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Readers react

/ 07:45 PM August 19, 2011

Some of our recent pieces have prompted readers to share their thoughts on the pressing arts and entertainment issues of the day: An arts community leader appreciates our reminder that the controversy over “dubious” National Artists remains unresolved.

“The culprits,” he observes, “aren’t so much the presidents who skip the approved selection process, but their avaricious underlings who exploit their ‘presidential’ connections to favor their friends or even themselves with the country’s highest artistic honor. The tragic victims are the legitimate and deserving National Artists, because the award has been irretrievably tarnished.

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“To her credit, the late President Corazon C. Aquino was the only chief executive who didn’t interfere with the selection process to choose her own winners. This gives us hope that her son, President Noynoy Aquino, will be similarly respectful of the prized award.”

Forum

On the other hand, at a recent media forum, we fielded questions about what viewers could do to positively affect and influence the TV shows they get to watch. Our suggestion: Form a TV advocacy group that will watch shows throughout the day and night in shifts, to react in detail to what’s actually being telecast on our video screens that needs to be improved or rationalized.

The findings of this group would then be forwarded to TV stations and the MTRCB for action. We further suggest that trained child psychologists be made a key part of this viewing group, because the welfare of our children is of the utmost importance.

‘Preview’ reviews

A film buff thanks us for our early “preview” reviews of some 2011 Cinemalaya movies, which he says enabled him to catch gems like “Niño” and “Maskara” before the festival ended its run at the CCP earlier this month.

We’re happy to learn that quite a number of the movies did SRO business, enabling their tyro makers to make some of the money they need to produce their follow-up features.

But, indie filmmakers’ financial woes generally remain a problem that has yet to be solved, so we again urge our schools to be more active and supportive in this regard. Only they have the numbers to provide a large enough audience for indie movies for them to turn a profit, and thus become a continuing artistic activity and resource.

On recent or current “controversies”: “The short filmmaker (in more ways than one) who disparaged theater actors shouldn’t have bothered them at all with his ill-advised comments. He’s clearly uninformed and deserves to be left alone—in the dark.”

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And on the “Maskara” brouhaha: “Festival officials are supposed to keep their opinions to themselves, because what’s important is the festival’s collegial view, not theirs. So, erring officers should be chastised.”

Update on film pirates

Finally, after our recent piece on how OMB head Ronnie Ricketts and Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim had successfully cleared the metropolis of film pirates’ stalls, Ricketts called us up to thank us for the appreciative report—and to update us on how the campaign is progressing. The good news is that other cities may soon join the campaign! So, Ron and Mayor Lim, keep up the good work.

On the other hand, our film buff friends report that some pirates aren’t quitting but just lying low, and that others are now peddling the pirated discs on foot, which enables them to penetrate small neighborhoods and side streets. So, the need for sustained vigilance remains!

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TAGS: cinema, Cinemalaya, Film, National Artists
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