Monday, July 25, 2011

My Last Hurrah at Cinemalaya 2011

I watched a lot of Cinemalaya films this year and I'm so happy at that. The timing was perfect because Cinemalaya had screenings this year at Greenbelt 3 (more accessible to me) and I recently had a midyear bonus at work (so I can afford to watch a lot of films). All in all I watched all the four films in the Directors' Showcase, 4 films under the New Breed Full Length category, One NETPAC movie and 5 Shorts (Short Features Group B). I already shared my thoughts last week for the films Busong, Bisperas, Bahay Bata, Isda and NETPAC film Nono. So today I'll the other films I was able to see on the last few days of Cinemalaya 2011. (By the way congratulations to the winners!)

Short Features Group B

"Hanap Buhay" is the best in this set (too bad I wasn't able to catch the Group A which I heard a lot of rave reviews) it was simple and funny with a clever twist in the end. "Immanuel" futuristic concept is intriguing and I think it could have work better as a full length film. "Hazard" is gripping and a little disturbing. I didn't like "Oliver's Apartment" and "Debut".

Niño by Loy Arcenas [New Breed]

"Niño" is about a family where the older generation yearn on the years when they were rich and famous but have to face the reality that it has already faded and they could never reclaim past glories. The film started a little slow but picked up as it progresses especially the last part where the execution was hair rising. The script is mostly solid although I found Racquel's son a nuisance, the film would still work without his character.
9 / 10

Amok by Lawrence Fajarado [New Breed]

"Amok' is set in Pasay Rotonda and from there we take a look of the lives of the people there but an incident will changed the lives of people. I'm very impressed with the direction, camera shots, logistics of this film, I'm not really particular with camera shots and angles but I just can't help but be impressed what this film pulled off technically! The execution was masterfully done. This is a difficult film to do but they pulled it off magnificently. I think the story needs more cohesion because the stories of the characters are literally and figuratively all over the place, there are characters that don't leave any impact at all but nevertheless the climax was just riveting. Plus points to that catchy street rap song that opened the film.
9 / 10

Patikul by Joel Lamangan [Directors' Showcase]

"Patikul" is a typical Joel Lamangan film with its social commentary tone but I like the topic about a small elementary school in Patikul which is struggling because they are in the middle of the conflict between the military and Muslim rebels. It has the heart but something about the film doesn't feel authentic (maybe because the film was shot not really in Sulu but somewhere here in Luzon which is understandable given the hazard of shooting there).
8 / 10

Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank (The Woman in the Septic Tank) by Marlon River and Chris Martinez [New Breed]

Eugene Domingo brought the house down! Really great performance from her especially love the "three kinds of acting" part. The story's alright, I like how they point out the flaws of a misguided Pinoy Indie filmmakers. The "dream" sequences started fun but it went for too long that it became a little weary. And I found the ending abrupt but the coda was gold.
9 / 10

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