Reviews

‘Block Z’ and the Dystopian Present

It is impossible to watch Block Z without being reminded of the novel coronavirus outbreak spreading in various parts of the world. From the film’s opening sequence, the director Mikhail Red makes his statement clear: viral epidemics are as political as they are biological. They are the direct result of the government’s neglect of the… Continue reading ‘Block Z’ and the Dystopian Present

Reviews

‘The Kingmaker’ and the Political Film Consumption

There is a popular quote from the book Philippine Society and Revolution: “Mayaman ang Pilipinas pero naghihirap ang sambayanang Pilipino.” (“The Philippines is rich but the Filipino people are poor.”) The Kingmaker, the explosive and controversial new documentary from American filmmaker Lauren Greenfield, establishes this from the film’s first few scenes. Former First Lady Imelda… Continue reading ‘The Kingmaker’ and the Political Film Consumption

Lists

Essential Filipino Films of 2019

2019 has been a year of celebration for Philippine cinema. The industry had marked its 100th anniversary that started with Jose Nepomuceno’s 1919 film Dalagang Bukid. Cinemalaya and Cinema One Originals, some of the pioneering film festivals of the digital era, have both held their 15th edition. QCinema went full-on international, allowing international titles to… Continue reading Essential Filipino Films of 2019

Festivals, Reviews

Cinema One Originals 2019: ‘O’ – An incomprehensible mess

[Disclaimer: This review is for the original cut shown during the gala screening.] When the ending credits finally rolled, I braced myself as I confirmed a bad hunch I had throughout the entire screening: this film doesn't have a sound designer. I guess we'll never know whether they simply didn't want their name included in… Continue reading Cinema One Originals 2019: ‘O’ – An incomprehensible mess

Festivals, Reviews

Submissions to the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film in QCinema2019: ‘System Crasher,’ ‘And Then We Danced,’ ‘Homeward,’ and ‘Buoyancy’

QCinema is perhaps the only legitimate international film festival in the country, an obvious standout for having exceptional and extensive curation. Not only does it bring award-winning films that would have never screened in local theaters under normal circumstances, it also gives Filipino audiences a glimpse into cinemas rarely discussed in our film community. This… Continue reading Submissions to the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film in QCinema2019: ‘System Crasher,’ ‘And Then We Danced,’ ‘Homeward,’ and ‘Buoyancy’

Festivals, Reviews

QCinema 2019: ‘Kaaway sa Sulod’ – Pelikula ng mga Diyalektiko

Si Arnel Barbarona na marahil ang isa sa mga pinakamatingkad na pangalan sa kasalukuyan tuwing pinag-uusapan ang sineng Mindanao. Patunay ang tagumpay ng pelikula niyang Tu Pug Imatuy (The Right to Kill) na nanalo ng Best Picture sa Sinag Maynila 2017 at pinangaralan ng 1st Place Grand Jury Prize sa FAMAS 2018 na may puwang,… Continue reading QCinema 2019: ‘Kaaway sa Sulod’ – Pelikula ng mga Diyalektiko

Festivals, Reviews

QCinema 2019: ‘Babae at Baril’ – Assertion of power

In 1927, during an emergency meeting at the start of the Chinese Civil War, communist revolutionary Mao Zedong uttered the now-famous words: “the political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.” In a way, Rae Red’s first solo directorial debut is a modern take on this phrase, examining how a gun can affect… Continue reading QCinema 2019: ‘Babae at Baril’ – Assertion of power

Festivals, Reviews

QCinema 2019: ‘No Data Plan’ – Migration, fugitivism, and the Filipino diaspora

According to the Migration Policy Institute, there are approximately 1.6 million Filipinos living as immigrant workers in the United States, comprising roughly 4 percent of the country’s entire OFW population. Lack of employment opportunities and as the government’s labor export policy are among the primary reasons some Filipinos opt to leave the country in search… Continue reading QCinema 2019: ‘No Data Plan’ – Migration, fugitivism, and the Filipino diaspora

Festivals, Reviews

QCinema 2019: ‘For My Alien Friend’ – An ode to existence and companionship

Cinema in its purest form, they say, is just an artistic arrangement of sights and sounds. The filmmaker manipulates every aspect of the film: color, saturation, hue, framing, score, and sound effects–to create a symphony of images in perfect harmony with its auditory elements. But a good film relishes not only in its technical merits… Continue reading QCinema 2019: ‘For My Alien Friend’ – An ode to existence and companionship