrisy and abundant wealth? Guess what, there’s a whole world out there that you don’t know of. Films aren’t only about white people either whining about their superficial problems and how life sucks or indulging themselves in their first-world comfort. There is also… War. Poverty. Indifference of the bourgeoisie. Evil. Other religions. Communism. Feminism. Revolutions. Art. Sodomy. Sadomasochism. Discrimination. Repression. People of other races and countries. Non-English languages. Terrorism. And all other themes that I can’t think of right now. Why limit yourself when there is a whole different kind of world other than what’s been laid out in front of you?

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5 Comments »

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  1. pareho pala tayo..i am not a mainstream person..’pag masyado nang overrated ang isang movie or book, nilalayuan ko na like yung Twalayt..haha :] but it depens kung gusto ko talaga yung movie like Harry Potter na binabasa ko na since elementary..newey, i also like watching pinoy indie films..though ‘di masyadong polished like yung mga ginastusan talaga..pero yun yung mga movies na may intelligent side at hindi patungkol sa mga walang kakwenta-kwentang bagay.. 😐

    • Based on your profile in your blog, I believe you read a lot of fantasy books. Any recommendations? Not that knowledgeable when it comes to books, hehe. Need to do more reading.

      I don’t know what you feel about watching feature-length films online but I suggest you watch Insiang, Himala and Batch ’81, when you have the time. All my favorites. Trust me, you’ll love them. I think the 1970s and 1980s are the Golden Age of Philippine cinema.

      If you’re looking for insights to the human condition and real substance in cinema, I’m sad to say that you won’t find it in most Hollywood and mainstream Filipino films since they were catered for morons. Supposedly, the masses are stupid so they provide us dumb entertainment instead of, you know, real food for thought. Entertainment is of course important but when it involves mediocre stories, superficial problems, awful dialogue and shallow white people, then I say no thank you and sayonara! Hehehe.

      I am already so obsessive and geeky when it comes to films that I have also watched films outside the Philippines and the US and even films older than me. And a lot of them are fucking awesome.

  2. yeah..i read fantasy books..and to recommend a few, there’s Neil Gaiman (Stardust and The Graveyard), Victoria Hanley (The Seer and the Sword, The Healer’s Keep), James Morrow (The Only Begotten Daughter)..yan yung mga favorite young adult fantasy books ko.. πŸ˜€ newey, wala pa ata ako napapanood sa mga sinabi mo..though ‘pag napalitan ko na yung sira kong dvd, babalik na naman ako sa movie marathon ko..hehe..there are lots of movies and series to catch up on.. πŸ˜€

  3. Ang hirap mag-backread ng blog mo meyn! Hanggang dito na lang ang kaya ko. Sana nagbaon ako ng first aid kit dahil malakas na ang tulo ng dugo sa ilong ko.

    Pwede naman magtagalog di ba? Hindi? Okay.

    Alam mo bang nung nagbabasa ako madami tayong magkapareho.

    (1) Hindi tayo masyadong bilib sa Church.

    (2) Kaya nating pakinggan ang isang kanta ng paulit ulit ulit. Yung tipong yun lang ang pinakikinggan buong araw. Tamang adik lang.

    (3) Nakinig din ako ng Backstreet Boys, Nsync, etc. Fave ko din ngayon si Lady Gaga. Rah-rah-rah.

    (4) Yung post mong: “The news is the snuff porn for the masses.” Leche, hindi pala tungkol sa porn. Nasayang ang oras ko. Haha!

    Yung iba sobrang komplikado na at hindi na maprocess ng braincells ko. Pero sa tingin ko babalik uli ako dito. πŸ™‚

    • Sige na nga, magTagalog na nga rin ako.

      Grabe ako magsulat e. As in, basta kung anong pumasok sa isip ko habang sinusulat ko, sasama ko na rin tapos babalik ulit ako sa topic hahaha.

      Hahaha, I’m pretty sure you won’t like snuff porn. Snuff porn basically means torture porn where someone gets tortured and possibly killed in the process. And yes, it might be a pretty heavy metaphor for the news but that’s how I see it. We’re sadomasochistic like that.

      Watch Lady Gaga’s new video, Telephone. Pretty fun XD.

      Salamat sa pagdalaw. πŸ˜€ Daan din ako sa blog mo. Yehes, balik lang ng balik ;).


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