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Small dreams, big dreams

Written by Ricky T. Gallardo / All Access
Tuesday, 11 August 2009 19:22

Business Mirror

EVEN if maverick independent filmmaker Jay Altarejos has been concentrating on gay-themed movies for the past three years or so, he feels he is ready to get out of his comfort zones soon.

“Not that I have reached a saturation point in delving into gay subjects in my films because, frankly, there are still a lot of issues in the gay world that have to be explored,” he tells us, without sounding a bit defensive.

He adds, “It’s just that people, especially those involved in this industry, almost always like to put others in a box, you know, typecast them. And I would like to think that I can spread my wings, give life to other equally interesting subjects on the big screen.”

He is quickly to clarify: “But I love gay-themed movies. It’s something I know by heart since this is my universe, and that’s why I’m not turning my back completely in making these kinds of movies.”

Ang Lalake sa Parola and Ang Lihim ni Antonio are two of the most celebrated works of Altarejos. Not only did these films enjoy glowing reviews but also Altarejos’s niche target market supported these films when they were shown in commercial cinemas.

His latest work is titled Little Boy, Big Boy. Although the story is not as complicated as his previous ones, and therefore not as challenging to mount, Altarejos was able to clearly present the complexities and realities of a modern same-sex relationship.

Monogamy, loyalty, cyber sex, group sex and casual sex are the topics that Altarejos presents, without necessarily telling his audience which side to take and defend. He was also able to draw competent performances from the two lead actors, Paolo Rivero and Douglas Robinson. Renz Valerio, who plays the young house visitor of the gay couple, also has his share of charming moments.

“I do not really have grand ambitions to become a National Artist for Film,” shares Altarejos, alluding to the ongoing National Artist controversy. “I only want to tell stories, whether these be about gay people or straight people. If I can move or touch the sensibilities and emotions of my audience, then I think I have succeeded in my own little way.”

“I admit that someday, I also want to be rewarded and recognized for my work, but that’s just icing on the cake and perhaps a massage on my artistic ego a bit, but that’s not my goal at the moment,” he ends, breaking into a big smile.