Reviews

‘Indak’: A Lackluster Spectacle Dancing Out of Sync to Its Own Beat

The very first scenes of Indak opens to the nervous halls of a studio. We see the anticipation in it before we get to the gist of what’s going on. Our dancing team:  Indak Pinas prepares for the competition of their lives, while also worrying about their missing member and as they make their way… Continue reading ‘Indak’: A Lackluster Spectacle Dancing Out of Sync to Its Own Beat

Festivals, Reviews

Cinemalaya 2019: ‘Children of the River’ – A Coming-of-Age Apology for State-Sponsored Violence

On May 23, 2017, government forces clashed with members of the rebel group Maute in Marawi City, Lanao Del Sur. What followed was a five-month conflict displacing thousands of civilians, leaving the city in ruins and taking lives from both sides. The island of Mindanao was placed in Martial Law, which is still in effect… Continue reading Cinemalaya 2019: ‘Children of the River’ – A Coming-of-Age Apology for State-Sponsored Violence

Festivals, Reviews

Cinemalaya 2019: ‘ANi’ – A Misguided Visual Feast

Out of all the Cinemalaya films this year, ANi: The Harvest was the one I was most excited to watch. Since last year's announcement that this futuristic sci-fi film made it to the main competition section of the festival, online publicity and marketing have been nonstop. The film crew, headed by directors Kim Zuñiga and… Continue reading Cinemalaya 2019: ‘ANi’ – A Misguided Visual Feast

Festivals, Reviews

Cinemalaya 2019: ‘Tabon’ – A Confused, Pointless Crime Thriller

A confession: during the first 30 minutes or so of Tabon, actor Xian Lim's first foray into directing features, I actually thought I'd end up enjoying it. For a directorial debut, it had a commendable patience that I would expect from more experienced filmmakers. The film had this eerie, macabre atmosphere, subtly hinting at the… Continue reading Cinemalaya 2019: ‘Tabon’ – A Confused, Pointless Crime Thriller

Festivals, Reviews

Cinemalaya 2019: ‘Edward’ – Social Tragedy in Small-Scale

Thop Nazareno’s latest Cinemalaya feature opens with a day in the life of a public hospital doctor. Throughout the shot’s periphery, patients of varying degrees of urgency all sit untreated, and those who are given attention still suffer from medical tool shortage. With the current doctor-patient ratio in the country being 1:33,000, this poignant long… Continue reading Cinemalaya 2019: ‘Edward’ – Social Tragedy in Small-Scale

Festivals, Reviews

Cinemalaya 2019: Shorts A, Ranked

With each film concise and barely reaching the 20-minute mark, this year’s Shorts A program is exploratory, mostly revelatory, and dripping in poignancy. Here are the first set of shorts from this year’s Cinemalaya, ranked. 5. Sa Gabing Tanging Liwanag ay Paniniwala (dir. Francis Amir Guillermo) Soliman Cruz shines in this dimly lit nail-biter that gets… Continue reading Cinemalaya 2019: Shorts A, Ranked

Reviews

‘Hello, Love, Goodbye’: Love Should Not Mean Self-Sacrifice

"Let nothing stop you from achieving your dreams." It’s very rare to see a film that does not raise a question. It’s there to build tension, to generate interest and curiosity. In Hello, Love, Goodbye, it is posed to our protagonist Joy (Kathryn Bernardo)—should she choose her career, or should she stay and choose her… Continue reading ‘Hello, Love, Goodbye’: Love Should Not Mean Self-Sacrifice

Festivals, Reviews

Cinemalaya 2019: ‘John Denver Trending’ – Re-evaluating Humanity in the Digital Age

When scientists began developing the internet in the 1980s, no one could have predicted the impact it would have on the world a few decades later. The internet has made it easier for people to connect with each other, raise awareness on various issues, and create discourse. If analyzed through the lens of Jürgen Habermas's… Continue reading Cinemalaya 2019: ‘John Denver Trending’ – Re-evaluating Humanity in the Digital Age

Reviews

‘Come on Irene’: How Capitalism Corrupts Love

The Philippines is marred with an immense unemployment problem. According to 2018 data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, 21.7% of Filipinos are unemployed or underemployed. Add this to poor working conditions and an insufficient wage system and it's no wonder a fair lot of Filipinos engage in informal jobs to make ends meet. In writer-director… Continue reading ‘Come on Irene’: How Capitalism Corrupts Love

Reviews

‘Midsommar’ and the Very Real Fear of Being Left Behind

“Do you feel held by him? Does he feel like home to you?” You know when you were a child and you get separated from your parents in a crowded place, like a mall or a grocery store? You look around, clinging onto random strangers, only to discover that they’re not your parents. Soon, a… Continue reading ‘Midsommar’ and the Very Real Fear of Being Left Behind