Festivals, Reviews

‘The Ordinaries’ review: The Ultimate Manifestation of the “Main Character Energy”

Whenever I hear the term "main character," the first thing that pops into my head is Dakota Johnson in How to Be Single, particularly when she hails a taxi and tells the driver to bring her "home." I swear I still laugh whenever I remember it, but then I realized, isn't that a familiar scenario… Continue reading ‘The Ordinaries’ review: The Ultimate Manifestation of the “Main Character Energy”

Festivals, Reviews

‘Autobiography’ review: Embrace the Lies, or Else

The arrival of one man can make a rural town feel smaller than it should. Retired general Purna returns to his family home to start his mayoral election campaign. Born from a rich, renowned family, he is beloved by the townsfolk & his fellow peers in the military. As played by Arswendy Bening Swara, it’s… Continue reading ‘Autobiography’ review: Embrace the Lies, or Else

Festivals, Reviews

‘I Have Electric Dreams’ review: An Inspection of A Paternal Bond Based on Faulty Wiring

Adolescence is such a fiery age. It's no wonder most adolescent film characters exude such a tropical vibe. Andrea Arnold visualized this well in my personal favorites Fish Tank and American Honey by literally and figuratively playing with fire. To perfectly capture the blistering intensity of teenage life, she places her fervid protagonists against golden… Continue reading ‘I Have Electric Dreams’ review: An Inspection of A Paternal Bond Based on Faulty Wiring

Festivals, Reviews

‘Joyland’ review: Defying the Rhythms of Masculinity

Haider (Ali Junejo) is not a stereotypical man. He enjoys playing with his young nieces, hesitates in butchering livestock, lives off his wife Mumtaz’s (Rasti Farooq) salary, and doesn’t have kids of his own. He is physically smaller than his peers and is meeker than the usual cisgender heterosexual man. There is nothing he “truly… Continue reading ‘Joyland’ review: Defying the Rhythms of Masculinity

Festivals, Reviews

QCinema 2022: ‘Plan 75’—An Autopsy of a Morbid Life Retirement Program

One of this year’s QCinema entries under the Asian Next Wave category is the Cannes Camera d'Or Special Mention awardee Plan 75. A feature debut of Chie Hayakawa, it has an intriguing yet harrowing premise: To combat the country's rapidly graying population, the government of a near-future Japan introduces a program called "Plan 75," which… Continue reading QCinema 2022: ‘Plan 75’—An Autopsy of a Morbid Life Retirement Program

Festivals, Reviews

QCinema 2022: RainbowQC Shorts—Intimate Intensities of the Queer Filipino Experience

Queer people have always been confined. Their visibility has always been limited to the quiet and privacy of one's own, left to linger in their desires that can't be celebrated in public. The dedication of their narratives through Rainbow Shorts in the 10th year of the QCinema Film Festival presents these issues no longer remaining… Continue reading QCinema 2022: RainbowQC Shorts—Intimate Intensities of the Queer Filipino Experience

Festivals, Reviews

QCinema 2022: ‘Itim’ and the Ghosts of Injustice

Itim (also known as The Rites of May), Mike de Leon’s feature film debut released in 1976, revolves around a photographer (Tommy Abuel) who returns to the province to be with his father (Mario Montenegro) and to document the town’s Holy Week practices. During this time, he finds himself drawn to Teresa (played by Charo… Continue reading QCinema 2022: ‘Itim’ and the Ghosts of Injustice

Festivals, Reviews

QCinema 2022: ‘Elehiya’ Review—Grief and Anger in the Crumbling Remains of Imperial Power

Elehiya is a 2022 film directed by Loy Arcenas about a grieving widow (played by the late Cherie Gil) who finds herself returning to her husband’s family’s estate on an island in the Philippines to scatter his ashes. During her time back, she is restless about days lost and left behind, and she plays out… Continue reading QCinema 2022: ‘Elehiya’ Review—Grief and Anger in the Crumbling Remains of Imperial Power

Festivals, Reviews

QCinema 2022: ‘Return to Seoul’ Review—To Be Everywhere and Belong Nowhere

Return to Seoul is a 2022 drama written and directed by Davy Chou about a young woman attempting to rediscover her heritage by going to an impromptu trip to South Korea. Adopted by French parents after being abandoned by her birth parents, she attempts to connect with the local culture and her biological parents while… Continue reading QCinema 2022: ‘Return to Seoul’ Review—To Be Everywhere and Belong Nowhere

Festivals, Reviews

TIFF 2022: ‘Broker’ – a Light, Heartwarming Found Family Film from Hirokazu Kore-eda

Hirokazu Kore-eda has returned with his first feature after three years with Broker, his first Korean feature.  Kore-eda explores the theme of found family and adoption with colourful characters.  Sang-hyun (Song Kang-ho) is a laundry shop owner swimming in debt. He is in cahoots with Dong-soo (Gang Dong-won), a worker at the baby box facility… Continue reading TIFF 2022: ‘Broker’ – a Light, Heartwarming Found Family Film from Hirokazu Kore-eda