The Royal Tenenbaums (Wes Anderson) **** - This is my second or third time watching this film. I reminded by how much I love it. It's so goddamn great.
I saw a bunch of films from the Cinemalaya Film Festival, an independent film festival in the Philippines.
Kamera Obskura (Raymond Red) ***
- Silent-era Filipino films like with most silent-era films from
tropical countries are all practically lost. This film is basically a
silent Filipino film made to look it was made in that era. It's about a
man after being trapped in a cell for a long time emerges to find
himself in a retro-future and is given a special camera that zaps people
into obscurity. The film starts out very promisingly with a lots of
interesting steam punk-esque visuals, following the rhythm, pace and
even film scratches of a silent-era film. Then unfortunately becomes a
tad preachy and ultimately goes nowhere. But still, it's an extremely
creative, endlessly fascinating piece of work.
The following are short films:
As He Sleeps (Sheron Dayoc) *** -
A wife dutifully cares for her paralyzed husband. An interesting,
almost wordless film that features a pretty damn good performance by Sue
Prado. It says volumes about marriage with barely any dialogue.
Balintuna (Irony) (Emmanuel
Escalona Jr.) **- Two young boys', one a thief, the other a superhero
fan fates intertwined. The title is "irony" but I don't get the "irony"
of it. The boys' performances are very natural and there are some nifty
editing and music but this one didn't work for me.
Bohe: Sons of the Waves (Nadjoua
Bansil) **1/2 - Five Badjao (Filipinos who reside in the Southern part
of the Philippines, usually near water) boys learn about the importance
of mangroves. A potentially fascinating subject matter and it has its
moments but it seems to lack a bit of focus.
The Passenger (Max Celada)
***1/2 - They saved the two best for last. This one is about an old lady
in a passenger jeepney who keeps prattling and ranting about all sorts
of subject matter to her fellow passengers. I have to say while watching
this I can't help but think that the writer-director must have based
this on personal experience. It's quite funny.
Victor (Jarrell M. Serencio)
***1/2 - I'll throw a bit of warning: I happen to know the guy who made
this and a couple of friends of mine are also involved in the production
but I'm gonna review this as objectively as possible. This is a rather
exemplary film. Is it narrative? Is it a documentary? It sort of blurs
the line. It's about a man who every year plays Jesus in a recreation of
the passion and death of Jesus Christ and LITERALLY gets himself nailed
to the cross. Tougher to watch than The Passion of the Christ (the nails are REAL) and also has more to say about religion and spiritually than that film.