This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.
Celebration: An Anthology to Commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Silliman University National Writers Workshop
Sands and Coral, 2011-2013
Silliman University, 2013
Handulantaw: Celebrating 50 Years of Culture and the Arts in Silliman
Tao Foundation and Silliman University Cultural Affairs Committee, 2013
Inday Goes About Her Day
Locsin Books, 2012
Beautiful Accidents: Stories
University of the Philippines Press, 2011
Old Movies and Other Stories
National Commission for Culture
and the Arts, 2006
FutureShock Prose: An Anthology of Young Writers and New Literatures
Sands and Coral, 2003
Nominated for Best Anthology
2004 National Book Awards
Despite what you may have heard, Armageddon is a work of art by a cutting-edge artist who is a master of movement, light, color, and shape—and also of chaos, razzle-dazzle, and explosion. (It was no surprise to me to learn that as a thirteen-year-old, director Michael Bay blew up his toy train set with firecrackers so he could photograph the result with his mom’s 8mm camera.) If he weren’t working in Hollywood, Bay would be the darling bad boy of the intelligentsia. As it is, he sometimes falls under suspicion for having been nominated for multiple MTV Awards, and for having won every accolade available to directors of commercials, including the Clio and the prestigious Director’s Guild of America “Commercial Director of the Year” title. Armageddon is only his third movie, but it came under fire from some critics who had praised his second, The Rock, and for its same characteristics: fast cutting, impressive special effects, and a minimum of exposition....
It is true that Armageddon, a perfect example of Bay’s work, illustrates his “take-no-prisoners” form of storytelling, in which he trusts an audience to figure things out. (One of its strengths is its minimum of dreadful exposition that over-explains the inevitable pseudoscience.) Yes, it gives audiences a lot to absorb. Yes, it cuts quickly from place to place, person to person, event to event. But it is never confusing, never boring, and never less than a brilliant mixture of what movies are supposed to do: tell a good story, depict characters through active events, invoke an emotional response, and entertain simply and directly, without pretense.
Armageddon is not for the faint-hearted, the slow-witted, or the dim-eyed. (Those who claim that it was hard to tell where characters were in relation to each other in the space should take another look.) Consider how the film explains what Harry Stamper’s (Bruce Willis) vacationing crew is doing when he sends out the word he needs them. In little more than one minute of screen time, five key characters are identified, established in a specific environment, shown relating to others, given distinct personalities, and defined in ways that indicate how they will behave on the later mission. (If that’s not screenwriting, what is?)