By: JOEL DAVID, Ph.D. & M.A. in Cinema Studies at New York University (2002 & 1994 respectively), on Fulbright scholarship. Professor of Cultural Studies, Inha University (South Korea)

Cathy Garcia-Molina probably didn’t help her case by appearing in that TV interview. She came clean, speaking as truthfully as she could – proof of which is her claim that her “only” talent lies in directing; undeniably she really managed to come up with some of the better Star Cinema titles. I don’t know if she had the luxury of keeping quiet and just producing better work (something that worked for me when I was once in her situation, pre-social media era thankfully). I saw quickly enough how people in media (which is what Facebook folks are, whether they realize it or not) could collectively turn into a beast that would keep devouring anyone who happens to conform to its idea of a bully-worthy victim.

She was a student of mine when I was still an instructor and therefore had less capacity for influencing curricular approaches. On the other hand, I had also then just completed a stint in media (film and TV) and found it unpleasant for the same reasons that people do today. But the lesson any of us “lay” individuals can take from this is simple: the works that seem easiest to watch (genre work, especially) are actually the most difficult to execute and study. I could accept a few performance challenges with the little training I once had, but I’d never agree to doing any role in a telenovela (or rom-com or horror or action or bold film) without the most extensive one-on-one coaching and several hours of memorization.

I don’t know what further consolation I can give to Cathy, whom I remember as an bubbly and innocent youngster, who still responds to my queries with all the sweetness, eagerness, and humility that I remember her for. If she can place all this behind her and create more and better genre samples, plus maybe an indie attempt or two – well those are the things that will be left behind when we’re gone. No one’s in a better position to get this done, considering her fine record; I for one will continue looking forward to her future output.