Friday, July 9, 2010

SEVEN ON SIXTH ] The 7 reasons why we're going to Cinemalaya this week

cPhoto from this website.

1 Because we want to see The Cinema of Celso Ad Castillo, a documentary on the director's life by Ron Bryant, the indie director who gave us that underrated and memorable Cinemalaya entry from 2006 called Rotonda (which also starred Castillo). But we're watching, of course, because we are Celso Kid fans. From the bits we saw, big names from local cinema (Ricky Lee, Peque Gallaga, Mel Chionglo et al) discuss his contributions to Philippine film history, take us back to that momentous and controversial Metro Manila Film Festival in 1977 where Da Kid's Burlesk Queen won all, if not most, of the awards. Castillo, who was once touted local cinema's enfant terrible, gave us such unforgettable film images as the wet T-shirt catfights involving Elizabeth Oropesa and several other kamisa-clad women, the unbelievably beautiful young Gloria Diaz riding a horse on the beach, and the gorgeous vision of a shirtless Vic Vargas---and that's just from Ang Pinakamagandang Hayop Sa Balat ng Lupa. Da Kid also gave us the insanely passionate Tag-ulan sa Tag-araw, the weird and poetic Pagputi ng Uwak, Pag-itim ng Tagak, and, well, Virgin People. Tipiti-pitim-tipitim, anyone?

2 Because Mario O Hara has a film. Its called Ang Paglilitis Kay Andres Bonifacio. We're discouraged by the title, and encouraged to watch only because he gave us Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos and that other film with Tatlo and Nora Aunor in it, a personal favorite, Tatlong Ina, Isang Anak.

3 Because they’re screening the good films we’ve missed last year: Engkuwentro, Last Supper #3, Ang Panggagahasa Kay Fe, Colorum, and, yes, Here Comes the Bride. How do we know they're good? Because our friends said so--and our friends are the biggest snobs.

4 Because they’re showing all 20 shorts that comprise the ANC pre-election project Ambisyon2010, about 18 of which are surprisingly good. Our favorites: the amazingly cool and exhilarating Ayos Ka by Brillante Mendoza, the heartbreaking Lupang Hinarang by Ditsi Carolino and the charmingly simple Di Ako Makatulog Dahil Wala Ka Sa Tabi Ko by Jade Castro.

31204_1473274596868_1383758317_1279070_6574817_nFrancis Pasion shoots from the top of a sampaguita plantation.

5 Because an insider who's read the scripts have given us the titles to watch out for. From the Directors’ Showcase, Two Funerals (screenplay by Eric Ramos), Sigwa (Boni Ilagan) and Donor (Mark Meily). And from the New Breed category: Limbunan (Gutierrez Mangansakan II), The Leaving (Ian Lorenos), Sampaguita (Francis Xavier Pasion) and Si Techi, Si Technoboy at si JuanaB (Art Katipunan).

6 Because if all else fails, there is the always dependable sweet spaghetti in the CCP cafeteria. So hindi ka pa rin uuwing luhaan.

7 Because this is that one week, well 10 days, in a year where the entire CCP comes alive and it just feels good to be around all that energy from film workers and film fans who are discussing movies and not, thanks heavens, show biz.

For more information on the 6th Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival and Competition, visit their website and Facebook page.

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