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Philippines

Lino Brocka – Maynila sa mga kuko ng liwanag AKA Manila in the Claws of Light (1975)

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Quote:
Manila: In the Claws of Darkness is the most impressive of his films noirs, made with bows to the American cinema, to Italian neo-realism and to his own country’s tradition of star-driven melodramas, but with the force of a third-world director determined to say something about his own society.It is the richly romantic but realistic odyssey of a boy named Julio, who arrives in Manila from the country to search for his childhood sweetheart. The darkness of the title refers to the capital itself, which, said Brocka, exerts an invisible force on the lives of its people. Read More »

Lav Diaz – The Boy Who Chose The Earth (2018)

Both the shortest Lav Diaz film, and the longest Viennale trailer:

Quote:
VIENNALE TRAILER 2018
THE BOY WHO CHOSE THE EARTH by Lav Diaz

The Viennale is pleased to announce that this year’s trailer was created by the multiple award-winning Filipino director Lav Diaz. Many of his films, outstanding also due to their length, have been shown at previous Viennale festivals. In 2014 he won the Golden Leopard at the Locarno International Film Festival and two years ago the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival for THE WOMAN WHO LEFT. Read More »

Eddie Romero – Ganito kami noon… Paano kayo ngayon? AKA This is how we were, How are you doing now? (1976)

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(from Cinemarehiyon)
The picaresque adventures of a young, naive country bumpkin named Kulas (de Leon) and his whimsical encounters with denizens of various nationalities – Spanish, American, Chinese, indio – is a metaphor for the Filipino quest for identity at a time when nationhood was still an imagined concept. Set during the liminal period when the Philippines was in transition from Spanish to American colonial rule, this masterwork shows Romero at his best and most exuberant as a filmmaker. It swept most of the awards at the 1976 Metro Manila Film Festival, and was subsequntly voted best picture at the very first Urian Awards in 1977. Read More »

Lav Diaz – Hele sa hiwagang hapis AKA A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery (2016)

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Synopsis
The search for the body of Andres Bonifacio. Read More »

Khavn – Alipato: The Very Brief Life of an Ember (2016)

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Synopsis
A bunch of 10-year-old kids rob pedestrians and kill without mercy. But after a failed bank robbery, the dangerous game comes to an end with twenty years of imprisonment. After two decades, they are released but soon begin to disappear one by one. Read More »

Mike De Leon – Alpha Kappa Omega Batch ’81 (1982)

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Quote:
Sid Lucero, a 26-year old pre-Med student is an aspiring neophyte of the Alpha Kappa Omega fraternity. Over a six-month initiation period, he and six other neophytes are subjected to severe physical and psychological torture in and outside the fraternity house. The neophytes come to accept the senseless violence as a requisite of their acceptance into the brotherhood. Only five of them survive the brutal, fascistic ordeal, due to the fraternity rumble with Sigma Omicron Sigma headed by Arvisu.

De Leon treats the fraternity as a microcosm of Philippine society to spotlight issues relating to human rights and autocratic rule at the height of Marcos’ martial rule. The significance of the film derives from the parallelism it draws between authoritarian society and the fraternity, and between the fraternity and Philippine society under Marcos.
(L. Pareja, CCP Encyclopedia of Philippine Art, v. VIII: Philippine Film) Read More »

Lino Brocka – Jaguar (1979)

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Poldo, a lowly security in a publishing firm, dreams to be rich. He becomes the personal bodyguard to his employer’s son, Sonny, when he impresses the latter with his courage and skills during a quarrel where Poldo defended Sonny. Poldo gets a taste of his boss’ carefree and extravagant lifestyle and thinks that he accepts him as a friend. In one of the nightclubs they frequent, Sonny is smitten by dancer Cristy and aggressively pursues her despite a warning from San Pedro, the movie director with whom Cristy has an affair. When they chance upon each other, Sonny and San Pedro fight. Poldo comes to his boss’ rescue and guns down San Pedro. In subsequent circumstances, Poldo would soon arrive at a bitter realization. As he could not see in Sonny the benefactor that he pictured him to be, Poldo finds himself alone, abandoned and betrayed. Read More »