I had a wisdom tooth removed a few weeks ago, so I also had a fuckton of free time to do absolutely nothing. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t exercise, and I couldn’t go outside lest the world discovers my sore, swollen face worthy of a Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho feature (“Kilalanin natin si Jolens, mga kapuso, ang babaeng kalahati pisngi, kalahati noo!”).
I was stuck in bed the entire time so I plopped the laptop on my chest and did my favorite slacker hobby: I watched movies.
Never Not Love You is Antoinette Jadaone’s best film to date — a seemingly unanimous opinion among critics and casual moviegoers alike. Unlike the annoyingly sophomoric That Thing Called Tadhana, NNLY does not bank on being quotable and viral. The movie tackles romance beyond the hugot banter and contextualizes falling in (and out of) love by exploring the characters’ struggles against feudalistic familial dynamics and reverse social mobility. It also juxtaposes the volatility of middle class success with the precariousness of romantic idealism. The film ends with a bittersweet nod to Mike Nichols’ The Graduate, a graceful way to conclude a love story about taking risks and confronting uncertainties.
Abbas Kiarostami’s Like Someone in Love starts and stretches to what feels like a lengthy but hesitant exposition that deliberately conceals the characters’ precise motivations. This evokes a subtle tension all throughout the movie, and the viewers are implored to make assumptions and wait for answers. Slowly we get more details but there is no dramatic crescendo to the climax — instead we hear a constant steady whir until all of a sudden, a loud bang. The credits roll just as the shit hits the fan, and the movie’s exquisite exploration of love and trust flows and fades to the tune of the Ella Fitzgerald track.
I thought Dan Villegas’ Always Be My Maybe was going to be a feel-good movie but Arci Muñoz’ babyspeak idiolect negated the few things that I enjoyed about this film, none of which I could recall weeks after the initial viewing.
Sion Sono’s Antiporno is a film that is as titillating as watching paint dry, unless of course you have some sick-ass fetish (I’m not judging; I stand against kink-shaming charaught). Nudity and violence are portrayed through colorful and surreal images that border between quirky and outlandish, like a music video that is part-Björk, part-SDN48, and maybe part-Die Antwoord too. Antiporno reiterates a singular message that many of us already know — being a female in a conservative and patriarchal society is tough, all right — but Sono’s powerful imagery further disturbs the viewer’s senses and repeatedly slaps us awake.
I tried watching a few more movies but ended up binging How I Met Your Mother instead. I was also able to read a number of books and a few short stories, but I will talk about those later.
Now my cheeks have puffed back to their normal size and I have also started a new job. I’m back to doing the 8-to-4 grind and I’m hoping, fingers crossed, that this means I get more time to write.