Touching the Untouchable

Where's my rubber ducky?

Masterpieces are not single and solitary births; they are the outcome of many years of thinking in common, of thinking by the body of the people, so that the experience of the mass is behind the single voice. - Virginia Woolf

Third world art is tough for critics to criticize. Next Attraction is so clever with its guard to criticisms. Next Attraction is really good in terms of improvisation. It also receives a special recognition in the recently concluded 10th Cinemanila. It is quite predictable though. I think that is the entire idea of it. As long as you have no budget, you have a weird concept; they will be praised as the new artists.

Next Attraction is about making a film. They have a steady camera recording the behind the scenes of a certain short film. Apparently, there’s a progression within those steady shots. We get the details of what the short film is all about. It is about a guy (Coco Martin) being reprimanded by her mother (Jacklyn Jose) for an act he committed. You can hear the dialogues but it is an art film so you expect something more profound. Instead you get to see a steady shot of the cameraman shooting the scene and the supposed to be director of the film. After fifty minutes of more or less fifteen long takes of behind the scenes, the film shooting packs up. The second part of the film is the short film which is roughly ten or fifteen minutes long.

Actually, the film has achieved many of its supposed goals. Next Attraction has a different perspective with its use of the strategic anticipation within the story. Nonetheless, the audience did acquire much anticipation. It is quite easy to understand the very concept of it all why they shot the film like that. It has inputs in making a radical approach in film making. The film doesn’t tolerate clichés or any form of 'hackneyism'.

To be honest, the film experience is like; I was brought into a different planet and literally got back without any trace of libido. I could have purchased Viagra afterwards. I know this might be my personal opinion on this film but it seems to be as important as how I objectively evaluate films in general. I am no robot. I could easily give four or even five stars with all those deleted scenes. But it is still a film. The film’s ‘in your face’ attitude is quite disturbing. Like “Oh we don’t have the money, and this is our film”, is a bit puzzling to be of good practice. To show some form of appreciation, the film has its defenders for what they have done and I am just not that enthusiastic about it. Anyway, Raya Martin is merely trying without expecting people to actually realize what his goal was in the first place.

Next Attraction is too safe for my opinion to be made by an artist who makes risks. It is quite easy to perceive art films that really have the edge to be noticed. Next Attraction will get the attention it ought to have. But I’m a bit confused as to why the film is shot in digital format, while the short film is with the use of film stock? Is he not too confident enough to stash some cash for a film stock for all the behind the scenes? If it is of equal importance, why did he shoot it in two different medium? Actually, I watch DVDs with bonus features. It’s pretty much this movie.

Charlie Koon's Rating:
Next Attraction is the second installment of the Box Office Trilogy. First installment is Now Showing. It also receives an X Rating (together with Melancholia and Imburnal) before it is shown in the Cinemanila 2008 Festival after the director made an appeal to the MTRCB.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

its X rated because it lacks occurrence. and besides, there's nothing to rate anyway. they just put an X mark on it. haha

- someone who've seen this crap

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