Monthly Archives: October 2008

Dekada Cinemanila: 10th Cinemanila International Film Festival – Oct 16-29

Ok time out from Aladygma for a bit.

So many films, so little time!

To be honest I’ve never attended a single Cinemanila film fest event– somehow Gateway seems so faaar away ,albeit being only an MRT ride away from my house. But the lineup this year looks like a good one– it’s 100 films for Cinemanila’s 10th year to be shown in a time frame of only TWO WEEKS. TWO. WEEKS. ONLY. Can you say overwhelming.,! If I stuck to my happy bum life I would’ve been at Gateway right now. Anyway all that aside, I’m still hoping to catch at least some of the films there– so far, here’s my must-watch list:

Band’s Visit


A small Egyptian Police band arrives in Israel. They are suppose to play at an initiation ceremony but instead are left stranded at the airport. The band tries to make their way on their own, only to find themselves in a desolate, small Israeli town, somewhere in the heart of the desert. A lost band in a lost town.

(I saw the trailer to this movie on a DVD a longlonglong time ago., it’s been on my must-watch list for more than a year now)

 

Sukiyaki Western Django | 121 min | DIRECTOR : Takashi Miike | Japan | 2007

Set during “The Genpei Wars” at the end of the 1100s, the Minamoto and Taira gangs face off in a town named Yuda, while a deadly gunman (Ito Hideaki) comes to the aid of the townsfolk.

(I heard from a friend that this isn’t one of Miike’s best works. No wait, let me rephrase- he said it was really bad. Oh well,. will just have to see it myself)

I’M A CYBORG, BUT THAT’S OK | 105 min | DIRECTOR: Park Chan-wook | South Korea |2007

The film takes place in a mental institution. Young-goon, a young woman who believes herself to be a cyborg, refuses to eat and instead administers electric shocks to herself. Il-sun, a young male patient hospitalized for anti-social behaviour and schizophrenia, who believes he can take other peoples souls, befriends Young-goon. After Young-goon is given shock treatment, she believes that she has been recharged and fantasizes about killing the hospital staff who had previously taken her mentally-ill grandmother away. In reality, her physical condition begins to deteriorate rapidly. By convincing her that he had installed a food-to-electrical-energy converting unit (a rice-megatron) in her back, Il-sun gets Young-goon to eat.

(This Chan-wook Park movie had me at the title. heehee)

See the complete list of Cinemanila movies here –http://www.cinemanila.org.ph/films.htm

Now I don’t understand why the ‘Schedule’ portion of the Cinamanila website leads to the main page. It’s the second day of the fest and still no viewable schedule. Not good at all !

The 10th Cinemanila International Film Festival runs from October 16-29 at Gateway Cineplex 10, Araneta Center.


Going for that second wind

 

Two days ago my mom bought this DVD (on sale!) on a semi-whim (with some persuasion from my end haha). Now that it sits nicely on the shelf, I wonder how long it’ll be till I decide to pull it out and watch it all in a single sitting. Now THIS is a movie to prep me for my self-imposed 5-day movie watching competition! Nah maybe just for movie-watching endurance.


Crumb-y Korean Horror

Entertain us

Entertain us

Hansel & Gretel (2007): 2/5

There’s something about Korean films that’s just innately weird and unpredictable (this one reminded me of ‘Cut’ in the Three Extremes trilogy)- and it is precisely in those qualities where its predictability stems from. Its story is bleak, in spite of the highly paradoxical (yet appropriate) and picturesque rainbow-doused color scheme glaring out of the screen- too bad, really, because behind this curtain of hopeful possibilities for a classic horror story lies a dragging narrative devoid of any grotesque, overt scares and cheap thrills (which I think I was initially after- haha). In the end, I felt deprived of any such catharsis as the odd and surreal twists and turns lead to an ambiguous (not in a good way) conclusion.


Shmash-shmortion!

He has a nice personality

He has a nice personality

Knocked Up (2007): 4/5

Contrary to popular belief, I do keep an open mind when it comes to movies of the Will Ferrell type (the ones of the Happy Madison people, however, have gotten increasingly irritating- must be the mood swings or that time of the month). But i’m glad this movie caught me at neither occasion. Regardless of it being another stoner flick with endless hit-and-miss comedic bits, this movie isn’t as knocked up as it appears to be, yet there is some heart to be found in the depths of its apparent and well, stupid-movie surface. It runs a bit too long though, clocking in at more than 2 hours, but the point being driven at is clearly there (or did I look too much into this movie?).

It’s a good movie, this one is. Good movies make you care, make you believe in possibilities again. And to sum up, a line from one of Woody Allen’s movies comes to mind after watching Knocked Up (for the second time!). It goes:- “I just met the most wonderful man. He’s fictional but you can’t have everything.” 🙂


Coherent Insanity

Bangkok aint big enough for the two of us

Bangkok aint big enough for the two of us

Tears of the Black Tiger (2000): 4.5/5

Tears of the Black Tiger had me at the opening credits (not to mention the movie’s title alone). It certainly is a unique movie, being a Thai western cult melodrama fused with stylized color-flustereded scenes and awesome, absurd imagery. With horrible acting and extremely laughable dialogue, ‘Black Tiger’ is consistently awkward and corny, and knowing that it’s the kind of movie that doesn’t take itself seriously makes it all the more endearing. Thanks to http://eternalsunshineofthelogicalmind.blogspot.com I found some screencaps to the movie since I can’t find the words to express how much I truly enjoyed it. If you ever get a hold of a copy, take note that this wonderful piece of bizarre cinema is meant to be a FUN film. Nitpickers stay away haha this one’s for keeps.


If the pants fit

Chicas de las Pantalones - que cursi

We're not wearing any pants today

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2008): 2/5

As I’ve told a bunch of my friends after seeing this movie -now that’s one expensive friendship to maintain. With my blog stats currently shaped like two lopsided breasts (wtf) I thought maybe this post should be one dedicated to celebrating womanhood – or more specifically, sisterhood (I can already hear you smirking).

A sequel to the 2005 chick flick, the The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 takes over where the first movie left off, but the 3 year gap between both movies turns the once-enjoyable feel-good original into a teenage soap opera laden with all sorts of (unnecessary) drama and lots of hot men. The Sisterhood bluntly defies the Rolling Stones – you (they) can always get what you (they) want.

This time around however, the advent of college is the cause of the Sisterhood’s drifting bond as issues start to escalate in another exciting summer. Bridget forges a lost relationship with her grandmother, and mends one with her stay-at-home father (and I mean ‘stay-at-home’ in a literal manner cos that’s all we ever see of him). Lena gets whisked off to NYU to sketch and date a nude model, while suddenly-slutty Tibby problematizes a pregnancy scare and an imaginary movie script. Carmen is the only one in the quartet with a story that echoes a hint of reality with her stint at a school play in Vermont as she plays the lead role opposite a cutesy Brit boy.

In all fairness, the movie turned out to be a decent rendition of the Sisterhood of the Shared Screentime allowing each ‘sister’ to have her own story told (yet never actually given closure). The failed attempts at the comedy breeze by before you can even say the word ‘pants’, and just when you thought they’ve matured from their experiences from the previous movie, they still go through palliative measures to remedy whatever situation they find themselves in- all at the expense of their parents’ hefty bank accounts with spontaneous trips all around the world (I don’t care what the books explain) and what have you.

Triteness and everything else corny aside, as long as the pants fit this is still quite a movie to watch if you’re looking for something to pass the time- and that can’t be a good thing, can it?


What is Aladygma

I’m now officially hooked on everything aladygma. I’ve been following the white spaces on the ‘official’ aladygma site since April this year and fast forward to this October, lotsa more ‘clues’ have been popping out like ‘shrooms. It’s addicting. hahaha.
While google’s been my constant companion and alibi, I know there’s still much to unfold in the next few months. Social aladygma (see the site) is still fresh and new with less than 100 members signed up– expect that figure to multiply tenfold by the end of the second quater next year.

JJ Abrams, if you’re really behind this- you’re detremental to my mental health. But we likesss it.
Here’s what I dug up- all posted on my Multiply site. 
What is Aladygma
More Aladygma
What I found in the White Spaces
Explain this to me
Explain THIS to me (not funny anymore)