Sunday Movie Questions

How often do you watch a movie? 

At least three times a month. Sometimes more, rarely less.

What movie genre are you particularly fond of? 

Romance.

What was the last movie that you’ve watched and liked? 

Knives Out.

What was the last movie that you’ve watched and hated? 

Wala naman. I didn’t like Cats, but I wouldn’t say I hated it.

What is your most favorite movie of all time? 

My go-to answer used to be Christopher Nolan’s Memento. I haven’t watched it in a long time though, so I’m not sure if I will still like it today.

Continue reading “Sunday Movie Questions”

On ‘Hercules’ (1997)

Disney’s Hercules begins with a quintet of Muses singing about the origin of the cosmos and calling this tale “the gospel truth.” The phrase is repeated all throughout the opening anthem — an interesting use of Judeo-Christian jargon, as if hinged on the popular misconception that Greek and Roman myths are akin to ancient religion.

The movie is peppered with similar familiar tropes. As the film progresses, it becomes more apparent how Disney traverses the predictable route. Instead of craftily unknotting the intricacies of the legend of Heracles, Disney dilutes a celebrated story and streamlines it into an easily marketable, family-oriented flick.

Classical myth does not necessarily constitute religion, yet these two concepts are still commonly interlinked. The shared jargon alone (e.g. “gods,” “temples”) makes it easy for people to associate them with each other, rendering religion a convenient template to use when retelling ancient myths.

Continue reading “On ‘Hercules’ (1997)”

On ‘Indak’ (2019)

“We don’t want to be a copycat of Step Up,” director Paul Alexei Basinilio was quoted saying during a VIVA Convention prior to Indak’s release. “If you noticed in the baybayin translation…that’s indak. We specifically wrote this because we wanted to promote Filipino culture.”

Basinilio presented an interesting causality — to use baybayin is to promote Filipino culture — and some would argue that this was a rather misinformed reach.

Baybayin is just one of the many ancient scripts in the Philippines and it was mainly used by the Tagalogs*. To imply that baybayin is representative of an entire nation therefore reveals a seeming obliviousness to certain nuances surrounding the discourse on Filipino culture. Even using the phrase “Filipino culture” alone already invites further discussion; it suggests the existence of a monolithic (read: singular) identity which may not be true for a country as widely diverse as the Philippines.

Continue reading “On ‘Indak’ (2019)”

On Sid & Aya (Not a Love Story)

It is precisely the parenthetical reminder in the title that compels me to pay closer attention to Irene Villamor’s Sid & Aya (Not A Love Story). The textual framing calls attention to itself. It is gimmicky, sure, but it is also an unveiling of directorial intent and an invitation for the viewers to examine what exactly makes this movie not a love story.

From this examination stems what I deem to be the film’s ambition. Sid & Aya centers on the familiar Rich Boy Poor Girl couple, but it swerves around the typical trajectory from Meet-cute to Happily Ever After. The film instead parses a familiar premise and plays around the tried-and-tested formula of the cross-class romance genre [1].

Continue reading “On Sid & Aya (Not a Love Story)”

MMFF 2018 Trailer Reviews

It’s that time of the year again. It’s Metro Manila Film Festival. Again.

Much has been said about the MMFF. To expound on how shitty and commercialized this festival has become is to just preach to the choir at this point.

But I wonder if this year’s festival would earn just as much as last year’s, considering the failed economic policies that plagued the Philippines in 2018. The enactment of TRAIN Law and the rising inflation have greatly affected the typical MMFF market, and the people with money to spare are too disillusioned (or too high brow) to watch Vice Ganda deliver the same tired jokes over and over again.

(Un)fortunately I don’t have access to any of the Magic 8 movies. Still I watched the trailers and I wrote some notes too.

Now let’s begin the killing. Charot.

Continue reading “MMFF 2018 Trailer Reviews”