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Off Script: The role that film discussion plays

Armand joins Tristan and Emil for the pilot episode of Viddsee's Off Script.

Off Script: On the role that film discussion plays

This week, Viddsee dropped the pilot episode of their Filipino film podcast, Off Script. This writer happens to be one of the guests on the episode, alongside Tristan Zinampan and Emil Hofileña.

I’ve always repelled the title ‘critic’. The word itself takes much breath from the lungs. It has weight to it, like a well-forged sword used to usher a squire into knight-ship. I don’t feel deserving of it.

There’s a viscous sludge concocted by my own insecurities, self-perceived ineptitudes, and a spicy kick of what pundits call Imposter Syndrome. And like a total fucking bitch, I drink it. Somehow, other people think it’s completely fine to call me one—a critic—which is what happened in the first episode of Off Script, the new Filipino film podcast from Viddsee.

Normally, my body would make some sort of physical reaction. But thinking of the history I share with this company (for a short while, I worked there as a community manager and a copywriter), I kept mum, dying some thousand deaths trying not to say something repulsive or embarrassing.

In the episode, we talked about how we each individually navigate life as people talking about movies. Truthfully, I feel like my work pales in comparison to Tristan and Emil’s, if only for how inconsistent I’ve always been. They, too, have sought to make this a big part of their lives, with Tristan starting out as a contributor for my other site, Film Police Reviews, and moving on to bigger things at Rappler, and Emil doing massive things while studying. Later that night, I’m reminded by a friend that building Unreel and FPR alone is a wealthy contribution.

The good part of the talk trickles down to some menial things then geysers to some pretty important ones, too—as all good discussions do. At one point we talked about our reluctance to outright bash films as something of a ‘courtesy’ to the filmmakers involved. Conversely, we lamented about our anxiety when it comes to appraising works by friends, cautious not to exercise bias or favor.

Ultimately, we agreed on what talking about film does—to start and further conversation. Personally, I feel grateful just being able to do it, but perhaps more rewarding is when our reviews and analyses broaden the reader/listener’s understanding of a film.

You can listen to the full episode on Spotify below. Shoutout to Luigine Yanoria, host of the show.

Unreel is the definitive outlet on Philippine and world cinema. Built on one crucial notion — every frame is magic.