Festivals, Reviews

TIFF 2020: ‘Ammonite’ — A Sensual Take on Paleontology

“She sells seashells by the seashore,” a well-known tongue twister everyone grew up with, might have been about Mary Anning (Kate Winslet), a paleontologist in Victorian England. The latest addition in the growing catalogue of lesbian period films, Francis Lee’s second feature Ammonite follows Anning and her love affair with Charlotte Murchison (Saoirse Ronan), which… Continue reading TIFF 2020: ‘Ammonite’ — A Sensual Take on Paleontology

Festivals, Reviews

TIFF 2020: ‘Nomadland’ — A Look into America’s Lesser-known Pioneers

A decade after the Great Recession and amid the economic downfall we are facing during a global pandemic, films tackling the lives affected by these events are sure to come out time and time again. But it’s rare for one to carry emotional weight and affect the viewer. Chloé Zhao’s adaptation of the book of… Continue reading TIFF 2020: ‘Nomadland’ — A Look into America’s Lesser-known Pioneers

Festivals, Reviews

TIFF 2020: ‘Quo Vadis, Aida?’—the Bosnian Genocide through a mother’s eyes

The Yugoslav Wars are familiar to those in the Balkan regions. Outside that, few people can really tell what happened nearly three decades ago. One of the most brutal ethnic cleansings in recent memory happened in Bosnia, specifically in one town called Srebrenica, where 8,372 Bosnian men and boys were slaughtered. Bosnian director Jasmila Žbanic’s… Continue reading TIFF 2020: ‘Quo Vadis, Aida?’—the Bosnian Genocide through a mother’s eyes

Festivals, Reviews

TIFF 2020: ‘Shiva Baby’—Funerals can be entertaining!

Family gatherings can be a pain in the behind. It’s where you see close friends and relatives again after a long time and you get bombarded with personal questions that you either don’t like answering or have no answer to. But of course there is this unsaid etiquette that you have to entertain them and… Continue reading TIFF 2020: ‘Shiva Baby’—Funerals can be entertaining!

Festivals, Reviews

TIFF 2020: ‘Holler’—Escaping Small-Town America

A debut feature from director Nicole Riegel, Holler gives us a glance at the bleak landscape of the small South Ohio town that she grew up in. Riegel captures this life in 16mm film from the point of view of the film’s young protagonist, who embodies the grittiness of working-class life in the dying factory… Continue reading TIFF 2020: ‘Holler’—Escaping Small-Town America

Festivals, Reviews

TIFF 2020: ‘Pieces of a Woman’—A film that navigates grief in an unfamiliar way

There aren’t many stories told about miscarriages and stillbirth; both are still taboos that leave many women suffering in silence. In Pieces of a Woman, a devastating stillbirth is at the core of the story, showing us a shattered mother and the people touched by her anguish. Kornél Mundruczó’s English debut penned by his partner… Continue reading TIFF 2020: ‘Pieces of a Woman’—A film that navigates grief in an unfamiliar way

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