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
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
One thing that sets apart stories by men filmmakers from stories by women filmmakers is that female characters from the latter speak their own language, one that transcends the fickleness of words. Those oppressed by the capitalist-patriarchal system are continuously silenced; and because their voice never reaches outside them, they develop a lingua franca unique… Continue reading ‘Never Rarely Sometimes Always’ and the Secret Language of Women
Between this movie and all the recent local rom-coms that have fallen into my lap (latest recommendations from friends include I’m Drunk, I Love You and That Thing Called Tadhana, coincidentally both referenced in Write About Love), it’s hard not to feel like there’s some otherworldly, omnipotent force (maybe love itself?) pushing me to rethink… Continue reading MMFF 2019: ‘Write About Love’—On Failed Romance and Other Prerequisites for Growth
Movies should be judged on its own merits, but sometimes discourse around it seeps into the film well before one’s first viewing. As I pressed play on Dead Kids a week after its release, I was already (painfully) aware of its stellar social media reception and, subsequently, the arguments being made on the state of… Continue reading ‘Dead Kids’: Being Neon-Lit Does Not Make a Movie Good
I revere Xavier Dolan’s work as much as I absolutely abhor admitting that I revere Xavier Dolan’s work. I guess creating a multi-awarded screenplay at 16 warrants him some degree of cockiness; the pretentiousness of his cinema is what draws me in as an equally pretentious audience member, after all. That said, he is a… Continue reading Sublimated Love, or the Emancipation of Xavier Dolan in ‘Matthias et Maxime’
There is not much to be said about a love story that has neither love nor a story. But maybe it’s deliberate, maybe the point of the film is that our definition now of relationships has been so distorted that you don’t need love to call it one; or that love alone is not enough… Continue reading Cinema One Originals 2019: ‘Tayo Muna Habang Hindi Pa Tayo’ — On Synthetic Romance and Unromantic Synthesis
Maybe I just have too much faith in hugot culture, but I thought LSS would be a blockbuster hit. It has become almost a rite of passage for young Filipinos to cry to at least one Ben&Ben song (I’ve personally bawled at two), so having a feature film to commemorate our collective catharsis, scored by… Continue reading Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino 2019: ‘LSS’ – Love? In This Economy?
In the age of cinematic cash-grabs, every original story, especially in the league of summer flicks, are more than welcome. Crawl ticked off every ingredient needed for a classic seasonal blockbuster, so imagine my excitement as I sat in my local theater, popcorn in hand, ready for suspense-driven, action-packed, mindless fun. Much to my disappointment,… Continue reading ‘Crawl’: The Latest Entry in This Summer’s Flimsy Blockbuster Lineup
It’s hard not to be suspicious of a Mother’s Day movie not released on Mother’s Day—is it good enough on its own that it doesn’t need a holiday to bolster its success, or is it that bad that it can’t possibly compete with other Mother’s Day blockbuster offerings? Otherhood, at its surface, seems like your… Continue reading ‘Otherhood’: What’s So Funny About Toxic Mothers?