Imagination Connoisseurs of the Post-Geek Singularity remind us of the necessity, at times, of following the rules – whether we want to or not.

Hot Filipino film recommendations for cold winter nights.

Hi Rob and to the Post Geek Singularity.

I hope you are having a great day. Anyways, in this letter, I am resuming my Filipino cinema fun facts. I heard you mentioned that you are a fan of “Showgirls” (1995). Then I realized that there is a Filipino film that is in the vein of “Showgirls.” That film is called “Macho Dancer” (1988) directed by Lino Brocka.

MACHO DANCER – a Filipino film classic recommended by Mike F.

“Macho Dancer” explores the realities of a young, poor, rural gay man, who after being dumped by his American boyfriend, is forced to support himself and his family in Manila’s seamy red-light district. Due to the film’s heavy political and sexual content, the Philippine government censor board ordered extensive edits of the film.

As a result, Brocka smuggled the uncensored cut out of the Philippines to be shown in film festivals around the world including the Toronto International Film Festival in which it received a standing ovation. Due to the heavy censorship, the film was a box office bomb when it was released but it achieved critical success. It is now also considered a seminal LGBT film in Filipino cinema. The smuggled, uncensored 35 mm print of the film is now part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Unfortunately, the film is not available on Blu-Ray or in a streaming service.

If I’m not mistaken, you can only buy a DVD copy of it in the secondary market. I do hope that someone will restore it and perhaps Criterion could release it on physical media.

Another controversial Filipino film that is now a classic is the 1981 film “In Just the Wink of an Eye” directed by Mike De Leon (who is by the way the cinematographer of “Manila in the Claws of Light”). The film is inspired by a true story and it was controversial because it deals with the taboo topic of incest and I believe it is the first Filipino film that deals with that in a major way.

The story centers on Dadong, a retired police officer, who is the domineering father of Mila. He is jealous of all of her suitors. One day, Mila fell in a love with a man named Noel. They decided to seek permission from Dadong to get married and at the same time, Mila learned that she is pregnant. Dadong agreed on the condition that Noel pay a ridiculously costly dowry as well as shoulder a luxurious wedding. Noel agrees and works hard to meet Dadong’s demands.

After the two got married, Dadong insisted that they should live in the house but he didn’t allow them to sleep together. After months of living in misery, the couple decided to escape but of course they were hunted by Dadong. I will stop telling the plot because I don’t want to spoil the rest but it does get suspenseful.

Due to the controversial nature of the film, it wasn’t a huge box office success but it received unanimous critical acclaim and won a lot of awards. It also puts De Leon as one of the best Filipino filmmakers. The film is now considered a classic of Filipino cinema. It was recently restored but so far you can only watch it on the streaming service iWant TFC. There’s no physical media of it yet but I do hope that Criterion will release it.

That is all my letter for now. Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed these Filipino cinema fun facts. I could go on and on and on but I don’t want to make this letter very long. Perhaps I’ll continue again in another letter.

Anyways, stay safe and live long and prosper.
Mike F.

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Rule-breaking can destroy your franchise.

Hi Rob! Happy New Year to you, and the Singularity.

You taught us that Verisimilitude is important to sell a story. In many cases, a franchise can have decades of rules, and boundaries.

The Tomorrow People – as it was re-presented on the CW.

When I was a child, I loved The Tomorrow People. This was a Thames production brought to America via Nickelodeon. The Number one thing to know about the Tomorrow People, they cannot kill. That is a huge part of the show.

Decades later, the show was coming back! I was excited. The old show was low budget, and had some issues. I thought the overall message would be well played for this generation.

I’m watching the first show, and one of the first things they did was introduced a Tomorrow Person who could kill. I was outraged. In my mind, this was not The Tomorrow People. I didn’t watch the rest of them, and neither did anybody else. It was canceled in its first year.

It’s almost as though creative writing took a backseat to lazy writing. The first thing is to change anything that would make a challenge in writing a story.

Giving Spock a redundant condition. Spock was a man of Two Worlds that didn’t quite fit in either. We saw a remarkable growth over the decades. Spock would be a much different man in the Next Generation. That was Spock’s challenge. And he had to flunk his mind discipline, and die to process it.

They could have written that his “gift” of madness was a result that he is half human, and half Vulcan. It would be one instance were his lineage was Not at conflict. That’s a gift. TPTB didn’t have to give him another challenge. I also suspect there is a medical solution to dislexia by then.

Saru is aboard that ship because they Broke The Prime Directive. I’m not saying they should have or should not have. I’m saying that we should have been there for that conversation. What point was argued to tip the scale? I miss the conversations of ethics and philosophy. These thing are the real exploration.

I could go on with more examples, but I think everyone gets the point. You can’t change the rules for convenience. Disco wants the viewer to not consider any show before it.

It is my failure, because I just cannot do that.

Again, Happy New Year!

I applaud Enterprise for doing away with a lot of the plot conveniences that were established throughout the decades. It was low-tech Trek.
Mark

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Does nu-Trek’s approach to Star Trek’s history bode well for STRANGE NEW WORLDS?.

Hi Rob and to the Post Geek Singularity.

In this letter, I will talk about our favorite topic which is modern Star Trek. For the past two days, I spent some time reading more about how modern Star Trek is being handled on TV by reading and watching some clips of interviews with Alex Kurtzman.

I know, I shouldn’t have immersed myself because it is not good for my mental health. But I really want to explore it because I am just baffled about why they are letting Kurtzman handling a lucrative franchise that has been existing for more than 50 years.

Not the Star Trek lore we want everyone to respect – but you get the idea.

After doing some reading and watching clips, two things struck me: First is that Kurtzman is not respecting the lore and mythology of Star Trek that has been existing for more than 50 years. Instead of following the bible of how Star Trek works, he adds some stuff that fundamentally changes the DNA of the franchise. He adds things that he thinks should be in Star Trek even though they don’t align with the core of the franchise.

I even watched a clip where he said that it is impossible to follow the canon because Star Trek has been existing for 50 years. Well, I find that explanation lazy.

They should have tried at least. They should have hired a consultant who knows a lot about the canon of Star Trek. I’m sure there are a lot of writers and producers working in Hollywood who are huge Trekkies and knows Star Trek very well. Why not hire them?

Most of the writers in the show right now are working there because it’s a job and it will look good in their resume. There’s no passion and love for the franchise. Handling the Star Trek franchise is just a job for Kurtzman because of money which I’m sure CBS pays him millions of that.

Second thing that struck me is this: We are now living in a world where Game of Thrones exists. That is why modern Star Trek shows suddenly now have unnecessary violence, sex, and F-bombs all around. They think making Star Trek edgy would attract people.

But here’s the thing: people don’t watch Game of Thrones because there is violence, sex, and F-bombs. It’s because of the story. Kurtzman was just following a trend and he misunderstood why Game of Thrones is popular. Look at shows like The Mandalorian or Ozark or The Crown or Stranger Things. Are they popular because they have violence, sex, and F-bombs? No, it’s the story.

In the end, they should have stick with the DNA of Star Trek. If they tell a good story, people will watch it.

I am just baffled about how modern Star Trek is being handled especially now that I’ve already read and watch some interviews with Kurtzman talking about the shows. I am now scared for Strange New Worlds. The same people who worked on Discovery and Picard will be involved.

I am scared on how they will handle it because they are going to use existing characters in the lore including fan favorite Spock. I am scared on how they will write our favorite Vulcan. I bet that there will be a scene in the show where Spock will be alone, crying, reflecting, and missing his sister Michael Burnham and that will motivate him to accomplish whatever he has to accomplish. I can see it already.

Sigh.

That is all my letter for now. I’m very sure you have strong feelings about this.

The season finale of Discovery is coming in just a few days and I have no idea what they will do. All I know is that I should lower my expectations.

Anyways, thank you and stay safe.
Mike F.

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Is typecasting still a thing and what purpose does it serve?

Hi Rob, moderators, Post Geek Singularity,

I know it’s the job of actors and actresses to portray different types of characters, but I have noticed on a few occasions how some of them always portray the same type of character.

For example, I think Dwayne Johnson, regardless of all the movies and tv shows he does, always plays the same type of character every time.

Humphrey Bogart – always a tough guy, never typecast.

Another example is Hugh Grant. When I see him in a lot of the movies he has done, like Four Weddings And A Funeral, About A Boy, Paddington 2, and Notting Hill, I always feel he plays the same type of character every time.

Humphrey Bogart was like that as well. Whether he was in a more serious film like Maltese Falcon, Key Largo, Casablanca, and The Big Sleep, or a more lighthearted films like Sabrina and The African Queen, I always feel he was pretty much the same type of character every time.

That was just something I observed about certain performers, as some of them pretty much always play the same type of character.

Thanks, live long and prosper.
Omar

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Enjoying the drama and intrigue of DS9

Everybody loves Garak. Don’t they?

Greetings Rob and my fellow members of the PGS!

While I originally wanted to ramble on about DS9 season 2, my wife summed it up while we were discussing.

“Star trek is just great, gets better everytime you watch it”

The lurking Dominion and especially the Bajor politics I’ve been enjoying and the adventures and adversities the crew faces each new episode has been engaging and a wild ride really makes one notice the difference between a weekly show and one made for streaming. But that’s another letter, for now I’ll end with this

PEACE WAS NEVER A OPTION FOR CARDASSIA!

Looking forward to more from the festival it’s been fantastic with alot of amazing work! Happy new year PGS!

Live long and prosper,
Heboric

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The unforseen consequences of banning books and enforcing rules.

Hi Rob.

I noticed in your last show you were talking about books being restricted from the eyes of children. I thought that you should know that in some ways I agree in other ways I don’t.

First of all yes explosing kids to books like the Odessey or the Illiad or The Hobbit, is a brillant idea. Yes Parental guidence is a must. However, as much as reading books that are banned should be ok, one should be mindful in my opinion the rest of us are sending as members of society to future generations.

At school kids are also suppose to learn about rules and how to follow them and to learn about consequences for learning or breaking the rules. I thought this is worth being mindful of when parents are raising kids. Should parents be very focused on their kids yes, but some times parents have to focus on work.

Reading can be an adventure – especially if someone doesn’t want you to read it.

Telling a kid not to do that may be not so bad in a particular situation. Should I book be taken off a kid at school if the kid is being irresponsible with it? Yes. The same would be for mobile phones. I do remember my class mates having their phones taken of them in class.

As for guiding and exploring things like Social media – well, on paper exploring social media with your kids could work, however, one should beware the risk of the kid becoming obessed with social media (just as when I was a kid, many of the kids of my childhood turned down book in favour of video games).

However, if a parent could show a child that they only use social media as a tool for work rather than a toy for fun, it would be easier to get the kid to become balanced. I believe that the same should apply to books.

When I was at school we had a day called World Book day. In class we were required to bring in a book that was our chosen book and had to talk a bit about what it was about. My class mates chose Roald Dhal’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and one of the other favourites James and the Giant Peach. Each year there was a different one.

My issue was that I got not book at all because I had huge issues reading thanks to my dyslexia. I would read 3 pages of a book and put the book down. I would never touch it again. This is my point of what i see as something you my have not consider which is sometimes its not always the parents sometimes its the parents do the best and the children struggle anyway to progress through the book.

If parents could be more active in this area in helping children read the books on the understanding level and follow through this would work. The other thing I thought parents should do is that they should not feel bad if there child does not let them take their mobile phones away as they should remember that they are the kids parent first and not their friend first.

Finally, parents should expose children to a broader experience of life in general.

Angry Trekkiee

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