Saturday, December 8, 2012

CineManila - Day 3

Pusang Gala (Stray Cat) (Mario O'Hara)

This film is a "lost" film from the late, great Filipino director Mario O'Hara. It was made for television back in 2001 and has since been forgotten. It has recently been accidentally discovered and is now enjoying a new life as a lost piece by a great director. It's about a lovelorn sexually frustrated single woman who works as a caterer for TV and movie productions. She takes in a younger man and falls in love with him. Unfortunately, it's not reciprocated and of course complications ensue but not in the way you expect. Though the film's television origin and low budget shows at times, the themes tackled and the way shots are composed and executed are quite cinematic and features probably a career-best performance by Janice de Belen who plays the lead. This should fit in nicely with O'Hara's distinguished oeuvre. (B+)

The Great Cinema Party (Raya Martin)

This is one of those almost unrateable films since it is an art film with a capital A, a capital R and a capital T. It's from Raya Martin, one of the Philippines' famous avant-garde filmmakers. There is no plot to speak of. Basically it's about a group of cinephiles and filmmakers from all over the world gathering in the Philippines for a tour of a historical island of Corregidor followed by the party referred to by the title. It features cameos from famous Filipino indie directors like Lav Diaz and Brillante Mendoza.Watching the film is hard to describe. Best way I can put it is that it gives us a glimpse at what loving cinema is like in the Philippines and I can totally relate to it and the ending is oddly moving and joyous. (B+)

Light in the Yellow Breathing Space (Vimukthi Jayasundara)

This is one strange semi-feature (40 minutes long) film. At first, you would think it's about a young boy who comes home to spend time with his dying father. They go off into the woods. Then from there, it turns into something that I can best describe as The Tree of Life if it was directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul. It is gorgeously shot and attempts to tackle some heady themes in its short running as earnestly and honestly as possible but the film didn't quite work for me. Still, it's worth a look. (B-)

1 comment:

YeamieWaffles said...

I really love the sound of the first one the most to me, it's such an interesting concept and I'd love to see just exactly how they go about pulling it off, great post buddy.