Festivals, Reviews

Vision Unbarred: Cinemalaya 2020 Short Films A&B in Review

I have never been to a Cinemalaya screening. Pampanga is a relatively urban province located near Metro Manila, but even there, Cinemalaya—one of the most celebrated Filipino film festivals— has never been given the promotion that it so rightly deserves. Often overshadowed by western pictures, big budget movies, and given short-lived slots in cinemas, the… Continue reading Vision Unbarred: Cinemalaya 2020 Short Films A&B in Review

Festivals, Lists

Cinemalaya 2020 — 5 Best Indie Nation Shorts

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

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

Festivals, Reviews

MMFF 2019: Not Really a Miracle in Cell No. 7

I consider storytelling one of the greatest inventions of mankind. There is no greater pleasure than seeing a story come alive, to be able to lose yourself and be transported to another world, another time, and another reality through magnificently crafted sequences. But for this to happen, a film must have a solid team of… Continue reading MMFF 2019: Not Really a Miracle in Cell No. 7

Festivals, Reviews

Cinema One Originals 2019: ‘Metamorphosis’ – Arresting but ultimately shallow

Warning: Major spoilers ahead! Jose Enrique Tiglao’s Metamorphosis is the first Filipino film to feature an intersex character. Adam (Gold Azeron) is just a regular 14-year-old trying to navigate his adolescence: homework and projects, being a good son to his religious parents, impressing his new classmate, and defending himself from bullies. Raised as a boy… Continue reading Cinema One Originals 2019: ‘Metamorphosis’ – Arresting but ultimately shallow

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

Cinema One Originals 2019: ‘Lucid’ – Coping Through Troubled Times

Warning: spoilers ahead! Things aren’t always what they seem in Victor Villanueva’s Lucid. Ann (Alessandra de Rossi) is a lonely woman living in a routine day to day: wake up, comb her hair, cook breakfast, and give her aunt (Peewee O’Hara) the daily insulin dose. Afterwards she commutes to work, punches in, maneuvers her day… Continue reading Cinema One Originals 2019: ‘Lucid’ – Coping Through Troubled Times

Festivals, Reviews

Cinema One Originals 2019: ‘Sila-Sila’ – Putting Your Home Where Your Heart Is

In the 2013 song Strawberry Blond, Mitski sings “I love everybody, because I love you”. There’s a palpable sense of yearning in the subject of her song, and a desire in creating a home out of it. For upon creation, everything else in that small home becomes an extension and it becomes a world in… Continue reading Cinema One Originals 2019: ‘Sila-Sila’ – Putting Your Home Where Your Heart Is

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’