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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Wednesday, November 03, 2010

entry arrow4:41 AM | Glossing Away the Taboo

How much of the Brazilian film Do Começo Ao Fim [From Beginning to End, 2009] do I find fascinating because of its taboo storyline? Directed by Aluizio Abranches, the film without its scandalous premise looks like an ordinary glossy love story, and runs like one, feels like one, and is photographed like one. Except for that intriguing, scandalous fact that this is about incest. Which gets me thinking: the ordinary becomes something else, something charged, solely because of context. Images are nothing except what we bring to it. We create our own tension, our own moral outrage, and project them on what are just essentially blank slates. Am I trying to say that all art is innocent then, and meaning ultimately becomes the province of the beholder? Perhaps. It’s a thought I’m processing, still wholly unconvinced by my own idea — but it’s a thought. [I also kept expecting the film to go in the route of tragedy, as the history of narrative has taught me to expect, to “punish” the characters for their “amorality” by assigning appropriate violence and redemption. A lot of films, and books, do that. Joselito Altarejos’ Ang Lihim ni Antonio, for example. But the fact that it didn’t felt both like a cheat, and like a gratifying upending of my own own curious expectations.]

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