Thursday, July 26, 2007


Manila, or at least those in the know, are all agog over the killer speed at which film festivals have opened recently. Of course the current favorite is the ongoing Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, already on its 3rd year. So far, I know of 4 or 5 films which have already crossed over to mainstream – Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros, Big Time, & Donsol to name three. So far, I have already seen Tukso (by Dennis Marasigan) and the world premiere of the much-lambasted (at least in the lavatories after the screening) film version of Nadres’ Hanggang Dito Na Lamang at Maraming Salamat. Next on my list are Endo and Pisay, the latter by award-winning director Aureos Solito.

Overheard in one of CCP’s lavatories:

Man 1: Oi, what do you think of it (Hanggang Dito Na Lamang…) ?
Man 2: May he (Nadres) rest in peace! (shivers after peeing)

Man 3: Thank God he (Nadres) isn’t alive to see it! (bitchy chuckle)

(Clue: Man 1 is a director whose recent films have all been monstrous flops.)

I think these are the “best” reviews yet of the film, and anything else that you’d read in the papers later on will surely be mere pats-on-the-back. Poor Lito Tañada. To think that this was his dream project since he saw the theatre production in the 70’s. Music by Willy Cruz was a tad too cliché-ish and repetitive. Production, however, is good save for some props that are way too conveniently placed within an arm’s reach. Nonie Buencamino is fantastic as always, but he seemed to have just rehashed his character from 1994’s Sibak. You hardly notice the difference. Jon Santos as Julie was a blast! He practically saved the film from sinking into total oblivion. Newbie Jerwin Mercado is too mono. He hardly has character. The film itself was long and meandering. Haaay. And don't get me started on the film poster, gawd...

Tukso (Dennis Marasigan) suffers from comparison with Rashomon. Of course those who haven’t seen the latter would care less about comparisons. Tukso, however, has its brilliant moments. The storytelling is fluid, almost tight, with a smattering of amusing scenes that made the audience holler in delight (like the way Irma Adlawan let loose her hair when Ping Medina agreed to spend the rainy night in her house; the innuendo is delicious and hard to miss!). Of course, this story was about the tragedy that has befallen the main character, Monica, who got herself pregnant by a Manila-based architect (Sid Lucero) and fell to her death – the main issue the film was trying to resolve. For the sake of those who haven’t seen it I will not say who caused her to fall, but suffice to say that there was enough suspense buildup to keep people on the edge of their seats. If the triumphant applause at the end of the screening is anything to go by, I suspect Tukso will fall within Top 3 of the winning circle.

Anyway, two weeks from now, on August 8, the 9th edition of the Cinemanila International Film Festival will open in its new home, Araneta’s Gateway Mall. I just confirmed it from an officemate, who is on the organizing team, that Quentin Tarantino is actually coming to town to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award. I suspect an anthology of his films will be done on the sidelines of the festival.

Anyway, the meanest of comments came from a column in Manila Times: “Famed Director Quentin Tarantinto is coming to Manila to shoot a film with Sharon Cuneta entitled Kill Bilbil.”

It’d be a box-office hit, no doubt.


Richard Lionheart said...

Hehe :0

I love Indie Films...

Jerome aka Bridget Jones said...

i'm back, mare...missed yah! huy, may run pa ba ng cinemalaya?