The Privileged Teen Fashionista Fantasy
Artist: Krissy and Ericka
Director: Nani Naguit
Cast: Krissy and Ericka Villongco, George Schulze
It was my first time to encounter Krissy and Ericka last night. Apparently they’ve been around for a few years. My first impression was “pangalan pa lang konyita na,” but that’s just plain mean and judgmental, so sinarili ko na lang muna. For a few seconds. Kasi naman, one of them is a freshman pala at Yoopee Dillimahn while the other’s still studying at Saint Pahl Cahllege of Pahsiehg. And one of them’s akshally going to Brrahcay tomorrow. Sakit sa tenga, teh.
Not that I have anything against konyitas. I’m sure they’re perfectly good people and lest this be misconstrued as a hate post, I just want to be clear that in all fairness, magaling naman silang kumanta. Reminds me of M2M. You go, sisters!
The song “12:51” itself is really petty and emo. It begins: “I’m scrolling through my cellphone for the twentieth time today/ I’m reading the text you sent me again, though I memorized it anyway.” Kaloka. Ikaw na ang tech-savvy with mobile-mediated romance, gurl. But then again there’s a market for that and it’s not like other big teenage pop stars around Krissy and Ericka’s age don’t produce similar cheesy ballads. What really did it in for me, I suppose, was a confluence of the petty song, the hipster video, and the last straw—the girls’ annoying (sorry na!) personality in their interview/appearance on MYX.
The video starts with Ericka on the train. Hindi MRT or LRT ha. PNR. Tren kung tren. She’s waiting in the deserted station—quasi-European ang treatment, kunwari hindi third world—with her luggage. At hindi Samsonite ha. Leatherbound maletas and a quaint green hatbox/makeup kit. Hindi naman ito period film. And in fairness kay ate, kahit naka-full on fashyown, she’s sipping sopdrink na de-plastik.
Enter poging kuya, fumo-photography sa train tracks of course, kasi gritty. At ang camera, syempre, hindi digital. Film. In fairness talaga kay kuya, ampogi niya. Magtataka ka talaga kung ano’ng ginagawa ng dalawang nilalang na ‘to sa PNR.
Interspersed with the narrative are the singing parts of the video, where we see Krissy in a fierce trabahador-inspired outfit (beanie, long colored hair, fur-lined hoodie) belting out her ballad somewhere in the port area at dawn.
This video clearly communicates a worldview shaped by Lookbook. In fact, if it wasn’t a music video, it would’ve been a perfect photoshoot for a street style blog. Gritty urban landscape, quaint vintage items, funky if not slightly inappropriate personal style—OMG, fashgasm. Throw in a love triangle involving this boy-next-door hunk and we have the perfect teenage fashionista fantasy.
It’s a quaint bourgeois world where teens mobilize online technologies like tumblr, smartphones, MacBooks and blogs to, ironically, maintain hold on “outmoded” artifacts like thrifted clothes, leather suitcases, bicycles, cassettes, celluloid photography (hello Instagram). It’s all so inorganic and artificial.
And that’s what really strikes me about this video. Elements of a relatively underprivileged existence—railways, instant noodles, port area, baon, old cassette players, sopdrinks in plastic—are coopted to make two privileged girls a cool music video. It’s the embodiment of this certain emerging culture among the youth where the bourgeoisie fetishize the plebeian, and claim it as their fashionable own.
There’s a subtle violence when the lifestyles of the downtrodden are taken up by the gentry in the name of being fashionable. It glosses over the difficulties entailed by such a lifestyle, and trivializes the issues by recasting them as cool, charming, and photo/telegenic.
All for this Hannah Montana fantasy of teenage box-office success. The “12:51” video aspires for the best of both worlds: the rustic charm of the working-class landscape paired with the glamorous affect of the fashion/music world. What stands out, though, is the clear disjuncture between the two spheres. And maybe that was the biggest mistake of my life. And maybe I haven’t moved on since that night. Because it’s 12:51, and I thought my feelings were gone… #
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My favorite scene from “12:51”
INT. CONDO. DAWN?
Si ate, nasa kitchen. Naghihiwa ng pipino. Naka-outfit pa, complete with falsies. Taray. Pero gaga, nahiwa nya daliri niya. Ouch, the pain.
Ang kanyang baon: instant Korean noodles. Kaloka. (Sino’ng nagbabaon ng noodles na may sabaw? At sa’n ginamit yung pipino? Halatang hindi ata gumagawa ng sariling baon yung nakaisip nito. Hindi man lang kumonsulta kay Yaya.)
Sinasandok ang noodles sa metal baunan, wow, old skool. Sabay sulat sa tape na ginawa nya for her boylet, aww, ang sweet—and again, old skool. Di kaya matunaw yung cassette kapag isinilid sa metal baunan na may kasamang mainit na sabaw?
Ihahatid na ni ate yung baon at cassette sa loverboy niya. Shet, domesticated fantasy ito. But no, nahuli niya si kuyang me kalaguyong ibang girlet, complete with multicolored Malaysian mums in hand. Nashock si ate, nalaglag ang baunan. Nagets ni girlet, nagalit, sabay hampas ng mums kay kuya, with matching lagas ng petals. Walkout ang dalawang girls.
Closeup ng lumberjack boots ni kuya, in fairness, red shoelaces and cuffed denims. On trend. Binuksan ang baunan, wow, walang natapon na sabaw. Ang laman, thank you/goodbye message sa cassette. Naloka si kuya, kumaripas para habulin ang tren ng PNR, Bicolana ata si ate. #
Entry filed under: Edgar Allan Paule, Filipino films, Music videos, Uncategorized. Tags: 12:51, cookbook, ericka villongco, fashion, fashionista, george schulze, hannah montana, hipster, krissy and ericka, krissy villongco, music video, my sassy girl, MYX, nani naguit, opm, original pilipino music, philippine national railways, PNR, teen, teenage, teenage love, train.