Reviews

False Promises in ‘Love, Guaranteed’

From the painstaking manner of handwriting love letters, the age-old practice of harana here in the Philippines, the sweetness of courtship, to our modern, digital age where finding and choosing a romantic interest can be as easy as swiping left or right; throughout history, nothing else in the world is sought after more than love.… Continue reading False Promises in ‘Love, Guaranteed’

Reviews

‘The Social Dilemma’: Zooming into the Bigger Picture

After Edward Snowden’s controversial confession back in 2013, it is no longer a secret that global surveillance programs through cameras installed in every device allow some powerful groups to covertly spy on people, raising concerns on national security and individual privacy. However, unbeknownst to the majority, there is an even greater threat that looms in… Continue reading ‘The Social Dilemma’: Zooming into the Bigger Picture

Reviews

‘I’m Thinking of Ending Things’ is a Horror Film

**Contains spoilers A girl with no name is on a road trip with Jake (Jesse Plemons), her boyfriend of 6 weeks, to meet his parents (Toni Collette and David Thewlis) in the countryside. There is a snowstorm, and she wants to leave but their trip back to the city is always put off. Suddenly, things… Continue reading ‘I’m Thinking of Ending Things’ is a Horror Film

Essays

Emerging Aswangs in the Urban Landscape: Intentional Horror in Realism and the Conscious Visual Language of ‘Aswang’ (2019)

They never happened in the avenues; they always happen in the alleys. My childhood friend lost her father because of Rodrigo Duterte’s Oplan Tokhang. I was 15 when the killings started. I saw the picture on the Facebook page of The Philippine Star. It feels different when the victim is very close to you; I… Continue reading Emerging Aswangs in the Urban Landscape: Intentional Horror in Realism and the Conscious Visual Language of ‘Aswang’ (2019)

Festivals, Reviews

Vision Unbarred: Cinemalaya 2020 Short Films A&B in Review

I have never been to a Cinemalaya screening. Pampanga is a relatively urban province located near Metro Manila, but even there, Cinemalaya—one of the most celebrated Filipino film festivals— has never been given the promotion that it so rightly deserves. Often overshadowed by western pictures, big budget movies, and given short-lived slots in cinemas, the… Continue reading Vision Unbarred: Cinemalaya 2020 Short Films A&B in Review

Reviews

‘Kung Paano Siya Nawala’: The Many Faces of Love

“Yung iba nadaanan ko lang, yung iba, dumaan sandali,” Shana (Rhian Ramos) remarks, as Lio (JM De Guzman) admires the sea of photographs on her wall. Meeting new people is easy but committing them to memory may prove to be more challenging, especially if they have caused you pain in the past. Such is the… Continue reading ‘Kung Paano Siya Nawala’: The Many Faces of Love

Reviews

‘An Easy Girl’: Gazing at Girlhood

It’s no exaggeration when I say western coming-of-age movies directed by men broke my brain. It didn’t matter if it had a female protagonist that made it appear more relatable—it always centered on sex, the plot is rooted on sex, the characters are motivated by sex, the story is furthered by sex, the resolution is… Continue reading ‘An Easy Girl’: Gazing at Girlhood

Festivals, Lists

Cinemalaya 2020 — 5 Best Indie Nation Shorts

A lineup of more than twenty films is guaranteed to be a mixed bag. What stood out from the pack were the personal, the somber, and the sentimental. These shorts are, more than anything, love letters, to the people in them and to the medium itself. Below are the best of Cinemalaya 16’s Indie Nation… Continue reading Cinemalaya 2020 — 5 Best Indie Nation Shorts

Essays

‘Lady Bird’ and Finding Truth Within Yourself

Growing up is an experience that everyone goes through at different points of their life, and coming-of-age stories have always been there to document this process. This kind of film comes and goes, but when one creeps up out of nowhere and leaves an impact on me, I hold it in my heart forever. Greta… Continue reading ‘Lady Bird’ and Finding Truth Within Yourself

Reviews

‘Da 5 Bloods’: Dealing with the Past and Facing the Future

“After you’ve been in a war, you understand that it never really ends.” This line from the movie Da 5 Bloods perfectly encapsulates the idea that award-winning director Spike Lee wanted to portray in his new film. Never one to shy away from controversial issues and ideas, Lee has brilliantly woven a narrative made from… Continue reading ‘Da 5 Bloods’: Dealing with the Past and Facing the Future