From the recent outbreak of digital movies in the Filipino film industry, I would say that “indie” (short for independent cinema) is slowly becoming a staple for the common Pinoy film fanatic’s appetite. Maybe they’ve just grown tired of the slapstick comedies and teenybopper romances that big film studios in the country produce almost every other month but whatever the reason is, independent cinema is getting tougher and tougher to ignore, not that we want to of course. So is “indie” the new mainstream?
Independent films are so named because they are produced independently by independent filmmakers with their own independent equipment and their own independent budgets. Independently, the growing population of independent film lovers are developing independent opinions about their independent passion. I think that’s enough independence. Yes, we are getting overwhelmed by their massive turnout every year but who can deny the bold and fresh styles of storytelling that’s just so different from the tired old garbage we get from the competition! Not to mention most of them are just soft porn in disguise.
The problem with crowd mentality is that Filipinos are so fond of it. Show them something witty and different and they’ll jump at it like politicians at money. Then everyone would want to be witty and different and when everyone is witty and different, everyone becomes the same. It’s the same thing with fads, that’s why I think they’re useless. We should learn from the independent philosophy. They’re trying to promote not jumping in on the old bandwagon. They’re trying to make a new bandwagon for themselves. It’s okay to be a fan, there’s no shame in admitting admiration but plain imitation is just pathetic and not really flattering. The sad thing is, I think independent filmmaking is becoming more and more of a fad and less of a super cool totally fresh new Filipino art movement. I mean, come on. Let me put it this way, will someone bet against me if I say that in the next twenty indie films that would come out, there wouldn’t be anything about a gay guy coming to age? Anyone?
The storytelling is different but the stories are slowly revealing a pattern like the Hollywood curse. They’re becoming predictable and I especially dislike going to the cinema and getting that all too familiar feeling like I think I’ve seen the movie before. I’m an ass and I don’t have faith in the new breed of independent filmmakers our culture is creating, so make your fantastic egos work and prove this ass wrong. How?