More sad stories here, here, here and here. Sigh.
Saturday, May 31, 2008
More sad stories here, here, here and here. Sigh.
Friday, May 23, 2008
Say, isn't that boy Rafi Gavron from the ROME series? How he's grown! Juliette Binoche is amazing as ever. Hope she never grows old and die. We'd be poorer for it.
Hints of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert here and there, but I'm sure it'd be fun to watch.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
My third time to see this. Known as Abril Despedaçado, it's a Brazilian production that was released in 2001. A must see. BTW, the film's star, Rodrigo Santoro, played the role of Xerxes 1 in the film 300 (bet you didn't know that!), and is currently in Cannes for the screening of Che.
Loved this one! Alfonso Cuaron is fantastic! Who could forget his Y Tu Mama Tambien and Great Expectations? This time he gets the chance to direct some of the best actors alive, Clive Owen among them. Children of Men inspects the reality of a very near future - a scary perspective of a world gone awry.
"CANNES: Toward the end of Brillante Mendoza's "Serbis," the patrons of a dilapidated Manila adult-movie palace are surprised to discover that a goat has wandered in from the street, partly obstructing their view of the naked bodies on screen.
The animal's sudden appearance - which sets off one of several chaotic, hilarious chases in this rambunctious, noisy film - might be taken as a symbol. The cinema can be a place of fantasy and sometimes disreputable pleasure, but reality, as stubborn and hard to corral as that goat, has a way of intruding whether we like it or not.
At the Cannes Film Festival, however, the metaphor often works in reverse. The metaphorical goats, as it were, can be found in the screening rooms, where audiences gather, sheeplike, to witness the frustration, misery and disorder of real life in various parts of the world. The main competition (which this year includes Mendoza's film) and the adventuresome Un Certain Regard side program share a tendency to exalt seriousness and suffering, and some of the strongest entries this year plunge viewers into worlds of private pain, family dysfunction, economic deprivation and social cruelty." Read more here.
Of course not to be ignored is Raya Martin's NOW SHOWING which is featured in the Directors' Fortnight section. 4 hours and 40 minutes long, this coming-to-age narrative brings to fore the talents of this 23-year-old director. Best of luck!
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Friday, May 16, 2008
I don't know what to make of Alejandro Jodorowsky's LA SAGRADA MONTAñA (The Sacred Mountain). Somewhere in the first part of the film I realized that it was an allegory based on St. John of the Cross' Ascent of Mount Carmel which is an address to informed Christians who aspire to grow in union with God; it examines every category of spiritual experience, the spurious as well as the authentic. With rare insight into human psychology, St. John's work not only tells how to become more closely united with God, but spells out in vivid detail the pitfalls to avoid. This exactly is what Jodorowsky's film is about - supposedly.
The film revolves around a character called The Fool (later known as The Thief, who has an uncanny resemblance to modern day's imagery of Christ). It is said the George Harrisson (of The Beatles) wanted so much to play this character but protested the gratuitous nudity (a scene required that his ass be washed in front of the camera) and therefore backed off. Anyway, The Fool was introduced to several characters representing the planets but whose actual jobs were a cosmetics manufacturer, a weapons manufacturer, a millionaire, a political financial adviser, a toy maker, a police chief and an architect. All of them have contributed to the fall of mankind through the products they have mass-produced. The Alchemist (played by Jodorowski himself) asked them to come together to do a search for illumination in a holy mountain and take over the place of the 9 immortals who live there, but before this they have to burn their money and wax images of themselves (sort of dying to one's self) before they began the quest.
Once on Lotus Island (where the mountain is located), they are sidetracked by the Pantheon Bar which features, among other things, a cemetery party of people who have abandoned their quest for the holy mountain in exchange for drugs and booze. I found particularly amusing the scene where a hulk of a man claims that he can go through solid objects saying that he has conquered the mountain - only horizontally. He couldn't go through it from down up. Thankfully, the group resists all the crap going on in the party and moves on. In the end, when the group confronted the 9 immortals, they turn out to be faceless dummies and the camera pans out to reveal the rest of the crew and equipment with Jodorowski saying, "Real life awaits us." This pretty much makes one think whether Jodorowski is simply making an inspired statement there or the audience was duped into thinking the film has a mission.
La Montaña Sagrada remains to be the most expensive Mexican production to date (USD 1, 500,000). It was first shown in the Cannes Film Festival in May 1973 and re-released in the US and worlwide only last year.
My horoscope for today courtesy of D.M.
Haaay. Feeling farmer na talaga ako.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
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At your service,
(Sender and company names witheld)
Thursday, May 08, 2008
Neeta: Haven't you an ego?
Awww. Anyhoo, her other sister, Geeta, flirts with her boyfriend, and her younger brother dropped out of college to work in a factory. When her father and younger brother met separate accidents and had to stop working, it was left to her to lead the family. They survived on her meager salary as a clerk in the college library, but her life was reduced to a sense of loss when her boyfriend decided to marry Geeta. She eventually contracted tuberculosis and had to be sent to the Rheid Chest Hospital which incidentally was staffed by Filipino nuns (I may be wrong, but gut feel told me they were countrymen. Besides, they were short, spoke English, and stared directly into the camera, ha ha!). Her memorable line in this film was, "Brother, I want to live!" (Dada, ami baachte chai!) which somehow made it all very depressing because in the 50's, the survival rate for TB patients was rather dismal. There are several quoatations from Keats, Yeats, and Wordsworth courtesy of the father who I suspect taught English Lit, and lots of really sad but beautiful songs. The film is very good and very sad. Oh, I thought I've already stressed that enough. Anyway, in the words of Neeta's father, "Those who suffer for others, suffer forever." Truly, Neeta was a cloud-capped star.
Directed by celebrated alternative filmaker Ritwik Ghatak. Year of release: 1960