Sunday, June 16

Letters

Die Beautiful: As Colorful as Cosmetics

Die Beautiful: As Colorful as Cosmetics

Letters
WITH EVERY swish of the powder brush across Trisha’s face, and with every dab of lipstick on her lips, Barbs recalls all the significant moments her dear friend has lived through. Trisha Echevarria’s (Paolo Ballesteros) final wish to her best friend Barbs (Christian Bables) was that when she dies, she has to be dressed up like a certain celebrity every day on the week of her wake. She soon finishes applying her make-up, and the manager of the beauty contest finally calls her to appear on stage. Barbs is left gazing at her friend’s retreating figure. Trisha looks back, and Barbs sees what is probably her friend’s last genuine smile. Die Beautiful continues with this approach: the key point of each transition of the scenes is rooted from Trisha’s wake, and it stems out to give the
Saving Sally: Seeing Rarity in the Familiar

Saving Sally: Seeing Rarity in the Familiar

Letters
MANY FILMS labeled as “romantic” commonly include at least one of the characters directly saying the words “I love you” as it makes use of intimate physical contact between the couple to justify the concept of love in the story. Saving Sally, however, introduces a new take on the idea of romance by showing the incommunicability of the person’s feelings for his beloved. It presents how voicing out the supposedly simple three-word confession is made complicated, and thus, carries more depth as shown in the lover’s actions to communicate his love non-verbally. In the eyes of Marty (Enzo Marcos), an aspiring comic book artist, nothing is ever simple. Marty visualizes the world as if he were in a graphic novel, in which people are monsters and he himself being the hero of the story. Sall
#14 Leandro Road: The Fall to Insanity in Laperal Mansion

#14 Leandro Road: The Fall to Insanity in Laperal Mansion

Letters
THE CONCEPT of “home” is always tied to a person’s identity, in which an individual feels a sense of belongingness. It is supposed to be a place of comfort, a primary refuge and a private space. However, when the abode itself denies comfort from the people living in it, it becomes a place of destruction than creation, burden than solace. #14 Leandro Road, directed by Jay Crisostomo IV, is a Filipino play adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s short story, The Fall of the House of Usher. The play uncloaks the mysteries of a house that has long been haunted by the ghosts of the ancestors of the remaining Laperal siblings who live there. The house is based on the Victorian-style Laperal White House in #14 Leonard Wood Road in Baguio, which has been believed to be a site of paranormal activity
Panahon na, Bayan

Panahon na, Bayan

Letters
Editor’s Note: In line with the 44th anniversary of the declaration of Proclamation 1081 as the law of the land, the Flame will post a series of articles written by the publication’s former staffers during the Martial Law period. The Flame, being one of the student publications who continued its fearless reportage during those tumultuous times, believes that we—both the young and the old—should never turn a blind eye and forget the atrocities and plunders during Martial Law. It is our duty as members of the press to enlighten the Filipinos about that dark period in the country’s history. (This poem was originally published in The Flame Vol. 13, No. 1 issue) Ang bulok na lipunan ay saan nga ba nanggaling, Ano ba ang naging sanhi’t tayo ngayo’y nasa dilim? Ni anino ng buhay
Banyuhay: A Magnification of the Filipino Society

Banyuhay: A Magnification of the Filipino Society

Letters
TRAIN RIDES are oftentimes tiresome because of the lengthy lines at ticket stations, the immersion with a huge pack of commuters, the noisy clanking of the wheels with the rail tracks, and the grasping of steel posts as one stands impatiently waiting for the train to arrive at his destination. However, Banyuhay shows it as a more significant notion. Nine different passengers enchained by various burdens in life board the same locomotive. As the vehicle passes by four stations (C. Bulan, Balaquid, Muntican and Katuparan), its passengers vent their frustrations about the irksome experience of riding the train and their troubles at work. One by one, they earn the spotlight—emotionally disclosing their stories and finalizing each of their statements by admitting what they feel inside. T
Kusina: Where the Heart Rests

Kusina: Where the Heart Rests

Letters
IN TRADITION, Filipinos believe that there is life after death—an afterlife in which an individual’s identity and consciousness continue to exist even after the passing of a body. Kusina defamiliarizes Heaven as the holy realm that reveals all that is expected it would be like: a room where there is warmth and joy confined in intimate space—almost like a banquet celebrating one’s journey through life with the company of loved ones and savory dishes.  Kusina is a treat to culinary drama. It revolves around the life of Juanita (Judy Ann Santos-Agoncillo) who was born on a kitchen table. Her fate seems to be intertwined with that same room, where she discovers her devotion to cooking. The linear pace tracing from her youth to womanhood is faithful to the accustomed story-telling of a quint
Cinemalaya Shorts A: Through the Glistening Scythe

Cinemalaya Shorts A: Through the Glistening Scythe

Letters
LIFE HAS been man’s cornucopia of successes and misfortunes in the world. Yet it is only when he faces death that he realizes how precious and limited it is. The Shorts A division of the 12th Cinemalaya Film Festival focuses on this, compelling the viewers to reflect on their lives with its various exemplifications of death in all its forms. Bugtaw (Awake) The Ilonggo film Bugtaw brings to life Arman and Leo, two kids who have a common pastime—writing their dreams on notebooks and sharing them to each other every time they meet. One sunny day at the grasslands, after telling each other about what they have dreamt of the previous night, Arman gets chased by a rugged man who, he thinks, haunts the dark past about his family that he struggles to hide. Through animation, the produce
Tuos: Breaking the Shackles of Tradition

Tuos: Breaking the Shackles of Tradition

Letters
MILES AWAY from the country’s capital region, where daily living includes mobile phones and honking of cars, lay various pre-Hispanic traditions that still survive up to this day despite the speeding influence of modernity. Cinemalaya 2016 Audience Choice Feature Film Tuos presents the clash between tradition and modernity by the use of allegories as an art drama. It tells of the ethnic customs and beliefs centering on the binukot or “kept maiden” still practiced today in Panay, Bukidnon. Written by Denise O’Hara, the story revolves around Pina-ilog, played by Philippine cinema’s Superstar Nora Aunor, who is an old binukot thrown at the crossroads between keeping their tradition alive and choosing the happiness of her granddaughter and successor, Dowokan, portrayed by Barbie Forteza
Island Hopping

Island Hopping

Letters
Three specks of mossy green behind her, she wonders, both legs dangling off the edge of the running motorboat, What would happen if islands could have memories like humans do? Would the first island remember the way its seaweeds twice her arm length tickled her cheeks and ears as she dove in deeper to get closer to a school of grey fish each the size of her fist? Would the second island remember her palms delving through the coarse earth for sand dollars of various colors— from ivory to graphite-grey— that she planned to take to the city? Would the third island remember the shifting of her legs and the wiggling of her toes as she buried them under the white sand almost as fine as baby powder? Yet if islands were to have memories like humans do, they would
Ma’Rosa: A Pure Witness to the Filipino Condition

Ma’Rosa: A Pure Witness to the Filipino Condition

Letters
A PORTRAIT of a homeless family, a couple with a child, scraping glass bottles to sell to the junkshop—at a distance is Rosa (Jaclyn Jose), watching them from the police jeep. Slightly soaked from sweat combined with rainwater, she is handcuffed with her husband by her side. It is visible on her face the subtle yet emotionally-shattering note that her family’s life beholds a different fate if not for one thing. The Filipino auteur Brillante Mendoza makes his return to the Cannes competition with Ma’Rosa. The film has a clipped pace and a violently truthful narration of the condition of a small-time drug dealer from a shady street in the sprawling city of Mandaluyong under the corrupt surveillance of policemen. Mendoza understands the core of being a Filipino living in the slums of M