Cinemalaya Cinco: Update 1

2 days. 7 features. Sanglaan. Ang Panggagahasa Kay Fe. Aurora. Astig. Dinig Sana Kita. Last Supper  No. 3. Engkwentro.

Dinig Sana Kita is the best among the films I’ve seen. It has a great poster too. The film is the story of two would-be-lovers – one is a deaf guy, the other a rocker girl. Their love story is not what the film is about but wisely focuses on each of the protagonists’ personal issues. Poignant. Heartwarming. Feel-good. Watch this!

The next best thing is Last Supper No 3 about one man’s comic but horrific experience with the law after losing a neighbor’s Last Supper. Hilarious. Laugh-out-loud funny. Watch this!

If you dig thought-provoking and mind-boggling films ala Mulholland Drive or Blue Velvet then you should not miss Ang Panggagahasa Kay Fe about domestic violence and Filipino folklore. I bet that the ending, which is open to different intepretations, will be discussed by film addicts in the years to come. It is that good.

Sanglaan does not have a great story but it more than makes it up with really striking visuals. The opening sequence, the wedding anniversary dinner, and that final scene between Bascon and Feleo are good examples. The best sequence that stands out though is Bacon and Feleo’s having dinner together – Feleo’s dreamy smile and Bascon’s brooding look while blowing cigarette smoke – is a sight to behold. Now imagine the sequence in slow mo. Reminded me of Wong Kar Wai’s terrific In The Mood For Love.

Astig which follows the intersecting lives of four men in Manila is passably ok. There’s not much to rave about the film except for the soundtrack and Sid Lucero’s performance and storyline. The banter between Lucero and Keanna Reeves and Lucero and Glyza de Castro were a hoot. And Arnold Reyes’ character is daft. Really daft that I wanted to reach out to the screen and beat him to a pulp.

The worst and lone non-competition entry on my list was Aurora, a film about a woman kidnapped for ransom by local terrorists. I think that Alix, in this film, wanted to do a Lav Diaz. Sadly he does not have Diaz’s visual artistry. While ‘stagnant’ scenes from Diaz’s Melancholia contains indelible images that stick to your brain for days, Alix’s Aurora just sucks. The redeeming value here is Roces. Ang galing. And I’m not referring to her fake breasts. I also don’t get the XX rating it got from the MTRCB. That 27-second sex scene was not, in my opinion, graphic. Ang MTRC nga naman.

So if you have money and time to spare, go to the CCP and watch the entries. Per movie screening costs P100 and you get 50% discount if you are a student provided you show your school ID upon purchase. I got mine for P1000. Festival Pass. Watch all you can. I was lucky I got one. A couple of hours after I purchased mine I overheard that all Festival Passes were sold out. Lucky me!

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Whatever it takes.
For the love of movies.

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