Brillante Mendoza – Kinatay AKA The Execution of P (2009)

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“Daniel Kasman” wrote:
Dedicate a movie to one thing, respect the singular attention of the camera, and a film should be rich enough to overcome just about anything. Brillante Mendoza gives almost half of his film Kinatay to the nocturnal drive of a group of policemen out of Manila to its suburbs, and another half hour of night awaits them at their destination, a police black site. This rich vision of so much gloom, dim suspension, no action, no spectacle, no drama is a beautiful thing, something out of an avant-garde film dedicated to textures, subtle shifts in color, and spatial uncertainty of a sunless world. There is a story of course, of a young police trainee just married (that very day!) taken along on an off -he-books mission to torture a drug addicted stripper, and for a long time Mendoza plays the story like Haneke’s Funny Games (or a Park film), building up the audience’s desire for his hero to act violently, here to lash out at his sadistic superiors. And some of Kinatay is that tasteless, with its handholding music (riffing off of Kubrick’s synth scores for A Clockwork Orange and Full Metal Jacket) and artless, didactic cutaways That Explain Motivation by showing the cops’ horrific acts, the home that must be thought of. Continue reading

Elwood Perez – Silip aka Daughters of Eve (1985)

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Synopsis:
A wild, shocking and controversial title from the Philippines, guaranteed to have your jaw dropping.
In the tradition of Japanese “Pink” cinema comes this shocking, violent and sex filled movie that caused an outrage when it was screened at the Chicago Film Festival. The film stars former Miss Philippines, the stunning Maria Isabel Lopez, in her most revealing role ever. It‘s an eye-opening example of raw and savage filmmaking from one of its country’s most innovative directors. Set in the beautiful and remote countryside of Ilongo, the story tells of three young women and their struggle to come to terms with their own sexuality against a background of religious repression and male brutality. Continue reading

Lamberto V. Avellana – Badjao AKA Badjao, the Sea Gypsies (1957)

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Plot:
An classic film by film studio LVN, largely because of shining performances by Rosa Rosal and Tony Santos. It won the award for best direction (Lamberto V. Avellana, National Artist for Theater and Film in 1976), best story (Rolf Bayer), best editing (Gregorio Carballo), and best cinematography (Mike Accion) at the 1957 Southeast Asia Film Festival held in Tokyo.
A story about the Badjaos and the Tausogs, rival tribes for centuries. The Badjaos, a group of sea gypsies, ply the sea for food and for pearls.
Hassan (Tony Santos), a son of the Badjao chief falls in love and marries Bala Amai (Rosa Rosal) who is a niece of Datu Tahil (Jose de Cordova), head of the land-dwelling Tausogs. At the urging of Bala Amai, Hassan decides to leave his tribe and join the Tausogs.
Eventually, Datu Tahil learns of Hassan’s expertise in finding rare pearls in the sea, thus exploiting him for his own selfish interests. Hassan and Bala Amai resist him, feeling that their self-respect have been trampled on. They decide to go back to the Badjaos and lead a more humble, but nevertheless peaceful life. the Badjaos accept them with all their hearts. Continue reading