Hint twice

Jason said the screening will start at half past six, but it's already half past seven, and nobody has started talking yet. Then again, it's a free screening; the satisfaction those who attended the second Filipino Pictures filmmaking workshop get from seeing their work applauded by audiences and mentors is more than enough. But I had a ride to catch when I finally leave, and it'd be a bummer if I walk the entire length of the Ortigas Center just to find out that I'll have to take a bus. I ended up doing that.

Anyway, I was actually happy to know that the films aren't really that long. Fifteen minutes is the longest, and among the three, Jason's was eleven minutes long. (It's a group effort anyway, but when I started watching his work, entitled Elysium, it felt like Jason was directing it, because I imagined him during our thesis. I was right.) Ideally, everything shouldn't take an hour - although it is some sort of graduation exercise, after all, so the speeches are expected - but the delay's starting to bore me. I've run out of conversation pieces with Jason's cousin, whose name I've already forgotten. Luckily we've grabbed some snacks before we got into the cinema. KFC Snack Box, thank you for being so portable.

I failed to drag other people to the screening. Maybe it was the high Case Unclosed brought. (I wasn't able to watch it because, like many other current affairs programs on the telly, it hits the air so late at night.) Maybe it's because everything was announced at the last minute: I only learned about the screening the night before, so my decision to go was a very impulsive one. At least I wasn't exactly alone, since I was talking to someone. Better yet, I was used to watching films alone, or at least what Sir Doy described as being on the fringes.

I was getting restless inside the cinema. Sure, the set-up inside Robinson's Galleria is pretty vast, and the air conditioning's cooler than expected, but I was already itching to watch a film, hang around a bit, and go home. I was looking to the right, and I was looking to the left. For a moment, I thought someone from another row of seats was looking at me.

And then I realized that person looked familiar, too.

So I stayed there for a few seconds, trying to take a glimpse of who that person is. My view wasn't really that great, however. There were a few more on that row of seats, and to make things worse, one of them obscures that other person's view. But I knew it wasn't a daydream on my side - why would I at this point? - so I continued looking, and then I turned away, realizing the effort is actually futile.

Seconds later, I was looking there again. That figure was so familiar, although I wasn't keen on speculating myself. I turned away as quickly as when I felt that someone was looking at me, too.

It took me a few seconds more before I turned to my left again, but it isn't any clearer. Then again, the program finally began, with the prerequisite "ladies and gentlemen" speech about their origins and their members. The lights went off, and as I watched Elysium fight with me because of its conflicting visuals - split screen, black against white, motion against emotion - it felt like a high school screening, only more on the fringes. Film school, in other words.

The program ended at a little before nine, after another speech revealed what people will soon see on their showbiz talk show. I went out of the cinema, while Jason was talking to his newfound friends from the workshop, as well as a few other people. I stopped at the lobby, looking at the poster for Australia, because I've just written about it a few hours before, slowly piqued about its apparent problems with studio pressure. And to think I'll tell Jason later stuff about experimental films and the independent film "industry" - film school stuff, really.

"Hey, Henrik," an unexpected, yet familiar, voice said behind me.

I turned, and it was an unexpected, yet damn familiar figure, hair down and all, tapping my shoulder and smiling profusely.

"Misha!" I said, genuinely surprised. Conscious of letting my guard down, but what the heck, we somehow had to give each other a hug. And we did.

And your responses...

oh ito yun.

Blogger N.11/16/2008     

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