WALEY: “Awed. Stunned. Mollified. Why was Jerrold Tarog’s acclaimed film BLISS gi­ven an X rating by the MTRCB?

WHY???

“Are we back to the Age of slaying dragons and mounting crusades? Where are all the bastions of cinematic freedom?

“This is… so depr­es­sing. And completely disheartening.”

Ito ang shout out ni Direk Joey Reyes sa social media nang mapa­balitang Rated X ang Bliss, ang bagong pelikula ng award-winning director Jerrold Tarog after Heneral Luna.

Bliss won for Miss Iza Calzado a Best Performer Award.

Totoo na IT WILL BE SO UNFORTUNATE & SUCH A WASTE IF A FILM THAT EARNED RAVE REVIEWS AND INTERNATIONAL HONORS IN THE OSAKA ASIAN FESTIVAL WON’T BE ALLOWED TO BE SCREENED TO THE FILIPINOS IN ITS INTEGRAL VERSION.

Nabulabog ang film community sa nangyari forcing the feisty ­Moira Lang to post this sa FB, “Naku. Ano na namang kahibangan ito? Dala­wang linggo pa lang nu’ng bigyan ng hindi makatarungang R18 ang 2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten.

“Ngayon, ito. Bliss, the new movie by Jerrold Tarog, is rated X by the MTRCB.

“Ibig sabihin, BANNED from ­public exhibition. I trust that the producers will appeal this decision and hope that the second review panel will rate it diffe­rently.

“Kung may magandang kahihinatnan ito, sana ito: 1) lalong dumami ang ma-curious sa Bliss at abangan ito sa mga sinehan. “At 2) magkaisa at ­mag-organisa na sa wakas ang watak-watak na filmmakers ng Pilipinas laban sa tyranny ng conservatism at lalo na ng oligarchic system that keeps Philippine cinema from moving forward.”

Ano ba ang rason kung bakit na-e-X ang isang pelikula?

To paraphrase loosely the MTRCB rules:

a. the film as a whole appeals to prurient inte­rests and satisfies craving for sex/violence

b. has scenes with explicit sex or sexual acti­vity, as well as excretory functions

c. attack against a race, creed or religion

d. condones/encou­rages use of illegal drugs

e. undermines faith in the government

f. condones/glorifies crimes

g. libelous/defamatory to the good name and reputation of a living/dead person

h. might be subject to the subjudice rule

Ang tatlong tao na nag-review ay sina ­Roland Tolentino ng Manunuri ng Pelikulang ­Pilipino, Robert Arevalo at bagong member na si Pammy Macasaet.

Si Roland ay nagsabing ang pelikula ay “pushing the envelope of sex acts sa Philippine cinema. Intelligent but highly prone to controversy.”

Sabi ni Robert Are­valo kay Jerrold, he didn’t find the film offensive at all. Sabi niya lang, “Too violent and too much profane language.”

Hindi pa namin nakukuha ang paliwanag ni Pammy pero heto ang nakuha ni Direk Jerrold sa committee members, “Basically, takot ‘yung panel and they wanted to defer to a five-­member appeal panel for a decision.

“That’s the gist of it. They didn’t want the res­ponsibility kahit di naman sila na-offend sa film.”

Sabi ng guru sa indie filmmaking na si Atty. Joji Alonzo, “I saw the movie, Noel. My take is an R16.

“They have given that same rating to foreign films that have shown more skin ang even pumping scenes. Bliss is tame compared to that.”

Saan hahantong ang isyung ito?

***

HAVEY: Maging si Gian Magdangal na based sa Hong Kong ay nakapunta sa Japan para mapanood ang Bliss.

Heto ang sabi niya about the movie, “In my opinion, after watching: The film is an eye o­p­ening experience in seeing the real truth of what is happening to Filipinos because of poverty, lack of education, abuse and exploitation.

“Iza Calzado’s role in the movie (Jane) is a reminder of the millions of Filipinos who are victims of the cycle.

“Paikut-ikot at paulit-ulit na Cancer ng Bayan. Masakit ­panoorin kase totoo. Totoong-totoo na baka hindi na tayo ma­gising.

“Sana, mapanood ito ng mga tao,” sabi ni Gian.

Si Oggs Cruz na reviewer at critic ng Rappler ay todo puri kay Iza, “All of her performances since Milan are brimming with sinc­erity, and in Bliss, even if she is playing a character that’s written out of archetypes, it still seers with sincerity, forcing the audience to feel for her instead of watching her as a spectacle.

“In the recent ­Osaka Film Festival, she was hailed as a Brilliant ­Actress worthy of the Best Performer award — but truly, she is the Sublime IZA, Actress ­Extraordinaire.”

Hanggang ngayon, hindi pa rin makapaniwala si Iza na Rated X ang kanyang pelikula.

“Ang sabi ni Iza, ‘Mawalang galang lang po sa MTRCB, nais kong lang pong ­maliwanagan kung ano ‘yung ­standards natin ng X na pelikula.

“Bakit ‘yung ibang mga foreign films na mas grabe pa ang mga eksena, puwedeng maipalabas sa atin, at ang Bliss, hindi puwede?

“Hindi naman po porn ang pelikula namin. Sana, kapag napalabas ang pelikula, tayo ang humusga….

“I’d like to believe that my director — the award winning director of Heneral Luna — is a responsible director.

“Sana the film will be given a chance to be seen by the Filipino audience. Sana rin, this opens a discussion on our film rating standards.”

Good luck talaga sa pelikula. At sana. lalong maging significant ang Bliss dahil sa nagaganap na ito.

Biro ni Iza, “Nu’ng nalaman ko ang balita tungkol sa X, alaskado nga ako. Sabi ko, Best Performer ako, di ba? Hindi Best Porno Star!” sabay tawa ni Izadora.

***

For your comments, opinions and contributions, you can DM me on IG and tweet me at @iamnoelferrer.