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Close Reads: Vintage Diaz

ON April 21, Lockdown Cinema, a loose organization devoted to raising funds for displaced movie workers, ran a two-hour live streaming of tributes to National Artist Ishmael Bernal’s Himala. Dubbed Gabi ng Himala, it featured, among others, re-enactments of the more memorable scenes of Bernal and screenwriter Ricky Lee. There are hits, and there are misses. More of the latter. Whoever thought of putting in and directing Nadine Ilustre and Marian Rivera to re-interpret Nora Aunor’s Elsa should be made to explain to the schoolmaster why they thought they could tinker with a masterpiece. Ano ba?

The politics of the body

IT’S a pas de deux on air. Two men attracted to each other climb up a silky white cloth mounted on the proscenium’s battens, and they slide and slither until they reach the heights of libidinal pleasures. Lust evolved to love but the commitments that were forged soon teeter on a precipice as they battle the human immunodeficiency virus or HIV now lodged in their bodies.

Faith and Feminism

IT IS 1883, the town is Paete, the cloak of Franciscan friar rule shrouds the town’s christened folks. Father Galiano commissions Mariano, an indio, to sculpt an image of the Virgin Mary — the Dolorosa iteration — for a competition in Amsterdam.

Tokhang and talkbacks

TWO EVENTS transpired on April 16 at the PETA Theater Center in Quezon City. The first was the performance of Mae Paner (a.k.a. Juana Change) of a four-part monodrama written by Maynard Manansala and directed by Ed Lacson. The second was the talkback — a forum that followed after the curtain call where the play’s lone actor, the playwright, informants, and sources of inspiration went up the stage to answer queries from the audience.

Popular culture and political theater

CHAROT” is gay slang, one of the many fluid terms generated by popular lingo, often used as an interjection to express the flimsy nature of a statement and to which the appropriate response should be... charot, or char, its abbreviated expression. The word has permeated popular culture such that in television, radio, and social media, the term is used with impunity.

Interactive theater: Amidst despair, always hope

SHE GLIDES onto the stage, lithe and nimble, and randomly distributes what seem like rectangular flashcards to members of the audience. There are numbers and words written on those cards. She instructs them to hold on to those cards and remember the numbers and words written on them.