July 21, 2004

DVD pirates, Quiapo and Art films gone loco!

I am really not that fond of artfilms at first because of the lack of exposure and the availability of materials in local video rental shops. It's true! Go to any decent video shop and ask if they have, let's say, Amelie, most of the time, they would only shake their heads faster than a tree shedding it's leaves in autumn. It was the Hollywood schlok that ruled the nest. Even during the vcd era, there were not a lot of artflicks other than the asian horror genre.  Back then, it was what? Ringu, the Phone, Pang Brother's The Eye. But that was it.  It was only after I got hooked on dvds that I learned to appreciate artfilms as a whole. The first film i bought was Cuaron’s “Y Tu Mama Tambien", followed by “Crime of Padre Amaro", and the rest was, well, history. The amount and type of dvd artfilms available depends on what the quiapo bootlegged dvd market supplies. There, you can buy any artfilm for P65-70, which is also the price of watching a hollywood film in, let’s say, Robinson’s mall. If you go there, just ask for the foreign films. They would say, “boss, poren? poren?” Because foreign films are hard to come by, supply for it is small even if the demand is huge, so a full supply of pasolini’s “Decameron” dvd now will be no more in less than a week. I vascillated, so I wasn’t able to get a copy. damn. I mean, if you want to go treasure hunting for artfilms & classics, quiapo is the place to be. It’s what people in internet threads call “the dvd lair", so most probably you’ve gone there too. =)
A week ago, i went to Quiapo (Ahhh... that veritable ghetto for everything illegal) and bought criterion collection’s “Seven Samurai", “L’Appartement” and even the disgusting “Salo.” Talk about luck. and you won’t find any originals in Astrovision or Odyssey. So, who says we must not to patronize piracy when in fact there are no original counterparts for artfilms being sold in legitimate stores? And besides, though I don’t advocate pirating Philippine films, piracy of arthouse films brings movie appreciation to a higher level wherein the masa can now appreciate reading subtitles. And besides, collecting these films is a good way of building my own filmlibrary or archive since the pirated dvd copies are quite good and the quality seldoms depreciate over time unlike vhs or vcd. Suddenly a thought of guilt ran through my brain, but thankfully, looking all those neatly stacked up dvds pushed that thought away. What a relief! Long live DVD piracy in the Philippines!!

1 comment:

DarkSoul said...

a friend from UP recommended Amelie to me about a year ago... i had a hard time looking for the title... the people at the counters of their respective video stores just look dumbfounded everytime i mention the title...

"Ame WHa??? o_0"

after a few days hunt.. i found a copy at videocity.. it was the only one of its title.

amidst the few days frustration...

i finally got to enjoy the film.