This class from University of the Philippines interviewed me:

>  Questions:
>1. How did you get started in this career?

I walked into the Manila Chronicle editorial office, turned in an article to Celine Cristobal, daughter of Adrian Cristobal and then lifestyle editor of the Chronicle. I called two weeks later to check if they printed it and found out they used it the very next day.  Been working steadily, more or less, ever since.

>2. What was the first films you reviewed?

Forrest Gump. I thought it was awful.

>3. What does your job entail?

Long hours writing, small pay, abuse from many readers, disdain and anger of the local film industry.  Some friends, but very few--you daren't trust anyone from the industry.

>4. How do you deal with other critics or readers who
>disagree with your opinions regarding a film?

Not much. If I chat with him/her in person or online, we may talk about our differences. If he/she is a good friend, I'll needle him about his liking a film I didn't like, or defend a film I liked.  But if we don't know each other I'm very polite.

>5. What film did you give the most favorable review?

Um--Mario O'Hara's Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos.

>6. Do your reviews get influenced if the director or
>actor in the film is a friend?

I can't pretend it doesn't.  What happens--or at least what I hope happens is that I do still tell the truth, I tell it as it is, but I don't use my knives, so to speak--I'm not as sarcastic.  Once I had to write about Nick Deocampo's "Pedrong Palad." I remember saying it wasn't a very good film, but that he was working under straightened circumstances. He admitted I was kind to the picture.

>7. What basis do you use to critique a film?

Everything I know, everything I can learn about the picture.

>8. Do other critics use the same guidelines?

I wouldn't know, I don't know how other critics work.

>9. How many films a week do you watch?

Onscreen, maybe once a week.  On cable and DVD, maybe one every other day, or five times a week. During a festival, as much as four to ten films a day. (con't)


valana said...

correction pls. your article on forrest gump was in a pile of other articles when i came in as editor. i was intrigued because of the seemingly defiant take against the mainstream assessment of the film. the former editor didn't want to publish it but i thought i'd test the waters being the new editor and all. plus i've never been a mainstreamer when it comes to publishing. then we met when you were informed you had a check. always good to get our histories right. :) -- celina

Noel Vera said...

God, two years after the fact--if you ever read this, and I'll try get in touch with you, thanks for the correction.