Possible Lovers (Raya Martin, 2010) August 4, 2010Posted by Richard Bolisay in Asian Films, Indie Sine, Noypi, Queer.
Directed by Raya Martin
Music by Teresa Barrozo
Cast: JK Anicoche, Abner Delina
An image can go a long way even under the falsest of pretenses. In the case of Possible Lovers, the long way stretches for ninety-five minutes. It’s a shot of two men on the sofa: one looking at the other and the other sleeping cozily. At some point while watching the film, your eyes start to glaze over. The shot turns into an image. The image becomes clear and present. The image is memorized. The image is memory. Then you scratch your head, look at the door, and wait for walk-outs. You have prepared for this, but “this” sounds pointless, “this” sounds an awful way to spend ninety-five minutes, and “this” is Raya Martin’s film, possibly only to Raya Martin’s consumption. But you’re already here, you had a cup of coffee, you want to write a review. It’s the first time you see the auditorium filled with people, unlike the previous screenings when FullyBooked U-View felt more like a cold cave. You see familiar faces, you see the organizers, you see the filmmaker. You relish the old clip in the beginning, going through it at the back of your mind and wondering how it relates to this self-serving image in front of you. You are impressed by the resourcefulness in finding that footage, the same way the vignettes at the end of Autohystoria left you speechless. In a way you are piqued by the term “long-silent emotions” and angered by such interpretation. “They made movies in 1919,” it says. It shows people crossing the street, cars moving, buildings, trams. You hear people whispering after seeing the streetcars, and you need no confirmation to know what they’re talking about because you ask yourself the same thing. Is it shot in the Philippines? You see Teresa Barrozo in the row behind you. You can’t miss her. She layers the film with a variety of sounds. She’s working on a pattern of noises from running horses to speeding cars. She sets the pace. Her music is the only emotion in the film. You fall asleep. You wake up staring at the same image, literally. You laugh at yourself. You open your phone. You pretend to send someone a message. Don’t fool yourself. There’s no signal here. An hour has passed already. A few people must have left while you were asleep. You look at the screen. Nothing much has changed except the lighting. It’s a little bit brighter. The man is still looking at the sleeping possible lover. Do you care about this movie? When Raya said that he made the film for someone but failed to give him the copy, how is that supposed to affect your viewing? When he said that there’s only one copy of the film, a copy of which he uses every time he screens it, what difference does it make? You yawn. You notice two of the organizers are not in their seats. The one left is still there, holding his specs, eating his dandruff. The image brightens. There seems to be an open window on the gazer’s side where the sun is shining. The sleeping man moves his fingers occasionally. The gazer blinks. You imagine him masturbating, the turning point of the film, if it will ever have any. He continues staring at his possible lover for another ten minutes. Then it goes, “We were two possible lovers—waiting for the film to end.” Credits. So, there’s editing involved. The organizers inform you that due to reservations made after the screening, there will be no time for Q&A. You go out, you browse books, you sit to read. Your mind is elsewhere. You go inside Krispy Kreme, you order some coffee, you try to write. You start with the line, “An image can go a long way even under the falsest of pretenses,” an idea you lift from a TV show. You wish JK Anicoche wins Best Actor for his performance. You finish a paragraph. You post it on your blog the next day and entitle it “Possible Lovers (Raya Martin, 2010)”.