Reviews

‘Unforgettable’: Decent but Forgettable

My first major issue with Unforgettable is that it does not live up to its title. The film follows a straightforward storyline: a kind young woman named Jasmine (Sarah Geronimo) returns to her home in Baguio hoping to save her sick Lola Olive (Gina Pareño). Along with her is the spotted dog Happy (celebrity dog… Continue reading ‘Unforgettable’: Decent but Forgettable

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

Festivals, Reviews

QCinema 2019: ‘UnTrue’ – Lies, guilt, and romance

The film opens with a shot of a small statue of a woman holding a bowl of grapes on one hand and a sword on the other. We later learn that it is a miniature version of the Kartlis Deda, a huge monument in Georgia's capital city of Tbilisi that greets visitors upon their arrival,… Continue reading QCinema 2019: ‘UnTrue’ – Lies, guilt, and romance

Festivals, Reviews

Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino 2019: ‘Watch Me Kill’ – Of Fractured Identities and Moralities

The film begins mysteriously. We are introduced to a man, maybe in his late 40s or early 50s, seated in a dimly lit room, talking to an unseen person. The latter is a "principled" killer, he says, and so he trusts them as he offers them a handsome amount of money to end his unfinished… Continue reading Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino 2019: ‘Watch Me Kill’ – Of Fractured Identities and Moralities

Festivals, Reviews

Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino 2019: ‘Pagbalik’ – Dull and Unpolished

For the longest time, regional filmmakers have decried imperial Manila's hegemony in the local film industry. The media focuses heavily on Tagalog-language films, in effect neglecting films in other local languages even if the latter have been important to Philippine cinema since its inception. With the advent of digital filmmaking, however, regional filmmakers have found… Continue reading Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino 2019: ‘Pagbalik’ – Dull and Unpolished