PATIS (fish sauce)
We had a rich discussion of this little salty friend of Philippine cuisine in our Komunikasyon class, first talking about how it’s really made. Well it sorta goes through this process: the fish (galunggong or dilis) is mixed with salt. This would be blended in a cement container using a shovel, and then you let it be and wait for molds to appear. Inexplicably, when these molds are present, your fish sauce is ready for the table. It has something to do with the taste.
Then of course is the portion of asking how the “patis” relates to the Filipino. Of course, you would say that the Filipino is no stranger to exotic foods (balut, isaw, bagoong, etc.) or that they are not “maarte” or choosy when it comes to eating, it’s a joyous activity for the Filipino. But being such an effed-up thinker, I related the process of patis-making with the things the Filipino must go through to achieve its identity and freedom. How would the patis be without the molds? How would you gain your own redemption if you don’t experience misery? A set of colonizers blending their cultures with our own and taking control because of their military superiority. But soon enough, the Filipino is left on his own.
In the end though, the Filipino is still on his way… waiting for the molds.
Interviewer: Ingmar, what was your intention with your latest film, Persona?
Bergman: If I’ve really manged to make a film that has sparked a debate, it would be very tactless of me to barge in on that debate and talk about what I really meant by the film. It would be tactless towards the audience, because I’m sure they all have their own interpretations, and tactless towards those commenting on it in the media, who might feel hurt if they found they misinterpreted the film. Therefore I prefer not to say anything at all. I played my part in this debate when I made the film.
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011) vs Ghost in the Shell (1995)
The FJP (I pronounce that like ‘The Wu’) posted Rob G. Wilson and Kirby Ferguson’s “Everything is a Remix: The Matrix” earlier today which shows how much of the iconic imagery of The Matrix was created by aping scenes from the classic 1995 anime Ghost in the Shell.
Also, I just posted a photoset about how the classic Fritz Lang film ‘Metropolis’ actually owed it’s signature look to an earlier Russian film, Aelita.
Similarly, the visually striking title sequence to David Fincher’s ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’ seems to also owe much to the opening credits of Ghost in the Shell when placed alongside each other in the photoset above.
All of this serves to remake Kirby Ferguson’s point with his ‘Everything is a Remix’ series: while established content IP holders like to treat remix as near piracy, mimicry has always existed (good thing) but without attribution (bad thing), especially among Hollywood’s own practitioners.
So let’s move the ball forward. What if instead of considering any of these examples ‘ripoffs’, we treated this imagery (the framing of a shot, the pace of movement) the same way that hip hop treats samples and beats?
If the imagery is effective in conveying a particular thought or emotion, why not allow that as a building block of ‘content’?
FJP: Agreed. Where do we sign up?
“My films are therapy for my debilitating depression. In institutions, people weave baskets. I make films.”
― Woody Allen