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Bomba films in Serbis. A semiotic reading

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This paper aims to focus on the “Bomba” films that were shown in the independent film, “Serbis”, and their significance to the story. I will analyze the posters, signages and film semiotically and show its relevance to the plot. I will show what the “Bomba” film is about and how its seen in a cultural context to show what it really signifies when seen in the movie. Together with the concept of mis en scene, that every part of the frame has a meaning, those posters and signages will make you see the film in a whole new level.

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First we need to define what these “Bomba” films are. These are softcore sex films that started in the 1970’s and named “Bomba” because it was sort of a revolt or a drastic seperation from the blue-print of cinema back then. “Uhaw” was the first of its kind and when it became an instant hit, many more producers followed thus giving birth to many more films.

Most “Bomba” films focus on the sexual escapades of the actors or actresses that entice the audience and sometimes involves conflicts like bygamy or the acts being taboo.

This builds a story around the “love-making” that the audience can’t get enough of. But due to the advancement in technology and emergence of new media, “Bomba” films sold out becaue there were easier and cheaper ways for the audiences to get their “fix”. Today, these films can only be seen on the internet, in the dusty panels of “Video City” or in old sketchy movie houses like the “Family” cinema house which is the main setting of “Serbis”. Like the films they show, the movie house is already broke and no longer have enough paying customers. The only reliable money comes from the patrons that come in not for the films but for the trade that was happening inside, while the light was out and the film was rolling.

At the beginning of the film, as young Jewel was posing and saying “I love you” seductively infront of the mirror , you would notice the picture of a woman to the left of the mirror. If you do not know her, you would simply ignore it. But if you do, you would know that the picture was of Kuhdet Honasan, an “Bomba“ actress and starred in films like “Puri” and “Tag-init”. Specifically, the poster was of her movie entitled “Maharot” which translates to mischievous or naughty and it was about Cecil’s (Kuhdet) discreet and unfaithful relationships with different men. Knowing what the poster is about, you would now know what it signifies when it is seen together with Jewel.

Seeing her pose those poses and utter those words suggest that she is indeed “Maharot”, and is likely to follow the footsteps of Cecil in the film. Another “Bomba” poster prominent in the film is the poster of “Kaulayaw” which means intimate companion. This film is about Jessica, starred by Barbara Milano, who is converted from a bookworm to a nymphomaniac by a freak accident. This poster can be seen around the cinema and is can be seen together with different characters.

“Kaulayaw” is relevant to the story because one of the main issues within the family is adultery. Nanay Flor sued her husband for having another family and breaking the sanctity of their marriage. She lossed because Jerome, her son, testified against her. Before their confrontation, after Jerome has walked towards Nanay Flor’s room, there was a focus on the poster. Another “Kaulayaw” issue is between Nayda and Ronald that was fully seen at the end of the film where they exchanged glances while Lando was also looking. There were hints here and there but if you had an idea of what “Kaulayaw” was and what it means you would have a clear idea and be able to read between the lines of what was happening between them.

“Punla”, is the story of a childless loving couple. Manny, Emilio Garcia, who always wanted to have a child, is impotent. Instead, he asked his friend, Zaldy, Eric Parilla, to provide the “seed” for his beautiful wife, Jenny, played by Tracy Torres. Its poster is prominent in the scene where Allan is confronted by Nanay Flor about him impregnating Merly.

Though she is furious about it, she settled down and planned for the two to be married following her religious beliefs. “Katas” which means juice is another “Bomba” film that can be seen in the theater. One specific scene that can be read semiotically is the one after Nayda fixed herself infront of the mirror and walked downstairs where she is seen by Ronald. The way he looked at her conveyed sexual interest. And referring to “Katas” somehow, it signified that Ronald notices that Nayda still got it in her.

“Paninda” which means commodity, is the story about Jasmin, played by Aleck Bovick, who was pimped by her mother and stepfather and the vengeful murders that occured to those who abused her. Though its posters are not prominently seen, it, being posted in the theater and passed by the characters, must convey some meaning. What “Paninda” and the cinema have in common is flesh trade. Seeing it together with the homosexuals should give a clear sign of what was really going on inside the theater.

These are some of many “Bomba” films seen in Serbis. It can be said that what happened to the family is not really what happened in the films but semiotics focuses on what it signifies, which is the part of our culture that is “underground” but real. The “Bomba” film other than showing skin-to-skin action, depicts the lives of people living these unwanted lives. In this light, “Serbis” can also considered as a “Bomba” film because it lets you witness issued that should not be seen in the open. But knowing how the Pineda family issues relate to the various “Bomba” films, you should know realize that we can relate to “Serbis” and know that the bombs are real.

Cite this Bomba films in Serbis. A semiotic reading

Bomba films in Serbis. A semiotic reading. (2016, Jul 04). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/bomba-films-in-serbis-a-semiotic-reading/

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