Sunday, November 17, 2013

Weekly Round-Up (11/10/13 - 11/16/13)

Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia (Sam Peckinpah) ***1/2 - By virtue of its title, I went "SOLD!" but then it's also directed by Sam Peckinpah so it's DOUBLE-sold. This is about a rich Mexican crime lord who orders his network to bring the head of the man who knocked up his young daughter and Warren Oates, an American expat, is caught up on it. This one isn't QUITE as lurid or exploitive as the title suggests. Well, it is sort of. There are lots of nudity and violence but Peckinpah actually takes his time to build character and story so when it comes, it was quite satisfying. It mixes absurd dark humor, romance and violence very well. It's pretty darn awesome.

Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Na Kayon Ngayon? (Eddie Romero) ***1/2 - The title is roughly translated as "This Is How It Was Then, What's It Like Today?" It's about poor Filipino country boy whose mom just passed away and being a bit of a dumbass, he accidentally burns down his house. And so begins his journey. One thing that surprised me about this film is that it is a COMEDY. Well, at least it starts out as a comedy but slowly becomes more and more serious as it goes along without you noticing. It's a very Filipino film from the get-go, very Filipiniana. However, the structure is kind of Fellini-esque in a way. Sometimes I find myself thinking, had Fellini been Filipino, it would probably be like this. Overall, it's an imperfect film (a bit overlong) but its message is still shockingly relevant today and imparts it without being preachy.

Ang Alamat ni China Doll (The Legend of China Doll) (Adolfo Alix Jr.) *** - I often complain films being too long. Though seldom do I complain about them being too short. Well, this is one of those times. Presented in a non-linear structure, the film is about a young woman who is a criminal turned state witness with the code name "China Doll" and engaged in a bizarre, sick triangle between an ambitious journalist and her police handler. The script is by Lav Diaz, director known for his very, very long films (9 to 11 hours long). I don't know if the director clipped the script but the film is 90 minutes long and I feel we only got a very fleeting glimpse of what really should have been a 2.5 hour (at least) epic to fully explore the many intricacies that this film only merely touched upon.

1 comment:

Outcast said...

The concept of a film that starts of as a comedy and gets more and more darker is brilliant and I really want to check that out because it's something that truly is different, you've had an interesting three films to watch this week that's for sure.