Recent DVD acquisitions from Makati Cinema Square: Resnais' "Hiroshima Mon Amour," Godard's "Band of Outsiders," Fellini's "Variety Lights," Visconti's "The Leopard," Jiang Wen's "Devils on the Doorstep," Clouzot's "Wages of Fear"...
Obviously I remain a DVD junkie. My collection has grown so large that I've stopped counting. I can make a guess: 4,000 to 5,000 titles, mostly of the hard-to-find variety--festival, arthouse, foreign, rare, cult, indie, classic Hollywood and even a few Bollywoods, plus a few good commercial stuff ("Spider-Man!" "X-Men!"-- not "Superman," though).
Not all are pirated--I got my "L'avventura" and "La Dolce Vita" from Amazon, and I still think they're good buys because I haven't seen these titles here. But most are of the kind that would make Edu Manzano hate me. Whatever.
I do think piracy is the result of the greed and short-sightedness of Hollywood. Case in point: "Citizen Kane." The film almost always comes out on top of best-film lists, it's a Warner Bros. title, and yet that studio has never deigned to presume that we Pinoys would be interested in it. Go to Astrovision and see if you can find “Citizen Kane.” On the other hand, the Van Damme, Stallone and Steven Seagal filmographies are available. (Oi, these are entertaining flicks, but surely there's more to cinema than "Bloodsport?")
In the shabby excuse of a mall that’s Makati Cinema Square, "Citizen Kane" is everywhere, as are other Orson Welles films like Carol Reed's "The Third Man" (see it and realize where "Maximo Oliveros" got its ending) as well as "The Magnificent Ambersons" and "The Lady from Shanghai." Thanks to China's Bo-ying studio (purveyor of everything from James Cagney to early Bergman), more Pinoys have become cineastes, and that's why indie/digital cinema is making waves. That’s why the likes of “Kubrador” now have a chance in the market.
By a friend's calculation, it would take more than five years for me to finish all my titles, assuming I watch two movies a day. I manage only one these days. Excuse me while I try to catch up.