Cut the MTRCB!

Dino Manrique's picture

I'm mad.

Recently learned from Serbis' screenwriter Bing Lao via text that Serbis will be shown with cuts per "recommendation" of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) (the movie's opening has been moved to the 25th of June). According to this report by ABS-CBN News Online, it found three scenes objectionable in Serbis "namely the pumping scene of lead star Coco Martin with newcomer Mercedes Cabral, and two scenes portraying oral sex." Also, according to the report, the movie's director Brillante Mendoza said the filmmakers were disappointed because while the Cannes Film Festival organizers didn't find anything wrong with the movie, the MTRCB found it unfit for public viewing and gave it an X rating (I guess this is why the movie's French Film Festival screening at the Shangri-La Mall was cancelled.) Mendoza said that the MTRCB should have evaluated the scenes within the story's context.

Well, I recommend that we cut this dinosaur of a government agency if not its censorship powers. The MTRCB is one of the things stunting the growth of our movie industry including the the growth of the Filipino moviegoer. We're still being treated like children! How can you justify letting the rest of the world watch your local work of art uncensored and intact but not your own people? The first Filipino film to make it in the competition category of the Cannes Festival after 24 years and we mess with it?! Absurd. Moronic. The height of stupidity.

But the main reason this news got my goat is that we Filipinos will be viewing a different version to judge and evaluate the movie, which is a very crucial issue here since Serbis had received mixed reviews abroad. How can the Filipinos' judgement and reviews be trusted and/or respected if the very basis for the review has been tinkered with? Bing told me -- also via text -- that it doesn't matter because the "cut scenes do not in any way alter the signified." With due respect to Bing, I disagree, because sometimes you can find the essence of the story in the signifier -- the telling also matters. (I have always been a purist when it comes to film viewing, e.g. the less I know about a movie I'm going to watch, the better; for me, one should start from a vantage point of total ignorance -- tabula rasa as it were. It's the best way you can judge a movie properly.)  

At any rate, according to the article, Director Mendoza, to expedite matters, decided to "tame" the scenes in question. Well, I wish that he had stood his ground. I understand that there are other considerations at stake here like the financial aspect, but I think that we may have missed an opportunity here to effect Change (as Obama would put it). This was the best chance to stand up for the creative rights of all Filipino filmmakers -- Mendoza had the Cannes Film Festival stamp of approval as leverage (heck, even the Philippine Daily Inquirer honored the movie with an editorial). In such a fight, the Filipino people would only be on Mendoza and company's side.

In counting...

Another one bites the dust..

Not a surprise.. Art is often misunderstood by people..

I just wish that Dante shows the FULL version in the near future..

-- Raymund Cruz

Dino Manrique's picture

Yeah, I'm hoping they show

Yeah, I'm hoping they show the Director's cut at the U.P. Film Institute. I was also wondering if we can ask Bing to show us the uncut version. 

Great Idea!

Dino Manrique wrote:

I was also wondering if we can ask Bing to show us the uncut version.

That's a great idea..

Fill in the canon that blasts censorship away!!!

-- Raymund Cruz

Paano mauunawaan ng mga tanga ang sining?

Dear Raymund Cruz at Dino Santos:

Hindi lang dahil NAGKATAON na pinugutan ng MTRCB ang kalamnang ihinain para sa puting tubing...

Kahit noong nag-aaral pa ako sa Diliman ay nangga-gancho na ang MTRCB.

Ikinahihiya ko na sumapi dito ang tangang katambay ko, si Cherry Sy. Kahit hindi siya ang namuno sa kasukalang MTRCB, ay dumedede siya rito, at kahit mabait at pala-ngiti ang kaugalian nitong Cherry Sy ay buong-loob siyang nakilahok sa pag-gagago ng mga Pilipino.

Ang kasagutan ay mahirap. Buo-an ba na lang isusubo ang pelikula sa Internet at lagyan ng nananaguyod na patalastas sa paligid?

Ibong umiiyak


hindi natin malalaman...

hindi natin malalaman ang kabuuan ng isang sining kung walang tangang pumapalibot dito. sa kanila ang gayung eksena kahit di ko man napapanuod, ay naglalarawan lamang ng libog. at kung libog ang tingin nila sa mga ganitong eksena...mahirap umunlad ang nagpipilit at nagsusumikap na magpakita ng totoong buhay ng isang sining. ang tingin nila sa atin ay tagapanuod at tagapakinig habang sila ang may hawak ng gunting mananatiling putul-putol ang sining sa puting tabing!

mabuhay pa rin tayong mga Pilipino...kahit ginunting-gunting!

di pa nakaaalpas,

We can do without MTRCB

Healthy democratic states could boast of the freedom of expression and of speech enjoyed by the people. These freedoms are expressed in the Constitution’s Bill of Rights.

The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board is a Martial Law creation, which has the monopoly of approving films to be screened in commercial cinemas. The appointees of the administration are indebted to the government and would therefore uphold its interests - including favors from religious institutions.

I want the MTRCB abolished, too. Independent review and rating groups could be put up in its place, without the power to censor films. Filipinos are more intelligent than what the MTRCB gives us credit for.

Dino Manrique's picture

Hear, hear. Well-said, Risa

Hear, hear. Well-said, Risa -- yun yata gusto kong sabihin hehe. Welcome to the site! :D