Festivals, Interview

SeaShorts 2021: A Personal Conversation with Petersen Vargas on ‘How to Die Young in Manila’

Spoilers ahead. In recent years, we’ve become very familiar with Filipino filmmaker Petersen Vargas and his films Lisyun Qng Geografia and 2 Cool 2 be 4gotten. Following his ever-growing filmography is his recent short film How to Die Young in Manila, which premiered in Busan Film Festival, competed in the Singapore International Film Festival, and… Continue reading SeaShorts 2021: A Personal Conversation with Petersen Vargas on ‘How to Die Young in Manila’

Festivals, Interview

SeaShorts 2021: ‘Gutab’ Director Mary Andrea Palmares Wants to Remind Women of Their Power

Gutab is fuelled by stares. The two leads—a beauty queen and a mat weaver's daughter—exchange little to no words, and yet we understand. When the film concludes, it makes perfect sense. The short film, which was part of the recently concluded SeaShorts Film Festival, was directed by University of the Philippines Visayas student Mary Andrea… Continue reading SeaShorts 2021: ‘Gutab’ Director Mary Andrea Palmares Wants to Remind Women of Their Power

Essays

‘Atypical’: Finding and Reclaiming Your Humanity

Spoilers ahead. There’s a great scene in the final season of Atypical that provokes a burst of freedom in me every time. Casey (played by Bridgette Lundy-Paine) has just decided to quit track and drop out of Clayton. She was only in that high school in the first place because she runs super fast, but… Continue reading ‘Atypical’: Finding and Reclaiming Your Humanity

Festivals, Interview

Cinemalaya 2021: Filmmaker Arjanmar Rebeta on regional cinema, dreams, and ‘An Sadit na Planeta’

Recently, a filmmaker has been making a name in Philippine cinema after winning the Grand Prize in Nespresso Talents 2020, Philippine Competition—and being the first Filipino to be included in the International Competition of the same festival. This year, another film of his titled An Sadit na Planeta was selected in the Cinemalaya Independent Film… Continue reading Cinemalaya 2021: Filmmaker Arjanmar Rebeta on regional cinema, dreams, and ‘An Sadit na Planeta’

Festivals, Reviews

A Festival in Review: Cinemalaya 2021’s Dokyu Program A

I remember reading once this quote about cinema: “The cinema is truth 24 frames per second.” It felt, to me, like it came from the early Soviet filmmakers, perhaps the person who did Berlin: Symphony of a Metropolis. (The quote comes from Godard, which makes more sense than my first assumption.) Even in a world… Continue reading A Festival in Review: Cinemalaya 2021’s Dokyu Program A

Festivals, Interview

Cinemalaya 2021: Filmmaker Shiri de Leon on trauma, autonomy, and ‘Ang Pagdadalaga ni Lola Mayumi’

Editor's note: Spoilers for Ang Pagdadalaga ni Lola Mayumi ahead. A personal standout in this year’s Cinemalaya Main Competition is Ang Pagdadalaga ni Lola Mayumi, where an old woman recognized as the “Town Virgin” (played brilliantly by Ruby Ruiz) books a motel room and hires a callboy (Julian Roxas). Women-directed films about sex and sexual… Continue reading Cinemalaya 2021: Filmmaker Shiri de Leon on trauma, autonomy, and ‘Ang Pagdadalaga ni Lola Mayumi’

Festivals, Reviews

Cinemalaya 2021: Main Competition Shorts B — Extending the Short Form to Wider Lengths

With the ongoing pandemic still restricting the film industry, there is a stronger need to give an accessible platform for filmmakers to showcase not only their work but also realities that most people may not easily witness today. Films play a much more vital role during these times; as many of us are still confined… Continue reading Cinemalaya 2021: Main Competition Shorts B — Extending the Short Form to Wider Lengths

Reviews

‘The Green Knight’: The Unforgettable Coming-of-Age Journey of Camelot’s Bravest Knight

The Dev Patel train is not slowing down any time soon, and The Green Knight certainly establishes his range. The actor stars as the best of King Arthur’s knights, Sir Gawain, in this medieval fantasy film based on the Arthurian poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Originally slated for the South by Southwest 2020… Continue reading ‘The Green Knight’: The Unforgettable Coming-of-Age Journey of Camelot’s Bravest Knight

Festivals, Reviews

Rise of the Short Films: Cinemalaya 2021 Main Competition Set A

Since the lockdown was mandated, it has been difficult for filmmakers to come up with new films. Producing full-length films became more expensive due to COVID-19 safety protocols. This has allowed us to reimagine the landscape of Philippine cinema; with short films previously seen as inferior to full-lengths, the short form has taken over. QCinema,… Continue reading Rise of the Short Films: Cinemalaya 2021 Main Competition Set A

Reviews

‘The Commitment’: Queer Love as Failure

The Commitment (Kasal) takes us immediately at the height of the incident. Paolo (Oliver Aquino) gets caught cheating by his partner, Sherwin (Arnold Reyes) and we are left to pick up the pieces alongside them. Throughout the film, we see them working towards rekindling their relationship and moving past this setback. However, following these events… Continue reading ‘The Commitment’: Queer Love as Failure