Wednesday, July 21, 2010
With its breathtaking cinematography, "Inception" is supposedly mind-blowing. But I was hardly blown away, if truth be told. Yes, it features fights that literally defy gravity and effects that are completely enthralling - that Parisian neighborhood ascending like a drawbridge is simply spellbinding. I find the film's take on dreams too literal and scientific. Maybe, I expected a Lynchian approach.
Keeping track of all the simultaneous realities intersecting and converging with dreams seems to be an impossible task. The film demands second viewing if you're intent on understanding its complicated subplots. It's intellectually provocative, no doubt about that, though it doesn't answer all the riddles. Not that it has to, but somehow it makes the film look like it's created mainly to be admired. I could imagine Nolan smirking while audience wrack their brains to solve a riddle that doesn't even exist.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
REKRUT BY DANNY AÑONUEVO
For more details about this exciting activity, click HERE
If there's one thing jeepney drivers are really good at, it's multitasking. Sometimes I imagine myself in their stead, taking charge of the wheels while attending the passengers' fares, watching out for traffic lights and potential passengers along the way at the same time. That's just too confusing. I guess we really should take it easy if they sometimes give us incorrect change, or drop us at the wrong street corner or if they play their music too loud or charge passengers fees much higher than the usual fare - oh wait, maybe the latter's just unforgivable.
It's just wrong and unfair. I've been paying 12.00 from Guadalupe to Angel Linao along Quirino Avenue so when this burly driver told me it's one peso short, I went ballistic - well almost. I gave out my spiel - Manong, araw-araw akong sumasakay, dose lang binabayad ko. But of course, he wouldn't listen. A man his size will not cower down obviously. Kulang ng piso. My first instinct was to get off from his effing jeepney but I've waited almost half an hour already and there were no other vehicles that passed by with the same route. So I indignantly shoved the one peso coin at his stubby hand, muttering "There's really something wrong with you" under my breath.
I shouldn't make it a big deal. Piso lang naman yun. But it's the driver's dishonestly that got into my nerves. I wasn't the only victim of his exorbitant fare (oh yeah, that sounds like a slogan in a school rally). Some lady had the same sentiment but unlike me, she was brave enough to stand up for her right, took her money back and got off the jeepney.
1. As with the previous installment, "Eclipse" is teeming with dialogues that are cringe-worthy and that might have only worked on paper, but not at all when people actually speak them. Especially if recited by Bella.
2. Apart from the cinematography, there's another improvement worth mentioning: the vampires no longer look like human espasol. Their skins are now devoid of talc. The make-up artists have done an excellent job. But then again, it could also be because we're used to seeing them so white that we no longer notice their abnormally powdery white faces.
3. I almost cheered when I saw Anna Kendrick early in the movie. I expected George Clooney to appear somewhere.
4. I actually enjoyed some lines. The most funny one for me is Jacob's "Face it, (talking to Edward) I’m much hotter than you.”
5. I'll trade Bella and Edward's high harlequin romance for the interesting love triangle of Elena, Damon and Stefan any day.
6. I'm no expert when it comes to vampires but don't they hide from the daylight? In Sookie Stackhouse series (and even in the defunct "Moonlight"), they still sleep during daytime. In "The Vampire Diaries", they wear rings that protect them from sunlight. In Stephenie Meyer's, they just glow. Weh?
7. I didn't know that you could easily break a vampire's head which turns into an icy rock. The Cullen-Wolves team should have thrown stones at them. Makes their job a lot easier.
8. But I learned something in the film: Don't be scared to make mistakes (or something to that effect) - as spoken by Jessica (Anna Kendrick) in her graduation speech. And no one makes a career by studying Philosophy.
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Nagpanting ang tenga ko nang mabasa ko ang komento sa shoutbox ng blog ko. Poseur daw ang blog ko. Ilang minuto rin akong hindi naka-imik. "ang poseur lang ng blog. kala sigur, pandisplay lang ang cultural capital. feeling cool. wala namang laman." Pinag-isipan ko kung bakit nasabi ng nag-iwan ng komento ang masakit na paratang na iyon. Ano ang ibig niyang sabihin ng "pandisplay lang ang cultural capital"? Nakakatawang isipin na puwede kang maapektuhan nang bonggang-bongga sa isang anonymous na komento. Baka isang kakilala lang na nangti-trip. Hindi rin. Sabi ng kaibigan ko, inggit lang daw 'yun. Or iba lang ang depinisyon niya ng laman. Baka naghahanap lang ng academe-type of depth. Nag-e-expect ng -isms. Baka nga. Siguro.
Sa SUOR CLARA ni Floy Quintos, na kanya ring idinerehe, nagpe-presenta ng interesanteng tanong ang mandudula: ano kaya ang nangyari kay Maria Clara bente taon pagkatapos silang maghiwalay ni Ibarra? Isang mapaghamong posibilidad ang nalikha ni G. Quintos na halaw sa tanyag na nobela ni Jose Rizal. Matagumpay na nailahad ang panahon at lunan ng dula sa pamamagitan ng diyalogo ng dalawang tauhan: sina Padre Salvi (Ronan Capinding) at Suor Clara (Frances Makil Ignacio). Parang sekretong unti-unting nababalatan. Muling pinatunayan ni Quintos na gamay niya ang naratibo pagdating sa dula. Noong nakaraang taon, nahumaling rin tayo sa dula niyang "Ang Kalungkutan ng Reyna."
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Mammoth, which stars Michelle Williams (Brokeback Mountain) and Gael Garcia Bernal (Y Tu Mama Tambien), is about connection and disconnection. Its clean, pleasing and panoramic cinematography is deceiving - it hides the characters' guilt, fear and desire.
Leo (Bernal) goes to Thailand for a business trip, which sets off a chain of events that impact the rest of the family, including Gloria (Marife Necesito) - a Filipino nanny who left her own children in the Philippines. Her boys plead - Nanay, umuwi na kayo... but Gloria explains that she must make money so they can go to school.
Meanwhile, the kid she feeds, dresses and tenderly cuddles gets much closer to her, which fears the mother (Williams). So she advises Gloria to somehow keep some distance, which of course, hurts the nanny. In Thailand, Leo keeps himself distant from temptation but eventually gives in to a prostitute. The prostitute, in turns out, has also left her own child.
In the end, the families get reunited but nothing will never be the same again.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
I have to say that after watching the film, I've high respect now for Kristen Stewart, who plays Em here, a moody NYU student secretly involved with Connel (Ryan Reynolds), married maintenance guy in Adventureland, a small, sad amusement park. Stewart (yes, the famous Bella in Twilight and New Moon) knows how to act, her facial expression and delivery provide just the right moods and response.
Did I mention that the movie's sweet, charming and intelligent? One of the best movies I've seen this year.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Kerouac: I don't get it.
Ginsberg: Don't get what?
Kerouac: This Bulilit song playing right now inside a crowded train.
Ginsberg: Simple. It's cute and it catches everyone's attention.
Kerouac: It's completely annoying when it's crowded though. A salt in the wound if you ask me.
Ginsberg: Kerouac, it's an effective ad. Gives people a real deal how uncomfortable it is to be in a cramped space.
Kerouac: I don't believe you Gins. You're actually saying that it's okay to taunt people in their unfortunate and miserable condition? This ad doesn't only stab you with a pointed knife, it also minces your flesh into pieces.
Ginsberg: Sheesh, it's just an ad.
Kerouac: But you feel my sentiment eh?
Monday, August 17, 2009
I had no idea who Frank Wedekind was. I didn't know he was a playwright. So when Jacqui, a college friend and a theater buddy, and I went to watch Dulaang UP's "Lulu" last Sunday, we weren't expecting anything. But she was excited to see Tuxs Rutaquio, who was simply amazing in ZsaZsa Zaturnah as Ada, play a different role. And I - I just hoped I'd enjoy the play.
“Lulu” is a story of a person who has no qualms about her body and her sexual needs, which means she able to explore and express her desires without compromise or guilt. She is highly adored and lusted by men and she takes them on a dance of bodily freedom and utter ecstasy. She, in other words, is a whore. But in this adaptation, directed by Dexter Santos with Joel Saracho's Filipino translation, she becomes a he, a transvestite (wait, we're not too clear whether he's a transsexual or a transvestite) who can easily transform men into hungry beasts.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
- Veronica Velasco and Jinky Laurel’s “Last Supper No. 3’’ for Best Film in the full-length feature category “for its treatment of comedy as an accessible and artistic form, its satirical depictions of individual naivete and the social fabric, and its ability to give us something to laugh and think about at the same time…”
- Special Jury Prize — Colorum by Jon Steffan Ballesteros, "for portraying the moral differences between being idealistic and having principles in a captivating road movie about a young rookie and an aging ex-convict…” and Ang Panggahasa Kay Fe’’ by Alvin Yapan “for its mediations on the plight of Filipino women in a provocative tale that blurs the boundaries between the mundane and the mysterious, the real and the fantastic…”
- Best Actor award - Lou Veloso for his role as an aging ex-convict Pedro in “Colorum.’’
- Best Direction - GB Sampedro for “Astig’’ which also won the Best Supporting Actor (Arnold Reyes), Best Sound (Ditoy Aguila and Junnel Valencia), and Best Editing (Charliebebs Gohetia).
- Ina Feleo for “Sanglaan’’
- Best Screenplay - Vic Acedillo for “Nerseri’’
- Best Supporting Actress - Tessie Tomas for “Sanglaan’’
- Best Cinematography - Pao Orendain for “24K’’
- Best Production Design -Benjamin Padero for “Mangatyanan’’
- Best Original Musical Score - Francisbrew Reyes for “Dinig Sana Kita’’
- Short feature category - Best Film, “Bonsai’’ by Borgy K. Torre; Special Jury Prize, “Blogog’’ by Milo Tolentino; Best Direction, Dexter B. Cayanes for “Musa;’’ and Best Screenplay, Mark Philipp Espina for “Behind Closed Doors.’’
- “Baseko Bakal Boys’’ by Ralston Jover won the 1st Cinemalaya (Netpac) prize, a new section of the Cinemalaya.
- Michael Sandejas’ “Dinig Sana Kita’’ was winner of the National Council for Children’s Television Award which is given to the film that promotes family values. The award hopes to encourage young filmmakers to create quality content for children. “Dinig Sana Kita’’ also won the Audience Choice Award in the full-length category and as such won a P50,000 cash award.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
I was able to watch 9 out 10 films in the competition category. Not bad. Last year, I was only able to watch 7 out of 10. My top 3 favorite: Mangatyanan, Nerseri and Colorum.
Best Picture: Mangatyanan, directed by Jerrold Tarog
Special Jury Prize: Nerseri, directed by Vic Asedillo Jr.
Best Director: Jerrold Tarog, Mangatyanan
Best Screenplay: Sanglaan
Best Supporting Actress: Glaiza de Castro, Astig
Best Supporting Actor: Alwyn Uytingco, Nerseri
Best Actress: Che Ramos, Mangatyanan
Best Actor: Sid Lucero, Astig
Best Production Design: Mangatyanan
Best Editing: Mangatyanan, Nerseri
Best Musical Score: Mangatyanan
Best Sound Design: Mangatyanan
Best Cinematography: Ang Panggagahasa kay Fe
Audience Choice Award: Astig
GB Sampedro's “Astig” (Mga Batang Kalye), which tells the story of four tough guys trying to make ends meet in the slum areas of the city of Manila, feels like a remake of a Brocka film. Unlike Brocka, however, Sampedro's cinematography doesn't capture the rancid smell of the city.
Its cinematic style reminiscent of Inarritu's "Amores Perros" and "Babel" isn't entirely fresh and you'd somehow begin to doubt the film's originality. The cameos of several movie personalities are irritatingly distracting. If anything, they never help in the development of the plot and only compromise the film's believability. Imagine Mariel Rodriguez clad in a nurse attire working in Fabella hospital. You can't help to think, of course, that the main reason of these stars' inclusion is for market viability.
Mr. Sampedro's narrative, however, provides a good acting venue for its ensemble who fortunately delivers a decent performance. Special mention to Sid Lucero whose depiction of an overprotective brother juggling between school and household responsibility is hearfelt. I have a feeling that he'll bring home the award for Best Actor. Dennis Trillo equally delivers an earnest performance as a con-man responsible for the suicide of a young girl he used. He speaks in a believable street tounge, his dialogues always bursting with vulgar expressions. Edgar Allan de Guzman shares the drama as a young father trying to build a family who is forced to take desperate measures when his wife gives birth. The characters these actors play are mostly too sketchy and their connections somehow contrived, especially Arnold Reyes' part, to crystallize into an incisive piece.
Jerrold Tarog's "Mangatyanan" is the most impressive entry in this year's Cinemalaya Film Festival. It is a tour de force of mood and emotion, its techniques and sensibility feel very organic, evoked from the scene at hand and its plot so tight that I won't be surprised if it wins the Best Film award.
We first see Laya (Che Ramos) gasping for air as she emerges from the sea. From a distance, she sees a mirage of a man, its distorted figure reaching out to her. She wakes up. It's 3:30 in the morning. She has been dreaming the same thing since she was 12. Something always bothers her sleep. That something turned out to be her father, a famous photographer (Pen Medina) whose constant sexual abuse of Laya tore her family apart. Now at 27, working as a travel photographer, she is tasked to cover a dying harvest ritual called Mangatyanan in Isabela. What she finds there is a strong connection between the tribe's predicament and her own troubled life. Eventually, Laya is forced to face the ghost of her past.
That, in a nutshell, is the dramatic arc of this impressive film that is both enjoyable and gripping to watch. Mangatyanan is part of Mr. Tarog's Camera trilogy which features people with camera. Here, the camera doesn't function as part of the technical aspect of the film. It doesn't click and shoot. There are no still shots. It's just a mere gadget which is dear to the protagonist. This, among other things, is a clear indication that Mr. Tarog doesn't rely on technical cliches but creates his own technique and style. His shots never judge - they simply observe and follow with unclouded and sincere concentration. Best of all, they're hardly boring.
Everything in the film works - from editing to musical scoring. Except perhaps for its attempt to resolve all problems, you can consider it a flawless cinematic work - in an 'indie' level, of course. But you shouldn't trust me with such statement - I'm just probably drunk and too impressed with "Mangatyanan." I can assure you however that you'll get your time and money's worth watching the film. It's too beautiful beyond words. What makes it more impressive is the powerful performance of its main protagonist, Laya played by Ms. Ramos (who was remarkable in her role as a mother of two who's in relationship with the same sex in Virgin Labfest's "Boy/Gel ang Boypren ni Mommy".) In "Mangatyanan," she possesses a cold facade that hides torrents of pain. With her strong frame and evocative portrayal, she is able to hold the film together.
I can bet my bottom dollar that she'll bag the best actress trophy.