The Melancholy Scarecrow Introduces Himself August 6, 2010Posted by Richard Bolisay in Whatever.
So, three years. Almost. I have been writing here for quite sometime and I haven’t introduced myself to you yet. Not that I need to, of course. Who cares about the writer? Sometimes it’s better to be with someone whom you know nothing much about. You talk about things you know, things you don’t know, things you would want to know. You talk about nothing, which, upon reflection, is the only thing you share together. The very few of you who visit here occasionally, I know all of you. I see you. I thank you. Forgive the mush. I’m in the mood for love. And I hope you are too. There is privacy in my writing that I wish to break, though I guess it spills, whether I like it not, every time I grab a pen and write. For posterity’s sake, allow me to post this daydream. Sweet dreams are made of this.
An introduction to an introduction is the hardest to write, but no way should it forget first and foremost the owner of its voice—its name.
I am Richard Bolisay, 22, and I have lived in Manila long enough to bear it. I spent six years in college, which is not a feat to be proud of, but I am proud of it anyway. It took me two years in Landscape Architecture to realize that designing was not what I wanted to do, though by the time I shifted to Film I strangely had the same feeling. I entered school very young, so as much as I was given the liberty to pick which course to take, it’s not as if I really knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life after school.
A film degree is not something that any parent would be happy about. It’s expensive. It doesn’t guarantee a job that pays well. Anyone can be in it. My parents were supportive, at least, but by the time I was in school I could feel the pressure of being depended on, of making the right decision, of getting a job right away. With my thesis the only thing left to finish—and by thesis it meant almost a hundred thousand worth of budget to shoot a short film—and with the prospect of money, I tried working for a call center. Tried because I only stayed there for two months. Next I tried writing for an outsourcing company, which specialized on web content services and email support. Again, tried because I only managed to keep my head above water for three months. By then I was already was in my fifth year, and my ears were bleeding complaints and frustration. I never thought my need to save money for my thesis would lead me to an asylum. That was—if my memory serves me right—in 2007.
I love movies, and my love for them dragged me into Alliance Française de Manille. I have always felt an affinity with the French, not out of middle-class and self-serving reasons, but with the way their films are constructed, delivered, and designed. I admire their filmmakers’ individuality, copping out on the drama to make way for startling—and in some cases, bewildering—stories. I like films that have a way of disappointing me, that put me in a pensive mood, though honestly, even Transformers or Shutter Island can put me in a pensive mood. European movies do that boring trick very well. On the other hand, Hollywood enjoys noise and melodrama, which I find amusing at times (think Slumdog Millionaire or Wanted). But when you discover Quiapo Cinematheque and Torrent, you will realize how backward Hollywood has been in the last few years, and how Asian films—including our own local cinema—can build better mood and atmosphere using only half of the budget they have. That’s too much babbling, I guess; after all, what I’ve been meaning to say is that I worked as a librarian of Alliance Française for three years. I saved enough money to finish my thesis and graduate in 2008. I wrote a lot of articles after that—some crap, some serious, some seriously crap—considering the hours of idle time in the library. I exposed myself to some fair amount of art exhibits and works of foreign artists, but the language failed to grab my tongue, so to speak. I left Alliance a little heavy with warm memories, but I look forward to warmer ones.
Films, books, music: next to my family, my love for them has no order. I write about them whenever I find time. Words can be endless and incoherent when talking about them. In the years that followed after my graduation, I realize filmmaking is not for me yet, and the small community I belong to needs more writers, more humorists, and less crap. I am both a staunch supporter and harsh reviewer of Philippine cinema. I would like to see myself doing the same thing decades from now, but with more money I hope. As for music, I would always be on the lookout for new artists. Rapidshare, Megaupload, and Mediafire are great friends. They never fail to provide. For countless nights, I imagine attending SXSW, Coachella, or Pitchfork Music Festival; bleeding at the sight of The National, Radiohead, and Phoenix; and crying after the set of Sufjan Stevens or Panda Bear. Damn it, I’m still a hipster. Being hip never dies. It starts to rain and I cover my head with the book I carry. Books are forever.
I guess that’s all there is to tell about myself. I get carried away daydreaming at times.
See, it’s just short. Nothing much to tell, really.