Monday, September 23, 2013

Chikkaness Review: 1st CineFilipino Film Festival


Ang Huling Cha Cha ni Anita Movie is my fetish coming-of-age movie. It was an absolute pleasure to follow Anita (Teri Malvar) and Pilar's (Angel Aquino) characters throughout the film. It succeeds in telling a compelling, moving story without resorting to cheap sloppiness. It triumphs in featuring the life of a teenage girl who fell in love to a woman who's been judged by some prejudices from her neighborhood. Teri is phenomenal in this movie, the kind of performance that truly deserved her best actress trophy from the recently concluded CineFilipino awards night. It was also wonderfully acted by Angel Aquino. If someday my life will be featured in a film, I would love to have it told by Sigrid Andrea P. Bernardo



Mike Alcazaren's PUTI is a pleasant surprise in the horror genre establishing an atmosphere that will surely chill and terrify you. Cinematography was shown with ingenuity and making great use of claustrophobic atmosphere. It also effectively introduced a very relevant issue to the viewers without feeling preached to. With a committed cast like that of Jasmine Curtis-Smith and Lauren Young, well-executed plot and a great soundtrack, you must catch PUTI while it's being shown in selected theaters for the Cine Filipino film festival. On a side note, ang gwapo lang talaga ni Ian Veneracion...waaah!



Mga Alaala ng Tag-ulan is perfect for this bed weather day - fitting to recall memories that have shaped us as a person. It's a tale of a sixteen-year old Santi (Akihiro Blanco) who fell in love to an enigmatic woman Marie Claire (Mocha Uson) who asked the former to share his umbrella on one rainy day. To some the narration may not seem to be appealing but I think it was just fitting for a story that was told during a rainy day. The film editing was somewhat difficult to chew but I was pleased on how it was tangled together. Ato Bautista is a director I think that you can rely on and I look forward to seeing what he does next.



Nora Aunor plays the title character in Ang Kuwento Ni Mabuti who's an Ilocana who happens to get a large sum of money on her way home. She had to face an internal conflict as to what to do with the money - to surrender it to authorities or to use for the better welfare of her family. The pacing is slow yet oddly engaging; adored with the picturesque backdrop of rural life. Nora Aunor has once again provided a raw, powerful and brutally charming performance. She's really extraordinary, she steals every scene she's in even if it does not require her to have a dialogue. The solid performance from the cast (Arnold Reyes, Mara Lopez, Sue Pradoand Ama Quiambao) alongside the tie down of stereotypes gives the characters a profound and realistic touch. Mes de Guzman has produced a well crafted film that provides glaring eloquent statements about the nature of honesty and sacrifice.


Bingoleras is Ron Bryant's rousing, scorching serving of feminist comedy. The movie is about two scam artists (Max Eigenmann and Charee Pineda) who organizes a bingo night with proceeds to go to a deceptive orphanage. Friendship, the cornerstone to this comic and feminist film, is the building block that connects the relationships of the bingo fanatics with the committed single mom Max as the main organizer, whose performance is both realistic, and heart-warming. I love Max, Charee, Art Acuna, Junjun Quintana, Liza Dino, Mercedes Cabral and Eula Valdez in this film. I cannot help being moved by the depth and humor of a memorable ensemble cast. It has a personality of its own that I'm sure will never be outdated. 


Agile modulations in comedic pitch makes Randolph Longjas' Ang Turkey Man Ay Pabo Rin a revolutionary comedy. This film is a hilarious, poignant and invigorating look at the rigors of interracial relationship between Filipinos and Americans, with a savvy script that is ably acted and directed. I had fun time with this one particularly on how it build its humor. The cast did a fine job at bringing on the laughs especially  from its lead star Tuesday Vargas who is not only sympathetic but is adorable in her hyper and sometimes awkward performance. A comedy that will certainly entertain both men and women and is a perfect movie for an excellent date night anytime.


The Muses by Janice Perez is for me straight-forward and delivered without pretense. It's a story about two sisters in a band, Marthe (Janelle Jamer) and Marie (Kitchie Nadal) who went to Cebu for a musical competition to represent the country in an international contest. As the contest approaches, the sisters are faced with issues they tried to conceal through denial and avoidance. You can see talented people all over like that of Jannelle who came as I surprise with her commitment to her role and the captain behind this feel good movie, Janice. The best music moment was when Marie sing her heart out with newfound friends in a bar in her journey to find her "happiness."


The Guerrilla Is A Poet is one of the bravest films in decade that the country has ever produced. It's a docudrama that delves in the life of Jose Maria Sison along with his wife and comrades from NPA during the Marcos regime. I would say that this a remarkable film inter cut with scenes of the interview process, and edited with enthusiasm and brilliance. Sari and Kiri Dalena faithfully presents a documentary with very engaging and surreal results, adorned with the beautiful and haunting imagery of the life of an NPA. This may intend to glorify the heroism that Joma has done for the country but I think this should not be the purpose alone for watching this. This is certainly an emphatic film masterpiece that cinephiles will adore and learn from. It's also abundant with committed actors like Karl Medina who has shown mastery in personifying the character, Angeli Bayani who's very giving and endearing as she plays the wife of Joma, RK Bagatsing whose princely face did not inhibit him from projecting a truthful role, and Chanel Latorre who has never failed to leave a lasting presence in her trivial yet significant role.



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