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On Praise Writing December 14, 2009

Posted by Richard Bolisay in Noypi.

I will keep this short and sweet. This has nothing to do with Brillante Mendoza or his films. This has something to do with the birth of this type of writing after his win at the Cannes Film Festival. While the feat is indeed praiseworthy, some of our writers’ idea of praise writing always hinges on comparison, which is never bad if the intent is considerably reasonable, but more often than not it only shows how this writing cannot survive without name-dropping—specifically without mentioning the names of Ang Lee, Quentin Tarantino, and Jane Campion. The emphasis on winning against Hollywood directors is always a big deal. Who the hell are Michael Haneke, Jacques Audiard, and Marco Bellochio anyway? Why should they care to mention Park Chan-wook if Ang Lee’s already there? If you beat Tarantino, could you really claim beating the entire world of cool filmmakers? These articles, instead of succeeding to flatter, only reveal the cloudy minds of their writers—how they intend to boast, how their being proud translates into insipid writing—their tone hopelessly giving them away. Granted, in the name of Filipino pride, it’s for the sake of acknowledging our fellow countryman; but I wonder, how could these writers write without realizing that they are in no way different from their own disgusting President who only gives recognition after the foreign people gave it? Is late always better than never? Or is late always an excuse for lack of initiative and sound judgment? Can’t they write without licking some foreign shit to prove their point? Can’t they write without resorting to incessant film-dropping and name-dropping just to prove how cool their subject is, and consequently, how cool they want to project themselves? Because really, they are only exposing how empty those praises are, and exposing how the culture of the irresponsible is all over in print.



1. Oggs Cruz - December 14, 2009

Philippine Star? I read that article while taking a dump, hehe.

2. dodo dayao - December 14, 2009

“The emphasis on winning against Hollywood directors is always a big deal” – – -the way we kiss the ground Hollyood walks on is sickening to say the least and it doesn’t really end with cinema: kahit sa komiks, teatro (ang galing ni Lea nanalo siya ng Tony!) at musika, gagaling ka lang ‘pag may approval ng puti, specifically Amerikano.

Doesn’t asserting your cool by name-dropping (in the context of the last Cannes) only Ang Lee, Pedro Almodovar, Jane Campion and Tarantino defeat the purpose? And doesn’t asserting your cool go against the very notion of . . .um,cool? (Not quoting the Star article as I haven’t read it but something else I’m sure you and Oggs remember.)

3. john paul - December 14, 2009

but, aren’t you also guilty of this?

4. Oggs Cruz - December 15, 2009

Why be guilty of praising something you personally think is praise-worthy? Be guilty if you’re praising something because somebody deemed it praise-worthy. That’s plain dishonesty.

5. toynbeeconvector - December 15, 2009

Oh Chard. I agree with Oggs. Praise the things you love and for Pete’s sake, let’s not use the white ruler as our only standard.

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