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

Reviews

‘Whether the Weather is Fine’: Absurdity in Disaster

Whether the Weather is Fine, the debut feature from director Carlo Francisco Manatad, tells the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 through the eyes of Miguel (Daniel Padilla), his mother Norma (Charo Santos-Concio), and his girlfriend Andrea (Rans Rifol). Amidst the rumor of another incoming storm, the three leads must decide whether to stay in… Continue reading ‘Whether the Weather is Fine’: Absurdity in Disaster

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

Essays

‘Atypical’: Finding and Reclaiming Your Humanity

Spoilers ahead. There’s a great scene in the final season of Atypical that provokes a burst of freedom in me every time. Casey (played by Bridgette Lundy-Paine) has just decided to quit track and drop out of Clayton. She was only in that high school in the first place because she runs super fast, but… Continue reading ‘Atypical’: Finding and Reclaiming Your Humanity

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

Festivals, Interview

Cinemalaya 2021: Filmmaker Shiri de Leon on trauma, autonomy, and ‘Ang Pagdadalaga ni Lola Mayumi’

Editor's note: Spoilers for Ang Pagdadalaga ni Lola Mayumi ahead. A personal standout in this year’s Cinemalaya Main Competition is Ang Pagdadalaga ni Lola Mayumi, where an old woman recognized as the “Town Virgin” (played brilliantly by Ruby Ruiz) books a motel room and hires a callboy (Julian Roxas). Women-directed films about sex and sexual… Continue reading Cinemalaya 2021: Filmmaker Shiri de Leon on trauma, autonomy, and ‘Ang Pagdadalaga ni Lola Mayumi’

Festivals, Reviews

Cinemalaya 2021: Main Competition Shorts B — Extending the Short Form to Wider Lengths

With the ongoing pandemic still restricting the film industry, there is a stronger need to give an accessible platform for filmmakers to showcase not only their work but also realities that most people may not easily witness today. Films play a much more vital role during these times; as many of us are still confined… Continue reading Cinemalaya 2021: Main Competition Shorts B — Extending the Short Form to Wider Lengths