Wednesday, March 3, 2010

On Cris Pablo movies

To Lex Bonife:

I know that you are a film writer, sometimes bit actor and definitely you are on top in terms of promoting gay themed movies. By the way, I had seen all your movies and I will have to say that if only gay themed movies were done in the same fashion that your tandem with Mr. Altarejos were, I can say that we are indeed making progress.

Now, for the loaded question. And I am really hoping and expecting that you will not ignore this one. What is your personal opinion of the films/videos that Cris Pablo does? I have seen most, if not all of his videos and I and many of my friends and acquaintances and even those I do not know will say that his films really leave an insult to one's intelligence.

Tell me, is that really his intentions on why he directs/co-produces videos under the Queeriosity project?

Honestly, I go all out in supporting Filipinos who are involved in this advocacy. However, I have yet to meet someone who has genuinely liked a Cris Pablo film aside from having gotten the chance to see naked bodies of young Filipino men who in fact, even if for this criterion alone, his films/videos will still fail miserably because as I have said, it creates such an insult to one's senses.

Lex, I am waiting for your honest reply to this. Thank you.

Johnson Chua


Hi Johnson,

Thank you for supporting the Filipino gay film industry. And thank you for watching the movies that I have written.

And now to your "loaded" question, Cris Pablo, for me, has aesthetics of his own. I enjoyed watching several of his films like "Quick Trip", "Boylets" and "Bath House". Although some of his works were not particularly appealing for me. If you find his films intellectually insulting, by all means you may stop watching all his movies. That is your right as a consumer.

But personally, I will continue to watch his films because I appreciate the way he deconstructs gay relationships and how he pokes fun on our identity and our society through his film language which sometimes borders on absurdity. I like his "devil-may-care" attitude in filmmaking, how he breaks the rules of morality and the glossy standards of filmmaking.

Like a brave gay man who proudly defies standards of morality, Mr. Pablo's films openly break the rules of Hollywood gloss and production values.

I guess, Cris Pablo is just an acquired taste.

Thank you for writing and please continue to support Filipino gay films.



david said...

there are many very good movies being made today and by some really gifted people. however, there are also a lot of films, gay, straight, independent, and even blockbusters that are full of contrived plots that lack any real credibility of characterization.

and so what? why should a filmmaker be compelled to produce only films that are culturally relevant with broad based themes? plenty of well-respected globally successful filmmakers churn out movies that are morally and ethically vacant.

what is relevant is that there are a whole new slew of gay independent filmmakers all over the world who are taking chances by pushing the envelope and they are getting their films made and distributed in many places where that may not have been possible as early as 10 years ago.

movie making is indeed an art and it can function as a lens on how we view the world. it can also serve to educate. still, making movies is a business, a moneymaking venture designed to entertain. if a certain filmmaker’s movies do not appeal to me, i simply do not watch them.

Johnson Chua said...

I do understand what you meant. In fact, it is precisely the same reason why I do keep on watching and buying Cris Pablo's videos. Yes, I do continue to watch his videos. And just like you, I liked Boylets, and to a certain degree, Quicktrip. The rest, talagang hindi lang insult to the intelligence pero aminin man nating lahat o hindi, kasama ka na dun Mr Bonife, it is not the significance of what he is trying to convey to the viewing public at large and to the gay community in specific terms. Kaya nga ako patuloy na nanonood ng videos niya kasi nga naiintindihan ko ang pinaglalaban niya, kung meron man.

The bone of contention to Cris Pablo's films/videos is really a basic question in everybody's mind. Talaga bang sinasadya niya na ang presentation niya nung pelikula, let us say for example, sa acting ng mga artista niya, ganun ba dapat talaga ka mediocre? I mean, yes, I understand, puro bagito, walang dinaanang workshop at kulang sa budget sila, pero yun na yun? Ganon na lang yun talaga? At dahil ganun na yun, hahayaan na natin na makalusot yun?

This is not to patronize you. I am sure you also encountered challenges such as budgetary constraints. But did you agree with the production team to allow mediocrity so as quality can be compromised? Hindi, di ba?

I do not intend to create an issue here nor to foment any fight between pro and anti Cris Pablo fans and critics.

Just as a final comment here. I would like to ask from your readers who may have watched Cris Pablo's films/videos to post their comments on how they actually view his works. Di na bale kung accurate yung lalabas na tally or not. Di naman siguro mga manloloko ang mga mambabasa ng blog mo. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

cris pablo movies r rubbish!!,.not its all gay movies,,,but,,its just simple movie to titillate your mind,if i were him,do a straight gay porn!.showing real sucking,etc,,waste of time and effort,...wait..can i request,,we miss JET ALCANTARA,,.hope to see him more in tv and movies,,he can b a leading man material..pls...and also this parungao,the director...another trash,,,very well in cinemathography,settings,,but still,,rubbish coz he wasting his tym and skills in this gay movies,..wat a lost!he can do decent commercial movies ,perhaps better than the others,..pero kulang daw ng proffesionalism si monti kase pinagsasama nya nag pleasure sa trabaho nga,,,wat a waste!!!we dont need this pipol in phil showbiz,,we need proffesional ones...kuya lex,,..i always open BAKLA REVIEW site at nag oopen me dun ng counter site,bakit yung mga blog dun di na ma open..cant u fix and make it for us,gays,..thnx,.an easy accesible,,halos lahat ng site sa bakla review di na mabuksan,,tsk.

Anonymous said...

there's a good point to what david said. film as an art is really quite subjective. art in general, is really subjective in nature. what may be beautiful for me would appear as thrash to others.

i had seen a few cris pablo videos too. i had seen the videos the hard way because i just downloaded these from the web. not only were the downloading painstakingly long. the downloaded videos also contained a lot of viruses. it's a good thing i have a good anti-virus application.

my observation with regard to pablo's videos is that they seem to be consistent, consistently lacking in form and substance. i mean, if you see one, chances are, you'll see the same in almost all his works.

Anonymous said...

i've seen cris pablo's works in ccp before he made those gay movies and they were good. i still enjoy cris pablo movies because, as someone who truly loves art, and understands art, i see his points in his movies. he has always pointed out that they are not films and that they are video movies, so we can not judge him the way we judge film as art or form. video movies are like what we see on youtube and there are no rules. so if you find that his movies make aesthetic errors, but that is how video movies are. i like the aesthetics of his videos. i like the way he tells his stories. more importantly, because i love high art so much, i also enjoy the way cris pablo movies tell me to relax and stop thinking about it and just enjoy watching. cris pablo knows our secret guilty pleasures. i like duda, bathhouse, quicktrip, boylets and campus crush. i hope you will respect us who like his movies and not think of us as inferior than you. if you don't like his movies, then just don't watch.

Anonymous said...

cris pablo movies are entertaining because they are so campy! guys, i think because he claims to have no budget for his movies like the rest of the gay directors, that he makes movies that are not glossy but funny. yes you may say he is insulting your intelligence but i think that is the point of his works. try to look at his films differently and start to have fun. i think he is trying to play with our gut and not our brains. nowadays that almost any kind of music is available, same goes for films and videos, books and magazines. Cris Pablo has a cult following among those who like camp. Does that not make him an intelligent filmmaker? Remember those television advertisements that we know are purposely cheesy so that the audience will remember the ad? that is how i see cris pablo.

Anonymous said...

hahaha. natawa naman ako dun sa nagcomment na rubbish.ano yun, basura? di naman. pero yes, ako aminin ko na bading ako at siempre, gusto ko makakita ng ratbu sa isang pelikula, di ba? pero tama nga yung sagot ni lex na cris pablo is an acquired taste. kasi talagang nakakaloka siya. buti na lang at 3 for 100 lang ang bili ko sa mcs.

Johnson Chua said...

This is good. You are getting a lot of feedback from your readers on this topic. I just want to make one thing clear. I think I have said this already with my 2nd post. I do not wish to create an issue between Cris Pablo fans and critics.

Isn't it the fact that I do watch and buy his videos already an indication that I do patronize his works? Now if you will all tell me that it is wrong to print in public a patron's thoughts or feelings about somebody's work, whether you would want to call it art or camp,then I will stop.

My point really is that how many videos has Cris Pablo already done? I cannot count anymore. The anonymous guy above who said that he is consistent is quite right. He is consistent in the presentation of his themes and for that I give him credit. It means that he is really into that same manner of relaying his message through his videos.

Now again, if you will say that to wish something good for a film maker (ok, so the term is debatable)in terms of how his work is also being perceived by some other patrons of his work as not necessary and that I as a patron would be better off to not watch his films/videos altogether, if we will total even just 3% of his total patrons, that is still 3% lost supporters. Don't you think so? What if we actually account for 50%, that is to say that one-half of his supporters is better off not buying his videos anymore.

Lex, would you recommend that to your patrons too who just may have something to say of your work?

Anonymous said...

binabasa ko mga comments ng bawat isa. wala naman ako nakita dun sa sinabi ni johnson chua na mas inferior yung ibang tao na gusto ang gawa ni cris pablo. parang over naman ata ang reaction nung anonymous na yun.

ako kasi, nanonood ako nun sa UP yung mga uncut premier ng mga gay movies nun. nakapanood din naman ako sa mga gawa ni cris pablo. personally, di ko rin gusto mga gawa niya though di ko binibigyan ng attention. kung baga dedma lang.