by FRANCIS MIGUELL S. STA. ROSA
LIES IN every person is their own universe with a lot of stories to tell. Beneath them are the social issues of great importance and important history worthy to be retold.
On its 10th anniversary, QCinema International Film Festival highlights several masterpieces from QCShorts that tell big stories from different worlds of society.
Glenn Barit’s Luzonensis Osteoporosis provides an outlook on Filipino society’s evolution and search for safety. Homo Luzonensis is an ancient human species discovered in Callao Cave in 2007.
The short film shows the life of a hominid, who served as the namesake of the film. As he goes through his journey in the woods, he encounters numerous dangers, coercing him to flee the area and migrate abroad.
The setting significantly helped in the execution of the story, especially as the film was made to look very realistic. The prosthetics the actor wore was also symbolic in the delivery of the film’s message. However, it could be applied better to make it more naturalistic.
Ngatta Naddaki y Nuang?
Migration gets tackled once again in Austin Tan’s Ngatta Naddaki y Nuang, a narrative on the Filipino diaspora.
Oyo is bound to embark on a journey to Canada. But before his trip, he needs to take another adventure first— the quest to find a carabao, which he says he has not seen since Magat Dam caused heavy flood in the area.
This is the only short film that featured a dialogue that is purely vernacular in Cagayan. This is a successful attempt to add local color, but also prompts audiences to look at the subtitles frequently while watching, potentially distracting them from the story.
There was also a part where there seemed to be computer generated structures added to the landscape of the road, but the way it blended with the real elements could be greatly improved.
Ang Pagliligtas sa Dalagang Bukid
A film inside a film, this short by Jaime Morados brings its audience back to the 1920s and into the world of movie characters.
This follows a guy on his attempt to save the physical copy of Dalagang Bukid, the first Filipino silent film, from a fire that ravages the Malayan Films Studio.
The sound effects and filters were on point, as they captured the vibe of the era and the situation. It was successful in putting the viewers into the setting of the film by using the audience’s point of view wisely.
However, there was a scene where the curtains looked stationary and unrealistic as Dalagang Bukid is being shown in the cinema.
Everything in this world is political including sex. This is what the Bold Eagle has successfully shown to its audience. Directed by Whammy Alcazaren, the title is a pun on bald eagle, the national bird of the USA, and Gold Eagle, a brand of beer.
Provocative dialogue welcomes viewers to the film, immersing them to the life of the main character named Bold, an online sex worker. He unhappily lives alone with his cat, resenting his desire to follow his father’s footsteps.
The film contained a lot of elements alluding to an influential national leader and their involvement in the history of the country. Bold Eagle incorporated modern and unorthodox elements, resulting in a comedic touch to the film. The camera captured the movement of the main character in close-up, which may not be comfortable for all, especially as it showed censored genitals frequently. The soundtrack was familiar and it highlighted the topic it sought to present, but it was appropriated to send another message.
the river that never ends
JT Trinidad’s flick produces yet another work of art calling for the protection of the Pasig River against elements that hasten its deterioration.
The story follows Baby as he takes care of his sickly father and services his client with emotional needs in an unusual setup. Between the two worlds where he serves lies the river where he passes through.
The narrative was told calmly, possibly taking inspiration from the nature of rivers. Despite this, it still delivered an aura of quiet tragedy as the events uncovered. There are many symbols, but it becomes difficult to understand the story in relation to the objects where it is supposed to revolve around.
Mga Tigre ng Infanta
A woman lying near a waterfall serves as the viewers’ spectacle in Rocky de Guzman Morilla’s Mga Tigre ng Infanta. It criticizes the destruction of the environment through a supernatural story.
The radio blasts with news informing about the construction of Kaliwa Dam as Katrina and her dad traverse the roads to Infanta, Quezon to attend the wake of Gare, her grandmother. As she stays there, numerous extraordinary things happen to and around her.
The short film properly exuded the mystical vibe through the sound effects and lighting. The actor playing the part of the main character properly acted out the sensations it sought to depict. The film artistically wrapped up in keeping with the general theme, but it can be quite confusing.
QCShorts entries have indeed broke away from the typical way of presenting social ills and important cultural artifacts, preferring to bring it in a more personal way to the audiences. Each film used different techniques to exercise its liberty in expression.
However, in the process, fundamental aspects of film such as plot might be put to the sidelines. Despite this, each brought the audiences a new perspective by putting them in the shoes of the characters living in their world, symbolizing every person we meet everyday. F