Okay, so before this year’s MMFF got underway, I had made a list of films that I wanted to see, and near the top was Die Beautiful, a fictional account of a transgender woman and both the glitter and the hardships of her life. The movie and its lead performer, Paolo Ballesteros (yes, he of the amazing makeup transformations) had already received accolades from other countries. This year’s MMFF would make the first time that the film would actually be screened for the hometown audience.
My mother and sister agreed with that choice, and we bought tickets to the last full show at the SM Megamall cinemas on 25 December. On arriving at the mall, we noticed that there seemed to be a partial power outage on the premises — notably, it seriously affected the part of the mall that housed the cinemas. We picked up the tickets before six PM and went around to do some shopping, and to get some dinner.
While waiting in line at the cinema, I had noticed that almost all of the theaters would have their last screenings for the day at 11:15 — the same as for Die Beautiful.
So imagine our surprise when we returned to the cinema section after 10:00, and found out that our screening had been cancelled. Without so much as a notice of some kind in the cinema section. Without so much as a mall-wide announcement!
We sought out someone in management to complain to. They gave us the lame excuse that the problem with the power outage would be fixed at around midnight, and so the decision to cancel all of the last screenings had been made, because the mall would need to cut power to the affected sections, or some sort of shit like that. We demanded — and got — a refund on our tickets, but that didn’t really make us feel better.
The whole point of the exercise had been to SEE THE MOVIE. But on that day, on Christmas Day, SM Megamall decided that it would NOT let the moviegoers watch the MMFF films. SM Megamall decided that it would CANCEL the last screenings for no real reason at all.
Right, then, I am never going back there to see a movie. Never ever ever again.
And I am writing this blog post partly to let the producers of the MMFF films know what the hell happened on 25 December at SM Megamall: hey, guys, you got screwed over, and you might want to take that up with the mall, because you deserve better.
We all do.