Film critiquing is a curious profession. We all know that it, just as is the case with most activities that writers engage themselves in, is rarely a lucrative undertaking. Far less so for one from a country such as the Philippines, that values honest criticism as much as it does honest politicians (for the most part it doesn’t). This lack of sustainability means that critics in the Philippines are often forced to occupy themselves with a separate endeavor, one that “earns” so as to circumvent the income lost during time wasted in this thankless profession*. For film critic Noel Vera, this profession was banking.
The title of this collection, Critic After Dark, takes off from this idea, painting a picture of Vera as a nocturnal creature, one that retreats from work, finding comfort in the recesses of a dim theater, watching in solitude and documenting his experiences at unholy hours.
(* unless you are a powerful pundit who controls the entertainment section of the most popular newspaper in the country and earn enough on the side from publishing HBO and Cinemax schedules at the end of your column.)