11th Cinemanila Digital Lokal 2009 Pre-review

I have already seen five out of six films for the Digital Lokal Category. I will post the reviews soon.
Charlie Koon's Ratings:
Dolores by Lito Casije
Anacbanua by Christopher Gozum
Iliw by Bona Fajardo
Ang Beerhouse by Jon Red
69 1/2 by Ted Manotoc
Just a comment, what's with the strictly invitational screening for Biyaheng Lupa? I know its their premiere night but come on, I have seen four out of the five films during its premiere. They should have made a note in their brochure or even post it somewhere prior to its screening day. This kind of film should not be supported for its lack of consideration to people who go all the way to Market Market. They would not even gain profit from it as audience like me are the ones they need. We could pay whatever price they want.
The head organizer said in one of his interviews that he hopes audience will embrace what Filipino filmmakers have to offer. I hope its not for the marginal few. Its not even open to the public.
Sorry I'm just pissed.

Anyway, I do recommend Anacbanua to hardcore art-film lovers out there. The cinematography is superb. It has similarities with the poetic films made by the Russian filmmaker Sergei Parajanov and even our very own John Torres. Also 69 1/2 which is a musical comedy film. It has lots of film references that could excite most film junkies. Its a mixture of Rocky Horror Picture Show by Sharman, with a slice of Godard style and a pinch of John Waters' crass yet lovable and culty. It is very French in so many ways. If you are too hesitant to try this artsy stuff, try Iliw, a romantic period film during the Japanese Occupation about a girl who fell in love with a Japanese Captain. Vigan is used as a backdrop for the film - promotes tourism I guess. The other two are not worth recommending but if you still insist to choose, try Ang Beerhouse than Dolores.
Charlie's Picks:
Best Director: Christopher Gozum for Anacbanua
Best Film: 69 1/2 by Ted Manotoc


Legazpenya said...

i strongly agree with you...i got so interested with the movie biyaheng lupa because i lived in legazpi city during my school years...and now that we transferred here in manila, i missed bicol so much that i got instantly hooked when i read the synopsis of the movie and watched the trailer. and notwithstanding the fact that it was the debut film of bing lao. well, i had no second thoughts.i even persuaded my officemates to come and watch the movie with me on Oct 19 because it is the only schedule after office hours(we cannot watch it on Oct 23 because it will be shown at 4:30 pm).so, i went to market market last oct 17 and confirmed in the ticket booth if it is really for public viewing and the girl there said that it is...so yesterday, we left our office in makati at 6:30 and hurriedly went to market market hoping that we will still be able to buy tickets and watch the movie. gladly,we arrived at roughly 7:45 but to our dismay, only the persons with invitation would be admitted.well, makati and taguig may not be that far but the frustration, disappointment and the time and effort that we wasted really hurt us while we were there. we are not film critics or anything of that sort to have an impact on the organizers but the lack of proper information dissemination is something that cinemanila should fix next time.it was just now that i got interested and started to appreciate indie and filipino fims and the talent that filipino directors and writers have...but i should be honest, i quite felt discriminated and i think it was what others also felt since we have seen some who left with dismayed faces..if only they informed everyone like what they did with Lola as opening film when they said that only those invited can watch.

Charlie Koon said...

hi legazpenya! same-same.. came from the office too. although my office is just near (mckinley hill), but still it seems I was mocked. i will not watch this anymore. just refer to other reviewers who are there for the review. i'm here to balance things up. surely all you will read are positive reviews, biased perhaps. its given.

i already asked my friend alex (guest reviewer) to cover it for me but he's also on duty (hospital). and besides, who's gonna watch a film at around 430pm?? i have work too

Anonymous said...

"Just a comment, what's with the strictly invitational screening for Biyaheng Lupa?"

thanks for saying this. i thought i was the only one who waited for this film in vain. i have been in many movie premieres myself, and while i respect the director's decision to make this purely invitational, it should have been explicitly said in the screening schedules, as "lola" last thursday was to have saved the time and effort of those who weren't given invitations.

i bookmarked this film and got there an hour before the screening. i was told that it was an block screening for the guests, but if i stuck around, there may be extra seats which they can sell. (i raised my eyebrows at that and thought, if it was already a block screening and the venue has been paid for, then couldn't the organizers squeeze in the few people who stuck around to see the film gratis, as a form of appreciation?)

nevertheless, i planned to pay to see the film in the first place and might as well wait a bit to do what i planned to do. at 5 minutes before 8, i was told that they weren't opening the screening to the public and that i should watch on friday (which of course i cannot, like you guys, because it's during office hours).


Charlie Koon said...

a friend of mine who was inside told me that there are lots of vacant seats during the screening. could have tried to squeeze in with his help but i run out of phone battery..

even then, it was done to secure seats for the director's friends... not a good thing.

Fidel Antonio Medel said...

I'm watching Anacbanua tomorrow. I'm skipping work just to see it. The concept looks good on paper and the director's cred helps in generating the buzz. I do hope it will be a good film.

Fortunately, I was able to catch Biyaheng Lupa. Among the films competing in the Digital Lokal section, I was most excited to see it. Primarily because it's Bing Lao's directorial debut. However, I find it a little too self-indulgent - beating us in the head with far too many metaphors. The concept and the ambition is pretty solid. But the finished product is just vapid. I may be in the minority for saying this and I'll be surely bashed for not having 'taste'.

Charlie Koon said...

hey fidel! i saw you the other day! woah... can't comment yet but you're the first to say that - at least balance naman pala. a friend of mine did like the film. he's curious what would be my take on the film. sadly, i can't watch it on Fri.

i know someone who did not like anacbanua. just be cautious.

thanks for dropping by.

Fidel Antonio Medel said...

You did? You should have said hi or something. I saw Anacbanua and I think it's going to win the awards. I think it is this year's Imburnal. Not my cup of tea though. Too art-sy for my taste.

Charlie Koon said...

did not like imburnal too.. but i was able to finish the film. haha

Charlie Koon said...

had a private exchange of emails with one of the marketing promoters of 'biyaheng lupa' and i retract my statement that i will not watch the film.

thanks also for the invite for today's screening at the block. though i could not attend still have work..

the regular screening for biyaheng lupa will be this december. so for the guys who got a little frustrated, you might as well give the film another chance. :)

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