Friday, August 30, 2002

First: It’s Saturday, so the Bookfair begins. Also, because of the success of last night’s Ring screenings (which I attribute to this blog, naturally :) ), they’ve decided to have another marathon today and tomorrow, Sunday. Please catch it if you can.
Good thing I checked my mail. Got home at around 320 AM, and was planning to get up at 830 and be at Megamall early for the Bookfair so I could raid the comics. But a friend told me they’re only going to sell comics on the last two days of the fair. So I can sleep. But you bet your ass I’m going to be getting my copy of After Eden tomorrow!

What a great day. The screening at Brash Young Cinema went well. Around 60 people attended, which Joey said was a good thing, better than normal, but not quite breaking the record that a bunch of anime kids set (over 100). Some donated money, some didn’t. Around 21 people stayed to watch Battle Royale, even though it started around 10 PM. Meanwhile some of us were getting drunk outside the screening room and in the parking lot. It started precisely 740 PM. The films were well-received. Some audio problems with two films, but thankfully nothing major. Met some people, like Beth, who posts on the Indiefil forums as Lil’ Jinx, and Chirpy and Kat, and saw Kara and Knox again, etc. Lots of nice kids. It kind of freaked me out seeing Kara wearing heels, though.

On to the drinking: Carlo was so pissed. He was horny and hitting on people. The Hong was drunk that day too, but at work. Son of a bitch is turning into a regular souse. Chris, surprisingly, wasn’t that wasted. But he was red as a baboon’s ass whenever his films would show. Hahaha! Mich was a little gone, too, as you can tell from her blog entry, which she posted as soon as she got home, being a blog slave.

Alexis has put up some pics from the night already. He put them up as soon as he got home. These are some of them:

From left, that’s me, Mich, and Alexis, with the lovely Lara Brash (Joey’s younger sister, who he introduced to me around seven times [yes, Joey was drunk too]) at the top

Joeybrash’s photo from Hot Shit magazine. Wotta pose! Wooh!

Bonus trivia: the first time ever that Joey slept in a room all by himself occurred in the last 3 months. And he's 28. Wrap your head around THAT.

Mich, me, and Chris (hamming for the camera, as usual)

Half of Alexis, Carlo, Alia, and Chris’s big mouth.

Here Alexis is talking to his “homies” about the “shiznit.” He says, “Represent, y’all. Ayt? Word to ya mutha.”

Some kids came by when Battle Royale ended. They must’ve forgotten the part in the announcement saying 7 PM. Me, Neva, Ernan, and The Hong ended up at A&W to get some drinks and grub. Quark followed. We talked a bit. Got tired. Went home.

In summation: a good night with good friends, and it was cool getting to help your friends by getting their shit seen. We plan to make this a regular thing. More indiefilipino screenings at Brash. Still deciding if it’s going to be every 2 weeks or every month.

A minor epiphany: I want to get more work done. This is something that also came to mind after my terrific birthday surprise party. I’m so happy and blessed and lucky that I have such amazingly talented friends, but it does kind of make me feel pathetic because I’ve turned 22 and have done nothing with my life. I want to come out with work too. Got to get off my lazy duff and start writing. Just do something.

Now I'm thinking that actually the best time to hit the Bookfair would be Monday morning, so it would at least take out of the picture all those fucking yuppie shits who think they know poetry and literature because they read Pablo Neruda and Paolo Coelho and have thumbed through One Hundred Years of Solitude and/or The Unbearable Lighness of Being (take your pick). This way I'll only have to compete with unemployed pseudo-intellectual pretentious writer-wannabes who really just need a) to get laid, b) a functional family, or, barring that, c) a decent therapist. The other group I'm dreading is the rich spoiled kid-fucks who're "slumming it" by going to the bookfair instead of buying their shit online with daddy's credit card. And they'll be there because they're unemployed too, living off their family's ill-gotten gains.

I hate rich people because I want to be them.
Text from Mich: “Saw your pool. I hate it it’s a titi! Yuck.” Hahahaha. Go visit her blog. It’s one of my favorites, definitely one of the funniest, without really trying to be. It’s just Mich. She’s so worried that she doesn’t write well (as if that was ever important to someone starting a blog) but she writes fine. It’s honest and direct and so Mich, the best part is while reading the blog you can hear her voice in your head.
Everyone wants Neva’s help now. Haha. She’s giving all of us comment functions, tagboards, guestbooks and site meters. And teaching us basic html. Whatta gal.

Am I a blog slave? Neva thinks so. Check the time of this post, and you can probably guess the answer.

Thursday, August 29, 2002


Well, it's safe to say that the Ring screenings last night were a success, judging from the packed theater, people sitting in the aisles and standing in the rear. And the screaming, my God, the screaming...

Ring 2 was scarier for me the second time around (probably because I kept anticipating the scary parts, but maybe also because of the crowd I was with), and most people found Ring 0 scary as well, though I wasn't too frightened when I saw it.

Reviews of Ring can be found here.

Me, Quark, and Lia chose to forgo Ring 0 and saw A Pornographic Affair, a lovely Frederic Fonteyne film from France that I first saw at last year's Cinemanila. I forgot how good it is, and am really glad Quark and Lia liked it a lot, since I suggested we watch it instead of Ring 0. Quark even said he's not sure if he likes it better than In the Mood for Love. Which is definitely high praise.

Two points for you if you know where I got my title from.


Ate Cyn sent me this link to the After Eden mini-site. Check it out. There's a tagboard and some downloadables (wallpapers, fonts, and desktop icons). Cool beans!

Wednesday, August 28, 2002

New favorite website: Full of fascinating stuff. Truth will always be stranger than fiction.

Oh, and Gamitan made P20 million its first week. Hurrah!


That Japanese film we snuck into last night, Seafood, isn't a Dogme film after all. At least, it's not officially recognized as Dogme on the Dogme official site. I wonder why not? It looked like all the rules were abided by...


New frustration: I keep going back to old posts and edit things. Or put in new things in new posts. Small inconsistencies, clean-ups, a sentence here and there. Maybe you never even noticed the changes. And maybe they aren't important, but I get mad every time I see them so I must.


Still need sleep. We're preparing things for tomorrow's screening, which looks to be a blast.
Just came into contact with another De Veyra, also because of an email propa piece. Weird. Today's the Ring Trilogy screening at Greenbelt 1. It starts at 630, so be early (I expect a lot of people will attend because it's the last Ring screening). It'll set you back around 228 bucks for all 3 movies.

Notice the shrubbery around the balls? HAHAHA!

HAHAHAHA! God, I love The Onion. One of my Wednesday comforts, along with a new Nanotale from Richard Kadrey and a new column from Steven Grant. And of course, all the new comics come out on Wednesday (in the US, at least). And here, we get new movies in theaters.


All hail Carlo Eustaquio, who is not only one of the finest artists you'll meet, but now a blogger as well! Haha! He caved in... who's next?!


See, it's happening already. Alia mentioned in her blog what I was talking about in a previous post... how we're not seeing one another anymore, just reading each other's blogs and posting entries and commenting snarkily and making fun of Chris (not that there's anything wrong with that). And when we DO see each other it's "Have you read so and so's blog?" And then later that night after seeing each other we all write about the same event and read one another's version and appraisal of the events and comment again and so on and so forth oh no I've gone cross-eyed...

It's all too self-reflexive for me. Or is self-reflexive a redundant term?

Alia's blog also has a purty picture right now from Carlo's birthday dinner where you can see how drunk The Hong (as we fondly call Harvey) really is. He's not "compressing" to be in the picture, he's about to fall over!


Chris, Quark, and I snuck into a theater to watch a Japanese Dogme film called Seafood (as part of Cinemanila), which was really disturbing and features perhaps the most vile cop I've ever seen in all of fiction. We didn't get caught, so we didn't have to pay. Heh.

Tuesday, August 27, 2002


The formal launch of Arnold Arre's After Eden will be at Function Room B at the Book Fair on September 7, Saturday, 6-9 pm. Of course, the Book Fair is at the Megatrade Hall at Megamall. My problem is that it clashes with Paul E.'s despedida dinnner, which takes place far away down south. Pano kaya to?

Oh, and by the way, the 250+ page book will be sold for only P295. You heard it here first!

ADDED 6:21 PM: Even though the formal launch is on Sep. 7, you can still get the book when the Fair begins on the 31st.
I’ve added some links, including the blogs of Alexis, Alia, and Mich. Almost all of us have been bugging Neva, since she knows how to get guestbooks and comment scripts and whatnot. But I was first. :)


Was at Quark’s house tonight. We’re supposed to be editing the Ciudad music video but actually Chris did all the work after he got a short tutorial from Lia. Me, Neva, and Quark just lazed about, watched his hilarious appearance on The Weakest Link, watched some trailers on Apple, talked, etc.

One of the funniest trailers I’ve seen in a while is called Comedian, starring Jerry Seinfeld. It makes fun of all those cheesy predictable voice-over narrators in trailers. It really has to be seen to be believed. And I thought it was cool that Seinfeld isn’t even seen in the trailer. Also saw the trailer for the new Guy Ritchie film, Swept Away, and was thoroughly unimpressed. Kinda disappointing, since I like the guy, but this seems to hold no appeal for me whatsoever. Also saw the Japanese trailer for the live-action Perfect Blue, which is one of my favorite anime films of all time (Chris, why don’t you stop jerking off and return it already?)


Quark also got to watch Wong Kar-Wai’s music video for the DJ Shadow song “Six Days,” which is just staggeringly beautiful. The girl in the video is Danielle Graham, also staggeringly beautiful (though really, really thin), and the guy is Chang Chen, who’s probably most famous for his Dark Cloud role in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Here’s a pic of the lovely Graham I stole from Alexis’s blog:

Kutob mo hindi sila related ni Heather? Hahaha! …ahh shit, that wasn’t funny. Forgive me. It’s 530 in the morning. I’m not that funny at 530 in the morning.

Monday, August 26, 2002

Ain't it great? :)

Neva, Chris and I were thankfully able to read the first draft of the work, and we were blown away with it. We're sure you will be, too. On that note, I think it's such a great thing that a publisher like Adarna is branching out into putting out comics work, and original graphic novels at that! I mean, 254 pages! They even made a sub-imprint for their comics material (Anino). Anyway, hope to see you all at the book's launch at the Philippine Bookfair at Megamall this August 31.
Mark your calendars! This Thursday, at Greenbelt 1, beginning at 630 PM, all three Ring films will be shown, in the correct order they should be seen: 1, 2, 0. Watch it! When's the last time we had a full trilogy shown in a theater? Uh, NEVER.

Also! On Friday, August 30, be at Brash Young Cinema at 7 PM as we at show off some kick-ass student films, some by our own Chris Costello. Mo Zee, Jo Fabul, and Quark Henares will also be featured. And we'll probably end with Battle Royale! So BE THERE! Bacchanal begins at 7.



Suddenly everyone's blogging away like mad! Well, except maybe Ate Cyn, who has a good reason: she's really busy. Anyway, Mich and Alia have finally come out of the closet and allowed the public to view their blogs, Alexis and Chris started their own recently, Neva jump-started hers after a dormant period, I finally got this personal blog up and running, and Ernan is just starting out.

You do know what's going to happen eventually, don't you? We'll all be sitting at our computers, blogging away, and we won't be seeing each other anymore. And blogging about not seeing each other. And reading each other's blog. And commenting and signing one another's guestbooks.

On that note, sign mine! Here's the link.


I'd be remiss if I failed to mention the other excellent birthday party I attended last Saturday: Carlo Eustaquio's birthday dinner at his house. It was the first time Neva and I had been there, and personally I was expecting something a little more... eclectic when I saw Carlo's room, something along the lines of blood on the walls and dog carcasses and whatnot, but it actually looked pretty sane, and uncannily tidy. Whereas my room is perpetually in a state where it looks like it just gave birth to our next typhoon.

I got to see Paul E. and Nikki and Jessie, all of whom I've not seen in a while, ate the best-tasting Tiramisu I've ever had, and had the thoroughly enjoyable pleasure of seeing Harvey Ong get ass-drunk. On a glass (or two) of wine. Later on he drank some Tanduay-spiked Coke, and after downing half the glass, remarked, "This doesn't taste like Coke..." Chris and I were laughing so hard, especially when he put a hand to his stomach and said in his patently deadpan voice: "I feel a change coming over me." Later on, I stopped the Bjork disc on the player, only to hear Harvey scream "Crying! ...CRYING!" until I put Debut back and played the song. :) He was so drunk at the end of it we daredn't bring him home; he slept over at Carlo's. Also got to borrow some CDs from Carlo; this, along with the CDs I borrowed from Mich, mean I get to listen to some cool stuff as I write these entries.

Speaking of Mich, congratulate her on her new iBook. Since then she's been blogging away. And now she has a DVD player!


The CBCP have claimed that Gamitan is "morally disturbing." Quark was happy.

And now the Directors' Guild is complaining that the MTRCB is playing favorites, citing the acceptance of Killing Me Softly, Unfaithful, and Gamitan as examples. Ha ha ha!

Honestly I can't wait to see what Quark does next. If these things turn up when he does something he himself wasn't too happy with, what then when he turns in something he loves?


Reviewed Ring for Review Night. Should be on on Thursday. But I have Destiny, so I won't even be able to be vain and watch myself.


We lost our maid and one of our drivers, so now I'm kind of the default driver, having to pick up my brother at Ateneo and sometimes my mom at AIM. Pisses me off. And when I (thankfully) don't have to drive, I can't leave the house because no one's left here. Son of a bitch.

Saturday, August 24, 2002

The funny thing about my birthdays is that things almost always go wrong.

Still a fond memory is my eleventh birthday, where there was a party I never attended due to a monster storm that actually stranded about 30 of us kids in school. We had to sleep on PE gym mats strewn about the floor of the history classroom (I remember us trying to spook the younger kids), and played Agawan Base in the dawn sunlight, dew and all.

There are others: last year's surprise attack, for example, was also hampered by weather, and most guests couldn't make it, even the ones already on the way. Twelfth birthday, heavy traffic hampered the proceedings. And on and on. I stopped having parties after my 13th birthday. That was 8 years ago. Since then I usually spent my birthdays myself, using it as a day for being introspective, thankful, and assessing where I'm at.

Yesterday I had the best birthday of my life.

Neva had planned it all, along with my mom. While I fitfully slept through all of Saturday morning and some of the afternoon, they were setting up tables, chairs and food downstairs, and Neva was picking people up from a rendezvous point in Makati. They crept into my room slightly after one, and when I stirred, thinking there was a rat in my room (tightly-packed friends trying to be quiet makes a scuttling noise, apparently), scared me half to death by screaming mangled attempts at "SURPRISE!" (but which really sounded like one long "YAAAAAAAAARRRHHHHH!!!!!", not that I'm complaining). Thank God I don't sleep in the nude, as Marnie would mention later on.

Possibly the best birthday gift is having a birthday where everything goes just right.

I could've woken up earlier and seen the arrangements being made. I could've woken up and decided to catch some movies at Cinemanila. I could've woken up and read a missent text message from Neva telling me to "Be at Ramon's by 1 PM." I could've been buck naked (and the party would have died right there, a botched abortion).

But everything went off without a hitch, from the surprise to the food. We all had a nice lunch, talked all sorts of sordid subjects, watched some special features from the Amelie DVD, and just basically caught up with one another and enjoyed each other's company. Chris attacked the beer with gusto, as expected. Harvey showed me the finished comic strip we'd been working on, which looks terrific. Dep lent me The Evil Dead. General chaos and hilarity ensued. A good time was (hopefully) had by all.

My friends are rarely at my house, since I live down South (not that far down, but still pretty far from everyone else). As such, when they ARE here, a lot of my stuff gets borrowed, and effectively my shelves lose about a third of their contents. :)

Gifts included the fucking beautiful Pictures That Tick, an oversized hardcover collection of short stories by Dave McKean (from Neva, who was privy to my months of pining for it). Chris gave me the Catwoman: The Dark Side of the Street TPB, another book I'd been eyeing (indeed, its disappearance from CCHQ, where Chris got it, was something I brought up with store owners Kat and Tin, who played along so that I wouldn't know he'd gotten it). I got bungee laces from Alia, a caricature and card from my sister Sandy, some bath stuff from Trinka and Arlyn, a Traci Lords laserdisc from Carlo (co-starring Ricki Lake and Ted Raimi, brother of Spider-Man director Sam Raimi), and of course, from Julia, Japanese sweet porn.

I may not be the most popular guy or have the most friends, but I daresay I've got the best group of friends anyone could ask for.

If I died tomorrow that would be the best thing I could say about my life.

"I had the best friends."

Thank you Alexis, Alia, Arlyn, Chris, Dep, Gabby, Harvey, JoeyBrash, Julia, Katrice, Lia, Marco, Mark, Marnie, Ozzy, Quark, Tina, and Trinka for going.

Thank you Arnold, Bodge, Carlo, Colleen, Ate Cyn, Genie, Goldie, Hannah, Jeline, Jenny, Jessie, Joey Tolosa, Jomi, JoPi, Justin, Katie, Maggie, Marelle, Sir Mark Escaler, Mich, Mo, Nikki, Paul E., Paolo, PJ Chanco, PJ Mariano, Ray, and Tina for your greetings. :) Happy birthday to Bodge, and belated happy birthday to Carlo as well.

Thank you to my family, Donna, Tita Ambang and Lola Pi.

Most of all, thank you Neva. :)


P.S. If I've forgotten anyone, please forgive me and contact me ASAP to correct this list.

Friday, August 23, 2002

What happened last night:

Went all the way to Ateneo (from Paranaque) for a meeting that was canceled when I got there. Got to visit the lovely CCHQ, bastion of comics goodness, which I missed a great deal, not having been there in almost a month. Of course, I still didn't have enough money to buy anything... but they were so nice as to give me a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen poster as a "token." For what, I don't know. Then Quark showed up, coming from a stern talking-to from Marilou Diaz-Abaya about directing a "bold" film. He informed me that Gamitan had broken even, then bought me a birthday present right then and there -- James Kochalka's Quit Your Job! So I left with two gifts. :) Then I waded through fucking Friday night traffic (which really must be said like that: fucking Friday night traffic) getting to The Podium, quite possibly the most ridiculous and useless mall in the world (a stone's throw from Megamall and owned by the same people, it's a marvel in bad design, wasted cash, and excess). Horrible parking area (not ventilated, so it was like a microwave), with only four elevators that were agonizingly slow, almost nothing but expensive restaurants, P200 for a movie?! Why was this mall even built, anyway?

I'm getting off track here.

Mich had a show at 9. That really started at 10, with a variety show of sorts from host (and general go-to guy) Martin Nievera, and poor Mai-mai Cojuango, who couldn't seem to contribute anything, overwhelmed as she was by Martin, who would belt into song every chance he could get. The fashion show proper started at around 1030, and went okay. In my opinion Mich was lucky to have the best model of the night, Emille Espino. While waiting for the damn show to start I read Quit Your Job! standing up, and then a girl behind me asked me where I'd gotten it. I explained how to get to CCHQ, and she was even curious as to whether they sold lots of indies (the answer is yes). Then she said she got her Quit Your Job at Booksale. And for a moment, there was hope in the world. What are the odds of someone in this country even knowing who James Kochalka is, let alone standing next to them (at a fashion show of all things) while reading it for the first time because of a late show?

After the show Chris ogled the girls undressing backstage, where Mich's freaky interns Hannah and Goldie shrieked and cackled. Then we retired to the Pearl Drive area, feasted on pasta, beer, and California Maki, where I technically turned 22 and made the list of short films we're going to be showing next Friday at Brash Young Cinema.

And now it's 4 in the morning and I'm tired. Good night.

Thursday, August 22, 2002

Chris talks a bit about Gamitan over at his blog, as does Alexis (he's got a great pic of his ex, too :) Check it out). As of last night, it had made P5 million, so I think my prediction's pretty solid.

Lost my internet connection for a bit, which is why the previous entry is late.


Hurrah! A new Sleater-Kinney album!
Didn't expect an emotional night, but that's what I got.

A whole bunch of us went to see Gamitan Wednesday night at Power Plant. Practically the entire center block of seats was composed of either Quark's friends or his relatives. We watched and enjoyed the film; a lot of times the entire theater would burst into laughter because we got the many "in-jokes" sprinkled throughout. After the screening there was, of course, applause, and right outside the theater everyone was congratulating Quark and clapping him on the back, girlfriend Lia smiling happily and clicking away with her digital camera. So many people showed up, some of whom I haven't seen in a while, and it was a treat catching up with them.

After, we all went to Quark's house where he gave a party, complete with balloons sporting the movie's tagline: "Baby ang dating, hayop sa galing!" Good food and good drinks, better yet, good company. Highlights included Mo getting drunk (from whiskey he himself had brought) and playing songs from Moulin Rouge and Almost Famous on the piano, Mich spilling beer all over herself, and general ribbing of either Ozzy or Chris, whose twin sisters also passed their medical exams. Hurrah! It was nice seeing Ciudad again (sans Mitch, who didn't go to the party), and Marnie as well, who's been back since June without my knowing. Alexis was there, as was Joeybrash, Lia's name was changed to Special Thanks (see the film to find out why), and Quark's driveway became the smoking area, where some people just stayed permanently.

Maui's obviously artificial boobs was the topic of choice, and also the butt of many jokes, especially by the A-men, Quark's classmates from high school. Mich is apparently terrified of balloons, which of course just prompted Chris and others to chase her around, trying to tie the balloons to her clothing.

What a great night. I didn't expect it to be so emotional and meaningful, but that's what happened. It was when I started thinking about the significance of the event: we were celebrating the first film of a good friend. One of my best friends, whom I've been talking film and comics with since we were practically in grade school. I'm sure it must've been a thrill for him seeing the "Written & Directed by" credit on the big screen, and then hearing the applause. If it was me, that would've been the moment.

The party ended at around 3 AM.

The film itself is much better than I expected: not that I doubted Quark, but because we were privy to all his horror stories about what he had to put up with from Viva, his actors (well, just one, really), his insipidly inefficient Production Designer, the egos on the set (again, really just one), etc. It's a miracle he was even able to put out a film that made sense, let alone one that's as good as Gamitan is. And it's definitely better than most Philippine directorial debuts I've seen in a long while. My favorite thing about it is that he never relaxes comfortably into a groove: scenes with heavy emotional drama are suddenly interrupted by slapstick comedy, or segue to entirely comic scenes that then end violently, etc. In particular, pay attention to Patricia Javier's diet (surprisingly, she was pretty good). The dialogue is realistic and peppered with common catchprases of our barkada, and there's some great music too: some original score compositions c/o Mssrs. Raimund Marasigan, Rommel Sanchez, and Buddy Zabala, as well as some songs from Sandwich, Itchyworms!, Daydream Cycle and a brilliant use of Rivermaya's "Ambulansya" that needs to be seen, and makes the entrance fee worth it.

The film made P2 million on its opening day. By noon. Which means, basically, that it made that much money during its first screening in all the theaters showing it. The budget of the film was (I think) P7 million, so that should be met and beaten at least by Saturday, when most people will be able to watch it. I really hope this movie does well for Quark, and from the looks of things, it's well on its way.

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

Ahh, memories...

I was having dinner at Banana Leaf last night and was stunned to see my crush from first year high school, sitting there with someone I don't know. The reason why this would stun me is because I haven't seen her since that first year in high school. She'd moved to Boston (my favorite city, but for other reasons) to study there. She still looked great, and I hope I didn't seem weird to the other diners, gawking at her like an idiot (she never saw me, thank God). I didn't get up to say hi. I'd only met her once, so I was sure that she wouldn't remember me.

It's funny how memory works. This girl I hadn't seen in almost 8 years, I immediately recognized. And sitting back down at my table, it all came rushing back: admiring her from afar (she went to the same church I did), playing pusoy dos with her one time, taking the fact that she liked one of the bands I liked at the time (can't remember if it was Sleeper or echobelly) as a sign from the heavens that we were meant to be together.

8 years! It was so nice getting to see how she turned out. She's still pretty as anything, eyes still lively and big. Hair still curly. The rush of memories made me laugh at my 14-year-old self. And it also made me feel a bit old, just shy of my next birthday. Great timing.

(As a point of reference, I graduated college last March)


Gamitan comes out today! Please go see it. It's written and directed by one of my best friends, and it's his first film. Not the kind of film he'd've wanted to make given a choice, but think of it this way: supporting him now will entice Viva to give him more projects where he can do what he wants, and that can't be anything but good for our industry. And I should have a two-second cameo in it too, so there.
De Veyra is a unique name, and I've not yet met a De Veyra I wasn't related to somehow, because we almost always come from Visayas. However, it also means countless episodes of having to explain to people that it's not De Vera, that it's got a y. And apparently, all De Veyras know how unique their name is, because after sending out an email plugging our Cinemanila coverage at, which I sent to basically everyone I know and every mailing list I belong to, I've come into contact with two different De Veyras, inquiring if we're related. I could only reply, "We have to be."


Well, I saw Battle Royal for the 3rd time last night with Quark and Neva. And that's that: BR is officially one of my favorite films. I did some research on the net about the film and discovered that besides the peachy keen bloody t-shirts, it's pretty hard to find an inexpensive copy of the poster, and that it's not yet available on Region 1 DVD. Since my player only plays Region 1 discs, that's a problem. Apparently, BR doesn't even have a distributor in the US, theatrically or on video, because no one's willing to touch the film in the wake of Columbine. So my only chance is getting the Region 0 disc (which plays on all players).

But then another surprise: a longer version of BR, called "Special Version," which adds another 9 minutes with some enhanced special effects, will be out in two weeks on DVD in the UK. And it's a nice package, too: a 2-disc set with lots of features and cool packaging: a blank cover with a bright red BR stamp on the upper left. It's Region 0, but PAL, so I still can't play it. Damn.


I really fucking hate government traffic convoys. Or whatever the hell they're called. You know, those Nissan Patrols or Ford Explorers with lights flashing and a police escort who break every traffic rule imaginable? And inside it's some senator or mayor or what-have-you. It's ridiculous and dangerous. Where in the constitution does it say that this kind of "special treatment" is allowed? In my opinion they should be stuck in traffic more than anybody else: maybe it'll get them to work on our traffic situation a little more if they were actually engaged in it. I would understand if it were the President or whoever and needs actual protecting, but almost everyone with a semblance of authority and a huge ego problem partake of it as if it were a social status signifier. Which it is, I suppose, but one that is royally fucked in the head.

Plus, the police escort is almost always composed of rude pricks.

So do what I do: don't let 'em through. Don't go out of your way to block 'em, because that would be rude, but if they're trying to make you go out of your way to let them pass, don't.


Monday, August 19, 2002

Any serious booklover will tell you that this is the most crucial time of the year for us. The annual sales of PowerBooks and National Bookstore occur on August and September, respectively, and the annual Philippine Bookfair kicks off in September. Plus, Not Page One is having a minor sale of their own, with some interesting titles (Haruki Murakami's Underground [at half-price!], Brian Aldiss's Supertoys Last All Summer Long and Other Tales of the Future, etc.). For me, it's usually a time to complete certain collections: the Calvin & Hobbes collections, the Far Side collections, Tintin, Asterix, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Jeff Noon, Chuck Palahniuk, Douglas Coupland [All Families are Psychotic still isn't out on softcover], etc. Sometimes you'll find inconsistencies: for example, in PowerBooks Arnaiz, Calvin & Hobbes books are 50% off, but in PowerBooks Tower Records, they're only on 20-30% off (but it's too late, all the C & H books at Arnaiz are gone).

Some people I know, like Gina Sales, seem to spend a couple thousand during these two months alone so that they have enough books to tide them over, and they don't need to buy another book until next August.

Of course, all the serious booklovers I know have at least 10 books on their shelves they still haven't gotten around to reading. Some of these books I've literally had for years.


PJ, I saw Battle Royale first at Brash Young Cinema, and then recently borrowed Harvey's Region 3 DVD. :)
Been very passive the past few days. Saw Battle Royale for the second time (first saw it in March). Still a traumatizing mindfuck of a movie, but utterly riveting. Will be seeing it again later tonight with Quark, who hasn't seen it yet. Heh heh... There are some beautiful shirts of BR designed by Airside, but they'll set you back at least something like P1800 a pop. Ouch. Damn good designs, though, really freaky... I've some ideas for shirts myself, and maybe I'll be able to get them realized pretty soon, too...

Also read Brian Bendis and Michael Gaydos's Alias, the first 9 issues collected in a handsome hardcover. It's very good, much better than I had expected. It's about an ex-superhero now-PI in the Marvel Universe, and the cases she gets are a mixture of the tangentially weird and the ordinary vanilla kind. It's the mixture that makes it interesting, and Bendis shows a real talent for the quieter moments (which I love) and brilliant transitions (as always).

Am in the middle of reading the Stray Bullets collections, c/o Chris. Cool Beans!

Friday, August 16, 2002

Click here to read that Conan O'Brien speech I was talking about yesterday. Why can't our commencement speakers be this entertaining?
Someone actually took the time out to type one of my poems and put it in her blog (Central Park, down at the bottom).

This is, as far as I know, the first time it has ever happened.

I have no idea who she (Lilith Castrove) is.

Wala lang. Asteeg.

Some sweet images:

is the cover of the soundtrack of Storytelling, Todd Solondz's latest film. It's to my delight and surprise that Belle and Sebastian provide the music. Though I read at The Onion that only about 6 minutes were used by Solondz. Well, at least you can hear the rest of the unused score by scoring the soundtrack (haha! I made a funny! ... Christ, that's pathetic). I love it! It's just so spooky and... red. I have no idea what it has to do with the film (if anything at all), and we have the MTRCB to thank for that, who declared it unfit for exhibition. Bah!, I say... Bah!


is the lovely, family-friendly teaser poster for The Rules of Attraction.

Fornication and stuffed animals never had it so good.

I swear, if you ever need ideas for graphic design, all you have to do is visit a decent record store and check out album covers. Or go to Not Page One or Bibliarch and go through their expensive art/design books. Or surf the web.

Thursday, August 15, 2002

Well, it looks like I was wrong. Neva and I were passing by at Greenbelt earlier tonight and found out that the Cinemanila Festival had been extended all the way to the end of the month (though they only had a makeshift schedule until the 19th). Which is great, because there are a lot of interesting films I didn't get to see (Harmful Insect, Peony Pavilion, Weekend Plot, What Time Is It There?, etc.), and I'll be able to continue bugging my friends to see some really great films (the Ring Trilogy, Following, the Takeshi Kitano films, etc.). Of course, this also means more financial difficulty, less gas, and thicker eye bags. Sigh.

There's a good interview with director Robert Rodriguez up at The Onion. I'm a fan of his -- El Mariachi was one of the films that made me want to become a filmmaker. It's also the film that made him famous -- he made the whole film, in full color, practically by himself, and with only $7,000. He'd been off the radar for a while, until he came back with last year's hit Spy Kids, which I enjoyed. In the interview he talks about Spy Kids 2, which he did for roughly the same budget (against the studio's wishes). But it's so nice to see him sticking to his indie roots. Even with a budget of $36 million, he still does practically everything himself-- on Spy Kids 2 he's the writer, director, editor, production designer, score composer, camera operator, cinematographer, sound mixer, sound editor, and special effects head. Not only that, but he wrote the script in 5 days, did pre-production in 2 weeks, and shot it in 7. Jesus. So go read it. His thoughts on art and technology are particularly thought-provoking. Besides which, he's one of the fervent proponents of HD.

Also laughed myself silly reading Conan O'Brien's 2000 commencement speech at Harvard, where he graduated. I'm trying to find a link but if you really want to read it drop me an email and I'll send it over.

Saw a French film with Neva and Quark -- Vidocq, starring Gerard Depardieu and directed by Pitof. What is it with one-name directors these days? You've got McG (Charlie's Angels), Tarsem (The Cell), and Kaos (the upcoming Ballistic), and that's just off the top of my head. Anyway, it's fairly good -- there's a brilliant twist at the end that I love, and it's got beautiful production design c/o Marc Caro, who used to be Amelie director Jean-Pierre Jeunet's partner-in-crime (they directed Delicatessen and The City of Lost Children together). Though unfortunately, the production design is the best part of the movie. Decent acting, but the cinematography was a little claustrophobic for my tastes, full of close-ups and wide-angle shots (practically the whole film, actually). But it did have some brilliant shots, and beautiful colors. Good score, too. And a title sequence that looked like it was made by Dave McKean. Now if only I could find a decent copy of Brotherhood of the Wolf...

Quark also showed us his first cut of the new Monsterbot music video, which is, as always, hilarious. It's even got a complete short film in it. :)

Wednesday, August 14, 2002

Well, the 4th Cinemanila Film Festivalends today (at least its run at Greenbelt theaters; there'll be scattered screenings from here on til the end of the month). Which is fine by me, because while it's been fun, it's also sorely depleted my finances and sleep. There's only so many good films you can take within a concentrated period of time before they all start getting mixed up in your memory, a blurry montage making an entirely new film no one could have conceived of.

Myself and the Indiefilipino film staff will be capping the whole Festival with a wrap-up article, where we'll talk about our awards, what we liked about the festival, and what we don't ever want to see happen again.

Meanwhile I hope you check out the page we have up now on Indiefilipino about the Festival, compiling short reviews about the films we saw.