Sunday, March 8, 2009

To Bare or Not To Bare



Hi Sir Lex,



I'm one of your avid fans and I enjoy all your movies. Now that the Indie Film industry is booming in the Philippines and most of the Indie Films are about gays, I was wondering if I could ask some of your views.



Some Pinoy gay blogs post the promo pictures of gay Indie Films, and majority of the films have frontal nudity. There are various replies regarding this issue, some feel that it is nice and (adds) enjoy(ment for the moviegoers), while some say, and i quote, that the guys are being exploited do to nudity to make the gay market more enthusiastic about the movie.



I believe that if the story really does need the nudity, why not, and I don't want to be a hypocrite to say that I don't enjoy seeing that also. But I believe that the film is sometimes being watched because of the nudity, at parang hindi nakikita ng iba ang value ng film at ang pinakastorya nya.



What do you think about this issue? I know that you have been able to experience this on your movies. I enjoyed watching all your movies, but some people like the movie less kung wala syang frontal, for example, Kambyo, which I really enjoyed since it was a light and fun film about true friendship and being happy and gay people. But since the movie did not have frontals in it unlike your previous movies such as Antonio, which was also nice, many were not so thrilled about it, as a writer, what can you say about the gay indie Film industry, especially now that as you blogged, the people are planning to hold the first queeriosity film fest. Is frontal nudity important in a film to be successful, and how important is it?



Hope you'll gladly answer my questions, being a respected person in this industry, your opinion means a lot.

Mike

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Dear Mike,

Allow me to address the issues you raised one bye one.

Exploitation is a relative term. I know many men who would willingly bare in front of the camera even without any talent fee just because they enjoy the feeling of being appreciated sexually with their images on stills or moving pictures. Hence, money and poverty are not the only factors when we judge the idea of "baring on screen". Check out different social networking sites, you would see a significant number of individuals baring their bodies in front of the public. And they are never paid for such. For this reason, to simply dismiss "baring onscreen" as just a form of exploitation is plainly ignorant.

To me, every human being has the right to enjoy their sexuality even if it entails watching a movie and masturbating along with the film as long as no minors are employed in the production of the film and no adult has been forced perform something beyond his free will.

With this fact in mind, there is nothing wrong in producing a film for the purpose of sexual gratification for its audience. As long as these materials are clearly marketed as a product of adult entertainment, then no one should be misled on what kind of film it will be.

For all these people who have issues on "sexy films" and "gay adult entertainment", they should be smart enough to acknowledge that no one is forcing them to watch these films. Why should they even take the effort of criticizing it when they can just ignore it? Certainly, there is nothing wrong with these kinds of products. And what could actually be wrong is the way they understand things in this world.

Thanks Mike,

Lex

1 comment:

line of flight said...

lex,

as a teenager once, when XY magazine first came out (is it still around?), it was my only access to young urban gay images of eroticism and sexuality (that wasn't hardcore porn) that I could buy at a bookstore and not have to hide very carefully.

it definitely had an exploitative element to it especially because it wasn't the young poor rural kids that shared copies of it with each other that could create the money-backed demand for it. it was the exploitative dirty old men that were rich that could afford to buy their own copies each of this $7 magazine and provide enough real demand (in terms of $$$) to provide images of boys (then) my age making out with each other in the school bathroom or in the gym or holding hands in the park.

laura maria agustin wrote a great book, sex at the margins, about sex workers and how middle-class morality creates an "industry of rescue" rescuing sex workers (from themselves?) which deprives sex workers of any agency in their participation in sex industry and seemingly only validates middle-class rescuers narcissistic sense of righteousness.

i think in terms of exploitation, having kenji garcia go down on josh ivan morales (or at least stroke him) has much less cost socially as compared to the benefits than prostitution in general. (this is simply a evaluative judgment about the social costs of sex-in-film and prostitution and is evaluated from the varied costs society places on different forms of sexual experience and says nothing about either of these things morally)