Festivals, Reviews

Sundance 2021: ‘Censor’ is a Campy Gore Galore that Doesn’t Quite Find its Footing

Welsh filmmaker Prano Bailey-Bond’s debut Censor is an homage to the 80's and the infamous “video nasties” of the era in Thatcher’s Britain. Enid (Niamh Algar), a film censor, is a workaholic with a meticulous eye for detail. Her job is to protect British audiences from the ”nasties,” as some critics connect these films to… Continue reading Sundance 2021: ‘Censor’ is a Campy Gore Galore that Doesn’t Quite Find its Footing

Festivals, Reviews

‘Fan Girl’: An Effort in Breaking Porcelain Images

There’s a familiar line from Patrick Stump’s 2011 song “Porcelain” that goes, “No, I simply can’t resist my imagination, no amount of patience validates my preoccupation, let me say this, you look better famous”. It’s sung with a sneer guised in disappointment. The kinetic sound feels starry as the narrator pleas for the subject to… Continue reading ‘Fan Girl’: An Effort in Breaking Porcelain Images

Festivals, Lists

Maginhawa Film Festival: 5 Personal Picks from the Open Category

In line with the shift towards the new normal through the online space, the Maginhawa Film Festival moves forward through an online streaming service to bring cinema closer to us within the comfort and safety of our homes. With this year's theme of Transition, the festival presents stories that showcase movement in different periods, perspectives,… Continue reading Maginhawa Film Festival: 5 Personal Picks from the Open Category

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