Dunkirk, Paraluman, etc.


My boss, hip and feisty and German, told me to try visiting this tiny movie theater close to work. “It’s indie,” she said. “You’ll love it.”

Dunkirk + onomatopoeic musings

I watched Dunkirk. Not indie, no, but I only paid 3 bucks. The film’s main character, I believe, is the specter of survival — or am I reaching too far? There should be similar instances in fiction in which a non-character is the character. Ray Bradbury’s “There Will Come Soft Rains” comes to mind because its main character, the entity around which the conflict revolves, is the setting. But I could be wrong. Hmmm. Ay ambot.

El Bimbo

I admit, shamefully, that I’ve never read Adam David’s The El Bimbo Variations until a few weeks ago. It’s a collection of avant-garde poetry with Oulipo influences that feature the Eraserheads — all cool “counterculture” shitbits that I proclaim to love.

David writes different versions of Ang Huling El Bimbo’s first lines, “kamukha mo si Paraluman / n’ung tayo ay bata pa.” I suggest you read the entire thing — brief and funny and overall astig — and here’s a sneak peek if you still need more prodding:

New comics

I just bought a copy of Kristen Radtke’s Imagine Wanting Only This and Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba’s Daytripper. I knew about Daytripper because of Ip the Vertigo Fanboy, but Radtke’s Imagine was an impulse buy. The reviews are on the negative end, unfortunately, but I hope the story is at least tolerable and not agonizingly cheesy. Ang mahal din kasi, sayang.

Pakyu, Zadie

I stumbled upon this 2-part list on The Guardian about writers’ writing advice to other writers (daming write, right?). Not a big fan of rules and tips but I tripped over this line from Zadie Smith, possibly the most harrowing words to have resonated with me this week: “Resign yourself to the lifelong sadness that comes from never being satisfied.”

Hayayayay buhay. #

The featured image is a photo of Paraluman taken from Blast from the Past.


    1. Jolens

      Good point, Doc! Actually, Paraluman was just the actress’ screen name based on the Filipino word for “muse”, so you’re also right. I just assumed that the Eheads was referring to the actress because of how Ely constructed the sentence. “Kamukha mo SI Paraluman” implies that the subject must be a proper noun, as opposed to “kamukha mo ANG paraluman.”

      I even had troubles picturing how the girl in the song looked like. I only had Grace Kelly-esque images of Paraluman in mind, and it’s pretty odd for a young girl to have the body of a 7-year old but the face of an older 50’s actress. Haha. So sa basa ko, OA lang ‘yung persona ng kanta; “kamukha mo si Paraluman” was simply a hyperbolic device and was not meant to be taken literally.

      At talagang hinimay ko ang linya ‘no? Hahaha. Wala lang, share lang. 😂

      Liked by 3 people

  1. nerithenomad

    Waaah! I have both books 🙂 I actually wrote about Daytripper on the blog before (In sum — I liked it). Radtke’s was positively received (I thought, at least by The Atlantic 🙂 ) But I think I need a second reading to appreciate. Her problems sounded like non-problems to me. Let me know how you like both!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jolens

      I just finished Daytripper! Good stuff — interesting and evocative — although not particularly well-written, I think.


      I cried over one of the deaths, haaay, so the story moved me in a way. I just couldn’t get past the trite sentences and the preachy vibe towards the end (I didn’t like the “life is like this” and “people are like this” bullshisms haha).

      I’m onto Radtke next. I actually bought the book just because I realized that I haven’t read a lot of comic books written by women. I like to believe I’m an equal-opportunity reader so I grabbed it even though I knew jack about the book or Radtke herself haha.

      You love comics? Maybe you have some titles to recommend, shoot ’em my way! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. nerithenomad

        Haha, I guess you have a point.
        Yes, I do! 🙂 If you’re interested in women writers here are a few of my faves:
        1. Fun Home – Alison Bechdel
        2. Persepolis – Marjane Satrapi
        3. anything Lynda Barry 🙂 (American, but her Pinay mom sometimes features in her work)
        I don’t know of any Pinay graphic novel writer though.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Jolens

      Parang gan’on nga ang meaning ng “paraluman”, though sa pagkakaalam ko ay specifically related ito sa mga musang nakabibighani ang ganda at nag-iinspire ng artistic expression. Parang si Marie-Therese Walter kay Pablo Picasso o si Pattie Boyd kina George Harrison at Eric Clapton, haha.

      At true ‘yan, ganda nga ni Manay Paraluman. Gandang Gloria Romero noong kapanahunan nila hahaha.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. bessclef

    Akala ko si Gloria Romero nung kabataan nya. Ginoogle ko talaga. Kaya pala mestiza kasi may lahing Aleman si girl. TIL.

    I watched Dunkirk and I loved it. I love that it wasn’t indulgent in its images of war, wasn’t trying too hard to evoke an emotion (Siguro kaya may emotional restraint kasi British). And I love how I sympathized with some of the characters and loathed them in the next scene and back to sympathizing, as in Cillian Murphy’s and Harry Styles’ characters. I’m sure those soldiers IRL had to do what they had to do.

    I feel for these guys who were mostly just past their adolescence when the war broke out. Overall, it’s a proper war film and it may actually age well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jolens

      I liked Dunkirk too. I love that it’s short, hehe, so walang cheesy monologues on the realities of war keme-keme.

      I might have to watch it again for a proper assessment though. But offhand, just basing on how I felt after watching the film — besh, naiyak ako! Mag-isa! Sa sinehan! Hahahuhu.

      Liked by 1 person

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