Wishlist: Impossible

In some ways, every wishlist is grounded by a certain degrees of impossibility. By its root word alone, the term “wishlist” already hints at something that is beyond the grasp of the person writing it, made in the hope that by some magical stroke of luck (which, more often than not means a genie will actually appear with a grant of three wishes) will make them come true, no strings attached.

The prevalence of ‘wishlists’ or ‘gift-guides’ on Facebook, Twitter or other blogging platforms say something about the our hopes this Yuletide season. Populated by expensive titles, hard-to-find goods or tough-to-order DIY finds on the Internet that you can actually make yourself in just under an hour (assuming you have the creativity and willpower to do it, something that exists in about 2% of our ADD-riddled population), these lists are only aspirational, meaning they’re good to be put out there but the chances of getting any of them are almost non-existent.

Wishlists are easy to make: they are customizable and they are the exact reflection of the list-maker’s personality. They provide a cursory glance into a person’s perspective whether they’re a materialistic cave dweller or someone who just really wants world peace above anything else, like a true beauconera.

So here’s a wishlist, in its simpliest sense. But getting one of them would mean the world to me.

Liz Lemon, eating her feelings since 1970.

1. Be like Liz Lemon

First: the absence of boobs, or the entire make-up of the female chromosome. Second: 30 Rock’s Liz Lemon is a fictional character. Although loosely based on creator Tina Fey (who, according to Family Guy, is better than Jesus), and her experiences in working at Saturday Night Live, there is still a twinge of hyper-reality that pervades her personality. She is the all out kook: she lords it over a bunch of nerds, has a good, non-sexual working relationship with her boss, and has a persistent eating disorder (read: the compulsion to eat her feelings). But she is what I aspire to be, primarily because she has the unerring capacity to produce stellar work under tough conditions (i.e., nutty cast, misbehaving crew) and ridiculous deadlines.  And she can do all this while still maintaining her wicked sense of humor (the most important thing in the whole world, next to a stash of chocolate bars on your bedside in times of midnight emotional crisis).

Pretties: the Criterion Collection's spines make for a pretty living room display.

2. The first 100 Criterion DVDs

Criterion DVDs have been called ‘film schools in a box’ boasting impeccable designs, high-quality transfers and well-researched scholarly notes. Getting the first 100 Criterion DVDs is a mean feat: some of them are out of print, not to mention expensive. Some of the out of print editions include Jean Renoir’s Grand Illusion (the first Criterion DVD), Jean-Luc Goddard’s Alphaville, John Woo’s The Killer and Paul Verhoeven’s Robocop.

$800 worth of tuning forks: The Ultimate Edition of Bjork's Biophilia

3.  The Ultimate Edition of Bjork’s Biophilia

Sure, Bjork’s latest album Biophilia isn’t the best album of the year but it’s certainly the most ambitious. This musical project (note the term ‘project’) is an intensive study of music and its relationship with the universe. It is partly recorded using an iPad and was released in a series of apps for each of the songs which enhance the listening experience. Biophilia also includes concerts, workshops and new instruments specifically commissioned for the album. The Ultimate Edition boasts a pricetag of $812 (P36,000+) so there goes its impossibility. It includes a lacquered and silk-screened oak hinged case with a beautifully designed, cloth-covered, thread-sewn Biophilia manual and ten chrome-plated tuning forks  adjusted to the tone of each of the album’s tracks and covering a complete octave in a non-conventional scale. I don’t know what that really means but I want it, badly.

Zombies kick big-studio butt: Jade Castro's Zombadings was a big triumph in the box office this year. You can order the DVD online through zombadings.com

4. A discerning local film industry

The triumph of Zombadings 1: Patayin sa Shokot si Remington (out now on DVD) proves that an independently-produced, high quality film can triumph over stale-shoddily produced studio films at the box office. It was a David and Goliath scenario: the film didn’t have big stars as leads but Zombadings stayed in the theaters for more than a month. A few months later, the hopes for better films to go out in the market dwindled again, with films like Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa and Bahay Bata obscured by bigger but dreadfully banal local film releases. Big production studios should realize that audiences can flock to a good film that really has a story worth telling.

In Anatomiya ng Korupsiyon, Maricar Reyes plays Cely , an optimistic lawyer who hopes to get rid of the corruption that plagues the family court she works in.

5. A corruption-free society

Just writing that down made me laugh like a lunatic. But really, hoping for this is like asking God to restructure his blueprint of the universe. I’m exaggerating, of course but it seems that every year, the hopes of getting rid of corruption dwindles. It’s a game of cynicism, one that bears the same provenance as the plight of the central character Cely in Dennis Marasigan’s film Anatomiya ng Korupsiyon. Her awareness of the corruption surrounding her has only fuelled her desire to get rid of it, turning down bribes in her line of work whenever she can. But her case is hopeless: corruption has penetrated every inch of her workplace (a family court) and battling it isn’t as easy, especially when everyone, even your boss, is against you.

But really Santa, all I want for Christmas is a commercial release of Antoinette Jadaone's Six Degrees of Separation From Lilia Cuntapay.

But really Santa, if all of this is too much to ask, all I really want for Christmas really is a commercial release for Six Degrees of Separation From Lilia Cuntapay. Antoinette Jadaone’s mockumentary on local cinema’s “pinakamakasaysayang extra“, Lilia Cuntapay (the old lady who’s typecast as an aswang, witch or white lady) deserves to be seen by every Filipino.

Published on December 17, 2011, The Philippine Star, Special Features (P M1-2)