Festivals, Reviews

TIFF 2021: ‘The Electrical Life of Louis Wain’—a Playful Take on the Tortured Cat Painter Genius

Cats have been worshipped for centuries. At the beginning of the 20th century, paintings of anthropomorphized large-eyed cats were in circulation. Cats, then still a bit of a mystery, became the mainstream, all thanks to a man named Louis Wain (Benedict Cumberbatch).  The Electrical Life of Louis Wain follows Wain’s journey from being the sole… Continue reading TIFF 2021: ‘The Electrical Life of Louis Wain’—a Playful Take on the Tortured Cat Painter Genius

Festivals, Reviews

TIFF 2021: ‘Scarborough’—A Stirring Look in this Diverse Toronto Neighbourhood

The Canadian film scene is a mixed bag full of stories from different walks of life, though most of the recent ones are stories about bourgeois struggle. Then came Scarborough, an adaptation of the 2017 book by Filipino-Canadian author Catherine Hernandez. This captivating book, which received so much praise and prizes, is translated onscreen by… Continue reading TIFF 2021: ‘Scarborough’—A Stirring Look in this Diverse Toronto Neighbourhood

Festivals, Reviews

TIFF 2021: ‘Dune’—A Magnificent Cinematic Introduction to an Upcoming Sequel

After a year of delays, it’s finally here. One of the most anticipated films of this year, Denis Villeneuve’s Dune hits the fall festival circuit. Fans of the book and cinephiles alike have waited for this film to grace the screens as the pandemic delayed its release and controversies about its HBO Max debut boiled… Continue reading TIFF 2021: ‘Dune’—A Magnificent Cinematic Introduction to an Upcoming Sequel

Festivals, Reviews

TIFF 2021: ‘Charlotte’—The Beauty of Life Over the Ugliness of Human Nature

Stories about the Holocaust are told time and time again so that we may never forget what happened during such a dark period in history. In Charlotte, we are introduced to one creative soul that lived through the horrors of being Jewish. Produced by Keira Knightley (voicing Charlotte), Marion Cotillard (who voiced the French version),… Continue reading TIFF 2021: ‘Charlotte’—The Beauty of Life Over the Ugliness of Human Nature

Festivals, Reviews

TIFF 2021: ‘Spencer’—A Stunning Character Study Unlike the Other Dianas

This year would have been Princess Diana’s 60th birthday. Her story is a tragedy known all over: a beautiful woman who fell in love with a prince, the heir to the once-mighty British Empire, who did not love her back. Despite that, she used her status to help others and the world learned to love… Continue reading TIFF 2021: ‘Spencer’—A Stunning Character Study Unlike the Other Dianas

Festivals, Reviews

TIFF 2021: ‘Titane’—Both Horrifying and Uplifting

Seeing this promotional photo for Titane would immediately make one conclude that this film has some sort of Fast and Furious vibe, filled with cars and sexy women; but it’s more than that. Maybe even different than that. Julia Ducournau’s second feature film is an absolute thrill ride from start to finish. The film follows… Continue reading TIFF 2021: ‘Titane’—Both Horrifying and Uplifting

Festivals, Interview

SeaShorts 2021: A Personal Conversation with Petersen Vargas on ‘How to Die Young in Manila’

Spoilers ahead. In recent years, we’ve become very familiar with Filipino filmmaker Petersen Vargas and his films Lisyun Qng Geografia and 2 Cool 2 be 4gotten. Following his ever-growing filmography is his recent short film How to Die Young in Manila, which premiered in Busan Film Festival, competed in the Singapore International Film Festival, and… Continue reading SeaShorts 2021: A Personal Conversation with Petersen Vargas on ‘How to Die Young in Manila’

Festivals, Interview

SeaShorts 2021: ‘Gutab’ Director Mary Andrea Palmares Wants to Remind Women of Their Power

Gutab is fuelled by stares. The two leads—a beauty queen and a mat weaver's daughter—exchange little to no words, and yet we understand. When the film concludes, it makes perfect sense. The short film, which was part of the recently concluded SeaShorts Film Festival, was directed by University of the Philippines Visayas student Mary Andrea… Continue reading SeaShorts 2021: ‘Gutab’ Director Mary Andrea Palmares Wants to Remind Women of Their Power

Festivals, Interview

Cinemalaya 2021: Filmmaker Arjanmar Rebeta on regional cinema, dreams, and ‘An Sadit na Planeta’

Recently, a filmmaker has been making a name in Philippine cinema after winning the Grand Prize in Nespresso Talents 2020, Philippine Competition—and being the first Filipino to be included in the International Competition of the same festival. This year, another film of his titled An Sadit na Planeta was selected in the Cinemalaya Independent Film… Continue reading Cinemalaya 2021: Filmmaker Arjanmar Rebeta on regional cinema, dreams, and ‘An Sadit na Planeta’

Festivals, Reviews

A Festival in Review: Cinemalaya 2021’s Dokyu Program A

I remember reading once this quote about cinema: “The cinema is truth 24 frames per second.” It felt, to me, like it came from the early Soviet filmmakers, perhaps the person who did Berlin: Symphony of a Metropolis. (The quote comes from Godard, which makes more sense than my first assumption.) Even in a world… Continue reading A Festival in Review: Cinemalaya 2021’s Dokyu Program A