Philippine Movies Thread

Discussion in 'Cinema: International' started by clayton-12, Mar 4, 2017.

  1. clayton-12

    clayton-12 Member: Rank 3

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    On the old board plsletitrain had created a separate thread for the discussion of movies from the Philippines, and I figured it's about time to revive it here.

    For those who came in late ... I thought I might repost here a list of the films from the Philippines that have tickled my fancy – I certainly don’t hold it up as a list of the 10 greatest that the Philippines has to offer, but I do like to think that there’s at least one gem for everyone in here.

    Ekstra (2013)
    Crying Ladies (2003)
    Foster Child (2007)
    Burlesk Queen (1977)
    Kinatay (2009)
    Maynila: Sa mga kuko ng liwanag (1975)
    Graceland (2012)
    The Road (2011)
    Virgin People (1984) (because no list of pinoy cinema would be complete without at least one bomba film!)
    On the Job (2013)
    That Thing Called Tadhana (2014)

    For those that like things a little less conventional, you could go 16mm with Perfumed Nightmare aka Mababangong bangungot (1977), or explore the digital world of Khavn.

    And in the separate category of “Outsiders Looking In”, the following films are made by non-Filipinos, but were either made in the Philippines, or deal with the Filipino OFW experience:

    Metro Manila (2013)
    Pinoy Sunday (2009) – with a Malaysian director and writer, set in Taipei, and almost entirely in Tagalog, this comedy is as international as it is funny.
    Ilo Ilo (2013)
     
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  2. clayton-12

    clayton-12 Member: Rank 3

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    Now for a couple I watched recently:



    The centrepiece of Serbis (Brillante Mendoza, 2008) is a crumbling picture theatre in Angeles City, pointedly called the “Family” - operated by three generations of an extended family who dwell within, it plays soft-core porno flicks while a variety of mostly male hustlers loiter and ply their trade. For the main part, the film is an ensemble effort, with a various minor plot points over the course of a single day providing a vague narrative, although the story really takes a backseat to the world that Mendoza presents.

    The theatre itself is like some kind of microcosm of humanity at its most base - a thoroughly pungent depiction of the corporeal world, and you can pretty much always smell the mixture of sweat, smoke, urine, faeces and exhaust fumes wafting out from the screen. But cutting through the corporeal world is something less tangible – the human spirit, best embodied by Gina Pareño and Jaclyn Jose as the matriarchs who move through the detritus with a stoic dignity.

    This was the third film that I’ve seen from Mendoza, and one of the striking things has been just how intelligent his opening scenes always are. They’re not the easiest films to watch, but I have a lot of admiration for this director.



    Lola (Brillante Mendoza, 2009) is a word for grandmother in Filipino. There are two Lola at the forefront of this film – Anita Linda’s Lola Sepa is mourning the death of her grandson, who was stabbed to death, while Rustica Carpio’s Lola Puring is beside herself with worry at the arrest and incarceration of her grandson on a stabbing murder charge.

    While far more plot driven than Serbis, there’s no great dramatics to the story, nobody has time for impassioned speeches. Mendoza plays it almost like an observational documentary, with long takes as the camera follows the elderly women negotiate busy streets, uneven pavement and ubiquitous flights of stairs. And at every point along the way, everything they do is touched by some form of commerce.

    In a particular scene on a train, I started to wonder if what I was watching was just poverty porn for the festival set – then, as if Mendoza had read my mind, the camera panned to reveal two young Kano filmmakers who were cooing and shrieking almost orgasmically at the scenes of economic deprivation that they were capturing.

    If you’ve been put off from watching Mendoza’s films by (warranted) stories of the confrontational nature of Serbis and Kinatay, then this would be more recommendable – but I would put Foster Child out there as my favourite so far.
     
    #2 clayton-12, Mar 4, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2017
  3. plsletitrain

    plsletitrain Member: Rank 5

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    I'd consider Serbis as one of Brillante's stronger ones. But that's not saying much because, to quote your words, his films are not the easiest to watch. Man, the long takes...okay, I'll try to endure it for some time. But the lack of plot is usually what drives me insane. Is it really skill on his part, trying to drive us nuts on cracking whatever he's letting us figure out, or he's too lazy to put in some action there? I really can't figure him out.

    I'd even consider Serbis as one of the plot-driven movies he's done. And again, that's not saying much. I think Kinatay was the straw that broke the camel's back.

    Still, having said that. I'm not giving up on him. Some of his films intrigue me, but I'm not rushing to put them in my priorities. Although, I've been waiting for his documentary on Haiyan, Taklub, for forever. That's my only hope from him as of this moment. I'll do try to look for Foster Child and Lola some time when I don't have anything else to watch.
     
  4. clayton-12

    clayton-12 Member: Rank 3

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  5. plsletitrain

    plsletitrain Member: Rank 5

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    So Ma Rosa is shown in foreign countries but showing it on the homeland is still uncertain. fight7.gif
     
  6. plsletitrain

    plsletitrain Member: Rank 5

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    Speaking of Brillante, I would also recommend Captive (2012). It is more plot-driven, with more acting rather than the usual long shots which sometimes made me wonder if he really directed it. :emoji_grin:
     
  7. clayton-12

    clayton-12 Member: Rank 3

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    If it's any consolation it was a single screening, and getting there would have involved a five hour flight for me!

    I've actually got a copy of Captive, I really like Isabelle Huppert, and I recall your very favourable review a while back. Yet ... I'm kind of terrified of trying it, because I'm scared there's going to be something about it that I'll hate.
     
  8. plsletitrain

    plsletitrain Member: Rank 5

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    Oh.....I wonder. Hmmmm...... I'm trying to recall. Do you hate: terrorists, actual childbirth, a church/hospital becoming objects of war...?

    If anything, Isabelle Huppert gave a wonderful performance there, I hope you'll watch it.
     
  9. clayton-12

    clayton-12 Member: Rank 3

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    Well, I can't exactly say "No, I love terrorists" hehe, but what I dislike in a film (or news media in general) is when serious complex conflicts are portrayed in simplistic goodies-and-baddies terms - some stereotyping I'm more sensitive to than others, and I just got this nagging worry in the back of my head about this one. But I should give it a whirl ...
     
  10. plsletitrain

    plsletitrain Member: Rank 5

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    Your point is well-taken and I would not want you to expound further because its yours, each of has our own stand and perspective on things.

    With Captive, well, hmmm....its based on a true story about an actual kidnapping that occurred on the South. Whatever happened during the captivity may well be products of fiction, unless Brillante actually interviewed the victims, which I doubt. The only stereotyping I may find, if this will fall under stereotyping, is well, the discrimination that's been done against the Philippines. Travel bans have been ordered here and there, to which I cannot fully blame the other nations as news of these bandits (who have pledged allegiance to ISIS), on top of political instability, also reach them (and some victims have been their own citizens). If there's anything negative this film might give you, its probably the film's insinuation to stay away from Philippine tourist spots/ resorts. Hehe.
     
  11. clayton-12

    clayton-12 Member: Rank 3

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    I was under the impression that it was loosely based on the Martin and Gracia Burnham story?

    And (at the risk of straying way to far into the verboten world of politics) you're completely right about travel bans/warnings being a form of stereotyping - over here, they've got as much to do with domestic politics as anything else.
     
  12. plsletitrain

    plsletitrain Member: Rank 5

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    Yes it is. I think they were both gracious enough to still say such kind words of hope, wait, if I'm not mistaken they even wrote a book on it. Not sure. So, erm, yeah, I think it wasn't all total works of fiction after all.

    I'm looking forward to your review of it. No rush, though. :)
     
  13. mjf314

    mjf314 Member: Rank 1

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    I haven't seen many Philippine films, but Perfumed Nightmare is great.
     
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  14. plsletitrain

    plsletitrain Member: Rank 5

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    SEKLUSYON (2016)

    I'm starting to like Erik Matti. He bridges the gap between a mainstream and an indie film.

    Although I have to say Seklusyon might belong to his weaker ones. Technical aspects are all perfect. I think the unforgivable mistake he made with this is: (Ronnie Alonte fans please don't take this against me) taking Ronnie Alonte for the lead act. Though, if Ronnie did better, this would have elevated his newbie status to a newbie-to-look-out-for status.

    This is a horror movie ala-Omen style. The "demon" is a child. The child being played by child-who-has-potential actress Rhed Bustamante. I even have to say that Rhed did better than Ronnie. And Rhed is what, 10 years old?

    I think the letdown for this is the cast. The cast are all, well, I have nothing against newcomers because hey, old or new, as long as you have those acting chops, who cares. But the ensemble cast is comprised of actors (and an actress) who needs to take acting lessons more. The only one that stood out, aside from Rhed, is the ever reliable Lou Veloso. Funny I remembered he also appeared on another MMFF Entry, Die Beautiful. And his role there is a gay proprietor of a funeral parlor. And with Seklusyon, his role is an ex-priest. And he did good in both roles.

    Thankfully, Erik Matti's awesome directing styles saved the day. He knows how to insert those eerie background music. And he knows how to deliver the jumpscares. He knows how to insert the spooky lines at the proper time (one with a religious verse at that). He knows how to deliver a picturesque view (example, bleeding religious images, self-writing letters, a hanging woman with a live baby inside). He also knows how to make plot twists (well not plot twists that will make you go "Whaaaatttt??!!" but plot twists that will make you go "That's what I thought too but damn, he executed it as cleanly as possible").

    All in all, I recommend this film especially that it doesn't have a very long runtime so if in case you won't like it until the end, not too much time wasted. This is one of your good 'ole satanic films but Erik Matti's execution is almost flawless.
     
  15. clayton-12

    clayton-12 Member: Rank 3

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  16. divemaster13

    divemaster13 Member: Rank 4

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    Is The Maid (2005) considered to be a Filipino movie? I believe it was produced in Singapore, but if I recall, the movie language was Tagalog. Not sure where it falls for categorization.
     
  17. clayton-12

    clayton-12 Member: Rank 3

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    I haven't actually seen it, but I think it's one that the Singaporeans would claim as their own - I'm pretty sure that all the production companies involved were from Singapore, including the Government set-up Media Development Authority, and the location and director were Singaporean. However, the lead actress Alessandra de Rossi is indeed Filipina. plsletitrain will probably be able to give you a much better appraisal of her work - I came across her in Pinoy Sunday, one of my favourite Filipinos-in-a-Foreign-Land film.
     
  18. plsletitrain

    plsletitrain Member: Rank 5

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    I heard of this news when I was in the hospital. As of this writing, no one's been chosen yet. But the memes and photoshopped pics of the leads who can pull of that two-piece Darna suit is really worth the suspense! Who do you personally see as a good replacement for Angel? She was perfect for it but if I had to choose a sub, Pia Wurtzbach would probably do justice especially that she's well-endowed and has a curvy body. As for the acting, I've seen her in some amateur afternoon shows and she can quite pull off an acting scene.
     
  19. clayton-12

    clayton-12 Member: Rank 3

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    Well, it certainly won't be me ... like Angel, I've got a bad back and am losing my hair!
    I'm tempted to suggest Vice Ganda, but in all seriousness Pia Wurtzbach was actually the person I had thought of, even before your suggestion.
     
  20. plsletitrain

    plsletitrain Member: Rank 5

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    Wow I don't believe this. I thought I was crazy of coming up with the idea but I was also thinking of Vice Gander because hey, why not? It would be a good boom! And the best part is it would be a funny/goofy darna! He pulls of that bikini attire sexily anyway, he's got the long legs, he can wear that long locks (have you seen The Super Parental Guardians????--I tried to look for the cut on youtube but its not there so I'll just post the trailer).



    Liza Soberano would be good too but I'm afraid she's not just into wearing that bikini.

    Gosh she's so beautiful.

    Liza-Soberano.jpg
     

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