Reviews

‘Never Rarely Sometimes Always’ and the Secret Language of Women

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

Festivals, Reviews

MMFF 2019: ‘Write About Love’—On Failed Romance and Other Prerequisites for Growth

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

Reviews

‘Dead Kids’: Being Neon-Lit Does Not Make a Movie Good

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

Reviews

Sublimated Love, or the Emancipation of Xavier Dolan in ‘Matthias et Maxime’

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’

Festivals, Reviews

Cinema One Originals 2019: ‘Tayo Muna Habang Hindi Pa Tayo’ — On Synthetic Romance and Unromantic Synthesis

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

Festivals, Reviews

Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino 2019: ‘LSS’ – Love? In This Economy?

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?

Reviews

‘Crawl’: The Latest Entry in This Summer’s Flimsy Blockbuster Lineup

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

Reviews

‘Otherhood’: What’s So Funny About Toxic Mothers?

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?

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