Friday, January 28

Tag: Metro Manila Film Festival

Big Night!: A comedy that begs to be taken seriously

Big Night!: A comedy that begs to be taken seriously

Letters
WHEN an illegal drug user dies, people rarely bat an eye. The rule of the streets has become notorious and thus expected: Suspects are to be killed. Bloodshed has inordinately frequented many places that it has become a norm. Indeed, the drug war of President Rodrigo Duterte is characterized by high numbers — not of jailed big time syndicates but of ordinary people killed in police raids and vigilante operations. However, society goes on as usual, while the grim reality is left to fade in the background of daily life. Big Night! by Director Jun Robles Lana centers on this theme but with a comedic take. The Metro Manila Film Festival entry tells a story where the drug war intentionally remains backstage. What basks under the spotlight is the comical life story of an ordinary person. How
A Hard Day: Morality Under Pressure

A Hard Day: Morality Under Pressure

Letters
By ABIGAIL M. ADRIATICO   IN TIMES of distress, one can be left with a choice made without further thought. Sometimes, this can go against the morals he stands for. In the process, these choices can brew mistakes with grave consequences not only for himself but for the people around him.  Directed by Lawrence Fajardo, A Hard Day is one of the eight feature film entries of the 2021 Metro Manila Film Festival. It is based on a South Korean film of the same title written and directed by Kim Seong-hun. The sole action film entry garnered multiple awards, including third best picture, the Fernando Poe Jr. memorial award, best editing, and best sound.  The film follows Detective Edmund Villon (Dingdong Dantes), an officer from the Philippine National Police Intel unit who re
Whether the Weather is Fine: In search of refuge

Whether the Weather is Fine: In search of refuge

Letters
By DAWN DANIELLE D. SOLANO   LOSS comes after a storm. In the Philippines, typhoons occur multiple times a year; and Filipinos are expected to rise and smile at these calamities in the name of ‘Filipino resiliency.’  As one of this year’s entries in Metro Manila Film Festival, Whether the Weather is Fine (Kun Maupay Man it Panahon) is a debut feature that wholly captures the horrors of super typhoon Yolanda that devastated the region of Eastern Visayas in 2013. Under the direction of Carlo Francisco Manatad, the film tells the story of human tragedy through drama, humor, and magical realism. The film begins with Miguel (Daniel Padilla) waking to the sight of his ravaged village after the typhoon. Torn-down houses and decaying dead bodies surround him, and it takes him
Faith Resurrected by Suarez: The Healing Priest

Faith Resurrected by Suarez: The Healing Priest

Letters
By TAFFY ARELLA BERNALES & DAWN DANIELLE SOLANO   A MIRACLE'S reality relies on the faith of those who seek it. Many will testify that “faith” is the prime mover of miracles— mere lucky coincidences without belief. Even so,  there is still hope for their existence. To people who have encountered these, a question arises from within: “what causes these to occur?”  The 2020 Metro Manila Film Festival entry, Suarez: The Healing Priest, tells Fr. Fernando Suarez’s life to answer the question. Under Joven Tan’s direction, the film narrates the life of a controversial priest who claims to have the gift of healing.   Fr. Fernando Suarez, played by multi-awarded actor John Arcilla, was first reported to have healing powers after “resurrecting” a dead woman in Canada. Since
Write About Love: Resonating Writers’ Voices

Write About Love: Resonating Writers’ Voices

Letters
By FATIMA B. BADURIA  photo taken from Netflix  LOVE beyond the screen can make the most familiar expositions rise to unforeseen events as it develops unexpectedly—or dissolves abruptly. Within films, however, romance becomes repetitive and predictable, far from the myriad of ways it can exist in real life.  Thus, deviation from the conventional storyline brings romantic narratives closer to realistic portrayals. This mantra appears to drive Director Crisanto Aquino and co-writer Janyx Regalo in their 45th Metro Manila Film Fest entry, which explicitly veers from the “mainstream formula.” It proves an additional challenge besides weaving a film within a film that ensues Write About Love.   Teaming up an experienced, laid-back male writer (Rocco Nacino) with a novice, earnest fe
Deadma Walking: Opposing the Course of Destiny

Deadma Walking: Opposing the Course of Destiny

Letters
By CORHEINNE JOYCE B. COLENDRES WITH A year to live and an incurable illness that plagues him, John (Joross Gamboa) finally takes matters into his own hands. If destiny made the decision regarding the cause of his death, then he holds the decision on how he will die. He tells his best friend, Mark (Edgar Allan Guzman) about his elaborate plan to fake his own death. Mark feels conflicted about John’s plan, and asks John about what he hopes to hear at his own funeral. With his chin up and a clear disposition, John decides that he will encounter his own death—in a way that even destiny cannot steal from him. An entry to the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) 2017, the film adaptation of a Palanca award-winning script of the same name tackles the friendship of two gay men who are
Ang Larawan: A Memento of a Moment in Time

Ang Larawan: A Memento of a Moment in Time

Letters
By MARIA ANTOINETTE A. MALICSE TO HAVE progress, there must be motion. However, the same can be said for regress, and so it seems that there is but a fine line between running away and moving forward. The key to distinguishing which from which is one’s relationship with his/her history. Through an audio-visual love letter to the Filipinos, the Obie Award winner and director Loy Arcenas echoes the significance of heritage, culture, and the arts to one’s life and their push-pull relationship with one’s growth and decline both as a nation and as an individual in his 2017 Metro Manila Film Festival Entry Ang Larawan—a musical theatric play based on National Artist for Literature Nick Joaquin’s three-act English play “A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino.” Set in a period before the o
JRN alumna’s Sunday Beauty Queen wins big in MMFF

JRN alumna’s Sunday Beauty Queen wins big in MMFF

Scenes
ARTLET ALUMNA'S Sunday Beauty Queen bagged four awards, including Best Picture, in the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) 2016 Gabi ng Parangal held Dec. 29. The documentary directed by Journalism alumna Baby Ruth Villarama-Gutierrez also won Best Editing, Children’s Choice Award, and the Gatpuno Antonio J. Villegas Cultural Award, which is given to the film that best showcased the Filipino culture to the world. Sunday Beauty Queen follows the lives of domestic helpers in Hong Kong who spend their Sundays off participating in beauty pageants. The pageants help them uplift themselves and raise funds for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in need. Moreover, the documentary—first of its kind to compete in the annual film festival—featured the sacrifices done by OFWs for their famili
Seklusyon: The Wavering Nature of Man

Seklusyon: The Wavering Nature of Man

Letters
FILIPINOS ARE acquainted to evil and the supernatural from parables written in the Bible. It contains certain ethical standards that withstood the test of time, serving as a source of the nation’s belief systems. However, violence from an evil beyond the material plane is sometimes enough to shift the conviction of a faithful believer. It exudes even greater horror if evil is revealed to take a human form who resides with the living. Set in 1940s during the post-World War II era, Miguel (Ronnie Alonte) is introduced inside a church. He confesses his sins in preparation for his final test of faith before he is ordained as a priest. He travels to an isolated monastery to live with three other deacons to devote their time purely on fasting and deep prayer. In the span of seven days, al
Kabisera: The Filipino Society through a Mother’s Eyes

Kabisera: The Filipino Society through a Mother’s Eyes

Letters
IN THE Philippine cultural context, familialism is given utmost importance for it is the foundation of homes. At its core is the father, who thereby assumes the center seat of the dining table with his wife serving meals and the children sitting on either side. In Kabisera, the de Dios family serves as the quintessence of this notion—until a tragedy rattles the very core of it. The film opens with a celebration during New Year’s Eve, in which Tunying (Ricky Davao), Mercy (Nora Aunor), and their family feast on sumptuous meals laid before the table, and watch in awe the dazzling fireworks display outside. The scene that follows shows the family dining in their home, with all the members laughing at their own jokes. This perfection, however, is disturbed as the household is presented