Our July 17 to 23 Issue
New Essays on Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides, Cinemalaya 2011, Harry Potter, my works as an amateur photographer
Videos: Laurice Guillen’s Maskara, Quark Henares’ Rakenrol, John Sayles’ Amigo, J. Geils Band, Tanya Markova
Artists of the Week: JoAnne Lorenzana, Chad Borja, Big Country
Jack Sparrow Will Live Forever
Jack Sparrow hunted down the man who was pretending to be him. That of course is Johnny Depp, the real McCoy that is, and this is the story of Pirates of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. The impostor, who was recruiting a crew to find the fabled Fountain of Youth, was actually his ex-girlfriend Angelica (Penelope Cruz) – who turns out to be the long-lost daughter of the legendary pirate Blackbeard.
Jack has the map, but it has been stolen by his friend Gibbs (Kevin McNally), who was forced by the British to act as guide for the competing expedition led by their mutual friend Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush).
To make things more fun, the Spanish Crown also launched an armada to find the Fountain.
Jack was taken by Angelica as a prisoner in Blackbeard’s ship, where he met the young missionary Philip (Sam Claflin), also a prisoner, and his sidekick Scrum (Stephen Graham), a clueless crew. Jack staged a mutiny that was foiled by Blackbeard himself, with his telekinetic sword that literally moves anything on the ship.
The mutineers were snared by the ship’s ropes as Blackbeard (Ian McShane) brandished his sword, and the sight of them hanging over the ship, like insects caught in a gigantic web, was totally macabre.
They arrived at the island sailors fear, White Cap Bay, and set trap for the mermaids, whose tears are crucial to make the ritual of immortality work – but the mermaids attacked them like the vampires in Van Helsing.
One mermaid, Syrena, (Astrid Berges-Frisbey), who saved Philip from the burning lighthouse, was trapped by the rubble and was captured.
The next day, Blackbeard took Jack’s magic compass and forced him to jump from the cliff to the river a mile below, while the rest took a longer route, to save time. “You know the feeling you get when standing in a high place, the sudden urge to jump?” he asked. “I don’t have it.”
To attain immorality, you have to drink the water from the Fountain of Youth from a special goblet. But there’s more to the legend than a dip and a swig. Here’s how a technical support representative would direct you, over the phone from halfway across the globe and the script in his computer screen:
Okay, do you have the magic twin goblets with you? Perfect. Now, fill them both with water from the Fountain. Then take the teardrop from a mermaid and pour it in one of the cups. Next, you would need two people. The First Drinker would get the one with the teardrop, and he will get the years that is allotted for the lifetime of the Second Drinker – who will die. Is there anything else I may help you with? Thank you for calling …
Jack found the haunted ship of the pirate Ponce De Leon, a giant wreck stranded on the edge of a mountain, where the goblets lay. Jack saw Ponce De Leon’s corpse in the captain’s quarters, the entire room screaming with untold treasures – and Barbossa was there, waiting for him.
Apparently the Spaniards beat them to it, so Jack and Barbossa went to their camp. They were caught and they escaped, carrying the goblets. The deal was: Jack gets the cups and finds the Fountain – and Barbossa would get Blackbeard.
Jack met up with Blackbeard’s party. Angelica, with Jack’s sword on her throat, smiles, “How is it we never meet without you pointing something at me?”
In the cave that led to the Fountain, Angelica said, “I’m starting to think you don’t know where you are going!” To which our fascinating rascal hero replied, “It’s not the destination so much as the journey!” Snarky snarky!
The Fountain of Youth witnessed the confrontation between Blackbeard and Barbossa – the one-legged man (whose stump doubles as a whiskey bottle) who was foretold as the one who would kill the almost mythical buccaneer.
The Spaniards arrived at that Beat It moment, and like what they did to the ancient civilizations of the Mayans and the Aztecs, they started to destroy the “pagan” shrine – throwing the goblets in a deep pool where it sank to the bottom.
In the climax fight scene, Barbossa fatally wounds Blackbeard and Angelica with his sword laced with poison. Syrena, who was freed by Philip before he died, surfaced and gave Jack the goblets. “I cannot save you both,” he told Blackbeard and Angelica. “One of you must sacrifice.” Blackbeard grabbed the one with mermaid tears.
But the ritual was wrong. Blackbeard dies and the years he has lived went to Angelica. Whoever possesses his sword will be the master and commander of his ship – and that was Barbossa’s agenda all along.
The Fountain shall test your character, counseled Jack’s dad Edward Teague (Keith Richards), who vanished while they were in the Captain’s Daughter tavern. Jack let go of the chance to become an immortal to save lives, saying it’s better to feel your entire being fully alive at the promises of what life has to offer, to the possibilities of whatever happens next.
Besides, “Who’s to say I won’t live forever?” he told Gibbs later. “But, you know what? It’s a pirate’s life for me, savvy?”
I was at the Cultural Center of the Philippines last Friday for the opening of Cinemalaya 2011, the highly anticipated annual film festival of independent movies and short films.
It was one of my rest days from work and my only free time for movies. Screening starts on July 15th and ends on the 24th.
More than a dozen films, but gosh darn it, there’s only one movie on the first day, Maskara by Laurice Guillen, and it won’t be shown until late afternoon, and I was there morning.
I know what I want to watch, and those include the closing film Rakenrol by Quark Henares, with Diether Ocampo and Jason Abalos.
The lobby of the main Theater was just being decorated for the event. See the photos I took. I posted the schedule on my Facebook Wall, sharing it from filmmaker Pepe Diokno’s FB Notes (looks up), sorry … should have checked, my bad. I know, right?
To maximize my only movie day, and to show my support for Filipino films, I went to SM Manila to watch Amigo, John Sayles’ indie film about the Philippine-American War starring Joel Torre, but it wasn’t there. Oh!
Hail To Harry!
The Harry Potter saga is ending, no…! The second part of the final episode, Deathly Hollows, is now showing in all – and I mean all – Philippine theaters. I’ll watch it probably next week, hate crowds, and blog about it, something magical.
We’ve all seen the boy wizard and his friends grow up and become part of our lives and pop culture history, and they are leaving a void and a legacy – one of the most successful films of all time that will set the standard for how books should be adopted for the screen, and how sequels should be better than its predecessors.
The magic that JK Rowling gave us will never be forgotten and will continue to enchant future generations. Watch this special Harry Potter tribute video streamed from Time.com, here on 2Rivers.
There’s a photographer hiding inside myself. On the outside, I don’t have a high-def, multi-megapixel camera, but I love taking pictures.
I just uploaded, finally found the time, photos I took of Market! Market!, the Makati skyline from the Robinson’s Summit, the bayside behind the Mall of Asia and another set of MOA pics at the bridgeway.
The latest is the Philippine flag installation art at the Ayala Triangle last Thursday, where I saw BJ, a dancer and a good friend from way back. Small world, so nice. Picture! Picture!
Artists of the Week: