I WISH I KNEW ALEXIS TIOSECO
We know of many things. But we know about very little.
I know that the tragic end of the life of Filipino-Canadian film critic Alexis Tioseco happened months ago. You’ve probably read every tribute written about him, which accounted his amazing passion for film, his love for his girlfriend Nika Bohinc (who was killed with him), and the wonderful things he did for Philippine cinema.
But it’s never too late to pay respect to someone so worthy of it.
It’s unfortunate that I have to know you in death more than in life, Mr. Tioseco. You’re my second Kurt Cobain (I mourn for him later in life, as I never really got to know him when he’s alive too.) Sadly, I’ll never get to know you more.
But you have stirred in me something that doesn’t stop with your death. I hope my great esteem for you reaches you in heaven.
The first impulse of any good film critic, and to this I think you would agree, must be of love. To be moved enough to want to share their affection for a particular work or to relate their experience so that others may be curious. – Alexis Tioseco
I pay tribute to you now by reposting some of your wishes and sentiments, which you first posted in Rogue along with the heartfelt letter you wrote for your beloved Nika.
⊲ I hope they support filmmakers with finished work to go abroad to festivals for the pride they bring their country—I wish instead they would support their films locally, and help them get seen by larger Filipino audiences.
⊲ I pray for a Senator or Congressman to take the courageous step of drafting a bill to help establish a National Film and Sound archive.
⊲ I pray a city government or even enterprising and concerned theater owners will consider setting aside 50 centavos or a peso of a ticket to go toward the preservation of our national audiovisual heritage. There have been flood taxes siphoned from movie tickets. For crying out loud, this should be easy!
⊲ I wish Cinemalaya which, thanks to the media and government mileage behind it has a great festive excitement, would actually put their efforts in service of Philippine cinema, and not in their own self-involved attempt to start a micro-industry.
⊲ I wish filmmakers would stop listening to Robbie Tan.
⊲ I wish Cinema one, which often produces better films than Cinemalaya, would actually give filmmakers some rights to their work and stop swindling them.
⊲ I wish there were more books on Philippine cinema.
⊲ I wish there were a series of classic screenplays that would get published.
⊲ I wish Cinefilipino would have put out Maalaala Mo Kaya with the reels in the proper order.
⊲ I wish Cinefilipino would have put out their Brocka titles with just a little bit of care and affection, providing some writing on the film or some features, and didn’t just throw them out there to earn.
⊲ I wish Nestor Torre would open his eyes . . .
⊲ I wish the Manunuri books on Philippine cinema in the 70s and 80s would go back in print.
⊲ I wish the Manunuri actually cared about Philippine cinema today.
⊲ I wish the Manunuri actually reviewed films instead of just giving out awards.
⊲ I wish the Young Critics Circle were actually young.
⊲ I wish the Young Critics Circle were actually critics.
⊲ I wish we had a fully supported Film Museum.
⊲ I wish we had a Cinematheque.
⊲ I wish the UP Film Center had better seats and showed good films.
⊲ I wish more non-filmmakers from the Philippines would get to travel to festivals.
⊲ I wish film were taught in high schools.
⊲ I wish we had more regional feature films and more support for regional filmmakers.
⊲ I wish everyone would watch When Timawa Meets Delgado.
⊲ I wish someone would lower MTRCB rates for screenings fees, especially for festivals.
⊲ I wish someone, anyone, would make a good, thought-provoking film about the Philippine upper-class.
⊲ I wish Ketchup Eusebio would get more leading roles.
⊲ I wish filmmakers had some integrity and told Viva to screw themselves when offered another exploitation film.
⊲ I wish more people could see the film Bontoc Eulogy.
⊲ I wish Vic Del Rosario wasn’t presidential advisor on Entertainment, given the shlock they produce, and, yes, that includes the films which starred First-Son Mikey Arroyo.
⊲ I wish Star Cinema would stop . . . just stop.
⊲ I wish there was a film library that people could go to and read books on cinema.
⊲ I wish the MMFF wasn’t handled by the same people who install public urinals (admittedly useful).
⊲ I wish the MMDA didn’t call those circles and boxes Art.
⊲ I wish that MMDA Art wasn’t so much better than every MMFF film.
⊲ I wish Philippine cinema all the success in the world . . .