Friday, May 16, 2008

Now Showing (2008)



Now Showing (Raya Martin, 2008)

One night while discussing the life, death, and rebirth of stars, a young Rita candidly asks her mother, "what if all the stars die at the same time?" Rita's mother, unable to provide a scientifically verifiable answer to her daughter's legitimate question, smiles and proceeds to her room to sleep. Raya Martin's fourth feature Now Showing, which is premiering at Cannes in the Director's Fortnight, deeply examines that void that possibly and probably happens when all the stars have died all at once. The film, epic-like in length with a running time of four hours and forty minutes, can be divided into two parts, an episodic account of Rita's childhood and her present experience as an adult working for her aunt's pirated DVD stall, divided by an intriguing interlude composed of clips from one of the few surviving Filipino pre-war films, Octavio Silos' Tunay na Ina (Real Mother, 1939).

There is an ominous air of sorrow that pervades the film. A palpable void in all the characters most essential of which is Rita, designates itself as the film's internal heartbeat. Right from the start, where animated alphabets playfully appear to complete a quotation by Rita Hayworth ("All I wanted was just what everybody else wants, you know."), the film already declares itself as a tale of outbursting longing of a myriad of needs.

It's a visually interesting film. The first half of Now Showing has the aesthetic feel of an amateur video. Artificially aged and damaged, Rita's childhood takes the appearance of a long-kept memory, an unearthed artifact of the past. Interspersed within the film are crudely stop-animated sequences. It is succeeded by similarly damaged black and white clips from Tunay na Ina, which further emphasizes the first half's role as hindsight to the pains of a near-forgotten childhood. The contrast of the first half to the latter half is apparent and striking, since the latter is visually more formally structured, shot predominantly to emphasize the social alienation and decay that intervene in the life of Rita. Like the dozens of pirated DVDs she sells that exemplify our fake culture of commodification, she dons trappings of superficial happiness and identity but in reality, is very confused and on the verge of facing the far end of the dead-ended road.

During the opening scene, we witness Rita alone in her room, singing and dancing like her namesake, in what I fathom as a private ecstatic moment. This scene is followed by Rita and her neighbors in the street, playing. She stumbles, and then assures her friends that she's alright before excusing herself from the game. She limps home and cries on her own. During her birthday party, she feigns contentment despite the fact that none of her invited friends were around; her birthday party appearing to be a family reunion rather than a celebration of the fact that she exists. A vacation to the beach concludes with her crying, probably in reflective jealousy and envy, while witnessing a family welcoming the fishermen back from the sea.

Now Showing is detailed in the way that it peeks into the private life of its main character. There's an almost voyeuristic delectation in the way we witness some personal things we tend to declare as mundane. That interest further glows as the melancholy of the character's private life becomes more apparent. That melancholy is of course tainted by the innocence and joy of childhood and growing up, but the picture swells with that incandescent burden of painful childhood memories, not necessarily traumatic in the way most coming-of-age tales are built upon but still evidently encumbering.

When Rita grows up to be a young lady, the privacy of her childhood melancholy is replaced with a pertinent social disconnect. She appears to be the typical misdirected youth, fleeting from one party to another, and wallowing in the excesses of contemporary living. She has blossomed into a tragic figure similar to her famous namesake, who died afflicted with Alzheimer's Disease, numb to the glory of her memories. Rita has succumbed to the most common of afflictions of the citizens of this contemporary world, an inability to look back, an incapacity to retrieve memories. The subtle void and emptiness that infect her life are caused by that affliction. She has forgotten the value of history.

What happens when all the stars die all at once? Rita's mother fails to provide an answer, but Martin hints at a possible outcome --- a debilitating sense of forgetfulness and a glaring inability to connect past from present. Martin furthers this theory with his brilliant intermission, a montage of flickering, deteriorating, decomposing scenes from a pre-war film made unrecognizable by time, abuse, and national neglect. Martin's metaphor of disconnect is as blatant as it is disturbing, since the nation is naively unhurdled by this cinematic void, with plenty more of its filmic treasures dying simultaneously like the heavenly bodies Rita curiously asks about. Basically, Martin mourns a nation composed of tens and millions of Ritas, unable to recall the lessons of the past simply because the memories have permanently disappeared from convenient reach.

Martin has always focused on history (or the lack of it) with his films. He laments his nation's prevailing amnesia by composing films that visualize such emptiness. In Maicling Pelicula Nañg Ysañg Indio Nacional (O Ang Mahabang Kalungkutan ng Katagalugan) (A Short Film About the Indio Nacional (or The Prolonged Sorrow of the Filipinos), 2005), Martin recreates the Filipino war for independence this time through the eyes of the common man. With the film, he seeks to visually approximate a moment in history that has forever passed. Martin follows up Maicling Pelicula with Autohystoria (2007), more visually ominous, detailing the execution of Philippine revolutionary leader Andres Bonifacio and his brother, another portion of Philippine history that has been draped with rumors and history. By placing the event in the contemporary social and political scenario, Martin succeeds in brandishing his thesis that this national amnesia is not merely a problem that exists primarily within a bubble. The problem is more deeply rooted, and connects directly to how the nation exists now. Now Showing is much more personal (little details like young Rita's uncanny resemblance with Martin, among others), especially since it is the most narratively-reliant of Martin's films. Martin masterfully places his cinematic advocacy to a clearly personal project, and the result is simply magical and Martin's most resonant, most thematically beautiful film to date.

The film concludes with a lengthy yet beautifully shot and edited sequence of travel and transition, exposing a light of hope despite the film's melancholic and wistful air. The baggages and the lessons of the past she tug as she contemplates and daydreams on her way to that undisclosed location. She sleeps, and the picture fades into white, instead of the typical black. A simple melody is heard (the first time music is ever heard from the film since Martin mutes every song for some mysterious reason). It's a compassionate gesture from Martin as he ends Rita's tale with subtle optimism, a conceivable twinkle of grace despite having witnessed Rita in her most private aching moments. With Now Showing, Martin bares himself not only as an extremely talented filmmaker (at twenty-three years old, he has made four films completely different from each other, but bare a stamp of integrity in theme and aesthetics) but as an uncompromising yet generous artist.

167 comments:

chard bolisay said...

Wow, this must be orgasmic'lly good, Oggs. Hope I could see it, so I could somehow help in promoting. Hehe.

Oggs Cruz said...

You should see it, it'll probably get more screenings in Manila after its Cannes run. Hopefully, the filmgoers there would appreciate it. Serbis is being panned, based from the reviews from Screen Daily and Variety.

Anonymous said...

wow bro saan mo napanood ito showing na ba ito dito or this is a matter of priviledge having known the director.

yeah serbis was being panned but anyway i still want to see it.

Anonymous said...

The negative reception for Serbis was right on target. I think, based from the reviews, or "bad" reviews the entry generated thus far for that matter, the film's objective and purpose was served. It was panned not because it was bad but because it's what the filmmakers intended to do: disturb audience into disliking it. For that, the film was successful. I can't wait to see it soon.

Got this from the net, a review from a disgusted moviegoer:

"The other night, James and I walked out of our first film at Cannes, Brilliante Mendoza's Serbis. Actually, this is the first time I've ever walked out before the end of a film at a festival; generally, I feel it's my job to watch films here, the good, the bad and the ugly, and so I sit through them, however wretched they may be. But not this time. It's too bad, really, because Serbis is the first Filipino film to ever play in competition in Cannes and I was hoping to like it, but ... ugh.

The film opens with a scene of total gratuitous nudity -- a young Filipino girl, just out of the shower, preening in front of a mirror and practicing saying "I love you" in what she thinks is a sexy way. And that scene would have been just fine like that, without the voyeuristic panning down to breasts and pubic hair. I'm not a prude by any stretch, I have no problem with nudity and sex in films if it serves an actual purpose, but watching that scene all I could think of was, well, there's a shot that exists only to please the guys who have the hots for young, naked Asian girls. Which for me, just made it feel exploitive.



The film is set in a family-run adult theater with a little cafe at the bottom that's open to the street, and the ambient noise in the first 15 or so minutes of the film was so loud and disconcerting that I almost walked out then. I was seriously getting crowd anxiety just from the level of noise. I get that it's supposed to set the place, but when it's so overwhelming that you can't appreciate what dialog there is -- even with subtitles -- it's just too much.

From there we're treated to a graphic oral sex scene between a man and a male prostitute that would be more appropriate for a gay porn film, and another graphic sex scene between a young man and woman that looked pretty darn real. Why? I guess because those are the things Mendoza felt were important to show us about those people.

Mendoza likes to follow people around in their natural setting, and that's pretty much what he does in this film; unfortunately, it's just not that interesting, because he doesn't give us enough about any of the characters to make us care about why we should want to spend 90 minutes or so of our lives watching them.

It's supposed to be, I guess, about the various relationships: the family matriarch is suing her husband for bigamy and wants him to go to jail, while her children want to see their father acquitted so as not to have his out-of-wedlock offspring legally recognized; the older daughter is trapped in a loveless relationship with her husband, who she married only because she was pregnant; the younger daughter wants to emulate the transitive prostitutes; the nephew, who has a boil on his ass, has gotten his girlfriend pregnant, adding to the family's poverty. And so on. It should have (and probably could have) been interesting, but it just wasn't.

The end of it for me and James was a disgustingly graphic scene of the nephew popping the boil on his ass with a coke bottle. I'm sure it was supposed to be metaphorical, but it was just gross, and that was enough for us."


Good job from the filmmakers!!

Oggs Cruz said...

I'll reserve my comments on Serbis (Service) until I've seen the film. As for Mendoza, (apart from Pantasya, Tirador and Serbis), I've only liked one film of his, and that is Manoro (The Teacher). The rest range from okay to potentially good. There's a good chance I'm gonna like Serbis, if it's being declared as this year's Brown Bunny (which is actually good). I just have this mean-spirited opinion that foreign critics are equating Mendoza's lazy direction with auteurism, and he's starting to believe them too. Mendoza is capable of beauty (Masahista's static meditation is alluring, Kaleldo is too beautiful), but if he's up for grunge and shock, let's see if it's all worth it. Hopefully it is.

Oggs Cruz said...

Oh, one more thing, in fairness to Mendoza and Serbis. I don't think that Cinematical critic has any right to judge a film he hasn't seen from start to finish. I would've accepted that scathing review if he did sit there and stomach watching the film, but he didn't, and therefore he is the most unqualified person in that theater to talk about the film. The reviews I've read are also underresearched. There's one (Screen Daily, I believe) that states that Mendoza writes his own films and that it is probably his collaboration with Bing Lao that caused the film to be unpleasant. They tend to forget that if there's one true auteur behind Mendoza's films (and some of the recent products of the new Philippine cinema), it is Bing Lao and his school of real-time filmmaking.

Anonymous said...

Agree with the Bing Lao part. Not all of them negative reviews. One positive for Serbis below. This one gets what the movie is all about, I think. I will reserve my comments too until I see the film.



Bottom Line: An engaging domestic drama and stylishly seamy homage to the gay cinema rendezvous.
By Maggie Lee
May 18, 2008

serbis
Cannes, In Competition

CANNES -- Taking place mostly in a porno theater ironically, yet fittingly, named Family, "Serbis" is part homage to cinema, part intimate domestic drama that vividly details the tangled relations and all-too human frailties of an extended family running a theater in the provincial Philippines.

Director Brillante Mendoza continues the neo-realist vein of "Foster Child" and "Sling Shot" in "Serbis," but displays marked improvement -- both the grunge aesthetic and film language now bear his personal handwriting. To this, he adds some bristling sexuality, both gay and straight.

"Serbis" contains elements of soap opera from popular Philippine cinema and TV, but without any of the froth and lather. Unspooling at an almost real-time pace, with a narrative that is all foreplay and no conventional climax, the film won't win any commercial converts to the Philippine new wave. Festival and art-house bookings are optimistic though.
The film adopts a worldly and tolerant attitude in dramatizing the double standards in operation every day at a porn theater that has involved into a hotbed for rentboys to service gay clients (hence the title, which means "service"). Gena Pareno ("Kubrador") is a towering presence, who puts fire and tears into her multiple roles -- as a wife clenching the bitterness of abandonment, an aggrieved mother feeling betrayed by her children's divided loyalty to their father and the pillar that holds together the tottering family business.

But the theater itself may be the film's real star. Flooded toilets, running sores and steamy sex behind the projector that outperforms what's happening on screen create a dank, dripping texture and festering mood that echo most of Tsai's oeuvre.

The camera explores each nook and cranny of the dilapidated movie-house like an usher who knows his way round blindfolded, and the building, with its richly visual interior structures desperately in need of an overhaul, comes to symbolize poetically the predicament of its inhabitants and their moral ambiguity.

Oggs Cruz said...

Thanks for that, anonymous... hopefully, there'll be reports about Now Showing. I'm wondering how Raya will react seeing a review of his film with several comments on Serbis, hehe.

Anonymous said...

another favorable mention from a blog referencing the NYTimes no less.

"... New York Times critic A.O. Scott opened one recent Cannes report with an appreciative nod to Mendoza's latest -- in particular, a scene in which a goat walks into the movie house setting, triggering chaos. At Cannes, such a scene could double as a funny metaphor for the festival experience, a link that wasn't lost on Scott. "

Anonymous said...

Serbis as time goes along is becoming a sensation.

http://babelfish.yahoo.com/translate_url?tt=url&trurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.metrofrance.com%2Fcannes2008&lp=fr_en&.intl=us&fr=yfp-t-501

21-05-2008 Metrofrance.com 19:11

Cannes: our selection with semi-festival

Return on the first thirteen films of the official competition, with our very favorites, our disappointments and our large yells.

Gold palm of the Cannes festival

5 Palms

The Exchange

One would be almost disappointed to say that at this stage of the competition, it is an experienced scenario writer and not a promising hope which signed our favorite film of the Festival. Except that the Exchange dazzles by its smoothness and its density, revisiting the kinds - the black film, the film of lawsuit, and even the fantastic one - as the best books of James Ellroy.


4 Palms

Serbis

The fact of having read the disastrous notes of certain fellow-members reinforce my tenderness for this removed from rim chronicle of the life of a cinema Filipino porn. Aesthetically, it is the film more the stimulant of a competition a little too wise as a whole. The bad pupil in the honnor roll?


The silence of Lorna

It is perhaps the film which finally will make take off the Dardenne brothers with the boxoffice, all into disappointing the fans of the first. The setting in scene more posed, and intrigues it black film reinforce this beautiful portrait with woman. And then there is Arta Dobroshi, our favorite for the price of female role.

Waltz with Bachir

Seen at any beginning of festival, the docu of animation of Ari Folman is essential like the OFNI (filmic Object not identified) of this festival. (in english - UFO, Unidentified Object Film). The night visions of the Israeli realizer are among the most powerful images of the fortnight. And the speech anti-war essence.


3 Palms

Leonera

After first strong and mysterious half an hour, the film of Pablo Trapero is transformed into effective but too foreseeable social chronicle. Good will, but not enough of cinema. The actress Martina Gusman is however excellent.

Linha de Passe

Like Trapero, the film of Walter Rooms and Daniela Thomas suffer from a dramatic lack of stake which would make take off this pretty portrait of four Brazilian brothers in mouise. A collective price of interpretation?


24 City

The docu-fiction of Jia Zhangke divides the festival ones. Some see there only one succession longuette testimonys real or manufactured, others a new way to consider the documentary one, with the means of the fiction. Me a little both.

Blindness

The starting point is brilliant, the unequal way, the disappointing arrival. New Meirelles is not on the level of the City of god or The Constant Gardener. But in spite of a speech boat, it contains certain impressive scenes.

A tale of Christmas

Contrary to the majority of his comrades in competition, Arnaud Desplechin does not seem too much not worried by the future of planet. Its way of déconstruire the family satire with brilliance makes however its singularity. A price of the scenario?


2 Palms

Three monkeys

One contemplated the sublime photography of Nuri Blige Ceylon before slowly lowering the arms. And eyelids. The interminable abuse plan and the dialogues minimalists lead what could have been a formidable tragedy.

Two Lovers

James Gray wanted to make the malignant one by explaining us the life, the love, the desire, the responsibility, etc the result is oaf and almost pretentious. And then seriously: how can one find more Gywneth Paltrow exciting that Vinessa Shaw?

Delta

The sublime framework does not save film of Kornel Mundruczo of the stereotypes of a young cinema of author. The young actress Orsi Toth would save almost the business, but its partner Felix Lajko seems so much to want to finish some which one badly has for him.


1 Palm

Gomorra

I wanted to put to them a ball in the head at the end of 20 minutes, to only finish some. But not, the characters without hearts of Matteo Garrone made me share their martyrdom during two long hours. This film gains the Palm, I stop the pizza pie.

The woman without head

Incomprehensible. I should undoubtedly have made studies of cinema, psychoanalysis or architecture to include/understand film of Lucrecia Martel. But I am simply journalist. Afflicted.

Anonymous said...

"the bad pupil in the honor roll"

this makes me smile:)

Anonymous said...

Koehler of Variety mentioned about the Alonso-Serra-Martin triumvirate in Cannes (Lisando Alonso of Argentina, Albert Serra of Spain & Raya Martin of the Philippines), the main reason why the Director's Forthnight will be successful. I've been reading online accounts of how Raya is really being respected despite his age, so much so that a leading Argentine critic Oscar Cuervo mentioned his movie "Autohystoria" the "cine del millenio", another one suggesting that the malaise in European movie direction could be relieved by converting Raya into a European himself, etc.. I'm lucky I understand French & Spanish & it's the critics in these languages that actually determine the success of a director in the arthouse circuit (while those in English determine its commercial success?). Alas, the Filipinos can't access those pages & they're not aware that Raya Martin is a bigger national pride than they ever could realize

Oggs Cruz said...

Thanks anonymous for steering back the discussion to Raya's film... and thatnks for the information.

Anonymous said...

btw, Raya presented two new films in the recent BAFICI (Buenos Aires Ind Cinema FF): "Possible Lovers" & "BOx Office: Next Attraction", why no news in the Philippine press? "Possible Loveers" involved a 90-minute one-scene take, more audacious than the 37-min walk in "Autohystoria" but actually well-received by the Argentinian & Brazilian critics.

I'm intrigued by Raya because it shows Filipinos can excel in "intelligent" films, not the usual "neo-realist" kuno Brocka copycats- about squatters, prostitutes,third sex. Kumita na si Brocka doon,& the lesson in Cannes for Mendoza is that it may serve well his interest to chart his own path. Brocka was big in the West before because he was fighting a dictator but in these "normal" times, a "neo-realist" helmsman has to rely on shock value & as "Serbis" showed, it's easy to go overboard if you rely on shock values

Anyway, almost all the big indie directors, like John Torres, Lav Diaz, Raya Martin, Khavn de la Cruz are blazing their own paths so the future is good for the Philippine cinema. They don't want to walk in the shadow of Brocka, they create their own shadows

Anonymous said...

All we are waiting is for Raya to make a narrative piece and we will judge him from that. Because I would assume, even Raya himself will admit that narrative piece is harder to do than the likes he is doing now. Narrative pieces revels in balance among keen judgment, intelligence, technique, conformity to rules, etc. When you’re mind frame is to break the rule (this is the area where Raya is trying to thread on), all you need to do is to actually not disregard it but to break out from the boundaries of the rules. That makes it easier to do. But if you’re working on narrative pieces, thus on given parameters, how to follow the rules is one thing, how to follow them with effectiveness is quite another. And bending some rules requires keen judgment, making something outstanding out of the givens necessitates skills, setting free and yet remaining inside the circle dictates grace and enormous talent.

It is not about being Brocka copycats I think. It is about reflecting the society and times we are in and showing that microcosm to the world and to the rest of unhinged us. After all cinema to be effective should be true and reflective, watch-able and understandable by an average movie-goers. I don’t believe in elitist cinema like Maicling Pelicula Nang Isang Indio Nacional (I’ve seen the film by the way, the only one I’ve seen from Raya), films that even an intelligent movie-goer won’t appreciate. The only ones who will appreciate the likes are hard core cineastes. I’ve read way back of Raya’s doubts in Lao’s ability. Right there and then, he’s caught in the mouth criticizing the best, arguably, screenwriter working in the Philippine cinema today. What Lao has, it seemed Raya didn’t comprehend, is unqualified technical skills in narration, something I have yet to see from the experimental exercises of Raya.

The challenge is on Raya, for him to do a narrative piece that is solid. I want to believe in his abilities, but from what I saw in Maicling Pelicula, I am betting Raya is bound to falter if he is given narrative parameters to work on. I hope I am wrong.

Oggs Cruz said...

Thank you very much for the differing points of view, I'll just organize my thoughts so I can jump into the fray.

One request though, in order to facilitate discussion, may we start using names or aliases instead of being anonymous.

Thanks you.

Anonymous said...

Nice reading Mr. Anonymous there- doing narrative is easier? really? The hottest films for the last year were "Honor de la Cavalleria" by Albert Serra, "Autohystoria" by Raya Martin, "Colossal Youth" by Costa, etc- what do these films have in common. Or are you even aware of them? These are the kinds of films that are held in awe by the really "true"(may k at pangalan) critics btw. I can see you espouse the usual tayo-tayo cliques of the has-beens, well, down you go with Serbis & the gang. Di na uso yan. Raya doesn't have to answer your challenge, he's up there with the big wigs already haven't you noticed?

Anonymous said...

For Mr. Anonymous( the dark side):

Here's the article of Mark Perranson 9you know him do you?) which was reprinted in an Argentine blog yet:
lalectoraprovisoria.com.ar
Read carefully the article below the list of the must-see films, he categorized Raya Martin's films one of the best without seeing it, probably because it was told to him by Oliver Pere (do you know these, people? They're outside your tayo-tayo clique of old-timers):

Mark Peranson (13-05)

The Films to Beat

Four Nights of Anna (Jerzy Skolimowski)– Because Olivier Pere tells me there are two masterpieces in the Quinzaine, and this is the one that I am not in.

The Frontier of Dawn (Philippe Garrel) – Because last year John Gianvito told me that someone told him that the Garrel film is great.

Now Showing (Raya Martin)—Because someone has to go see it, and I am not counting on any other members of the Canadian press to spent 4 and a half hours in Cannes watching Filipino cinema. And if it isn’t good I am eager to call out the New Filipino Cinema as a sham.

Of Time and the City (Terence Davies)—Because the prospect of a new Terence Davies film seems to make Alvaro very giddy.

Le Genou de Artimide + Itinérarie de Jean Bricard (Straub/Huillet)—Just because.

Chelsea on the Rocks (Abel Ferrara)—ibid.

Maradona by Kusturica (Emir Kusturica)—This being an Argentine blog, I have to mention this, though did that asshole Kusturica really need to put his own name in the title? Come on.

The Films to Beat with a Stick

Indiana Jones et le Royaume du Crâne de Cristal (Steven Spielberg)—Sounds even more awful in French.

Vicky Christina Barcelona (Woody Allen)—The other Spanish film in Cannes (with just as bad an English title as the other Spanish film in Cannes).

O Horten (Bent Hamer)—The fact that Alvaro sent me this film on Pando a week ago and I still haven’t bothered to watch it should tell me that I will never see another Bent Hamer film unless I am acting in it.

Il Divo (Paolo Sorrentino)—I would rather pay to see an Il Divo concert than sit through another Paolo Sorrentino film for free.

Whatever the closing film is

General Predictions
This year’s Cannes again will lead to a general disappointment with Thierry Frémaux’s selection, with an underwhelming competition, and continued criticism of Un Certain Regard, the place that films go to die (although I am looking forward to seeing Kelly Reichardt’s film as it stars her dog). At the same time, Olivier Pere’s stock will continue to rise, as the Quinzaine will celebrate a glorious 40th anniversary with some of the best films of the festival, including, but not limited to, Alonso, Serra, Gomes, Skolimowski, and Martin. (That being said, the prospect of a Bertrand Bonello orgy film where Michel Piccoli plays a character called “The Great Hou” frightens me very much, as does that Monsieur Marimoto thing.) The Dardennes will again have the best film in Cannes, but win nothing. Sean Penn and Marjane Satrapi will beat each other to a pulp during the jury deliberations. And Blindness will not suck.

Anonymous said...

the last two posts came from Anonymous the good side, just to be clear

Anonymous said...

From Anonymous (the good side):

I reprint thaty to be clear

At the same time, Olivier Pere’s stock will continue to rise, as the Quinzaine will celebrate a glorious 40th anniversary with some of the best films of the festival, including, but not limited to, Alonso, Serra, Gomes, Skolimowski, and Martin.

Anonymous said...

From Anonymous (the good side):

as a parting shot, seriously, I'd like to comment on one point of Anonymous (dark side):

"narrative piece is harder to do than the likes he is doing now"

Emmanuel Borlaza can do a narrative, Bebong Osorio can do a narrative- where are thse people? Narrative, hard to make? you're making a "barbero" challenge, dude

Anonymous said...

So many directors do narrative pieces, that is including your favorite Borlaza, but most of the fails big time. Why? Because they are harder to do.

The challenge is there, let Raya do a solid narrative film. I bet he is bound to falter.

- Anonymous the clear eyed.

Anonymous said...

Narrative pieces are actually harder to do because of parameters limiting them. Haven’t seen any of the three films you mentioned, well, I had the chance with Autohystoria but when I saw its trailer from youtube which has a three-minute stagnant, prolonged scene (very Maicling Pelicula, very pa-artsy ek-ek), I intentionally screwed that chance. I can’t say Raya is bad, but I believe he’s no Lav Diaz. Diaz films aren’t only organic, they are also rhythmic, borne out of a passionate artist. I’ve seen almost all films of Diaz up to his Batang Westside (his subsequent outings are just too long for a film junkie like me) and I would say Batang Westside is one of the best Filipino films ever produced. This I’m saying to thwart your assumption that I espouse tayo-tayo or kami-kami posturing.

So what if the three films you mentioned are held in awe by your revered critic? Films aren’t for critics only, they should also extend to widest reach possible. If only hardcore cineaste can appreciate your espoused films, then does it serve its purpose? Cannes films are usually narrative features done in excellent taste, nothing like Maicling Pelicula. To settle your beef with Serbis, it is in the main competition, and being there tells so much about it, and controversial and reviled as it may, it is always in the thick of discussion among reviewers. For it to be getting very mixed reviews is actually healthy sign for its quality. It only means it experimented good enough. Being a bad pupil in the honor roll adds so much character to the film, actually it tells so much about the product.

- Anonymous the clear-eyed

Oggs Cruz said...

Thanks to the two anonymouses for the heated discussion,

I don't think Raya Martin needs to do a straight-out narrative to prove his worth. I don't even think Martin needs to prove anything. What makes Martin a very great filmmaker for me is the fact that his films are very personal, and Martin has that gift of vocalizing and visualizing a pertinent need that the Filipino youth has always failed to acknowledge, that we are living in a nation that has been stripped of history.

Martin's films are actually narrative, although they don't subscribe to the traditional notion of narrative cinema. Maicling Pelicula actually has a clear narrative flow, if you get past the supposed experimentation. Autohystoria is clear-cut in its story. Now Showing is probably the most story-driven of his films, and if you need affirmation of Martin as a storyteller, Now Showing shows him not only as an able storyteller but also as a filmmaker with integrity. The moment Martin loses that edge (and starts to do narrative films to prove a point), is the moment I'll lose interest in him as a filmmaker.

I sincerely hope this discussion doesn't erupt into what kind of cinema is better, narrative vs. counter-cinema (or whatever you might want to term it), because any argument for or against any cinematic movement is for me, absolutely futile. Filmmaking may have started as a means to storytell, but as with any other art, it involves as a means of self-expression. Other prefer to be constrained by parameters of narrative, or documentary-filmmaking, or experimental filmmaking, while other filmmakers prefer to let go of all rules, if that serves their self-expression best. I don't care, really. If the film speaks to me, and I can speak back to the film, then I believe it has succeeded, whether it be narrative, documentary, animated, long, short, pornographic, trashy, etc. The more the merrier?

Anonymous said...

Straight arrative is harder to do? Eh? Ang tanga naman nung nagsabi nun. Gumawa ka nga ng avant garde?

- ed saludes

Hoi oggs..lapit na Cinemanila 2008

Oggs Cruz said...

Hi Ed, nice hearing from you again, hehe... It's a lot easier declaring statements like that when there's no name attached to the declarations. Let's all be fair, if we want to say something, let's be brave enough to give thoe statements a named owner.

OT: When's Cinemanila this year? Hopefully, I'd be able to help out again...

Anonymous said...

If a filmmaker wants to be mediocre, then straight narrative is never hard to do, actually it is the easiest to do. To impose so much excellence over parametered setup is hardest to do, and this I'm talking from my experience. When you are doing a narrative piece, there isn't just so much room for excellence because you are limited, and how to elevate everything over the limitation is 'the' biggest challenge, harder than the democratic avant-garde kind of thing.

Lav Diaz is a narrative filmmaker. Have you seen Kriminal ng Barrio Concepcion , an excellent debut devoid of self-importance our usually avant-garde filmmakers such as Raya are known for? That Raya doubts Lao is everything. For one to declare that about Lao is just plain laughable. Especially from one who I believe can't write a decent screenplay.

I need to see Raya as a storyteller. I'll watch Now Showing if that will prove his story-telling prowess. I'm willing to be proven wrong. But for now, let me tell you Serbis is taking Cannes by storm, something Now Showing won't be able to do, something even Brocka wasn't able to do during his chance at Cannes. And Serbis is a narrative piece, top that!

- Anonymous the clear-eyed

Anonymous said...

Cinemanila 2008, August 8-21, 2008
kasabay ng Olympics...

-Ed Saludes

Anonymous pakilala ka naman.

Anonymous said...

I have this inkling na Serbis will win one or two awards this Sunday.

- ed saludes

Hurrah for pinoy film makers, narrative ka man or avant garde.

Oggs Cruz said...

I hope Serbis gets awards, just to shut up the American critics who are hating it for all the wrong reasons. I'm looking forward to seeing Gina Pareno bag the Best Actress award.

I sincerely hope this doesn't turn into a Serbis vs Now Showing, or Bing Lao vs Raya Martin discussion. That's completely ludicrous. One last thing, a filmmaker is a maker of films. He may be a storyteller (Bing Lao, Lino Brocka, etc.), a documentarian, an essayist, etc., philosopher, so one can't judge one as better than the other based on what he prefers on doing. To say such would be a disservice to why films are such a dynamic medium in the first place. Even narrative filmmaking has been modified to encompass the non-linear storytelling of Tarantino (just an example), or the contemplative films of Weerasethakul, Tsai Ming-liang, Lav Diaz, etc. Heck, even Lao and Mendoza's real-time cinema isn't as narrative as it was 20 years ago, and in some circles, his films are considered experimental (endless tracking shots, etc.) As I've said, Raya's films are narrative; they just don't subscribe to the traditional notions of what storytelling should be. Let Philippine cinema flourish in as many directions possible; the more the merrier.

Anonymous said...

anonymous (good side) here returning to the fray:

by now, "Now Showing" must have been shown in Cannes, I'm eagerly waiting for the reviews from known critics which I read in their blogs were very eager to watch it.

Well, to Anonymous (dark side), who keeps on harping on the usual intriga of doing narrative film, I think I would refer you to what Koehler said about Raya: "with Raya, he saw the cinema of the future", how Raya collapses the known cinematic structures to create what you in your provincial mind says "pa-artsy". Well, I'm not really an insider but I can see that there's a clique among the usual crabby Philippine circles & they seem to keep on repeating that line- do a narrative. Well, I think Raya shouldn't mind that noise, those looking at him are no longer limited to the Philippine scene but actually wordwide, & not just worldwide, but the bigwigs worldwide. In the Philippines we say "we don't want to stoop to your level" whenever we wanted to opt out of a tacky encounter. I think Anonymous Dark Side is being tacky, Raya shouldn't stoop to his level & just pursue what's expected of him- create the cinema of the future... The local crabby noise don't matter anymore actually, Raya has entered a bigger realm already, one where Anonymous Dark Side is just a trivial honk

Anonymous said...

Still from Anonymous Good Side:


Here's an excerpt from Anonymous Dark Side 's diatribe above:

"So what if the three films you mentioned are held in awe by your revered critic? Films aren’t for critics only, they should also extend to widest reach possible."

if you're a filmmaker, that may be the reason why you are not in Cannes. Small-time achievements for small-time opinions.

Join the cinema of the future, man.

Mahirap kung kaututan mo lang ang bilib sa yo

Oggs Cruz said...

Again, let's all be civil here. Can we start appropriating names to our statements. Let's show a bit of responsibility, and a bit of pride to everything we're saying here.

Anonymous said...

-greg

From Anonymous The Good Side again:



Really, I feel suddenly guilty for Anonymous the dark side, if he's a filmmaker it must be tough being in the sidelines & reduced to bragging within a small circle with outdated concepts of cinema. Probably they support each other by saying 'who are those critics anyway, basta tayo, bilib tayo sa isa't isa..." tapos punta sila sa gay bar to whip up scripts about prostitutes, squatters, gay sex, etc.

Man, you're part of the noise lambasted in "Serbis" because you thrive on noise, irrelevant noise

Anonymous said...

Anonymous is either a post-Virgie Moreno UP professor or a post-Virgie Moreno UP grad.

UP has not produced a decent young film maker since Raya Martin.

Anonymous said...

kung mas magaling ang narrative film makers sa avant-garde,kapag iaaply natin sa ibang larangan ng sining, halimbawa sa pagpipinta, so mas magaling si fernando amorsolo kay pablo picasso?

-ed saludes

Oggs Cruz said...

I also don't buy that each filmmaker has to go through narrative filmmaking to prove his worth. If that is so, that counts out a lot of filmmakers that I regard as great, like Chris Marker, Jean-Luc Godard (at least late Godard), Stan Brakhage, Kidlat Tahimik, etc. and let's stop with the labeling please, indie, arthouse, narrative, experimental, etc.; what maybe narrative to you could be experimental to the next person; so take each film as it is, not with how it's labeled.

Anonymous said...

“by now, "Now Showing" must have been shown in Cannes, I'm eagerly waiting for the reviews from known critics which I read in their blogs were very eager to watch it.”

Critics eager to watch Now Showing. What you have right now is mere speculation of the film’s merit. All thin air. No substance.

Anynomous the clear-eyed


”Well, to Anonymous (dark side), who keeps on harping on the usual intriga of doing narrative film, I think I would refer you to what Koehler said about Raya: "with Raya, he saw the cinema of the future", how Raya collapses the known cinematic structures to create what you in your provincial mind says "pa-artsy".”

Can you and your critic define exactly what is cinema of the future? Another hogwash.



“Well, I'm not really an insider but I can see that there's a clique among the usual crabby Philippine circles & they seem to keep on repeating that line- do a narrative.”

Raya questioned Lao’s abilities whose narrative skills I believe is superior to any screenwriter working in the Philippines today, Raya included. Raya should prove he knew what he is doing when he said those things.


“Well, I think Raya shouldn't mind that noise, those looking at him are no longer limited to the Philippine scene but actually wordwide, & not just worldwide, but the bigwigs worldwide.”

Worldwide? As in worldwide who? I’m a film junkie of world cinema, why I don’t feel he is idolized by bigwigs worldwide? Or you are just considering yourself “worldwide”?

“In the Philippines we say "we don't want to stoop to your level" whenever we wanted to opt out of a tacky encounter. I think Anonymous Dark Side is being tacky, Raya shouldn't stoop to his level & just pursue what's expected of him- create the cinema of the future...”

Was Raya tacky when he question Lao’s abilities? Were you tacky when you resort to cheap invectives?


“The local crabby noise don't matter anymore actually, Raya has entered a bigger realm already, one where Anonymous Dark Side is just a trivial honk”


Raya in a bigger realm? Raya’s Director’s Fortnight slot is just passé for Mendoza. He had a shot at it last year, and now he’s in bigger realm than your Raya’s Director’s Fortnight now: Main Competition for Palme d’or – talking of bigger realm.


“if you're a filmmaker, that may be the reason why you are not in Cannes. Small-time achievements for small-time opinions.”

Mendoza and Lao is ahead of your Raya. We are talking about them, we are not talking about us.

”Join the cinema of the future, man.”

First, define cinema of the future, man. Don’t speak big words you don’t comprehend.


“Mahirap kung kaututan mo lang ang bilib sa yo”

This is fantasizing.


“Really, I feel suddenly guilty for Anonymous the dark side, if he's a filmmaker it must be tough being in the sidelines & reduced to bragging within a small circle with outdated concepts of cinema.”

If outdated is what you call of films competing for the Palme d’or, then let it be. You are unhinged.


“Probably they support each other by saying 'who are those critics anyway, basta tayo, bilib tayo sa isa't isa..." tapos punta sila sa gay bar to whip up scripts about prostitutes, squatters, gay sex, etc.”

Cinema should be reflective. It should be about us Filipinos.


”Man, you're part of the noise lambasted in "Serbis" because you thrive on noise, irrelevant noise”

Congrats, you are becoming poetic. A bad try.

“Anonymous is either a post-Virgie Moreno UP professor or a post-Virgie Moreno UP grad.”

Look ma, Im name-dropping!


“UP has not produced a decent young film maker since Raya Martin.”

That is kiss-ass-ing. Or is kissing ass more correct a term?

“kung mas magaling ang narrative film makers sa avant-garde,kapag iaaply natin sa ibang larangan ng sining, halimbawa sa pagpipinta, so mas magaling si fernando amorsolo kay pablo picasso?”

Farfetched…

Oggs Cruz said...

I was hoping this discussion would verge on something academic or intellectual rather than defenders of both camps throwing words and accusations here and there. I'll stay away of this since I'm obviously oblivious of Raya's remarks against Bing Lao (if there are any), of UP Film politics (if you want UP Law politics, I can dish out a handful), and all other personal grudges anyone has for anybody. I respect those who voice out opinions who don't hide behind masks of anonymity (seriously, it's easy to write your own name when commenting in blogger), so to ed saludes, kudos to you, at least we all know you know your painters, hehe.

I'll let you guys talk about the merits of narrative and non-narrative filmmaking, whatever those terms mean.

Amir said...

I miss Manila :-)

Anonymous said...

well the actual point of this debate is indie filmmaking in the country was already held by two groups of filmmakers the non-conventional films by diaz advocates and the lao's group of real-time filmmakers.

This two group have its strength and weaknesses and which someday i hope to discuss and dissect. But for now,and above and all,the imperative is for us to discover,as a filipino,this new frontier of filipino cinema.

Instead of defending various factions i think its important for us to see this films and eventually concoct a new variety that will cater to cineastes and can save the Filipino cinema in general.

btw i like raya and love his autohistoria,but i think raya should find his own vision he's too lav diaz for may taste-the one that we should look on to was torres; and i advocate real-time filmmaking which i must agree still needs polishing.

anonymous the arcangel;)

Francis said...

Wow. 40 comments. Nice to see everyone so passionate.

I guess the only problem I have with Raya, and Lav, and all the other good Filipino filmmakers today is: who's watching?

If the films are supposed to be about us, our lives, our culture, our history, our spirit, then wouldn't it be more important for us Filipinos to watch those films? What use would it be to a critic, aside from material for an article?

How can a film like Death in the Land on Encantos make an impact on Filipinos, when their eyes are gazing on When Love Begins?

I think I read Brocka quoted somewhere as saying something about changing the Filipino audience. I think that's more important than winning that golden palm, or getting a good review.

- Francis

Oggs Cruz said...

Thanks for dropping by Amir,

Thank you Arcangel for that statement, which is precisely what I'm trying to say. Let's just be glad that Philippine cinema is flourishing. Not one group or filmmaker can truly say he represents the direction this national cinema (which I don't believe exists) is pursuing. So let's just respect each filmmaker's individuality and congratulate him for putting forth whatever he believes is true in a medium which everybody can enjoy. As to its merits of course, it'll always be subjective and that's why film discourse is so much fun, because it's an exchange of ideas but if it turns into exchanges of accusations and insults between close-minded individuals, it's simly annoying.

Anonymous said...

From Anonymous The good side:

I really shouldn't be stooping to Anonymous dark side's level but I'll guide him because he seems lost in his own world. He's still a FIlipino, & I know a crabby Filipino when I see one.

He says "Can you and your critic define exactly what is cinema of the future?"

Google Koehler, Bafici 2007, (when Koehler first discovered Raya) & read the review. Probably your idea of the future of cinema may be enlightened a bit there.

"Mendoza and Lao is ahead of your Raya."

I don't know why the name of Lao is even there- the main beef against "Serbis" was the script- don't you know? Howard Feinstein of Screen daily wrote:"For the first time Armando Lao, who had supervised Mendoza's earlier screenplays, has sole screenwriter credit. Might this have impacted the vision of the director, who had previously written his own scripts?" You understand that? I'm reading here about Lao's role in "real-time"- was that even his original concept? A review of "Foster Child" mentioned Soderberg's original real-time moviemaking. Why is Mendoza in Main Competition & Raya in Director's Fortnight? Don't you see that Raya is still new, he was introduced internationally in 2007 when Mendoza was alraedy showing in the Director's Fortnight? Directors are usually introduced first in the Director's Forthnight, just like Brocka & Mendoza before they were "promoted" to the Main Competition. Just wait for next year, Raya will have Vilma Santos in "independencia":. The question is, will they ever invite Mendoza?

I won't dispute your other mindless opinions which you obviously believe are "pieces of wisdom". I leave you with the rev iew of Koehler on Raya's "Autohystoria":

"There's original, and then there's original. Even by the groundbreaking standards of his adventurous Filipino contemporaries or his own previous films ("A Short Film About the Indio Nacional," "The Island at the End of the World"), "Autohystoria," Raya Martin's daring third feature, is sui generis."

http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117936607.html?categoryid=31&cs=1&nid=2562

start reading reviews & not rely on "kaututang dila" wisdom

Anonymous said...

YOu seem to be on denial, but just to apprise you of reality, the Inquirer summarized the dilemma called "Serbis":

RP entry ‘Serbis’ stirs ‘mini-scandal’ in Cannes


By Ruben V. Nepales
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 19:51:00 05/22/2008


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Close this Review in Screen Daily: ‘Just as he was becoming the new darling of the festival circuit, Mendoza’s rising star will stall, at least temporarily, and the film’s commercial prospects should be muted.’

LOS ANGELES, California—“…Pic rates as the year’s mini-scandal thus far,” Variety’s Todd McCarthy commented on Brillante “Dante” Mendoza’s “Serbis,” the Filipino film competing in the ongoing Cannes Film Festival.

Dante’s entry, about a family-run adult movie house, has stirred the critics covering the world’s most prestigious film fest into a frenzy because of its “gratuitous” and “explicit” sex and nudity. But the reviewers’ critical concern—pardon the pun—boils down to a scene where a character graphically pops a boil on his ass with a soda bottle. Yes, you read that right.

But first, the good news: The Hollywood Reporter, through its critic, Maggie Lee, liked “Serbis,” the third Filipino film to make it to the competition category, following “Jaguar” and “Bayan Ko: Kapit Sa Patalim,” by the late great Lino Brocka (whose 17th death anniversary we are observing this week). Some reviewers, while panning (to put it mildly) “Serbis,” praised the performance of the cast, especially Gina Pareño. The veteran actress drew admiring words like “towering presence” and “beautifully cast.”

Hollywood Reporter

Here are excerpts from the very favorable review by The Hollywood Reporter, which bannered “Serbis” as an “engaging domestic drama and stylishly seamy homage to the gay cinema rendezvous”:

“Taking place mostly in a porno theater ironically, yet fittingly, named Family, ‘Serbis’ is part homage to cinema, part intimate domestic drama that vividly details the tangled relations and all-too-human frailties of an extended family running a theater in the provincial Philippines.

“Director Brillante Mendoza continues the neo-realist vein of ‘Foster Child’ and ‘Sling Shot’ in ‘Serbis,’ but displays marked improvement—both the grunge aesthetic and film language now bear his personal handwriting. To this, he adds some bristling sexuality, both gay and straight.

“‘Serbis’ contains elements of soap opera from popular Philippine cinema and TV, but without any of the froth and lather. Unspooling at an almost real-time pace, with a narrative that is all foreplay and no conventional climax, the film won’t win any commercial converts to the Philippine new wave. Festival and art-house bookings are optimistic, though.

Film’s ‘real star’

“The film adopts a worldly and tolerant attitude in dramatizing the double standards in operation every day at a porn theater that has evolved into a hotbed for rentboys to service gay clients (hence the title, which means ‘service’). Gina Pareño (‘Kubrador’) is a towering presence, who puts fire and tears into her multiple roles —as a wife clenching the bitterness of abandonment, an aggrieved mother feeling betrayed by her children’s divided loyalty to their father, and the pillar that holds together the tottering family business.

“But the theater itself may be the film’s real star. Flooded toilets, running sores and steamy sex behind the projector that outperforms what’s happening on screen create a dank, dripping texture and festering mood that echo most of Tsai [Ming-liang]’s oeuvre [’Goodbye, Dragon Inn’].”

Bangkok Post

Bangkokpost.com was also kind to Dante: “…The film has the tarty mix of raw energy of tropical melodrama and the immediacy of social expose, complete with explicit sex scenes, both homo and hetero … Mendoza is a talent to watch—his films (‘Serbis,’ ‘Slingshot,’ ‘Foster Child’) directly tap into the DNA of the Filipino working class struggle, offering a reality so naked, hot and visceral that it requires no sensationalism.”

The other side

Unfortunately for Dante, whose “Foster Child” got good reviews when it was shown in Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight last year, most of the other critiques of “Serbis” were, shall we say, less than favorable. Many of the reviewers, like Lee above, wrote about the film being reminiscent of “Goodbye, Dragon Inn.”

Variety’s Todd McCarthy, in his analysis of the first half of the fest on the famed Croisette, seemed to sum up his colleagues’ sentiments in their assessment of “Serbis”:

“Hell of another kind is served up in Filipino director … Mendoza’s ‘Service,’ which stands both as the year’s seemingly obligatory hard-core-sex art picture and, by general agreement, the entry most wildly out of place in the competition. Derided for its pretentious use of sex and a bursting bum boil as metaphors for its home country’s ills, pic rates as the year’s mini-scandale thus far.”

Jay Weissberg, who wrote the full review for Variety, weighed in:

“...Like their cinema, the Pineda family of Angeles City has seen better days. As the morning unfolds, Nayda (Jaclyn Jose) wanders through the labyrinthine bowels of the establishment—which serves as both living and work space—in search of her mother Flor (Pareño). The matriarch has an appointment at court in a bigamy case against her husband ... the lawsuit is dividing the family.

“Nayda’s tramping up and down the staircases allows Mendoza to introduce the entire family, including Nayda’s husband Lando (Julio Diaz), her cousins Alan (Coco Martin) and Ronald (Kristofer King), and sister Jewel (Roxanne Jordan). Latter is first seen naked in an extended sequence where the camera pruriently and excessively explores her nubile frame.

“All this—mixed with scenes of cinema patrons getting serviced—may sound vaguely reminiscent of ‘Goodbye, Dragon Inn’ or Jacques Nolot’s ‘Porn Theater,’ but ‘Service’ has none of the elegiac elements of the former nor the yearning for connection of the latter. Presumably, Mendoza is looking to use one family’s economic struggle and indifference to the sordidness around them as a metaphor for Filipino society as a whole, though his slice-of-life realism often feels more exploitative than enlightening, unlike his superior ‘Foster Child.’

“…Vet actress Pareño is beautifully cast here, joined by Mendoza regulars such as Jose (memorable in Neal Tan’s ‘Ataul: For Rent’) and Martin… Mendoza appears to have jettisoned his early faith in his audience’s intelligence, continually reinforcing signs (‘No Loitering,’ cheaply lurid soft-core posters) with unnecessary close-ups, and gimmicky final shot adds nothing (sic).”

Screen Daily

Screen Daily’s Howard Feinstein wrote down his musings in the perspective of Dante’s prolific career:

“Since he shifted from production design to directing with ‘The Masseur’ (2005), a static misfire about a gay massage parlor in the provinces of his native Philippines, Mendoza has made up for lost time by cranking out four films since (including one documentary), all low-budget, showing mastery in a variety of genres. With ‘Serbis,’ his first feature with foreign (French) backing, he has taken a giant step in the wrong direction, even if ‘The Masseur’s numbing stasis has been supplanted by an unpleasant, ADD-like dynamism. Just as he was becoming the new darling of the festival circuit, Mendoza’s rising star will stall, at least temporarily, and the film’s commercial prospects should be muted.

“The three features he made between ‘The Masseur’ and ‘Serbis’ focus on personal relationships, whether tender or antagonistic, in the context of social issues in the Philippines; yet ‘Serbis’ fails to develop either front … For the first time Armando Lao, who had supervised Mendoza’s earlier screenplays, has sole screenwriter credit. Might this have impacted the vision of the director, who had previously written his own scripts? Did the additional budget have a negative effect?

“…Strong, charismatic women, such as Nanay Flor and her middle-aged daughter Nayda (Jose), do make their mark, as they frequently do in the other works, a reflection of Filipino family life. Yet events move too rapidly for the sentiment that Mendoza is generally so expert in developing to have any opportunity to blossom here. Taiwanese filmmaker Tsai Ming-liang already successfully mined this material in his ode to the last days of a movie house, ‘Goodbye, Dragon Inn.’”

Critic walks out

“Serbis” caused at least one critic, Kim Voynar of cinematical.com, to walk out. Here is Kim’s account, headlined “Live from Cannes: Gratuitous Yuckiness in ‘Serbis’ and Bad Euro-disco”:

“The other night, James and I walked out of our first film at Cannes … Mendoza’s ‘Serbis.’ Actually, this is the first time I’ve ever walked out before the end of a film at a festival; generally, I feel it’s my job to watch films here, the good, the bad and the ugly, and so I sit through them, however wretched they may be. But not this time...

“The film opens with a scene of total gratuitous nudity—a young Filipino girl, just out of the shower, preening in front of a mirror and practicing saying ‘I love you’ in what she thinks is a sexy way. And that scene would have been just fine like that, without the voyeuristic panning down to breasts and pubic hair. I’m not a prude by any stretch, I have no problem with nudity and sex in films if it serves an actual purpose, but watching that scene all I could think of was, well, there’s a shot that exists only to please the guys who have the hots for young, naked Asian girls. Which for me, just made it feel exploitative.

“The film is set in a family-run adult theater with a little café at the bottom that’s open to the street, and the ambient noise in the first 15 or so minutes of the film was so loud and disconcerting that I almost walked out then...

“Mendoza likes to follow people around in their natural setting, and that’s pretty much what he does in this film; unfortunately, it’s just not that interesting, because he doesn’t give us enough about any of the characters to make us care about why we should want to spend 90 minutes or so of our lives watching them.

“… The end of it for me ... was a disgustingly graphic scene of the nephew popping the boil on his ass with a Coke bottle. I’m sure it was supposed to be metaphorical, but it was just gross, and that was enough for us.”

Deemed worst

CanWest News Service’s Jay Stone did not mince words:

“Speaking of grief, most of it was inflicted on the audience of ‘Serbis,’ the Philippine movie from … Mendoza that is the worst competition film in memory. It is an almost hilariously awful story of a family that lives in a porn theatre in Manila, where loud cars provide an irritating soundtrack for amateurish and disgusting mini-dramas and explicit sexual encounters. The scene where a man removes a boil from his buttocks is just one lowlight.”

‘Strange’ film

Uri Klein, in his review on www.haartez.com, the online edition of an Israeli newspaper, opined:

“The family is … central to the Filipino film ‘Serbis’… But the film, directed by … Mendoza, treats this subject in an entirely different way than [Walter] Salles and [Daniela] Thomas do [in ‘Linha de Passe’]… The family members are in conflict with one another and ignore the fact that prostitution is the main activity at their movie theater. The result is a strange film that limps uncomfortably between its realistic and allegorical poles, and although there are effective moments, it does not add up to a satisfying work.”

* * *

We’re thinking that Dante will weather these blistering reviews, reflect on these analyses and, hopefully, dazzle these same critics again someday.

Oggs Cruz said...

Hi Francis,

You make a good point. It's all a balancing act between what the audience wants to watch and what the filmmaker wants to show. Lav Diaz explained his persistence on his uncompromising style by saying that his films will be there forever, and will just be waiting for people to watch them. In that sense, our good filmmakers may not be making films that are targetting the present audience, but the fact that it exists despite its lack of commercial or popular appeal is a big enough feat.

As for me, as long as the film has an audience (1000, 100, or just 1), it's all good. Call me pessimistic, but I see no hope in brainwashing the Filipino populace (or even the world) in embracing intelligent cinema.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Good Side strikes again:

"Worldwide? As in worldwide who? I’m a film junkie of world cinema, why I don’t feel he is idolized by bigwigs worldwide? Or you are just considering yourself “worldwide”?"


try extricating yourself from your mutual "self-adoration" club & go online. Google "Raya Martin" then the festival concerned "Bafici 2007", "Bafici 2008", "Cannes 2008", etc. Try comparing reviews between your favorite directors. Ok, I'm being good-natured here & trying to help a fellow Filipino, how crabby he mnay be, but I'll be happy to help him get-off from delf-denial

Anonymous said...

From Anonymous the clear-eyed:

"I really shouldn't be stooping to Anonymous dark side's level but I'll guide him because he seems lost in his own world. He's still a FIlipino, & I know a crabby Filipino when I see one."

You cant stoop down to somebody seeing you from behind. It's just so impossible. Analyze what comes out of your mouth, everything is filth.

""He says "Can you and your critic define exactly what is cinema of the future?"

Google Koehler, Bafici 2007, (when Koehler first discovered Raya) & read the review. Probably your idea of the future of cinema may be enlightened a bit there.""

Start laying down your definition of cinema of the future and we'll dissect them one by one.

"I don't know why the name of Lao is even there- the main beef against "Serbis" was the script- don't you know? Howard Feinstein of Screen daily wrote:"For the first time Armando Lao, who had supervised Mendoza's earlier screenplays, has sole screenwriter credit. Might this have impacted the vision of the director, who had previously written his own scripts?" You understand that? I'm reading here about Lao's role in "real-time"- was that even his original concept? A review of "Foster Child" mentioned Soderberg's original real-time moviemaking. Why is Mendoza in Main Competition & Raya in Director's Fortnight? Don't you see that Raya is still new, he was introduced internationally in 2007 when Mendoza was alraedy showing in the Director's Fortnight? Directors are usually introduced first in the Director's Forthnight, just like Brocka & Mendoza before they were "promoted" to the Main Competition. Just wait for next year, Raya will have Vilma Santos in "independencia":. The question is, will they ever invite Mendoza? "

Again, Mendoza and Lao tandem is ahead (clearly ahead) of your Raya. Is your waiting counting the chicks before they are hatched? Go, keep dreaming. It doesn't pay much.

"I won't dispute your other mindless opinions which you obviously believe are "pieces of wisdom". I leave you with the rev iew of Koehler on Raya's "Autohystoria":"

You won't dispute because you can't dispute. Simple.


"There's original, and then there's original. Even by the groundbreaking standards of his adventurous Filipino contemporaries or his own previous films ("A Short Film About the Indio Nacional," "The Island at the End of the World"), "Autohystoria," Raya Martin's daring third feature, is sui generis."

You are putting too much premium on Koehler. That name doesn't say anything relevant to me and the larger of Filipinos.

Anonymous said...

From Anonymous the clear-eyed in response to Anonymous the teary-eyed:

"try extricating yourself from your mutual "self-adoration" club & go online."

You said you are not trying to "stoop down..." .. stooping down is one sign of self-adoration.


"Google "Raya Martin" then the festival concerned "Bafici 2007", "Bafici 2008", "Cannes 2008", etc. Try comparing reviews between your favorite directors. Ok, I'm being good-natured here & trying to help a fellow Filipino, how crabby he mnay be, but I'll be happy to help him get-off from delf-denial"

Help yourself. Fact is, Serbis is in the main competition and your Now Showing is not. There is no denying that.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Good Side reporting:

I'm getting that tacky feeling that I'm enjoying this tacky discourse with the dark side... anyway, I consider this a part of his education...

Note that if you read Peranson's list of recommendations, in his Movies To Beat list in Cannes 2008 the Philippines' entry to the Main Competition wasn't included. If you surf it online, you'll also see that "Now Showing" is on the lists of must-see of most of the well-known critics. It's obvious which Filipino director they respected more

Anonymous said...

From Anonymous the good side:


Isn't it GRATING that the most respected Filipino director worldwide is only 23 years old?

Anonymous said...

I think it's Dante Mendoza who fucked up the script of Bing Lao and the screenplays of other writers he previously worked with.

Last year ,two festival programmers (an Italian and a German) shared to me their disbeliefs on why Foster Child made it to the Directors' Fortnight while Kubrador was ignored.

The assessments of the foreign critics after seeing Serbis mirror the sentiments of Dante's colleagues in the Philippines- he is the less talended version of Jeffrey Jeturian and also pales in comparison with Raya Martin ang Lav Diaz.

Dante is one lucky guy! Si Jeffrey, Lav and Raya ang mga nagtanim, si Dante ang kumain.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous the Good Side:

well, enough of controversies. I'm curious about Raya's film "Possible Lovers" which was shown in the BAFICI 2008, together with "Box Office: Next Attraction". Here's a review in Spanish (just use Google Translate):


Amantes Possibles (Possible Lovers)
Por Liliana Piñeiro

Antes de comenzar a leer este texto cabe hacer una aclaración, un poco para entender desde dónde me posiciono para escribirlo. Mi pasión por el cine está relacionada con las experiencias de tono poético que este me provoca, pero considero que carezco de los conocimientos técnicos suficientes como para evaluarlo. Mis impresiones son de primera mano, dictadas por una sensibilidad que se agudiza en presencia de determinadas imágenes.

El sábado fue mi primer encuentro con Raya Martin, en Possible Lovers. Y estuvo bueno como experiencia, especialmente si sirve para ser pensada, en virtud de los efectos que produce.

Después de pasar, inicialmente, algunos pasajes de la primera película filipina, y de recordarnos mediante una inscripción que “el cine ha filmado el largo silencio de la emoción” (creo ser fiel al recordar esta frase, que me pareció altamente poética), Possible Lovers se convierte en un film de una sola escena: un amante mira a otro dormir. Es una imagen que siempre me ha gustado: en esa posesión amorosa del otro sólo por mirarlo, hay algo que la enaltece de por sí (posiblemente porque el otro no puede devolvernos esa mirada y se encuentra expuesto, entregado ante nuestros ojos), y este algo es imposible de medir (recuerdo ahora la mirada del contenido amante de No quiero dormir solo, la gran película de Tsai Ming-liang). Pero en estos amantes posibles hay un plus, y los sentimientos que se acallan tienen sonido: de galope, de pisadas, de hojas de bosque que se apartan, de trueno en la tormenta. Y si el suceder es el verbo propio del tiempo, esta escena nos deja esperando otras que no se producen, ya que esa sucesión se corre hacia otros indicadores: la claridad y el sonido de la calle (en sus diversos matices) dan cuenta de la noche y el día en que transcurre ese largo momento.

Hasta aquí, una no podría decir que la imagen es mala: tiene un alto grado de expresividad y sugerencia. Pero pasada una cierta cantidad de minutos (que supongo no será la misma para cada uno) algo pasó. Las primeras impresiones se deshacían o bien mutaban en otra cosa. En mi caso, no pude evitar pensar en el proceso de filmación de tal escena: comencé a advertir cansancio en sus actores: pequeños movimientos del cuello, los hombros, las piernas, las manos: sus cuerpos tratando de sostener como podían una única posición durante noventa minutos. Y el efecto pasó a ser torturante: para ellos y para mí, como espectadora de esa única escena fija. Todo parecía convertirse en un juego de resistencia y Raya Martin hacía sentir su soberanía de director. Deberíamos tener paciencia, parecía decir...¿para que la película terminase? Lejos, muy lejos había quedado el maravilloso efecto de la mirada inicial...

Confieso que salí del cine cargada de comentarios ácidos que no me atreví a disparar. Menos mal. La ironía suele ser un recurso descalificador demasiado fácil y en ocasiones obtura la posibilidad de entender. Así que me tranquilicé al momento de escribir, posibilitando que surgieran algunas preguntas, que comparto para ser pensadas.

¿Puede una película pivotear sobre una única escena durante noventa minutos sin ser sospechada de carencia de otras ideas que puedan sostenerla? ¿Justifica realizarla para provocar un efecto hipnótico sobre el espectador?, y en ese caso, ¿no se convertiría éste en un recurso más bien simple, a riesgo de desvirtuar las posibilidades iniciales de una bella imagen? ¿Se agota la radicalidad de una propuesta artística en un juego de provocación o de resistencia?

Probablemente en la dilucidación de sus respuestas (o tal vez en otras preguntas) podamos encontrar alguna clave para determinar la estatura de Possible Lovers : si se trata de una genialidad o de una mera travesura ingeniosa. La línea que separa a una de otra es demasiado delgada a veces, y en el caso de esta película no nos queda otra que caminar por ahí.



Anybody saw this pic in Manila?

Anonymous said...

Here's the take of Oscar Cuervo, a noted Argentine critic, as addendum to Ms. Pineiro's crtique:

Si entendí bien, en tu respuesta me parece que abordás la película desde dos ángulos diferentes.
En el primero, hacés referencia a que la película desnudaría, a través de la violencia radical de su propuesta, algo que suele quedar oculto: el poder de su editor y la impotencia del espectador, sometido a los designios del primero. Pienso que, como observadores de toda obra artística, siempre tenemos un sometimiento gozoso a su creador (quien decidió cuándo un cuento o novela debían terminar, con qué colores pintar, desde qué angulo fotografiar, etc.) De todos modos, me resulta interesante abordar este film así, no lo había pensado. Sería algo así como una meta-película, que reflexiona sobre el acto de ver cine y revela un mecanismo de poder oculto que suele naturalizarse.
En cuanto a que se trata de un film realista...yo lo veo exactamente al revés, creo que se trata de una película abstracta.
En primer lugar, a mi entender el deseo no está paralizado. Es más, es propio del deseo, forma parte de su definición, el movimiento. Y Raya Martin lo sabe muy bien, de ahí que pone a jugar el sonido: el galope que se acelera o se aminora,el ruido de pisadas apartando las hojas. El deseo está bien vivo, y se mueve. Podríamos intuír que el amante recorre con la mirada ( o en su imaginación) diferentes partes del cuerpo amado para anclarlo en alguna y pasar a otra al momento siguiente...Creo que más bien lo que sucede es que el deseo suspende la posibilidad de su consumación.
Ahora bien, en la realidad todos tenemos, en mayor o menor grado, deseos que no podemos llevar a cabo, sólo que estas vicisitudes se dan en un contexto de suma complejidad (la película de Tsai lo ilustra muy bien). Por eso creo que el camino elegido (y llevado al límite) es el de la abstracción (aislar una cosa que habitualmente está unida a otras). Raya Martin parece partir de la idea de un deseo que no puede consumarse y desde ahí realiza la película. Sólo que el procedimiento para procesar esta idea resulta más bien simple (cámara fija, actores que no se mueven,una mirada sostenida, suspensión de la acción)La inclusión de ciertos matices de luz y sonido son interesantes y sugieren durante un lapso, pero al cabo de los minutos el efecto se desvanece. La película queda empobrecida, como si el flujo creativo hubiese tenido un vuelo corto.
Bueno, no sé si me habré salido de la línea...pero así la ví yo.


acerca del deseo, creo que estamos hablando desde diferentes puntos de vista: vos decís "es propio del deseo, forma parte de su definición, el movimiento", hablando desde una teoría del deseo ("por definición"). Y yo me refiero a la situación que se ve en pantalla, sin decir algo acerca del deseo en general. El protagonista no está simplemente mirando dormir a A, está paralizado, lo cual se evidencia por la posición torcida de su cuerpo. Mira de reojo y no de frente, mientras mueve nerviosamente los deditos de la mano, como expresando que se sestá debatiendo ante la posibilidad de mirar a A de frente e incluso, de tirársele encima. En esa posición (que no es de contemplación, sino de vacilación antes de emprender un movimiento riesgoso) B está paralizado durante todo el tiempo que dura la película. La prolongación de esa situación no es un estiramiento sino un tributo al realismo: el tipo se pasa una hora y media entre que hace un segundo movimiento o se queda así. ¿O acaso no es reconocible haber pasado por situaciones semejantes? Ese estado de parálisis, donde la situación no llega a precipitar en una nueva instancia, puede durar no 90 minutos, sino años enteros.

El cine podría mostrarlo mediante elipsis y con unos minutos se daría a entender "el tipo quiere pero no puede blanquear su deseo", pero Raya es un cineasta realista y esa comunicación elíptica que sería recomendable de acuerdo con los manuales de guión, a él le resultaría un artificio inaceptable.

En cuanto al tema de la complejidad, no entiendo muy bien a qué te referís, pero acá creo que se trata de una situación muy concreta: A y B están de noche, sentados en un sillón mirando algo en el monitor de una computadora (en la zona de abajo del cuadro se ve asomar el teclado), están viendo un film (por los sonidos de bocinas, sirenas, pasos en el follaje, podemos inferir que están viendo AUTOHYSTORIA, el film anterior de Raya). A se queda dormida/o (la imagen oscura y la posición del durmiente no permite decidir si es mujer u hombre). La película que están viendo sigue pasando). B ha advertido que A se durmió, mirando de reojo (todo lo anterior ocurre antes de que empiece POSSIBLE LOVERS) y ahí está mirando de reojo, torcido, tentado, indeciso, deseoso y casi en estado de pánico. El tiempo pasa, la película en el monitor sigue, se hace de día, A sigue durmiendo, B sigue indeciso. Esto no es ninguna abstracción sino algo estrictamente realista. El cartel del final dice: "nosotros somos dos posibles amantes". La posibilidad del principio sigue siendo posible una hora y media después.

No creo que Raya se refiera a un deseo que no pueda consumarse (en sentido general, como a veces parece plantear Wong Kar-wai en sus películas: personajes que pasan años y años que sí y que no, y al final el deseo no se puede consumar) sino simplemente que no ha podido consumarse hasta el momento en que la película los abandona. El cartel es suficientemente explícito: todavía no está dicha la última palabra. Lo que Raya ha filmado es la posibilidad de que sean amantes, pero no su realidad. No está en el límite de la abstracción, sino en el otro extremo de la concreción absoluta: no son arquetipos sino personas de carne y hueso a las que vemos durante una hora y media de sus vidas.

No hay más elementos porque el planteo no los necesita, si Martin los hubiera agregado, serían elementos decorativos que amenguarían la fuerza de la situación. La complejidad no siempre se logra agregando más elementos. En realidad, la posición de Martin es contraria: es una estética sustractiva y no aditiva. No quiere "revestir" la película con otras cosas: quiere quitar cualquier posible dato que agregaría matices innecesarios.

¿Está la película empobrecida? ¿es de vuelo corto? Todo depende el ideal desde el cual se la reciba. Me parece que Rya ha renunciado a ese tipo de "riqueza" (que se puede encontrar en otras películaS, incluso en grandes películas) que vos echás en falta.

Por último, una aclaración de mi análisis: yo no abordo la película desde dos ángulos diferentes y separados (los personajes por un lado, el espectador ante la película por el otro) sino articulados. Eso lo expresé en este pasaje: "A duerme, B la mira (o lo? mira). C (yo, el espectador) miro a B mirando a A. B no puede pasar al paso siguiente (arrojarse sobre A?), y por ende, filmando ese no poder, el editor no puede cortar. Y por ende, yo no puedo más que aceptar seguir viendo ese no poder".
Se trata de una situación donde están articuladas las miradas de B, el cineasta y el propio espectador.

Anonymous said...

Still Anonymous Good Side:


They say Filipinos are insular but it doesnn't have to be. Not when the world is so much interested with Filipino cinema. So now we know.
here's the take of Quintin, the most respected Argentine critic, on "Autohystoria":


Amanecer de un día agitado
por Quintín

Llegó el turno de Autohystoria, del filipino Raya Martin, del que nos había sorprendido gratamente La isla del fin (o del culo) del mundo. Desde que se proyectó, averiguamos que Martin tenía 17 años cuando rodó ese film en 2004. Autohystoria es la historia de las Filipinas en unos diez planos y, posiblemente, el film más audaz de esta edición del Bafici. Una obra maestra, en mi opinión. Escuché decir que en Mar del Plata, la gente se iba de Honor de Caballería, mientras que en Buenos Aires es un gran éxito. Pero me parece que la intolerancia no tiene patria como veremos a continuación. La función de Autohystoria fue, ciertamente, muy movida. Paso a relatar.
Empieza la película. Pantalla en negro, una cancioncita en off. Corte a un plano de un joven de camisa blanca caminando por una avenida transitada. Es de noche. La filmación es en video, en blanco y negro, desde un vehículo que va por la vereda de enfrente. El tipo camina una cuadra, dos cuadras, muchas cuadras. Pasan diez minutos y sigue caminando, atravesando cuadras más iluminadas y otras más oscuras. Parte del público (la sala estaba llena) empieza a protestar en voz alta, a aplaudir en broma. El tipo sigue caminando. Entro en un estado de euforia por la audacia de semejante toma y por la inspiración de Martin para habitar el tiempo y el espacio en su film. Estamos ante un cineasta mayor. El tipo de la camisa blanca sigue caminando. Llega a una esquina, espera el semáforo, cruza la calle en diagonal, vuelve a caminar. A veces lo tapan los autos que pasan. Otras está muy oscuro para verlo. Pasan, en total, unos veinte minutos. Llega a una casa. La toma no se corta, es el plano del Bafici 2007. Y sigue. Entra, o suponemos que entra porque vemos poco. La cámara se detiene. Las luces de la casa se encienden. Después de un rato de apagan. Aparece un texto en la pantalla. Dice algo así como: “Llegué a casa y me puse a leer algo sobre Andrés Bonifacio. Fue asesinado junto con su hermano Procopio Bonifacio. Luego intenté comunicarme con mi hermano pero no lo logré. Finalmente me dormí.” El relato parece provenir del joven de la camisa blanca. Andrés y Procopio Bonifacio fueron héroes de la independencia filipina ejecutados por sus propios camaradas a fines del siglo XIX. Corte. Color. Una plaza redonda con un obelisco en el medio. Plano fijo que se extiende a lo largo de varios minutos. Tal vez un monumento a los Bonifacio. El tránsito hace un ruido infernal. El público ruge y empieza a abandonar en masa la sala. Un grupo aplaude con sorna desde el centro de la sala. Desde la izquierda, adelante, una voz grita: “Cállense, hijos de puta.” Milagrosamente, los revoltosos se callan. Otros se siguen yendo. Corte. Un joven contra la ventana de un vehículo. Cada tanto, hace unos gestos convulsivos, como si quisiera liberar sus manos atadas (que no se ven). Corte, otro joven en la ventanilla del otro lado. ¿Un ómnibus, una ambulancia, un coche de la policía? Corte. Los dos jóvenes caminan por el bosque, de noche, atados entre sí por las manos. Los vemos de espaldas. Caminan y caminan. El público se sigue yendo. En un momento, uno de los dos maniatados pregunta: ¿nos van a ejecutar? Los jóvenes prisioneros son también los hermanos Bonifacio, pero mucho más tarde en la historia. Tal vez durante la dictadura de Ferdinando Marcos, o de Imelda Marcos. Tal vez ahora. Corte. Los hermanos, con signos de haber sido golpeados en todo el cuerpo, enfrentan a la cámara durante un largo rato. Amanece en la pantalla. El público se sigue yendo. Suena un disparo. Uno de los prisioneros cae. El otro intenta huir. Corte. Planos del cielo y de una hermosa catarata. No hay gente. Corte. Planos de archivo de color sepia. Uno, de una tropilla de burros cruzando el río. Una inscripción ubica la escena en 1902. Otro, de embarcaciones que navegan por el río. Un tercero de un desfile militar muy antiguo. ¿Españoles? ¿Americanos? Final.
Salimos de la sala con Castagna y Jorge García. Comparto la euforia con Martín Mainoli, gran cortometrajista y editor de Alonso y de Rejtman. En cambio, a Nicolás Prividera, director de M, la película no le gustó nada. Pienso que Autohystoria no solo habla de la represión en las Filipinas. Bien podría ser sobre la dictadura argentina. Es un film que toma partido por las víctimas. En diez planos. Pero es poco probable que alguien se animara a hacer una película semejante entre nosotros. El mensaje y el sermón serían imprescindibles. Martin logra, en cambio, sintetizar la historia, la geografía, el presente y ponerse, sin ambigüedad del lado de las víctimas. En diez planos. Y sin diálogos. Extraordinario. Como Suzuki. Qué buen día. Son la seis de la mañana. No llego a ver La león mañana temprano.

Anonymous said...

to anonymous kung sino man kayo

theres no point of bashing lao,if theres a problem in the movie the director should take the blame. Real-time filmmaking was a proven medium of filmaking, and it actually and effectively works wonder-though not as always. If you want a proof watch kubrador(which bing lao supervise).

And soderbergh created real-time filmmaking was a hogwash. Early films of eric rohmer works on real time narrative.

ManchurianMike said...

So much noise and bickering for two films that only Europeans and film buffs will truly, fully appreciate.

This is starting to look like the high-brow version of Kapuso versus Kapamilya on Pex.

Keep it up.

Meanwhile, back to the rest of the Philippines...

anovah said...

nakaka-irita ang usapan dito.

Oggs Cruz said...

I agree, the tirades are tiring, with people talking in English, Tagalog, Taglish, Spanish, and gibberish. But I'll let you guys keep on arguing and hopefully you guys arrive at a middle ground. So let's talk about Now Showing, shall we?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous the clear-eyed answering Charlie, the Anonymous teary-eyed:

"I'm getting that tacky feeling that I'm enjoying this tacky discourse with the dark side... anyway"

Im enjoying more. Let's see where this will go...

"I consider this a part of his education..."

Self-adoration ekek... Too much putting of oneself on the pedestal.


"Note that if you read Peranson's list of recommendations, in his Movies To Beat list in Cannes 2008 the Philippines' entry to the Main Competition wasn't included. If you surf it online, you'll also see that "Now Showing" is on the lists of must-see of most of the well-known critics. It's obvious which Filipino director they respected more"


Cannes has spoken. Serbis is in the Main Competition and Now Showing is not. Paulit-ulit ko nang sinasabi yan. Ayan tatagalugin ko para maintindihan mo ako baka sakali mahina ka sa Ingles. Nasa Main Competition po ang Serbis, Charlie the teary-eyed, samantalang nasaan ang Now Showing?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous the clear-eyed trounces Charlie, the teary-eyed anonymous:

"Isn't it GRATING that the most respected Filipino director worldwide is only 23 years old?"

Most respected Filipino director worldwide? Ho-hum....

You need to feed your mind. Self-serving is dangerous to your health, Charlie the teary-eyed.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous the clear-eyed:

My challenge remains for Charlie the teary-eyed.

Lay down your "cinema of the future " and we will dissect every part of it.

And prove that your Raya is the most respected Filipino director worldwide. Big words, big words... kakahiya sa ibang filmmakers na mas magaling kay Raya.

Hahaha.

Sensiya na mga readers, ganda ng discussion sa simula, hinaluan ng kapalengkerahan nitong si Charlie, the teary-eyed anonymous.

Gusto ba naman iangat ang Now Showing at Raya Martin, e ang mga proof lang niya ay... si ganito at si ganyan, gustong panoorin ang Now Showing. At si Raya daw naman ang makakapasok sa Main Competition next year.

Tanga pala tong si Charlie, the teary-eyed anonymous. Nagbibilang ng premyo na di naman sigurado. Para bang sobrang sigurado na sa mga pinagsasabi.

Stooping down... the most respected filmmaker worldwide... crass words coming out of his mouth... beef with Serbis... everything that comes out of this Charlie, the teary-eyed anonymous (anonymous nga ba? hahaha) is filth... filth... filth..

Sinasakyan ko lang siya.

He has yet to show proofs of his claims, proof other than quotes from his reverred critics which I don't care for in anyway.

Simply hogwash.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous the clear-eyed to Charlie the teary-eyed anonymous:

Just a request, just itemize your 'cinema of the future' points and your proofs on Raya being the most respected filmmaker worldwide so that I can answer them one by one. If possible, don't quote critics because I don't believe them. Quote yourself instead and let's see of your conviction.

I'm starting to be objective here. We'll see how far we will go. Itemize.. itemize...

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Nasa Main Competition po ang Serbis, Charlie the teary-eyed, samantalang nasaan ang Now Showing?

- wow. you are a festival moron anonymous. lahat ng film makers sa cannes, sa directors' fortnight, critics' week or un certain regard nagsisimula. hindi pwedeng competition agad. nasaan ba si dante last year? firt entry sa cannes ni raya ang now showing.

isa kang malaking tanga!

-ed saludes

stevie said...

Wow! Name calling and passionate debate. Basta, either you like a movie or not. It doesn't matter what anybody else says, whether it is an award or a critic's review. Direction of Philippine cinema? Let's all be glad that there is such an issue today, which was hardly imaginable before. Too bad, the initial sensible exchange between the two anonymous(es) had turned scurrilous. Its gets that way on the net when you hide behind aliases or anonymous.

Anonymous said...

A word though for Serbis, the first Filipino film to screen in competition for more than 20 years, and one that has garnered almost wholly abusive reviews. For me, Brillante Mendoza's depiction of 24 hours in the life of a struggling porn cinema in Manila was one of the highlights of the festival.

Shooting inside a beautiful Art Deco theatre, Mendoza not only shows a flair for evoking its strange and glamorous interiors, but offers high-end soap opera, at once nuanced, funny and melancholic, about this religion-soaked, sexually ambiguous world governed by sad-eyed matriarchs. Two scenes, too ribald to describe here, offered hearty and welcome laughs during a fortnight of too many films that veered towards the dour.

from the Telegraph.uk

Anonymous said...

"wow. you are a festival moron anonymous. lahat ng film makers sa cannes, sa directors' fortnight, critics' week or un certain regard nagsisimula. hindi pwedeng competition agad. nasaan ba si dante last year? firt entry sa cannes ni raya ang now showing."


You are a moron yourself ed saludes. moron, big time. the point of contention is this: somebody moron enough shout to the world that Serbis is bad just because of its controversial theme and yet he keeps on extolling Now Showing and Raya Martin to high heavens proclaiming him to be the most respected filmmaker worldwide. Moronic ed saludes, the point of contention is that other moron like you is trying to sell the idea that Raya will be in competition next year and that he is telling the whole world as if it is a fact when in all actuality he is just trying to pass the idea off for a legitimate support. Would that be enough support? Has Raya been in the running for competition? No! Then why the hell that moron is trying to pass it off as fact just to support his selfserving that Raya is the most respective filmmaker worldwide? Helloooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!

The moron keep on insisting that Raya is bigger, more respected filmmaker. I slapped him with facts: Cannes has spoken , Serbis is in the main competitin and Now showing is not. Who is indeed bigger? That Raya will be in the main compettion next year is yet to be seen. Fact is, Serbis is in the main competition right now. THAT IS FACT you can die envying.


"isa kang malaking tanga!"


Mas malaki kang tanga, ed saludes. You don't know what you are saying.

PS. Not all filmmakers go through Directors' Fortnight before they are accepted in the Main Competion. Check your facts moronic ed saludes!

Oggs Cruz said...

...at least Ed is brave enough to put his name on the line. Now, that's integrity.

This is really turning out to be so hilarious. Most of the contributors to this debate (err, I mean mudthrowing exercise) haven't seen both films by the two filmmakers, thus, relying on critics' responses, festival honors, assumptions. Can we at least wait to see these two films until we judge which is better or not. I, for one, don't care if a film is in the main competition, in the un certain regard, or in the director's fortnight. That is not a measure of quality; it's only a measure of how much the film was liked by those comprising of the selection committee, and those people have their own respective politics and biases. Can anybody honestly tell me that there's an objective means of telling whether or not a film is good or not?

This entire mud-throwing exercise is moronic. Let's just watch the films first,shall we?

Jerrold Tarog said...

Just goes to show how much we still need to grow, not just as filmmakers, but as filmgoers.

ManchurianMike was right above, this is like the endless Kapamilya versus Kapuso mudslinging in Pinoy Exchange. Totally hilarious...and pointless.

Oggs Cruz said...

Salamat Jerrold,

Ang sarap gawan ng pelikula ito no?

Jerrold Tarog said...

yeah. tapos isali natin sa cannes and have the people here fight again before they've ever seen a single frame. whee!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous the Good Side:

Well, it's the weekend & I'm still nursing my 2-day hangover but I'm tempted to educate somebody some more. He was talking to a Charlie though- naghahanap ng ibang kalaban?

Anyway...

Anonymous The Good Side has an opinion:

To be fair to Brilliante Mendoza, though I inadvertently criticised him when I had that tacky exchange with the Dark Side above, I don't think he's not as brillant as many seem to suggest, especially the backers of Lao who seem to defensively heap the blame of the "Serbis" debacle on Mendoza. Remember, before Serbis, Mendoza just won the Best Picture & Best Director at Singapore FF for "Tirador", & a French critic even lamented the bad critic reception of "Serbis" & declared that had Mendoza entered "Tirador" into Competition instead, he may have had a chance for the Palm d'Or. Unfortunately, "Tirador" premiered in Toronto, & all entries for the Cannes Competition should be world premieres, belying the claim of one Lao supporter above that some programmers questioned why Mendoza was chosen instead of Jeffrey Jeturian at one time; they couldn't enter "Kubrador" because it has already been exhibited in so many competitions even before they thought of Cannes. When French programmer Segay came to Manila, "Foster Child" just came off & Mendoza had already a reputation after the "Masahista" Locarno win so it premiered in Cannes. Big filmfests are somewhat jealous with regards to credits.

One other ridiculous claim of the Lao supporter was that Mendoza destroyed all the scripts he handled. All the scripts before "Serbis" turned into films which were well-received by critics & drew praises in filmfests worldwide. ALL, repeat, ALL at one time & another even won awards in different parts of the world, grudgingly not even Lino Brocka could beat that. & Mendoza won in the critical festivals in Western Europe (where the power critics are), unlike Jeturian who won for one film in lesser places like Moscow, India,etc. He simply didn't "destroy" any script as claimed. So enough of that uninformed local bitch of Mendoza being a lesser Jeturian.

So why did Screen Daily's Harold Feinstein have reservations on Lao's script? Actually, it wasn't only him who noticed the flaws:
1) the major criticism on "Serbis" was that it revels on shock value (Explicit fellatio, blocked toilets and a crudely exploded ass-cheek boil form some of the more unsavory elements of "Service," Brillante Mendoza’s latest opus that revels in shock value", Jay Wiseberg,Variety) Signature Lao- perhaps Lao remembered the "human cannibalism" in Lino Brocka's "Fight for Us" (Oranoprobis) which was shown in Cannes years ago & that created a buzz. Perhaps he wanted to reprise that glory this time around only it misfired?
2. "pic’s rabbit-warren storylines, complete with half-dug trails" (Jay Wiseberg, Variety). Well, a direct indictment of Lao.
3. "The issues her offspring deal with - an unexpected pregnancy, an unrequited crush, a buttocks boil that just won't go away - appear trite, even lazy scriptwise" (Harold Feinstein, Screen Daily). The most direct indictment on Lao.

Apparently, some in local circles mistake depth for shock value, very common in the neo-realist circles of mainstream Philippine cinema, where Lao circulate. The main problem of "Serbis" started with the "strange" (word of an Israeli critic) script & I don't think any of the critics suggested that Mendoza mangled the project, in fact, I've just been scanning the Spanish & French-speaking critics & most still have faith on him, the film actually was better received than Jia's. But all were complaining of some "unnecessary" scenes (the yucky ones mentioned by Kim Voyar of Cinematical) & it so happened the yucky critical point was lower in the Anglo-Saxon scale (higher in the Latin sale- Gallic, Italian, Hispanic, etc) . The obvious question is who wrote those yucky scenes?

I personally believe Lao belongs to the past, out of step with current sensibilities. Brocka's time, perhaps, yes. The current indie scene needs a sober imagination that should rely more on intelligent inspiration not shock value. The debacle of "Serbis" was caused by a script inspired by outdated pretensions & assumptions.

I find myself wishing the jurors at Cannes will look beyond the yucky scenes. I dread that Mendoza will find many crabs happy when he returns home if he fails to win vindication in Cannes (actually, he is the country's most-awarded director internationally so far). I can still remember how the crabs then were pitting Brocka against Ishmael Bernal when Lino started gaining recognition, claiming Bernal was the more intelligent one. Well, Bernal never became famous outside of the Philippines & the crabs were never happy with Brocka's success. Probably only Brocka's death silenced the crabs. The crabs are giddy agai. I suggest that Mendoza just keep his calm & wait for better reviews of "Serbis" beyond Cannes. I've actually started reading some now.

If only he wasn't too awed with the outdated reputation of Lao & he overhauled the script. The lesson, beware of reputation bestowed by uninformed out-of-step cliques.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Good Side:

As for Dante being in the Main Competition & Raya in the Director's Forthnight, the fact remains that it's only the SECOND year that Raya was introduced internationally & he was already in the Director's Forthnight!!!!!! You know why? How many years before a FIlipino director get invited?

Now start surfing the sites I mentioned above & it's only INTELLECTUAL DISHONESTY (hallmark of crabs) which will prevent you from appreciating the fact that not only is Raya the most respected Filipino director internationally, but one of the most respected director worldwide. I'll provide you later an article where it was mentioned "that Godard is now od, Raya is the future". That article didn't come from a Filipino.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous The Good Side:

If you read our tacky discusssions above, I attacked "Serbis" because of Lao's outdated script which Dante wholly swallowed, producing that dud, not the director. Yes, he's still the most awarded, but if you're an avid reader/observer of the international art movie scene, the most awarded doesn't necessarily mean most respected. International critics, beacuse of the thousands of films they have to view, have become jaded & they tend to prefer avant-garde films. Thus the perpetual popularity of the likes of Godard, Bunuel, Bergman, etc. where the name of the new ones like Albert Serra & Raya Martin are now included. The last two are the vanguards of the so-called cinema of the future.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous The Good Side:


THis is the article of Argentine critic Oscar Cuervo naming Raya Martin the New Jwean-Luc Godard

BAFICI: Jean Luc y Raya

Por Oscar A. Cuervo

En "Morceaux de conversations avec Jean-Luc Godard" vemos a un Godard que no esperábamos, en algunos momentos un anciano decepcionado, alguien que reprueba con voz temblorosa la marcha de las cosas, que empieza a pensar que llegó la hora de ver las cosas por última vez (así como en la época de la nouvelle vague, dice, estaba viendo las cosas por primera vez), acusa recibo de la inminencia de la muerte, sólo que eso no le provoca nada parecido a la serenidad: por momentos parece que su furia hacia el presente es en realidad miedo pánico. Sólo tiene reproches amargos, cree que es conocido, pero que nunca ha sido reconocido, desecha las nuevas tecnologías: no pueden permitir en absoluto la creatividad. Es implacable con unos jóvenes artistas plásticos que montan sus "dispositivos" -acá diríamos instalaciones- en los que sólo encuentra un ingenio que huye de lo real sin siquiera aceptar que están huyendo. Jean Luc, él, figura clave de una modernidad que siempre señaló hacia el futuro, hacia las posibilidades, hoy parece sentir que su futuro es cosa del pasado.

Godard confiesa que le hubiera gustado ser matemático y en cierta manera lo es, dado que su cine busca siempre ver las cosas en relaciones y proporciones. Se identifica con un matemático nórdico llamado Abel, quien se propuso encontrar la ecuación de tercer grado, la ecuación de las ecuaciones. Abel viajó a París a entrevistarse con el presidente de la Sociedad de Matemáticos Franceses pero éste no lo recibió y Abel se volvió caminando a Noruega. Godard dice: "estos son mis compañeros de ruta" y se pone a llorar.

Godard debe ser el cineasta vivo más importante, por su enorme gravitación en el cine desde mediados de los 50, porque el cine actual sería otro si él no hubiese existido y porque sigue haciendo películas maravillosas. A pesar de todo ello, no parece estar pasándola bien. Y no obstante, su pensamiento sigue operando si uno presta atención a cineastas jovencísimos como el filipino Raya Martin.


Raya es, en varios sentidos, alguien que está en el otro extremo: en el de la juventud en estado de promesa. En el working progress Box Office: Next Attraction lo vemos filmando su nuevo largometraje, matándose de risa: está jugando, con esa impunidad que da el tener 23 años: es como que todo le chupara huevo. Ayer vi Possible lovers (largo) y Track Projections (corto), de su producción reciente. Antes de la proyección, un chico del Bafici leyó un mensaje de Raya y hizo un par de advertencias: en el mensaje Martin agradecía al BAFICI por ser siempre demasiado amable con él, por permitirle estrenar estas películas en el circuito de festivales, además le decía al público que había escrito un texto muy largo para presentar estas películas, pero después se dio cuenta de que no había nada que explicar, así que borró lo escrito y termina el mensaje con una frase: "el cine es libre y el amor es real". Las advertencias: la proyecciòn se hará sin subtítulos a expreso pedido de Raya (igual no había mucho para traducir); y los chicos del BAFICI aclaran que las copias de las películas están en perfecto estado y que todo lo que vamos a ver y escuchar es tal cual lo ha concebido su autor. Este tipo de advertencias forman parte de los riesgos que asumen Martin, sus exhibidores y su espectador. Asì que: a prepararse para lo que viene.

Como todavía hay gente que no ha visto estas dos películas, no conviene agregar nada más: sólo decirles que si no incluyen a Raya Martin en la panorámica del cine actual, su mirada será incompleta. (continuará)

Publicado por Oscar Cuervo en 13:16
Etiquetas: BAFICI, Cine, Cine del milenio, Godard, Raya Martin
5 comentarios:
Anónimo dijo...
Godard está viejo, levanta demasiado el dedo, me resultó extrañó que niege rotundamente las posibiladedes creativas que brinda la tecnología. Especialmente teniendo en cuenta que el tipo fue el primero que empezó a explorar las posibilidades del video a fines de los setentas. Así como también me parecen completamente discutibles sus comentarios acerca del judaísmo. Igual conserva toda su lucidez. Con los "instaladores" da en el clavo. Hay algo allí demasiado ascéptico, demasiado distante. Lo que ellos hacen ya lo hizo Duchamp mucho mejor, aunque con menos ductilidad técnica. Pero fijate que a su vez se lo ve preparando su propia instalación, y finalmente inaugurando una diferente a la propuesta por él en primer lugar ya que la primera fue rechazada. Su tristeza parece venir mas bien de ese rechazo en particular, quizás una instalación con más densidad y propuesta que las que pueblan los museos del mundo, repitiéndose solas una y otra vez aunque nadie las esté viendo. Por lo tanto lo de su rechazo a las nuevas tecnologías hay que tomarlo con pizas, como una especie de advertencia que hace hacia aquellos que se pierden en la técnica y olvidan el resto. Por lo menos es un viejo que resiste y no un viejo derrotado.
Su lucha es, como él mismo lo expresa, contra un tiempo que se propone aniquilar el tiempo.
El pasado, la(s) historia(s), parece decir, son, más que nunca, tan importantes como el futuro para rehacer el tiempo.
Es un intempestivo que lucha contra la muerte de la temporalidad y contra la nula corrección de buena parte del arte contemporáneo.

Gabriel Muro

17 de abril de 2008 20:01
Anónimo dijo...
Todo depende de las condiciones del campo de batalla: a veces la mejor vanguardia es la retaguardia.

Gabriel Muro

17 de abril de 2008 20:04
Anónimo dijo...
Igual la sensaci�n de incompletud estar� siempre aca. El que fund� la expresi�n castraci�n, estaba pensando en el Bafici..

17 de abril de 2008 21:23
Judaz dijo...
Conocí a Raya Martin con Possible Lovers y me parece la mejor expresión que he visto del bello infierno que es estar enamorado secretamente.

Todo un ejemplo ha seguir para los cineasta del siglo 21.

saludos
J.D.
Cinencuentro.com

pd: ¿alguien sabe donde puedo conseguir sus otras películas?

18 de abril de 2008 19:35
Editor: Oscar Cuervo dijo...
Judaz:
suscribo ciento por ciento tus afirmaciones: es una de las grandes películas de amor del siglo XXI y Raya es el futuro. Tengo entendido que algún allegado a Raya o él mismo ha ingresado a este foro en los últimos días. No sé donde se pueden conseguir sus películas, pero si te enterás please avisame
saludos

Anonymous said...

Anonymous The Good Side:

I'd like to highlight the comment of the Peruvian critic on Raya's "Possible Lovers":

"Conocí a Raya Martin con Possible Lovers y me parece la mejor expresión que he visto del bello infierno que es estar enamorado secretamente."

I knew Raya Martin from "Possible Lovers" & it seems to me it is the best expression that I have seen of the beautiful hell of being in love secretly"



You know I'm doing this as a service to you, Anonymous the dark side, because obviously you're one of the typical Filipinos who read a few books & watch few & outdated films but too intellectually dishonest to even admit that you should just remain quiet in one corner.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Kubrador was first submitted to Cannes before Moscow according to its producer, Atty. Alonso.

Please check the cinemanila e-group okay and search for the tag 'kubrador'. Atty. Alonso herself posted a message about Kubrador's rejection from the DF slate.

Broaden your mind moronic 'Anonymous'.Making it into Cannes or any other fest, honestly, is no guarantee that a film isn’t bad. Just because it’s a prestigious fest doesn’t mean that all the films here will be good. It’s always a crapshoot. And given the countless critics we’ve heard ranting about hating Serbis, it’s certainly not just me ‘missing something.

If Bing Lao's script was the problem, an intelligent film maker would say no and ask Bing to revise or do not pursue the project.

- ed saludes

ps. last response ko na ito.

Anonymous said...

If Bing Lao's script was the problem, an intelligent film maker would say no and ask Bing to revise or do not pursue the project.

good point!

thats why im livid; why are you blaming Bing Lao from this mess-if theres any.

-arcangel

Anonymous said...

Yes, why blame Bing Lao indeed?

Anonymous said...

From anonymous the clear-eyed:

Hay tapos na ang Cannes. Kaya signoff na rin ako.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous The Good Side:



"Yes, why blame Bing Lao indeed?"

Because of these:
1) the major criticism on "Serbis" was that it revels on shock value (Explicit fellatio, blocked toilets and a crudely exploded ass-cheek boil form some of the more unsavory elements of "Service," Brillante Mendoza’s latest opus that revels in shock value", Jay Wiseberg,Variety) Signature Lao- perhaps Lao remembered the "human cannibalism" in Lino Brocka's "Fight for Us" (Oranoprobis) which was shown in Cannes years ago & that created a buzz. Perhaps he wanted to reprise that glory this time around only it misfired?
2. "pic’s rabbit-warren storylines, complete with half-dug trails" (Jay Wiseberg, Variety). Well, a direct indictment of Lao.
3. "The issues her offspring deal with - an unexpected pregnancy, an unrequited crush, a buttocks boil that just won't go away - appear trite, even lazy scriptwise" (Harold Feinstein, Screen Daily). The most direct indictment on Lao.
4. To nail the coffin, here's Howard Feinstein of Screen daily wrote:"For the first time Armando Lao, who had supervised Mendoza's earlier screenplays, has sole screenwriter credit. Might this have impacted the vision of the director, who had previously written his own scripts?"


You, people,seem to belong to the uninformed, out-of-step cliques I've mentioned above, saying hossanas to barely untouched "real-time" filmography as if it was invented by Lao, being blind & refuse to (or really can't) understand all those criticism against his work as if what you think will even matter against all those big-time critics (are Filipinos really insular & parochial? you bet)..

Thanks for clarifying things on "Kubrador" (which you happily confirm now was rejected by Cannes beforehand- reinforcing my argument that Mendoza isn't a lesser Jeturian, as claimed by somebody above, who pretended he knew some programmers).

We really respect our seniors, Mendoza was like you, saying his hossanas to Lao- so he swallowed the script of "Kubrador". & THAT's MY CONTENTION ALL ALONG- IF ONLY MENDOZA DIDN'T PAY TOO MUCH RESPECT ON LAO, AS YOU PEOPLE ARE BLINDLY DOING NOW, & overhauled that outdated script. Of course, Mendoza was at fault, but even the intelligent critics like Feinstein & Weisberg saw what was behind Mendoza's fault. A BAD SCRIPT, ptetending to present neo-realistic slice of poverty but all it wanted was to shock. Well, the lesson has been learned & all reputations are now being reevalued. But blindness has no part in the picture.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Oggs Cruz said...

I apologize to anonymous who posted links to the two movies. I'm sure the reader can find the movies elsewhere (google, torrent, etc.) without having to rely on this blog.

Anonymous said...

From Anonymous the Good Side:

First critique on "Now Showing"

by Christoph Hubr:


NOW SHOWING. Doesn’t really come together in the end, even as it has some really fine scenes, especially in the first half. Sometimes the long take strategy seems an affetcation rather than organic. Still, among the fest’s four and a half hour films, easily the less tough to watch. Very moving introduction by Raya Martin nearly seemed to make up for its failure though, especially as leading girl was onstage in the most incredible dress.

Anonymous said...

From Anonymous the clear-eyed again:

Ayaw talaga tumigil nitong moron na to. Obviously, ang support na ginagamit lang niya sa pagba-bash niya kay Lao ay yung mga sabi-sabi ng mga unreliable critic. Ang maniwala daw sa sabi-sabi, walang bait sa sarili. Hahaha

Can I ask, do you know the technicalities of a good script? If so, can you tell us what are those? What makes a good script? What makes a bad script? Which Cannes-winning films are good regardless of script. Which films are good because of the script? I want exploration on these questions.


Now that you are openly lambasting Lao, I assume you know his body of work. If so, can you give a detailed listings of Lao's works and site in every one of them the weakness of the script?

Give me few days, and I'll give a detailed account on why Lao is the best scriptwriter in the Philippines today. But before I give that lengthy account, I will wait first your side of the coin. I assume you can easily do this because your distrust on Lao is corrosive it appears to us you know screenplay better than Lao. If you can't, then you don't have the right to bash an institution.

And one more, I'm still waiting for your Cinema-of-the-future "powerpoints". It seems that you are paying no attention to that clamour. Why? Because all you got is quotation of opinion from your reverred critics who don't mean anything to the rest of us?


And where is your proof that Raya is the most respected filmmaker worldwide? Proof, proof, proof. It is not enough that one or two critics extol Raya and voila we believe them like bibles.

And as Oggs said, if there is one credible auteur of Serbis, it is Lao rather than Mendoza, which I think is a correct observation.


And... tatagulin ko na at parang di mo naiintindihan. hahaha. di ka ba nahihiya sa sarili mo? Ang mga support mo po ay mga opinyon lang (uulitin ko opinion lang) ng unreliable critics? Yung mga critic na quinote mo sa taas, do they really know what is a good script or not? Tsaka, dyos ko day, hakahaka lang lahat ng sinasabi mo.


Unang haka-haka: na makakapasok si Raya sa main competion next.

Pangalwang haka-haka: na si Raya ang most repective filmmaker worldwide. Nang dahil lang sa sinabi ng isa o dalawang kritiko, naniwala ka naman agad. Ang daming kritiko sa buong mundo. Dyos ko.


Pangatlong haka-haka: “Signature Lao- perhaps Lao remembered the "human cannibalism" in Lino Brocka's "Fight for Us" (Oranoprobis) which was shown in Cannes years ago & that created a buzz.” Tingnan mo ang gamit mo ng perhaps. Isang haka-haka ulit.


Pang-apat na haka-haka: “Perhaps he wanted to reprise that glory this time around only it misfired?” tingnna mo ulit ang gamit mo ng perhaps.

Dyos ko day, kung alam mo ang body of work ni Lao, di ka mo siya kukwestiyonin. Kaya ngayon, I’m trying to squeeze from you what you know of Lao. It may perhaps tell us if you are credible enough to criticize Lao from you end. Otherwise, isa ka lang nagmumurong.

Hintayin mo ang detailed account ko kung gano kagaling si Lao bilang scriptwriter. But before that, I want you to give your supports of your claim. Hanggang ngayon, wala ka pang napapakita.

Kahanginan lang pinapakita mo.


Tsaka, saan na ang magagandang rebyu ng Now Showing. Nag-uunahan ba ang mga kritiko na purihin ang Raya at Now showing mo?


Dyoskoday. Hangin.. hangin.. hangin…

Back to work muna ako.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous the clear-eyed:

Yung idea po ng Serbis ay galing kay Mendoza. From his interview, he disclosed that right after Masahista, he wanted to do Serbis only that a lot of things got in the way.

As I know Lao, what sets him apart from other scriptwriters is his eye for details. If the subject of script is about slums, he will bring you that place and show what is exactly happening there. That he showed in Pila Balde.

For Serbis, I think it's not about him opting for a shock value. The theme of the film is about cinema showing porn and the activities inside that theater, so he gives it to viewers as it is. That there are sexual activities happening there should be expected. We are not Ang Lee here whose good taste sometimes get the better of him. Hello!

Oggs Cruz said...

I think Lao is a terrific scriptwriter. I admire his pre-real-time work more than what he's doing now, but there's no doubt, the man is talented. I'll reserve my comments on Serbis until I see it. As for Now Showing, I liked it a lot and that's because I saw all four hours and forty minutes of it.

Anonymous said...

From Anonymous the clear-eyed:

Hello, believing the critics who said that Lao is the reason why Serbis failed is like believing somebody you are not sure of.

The question is, why would believe that critic. Who is that critic. What made you think that critic is credible? Can you tell us Anonymous the teary-eyed who that critic is?

Because you believe in that critic, it only means you know the quality of Lao's work. Really? If you know Lao so well, can you tell me what you think of him. Can you list down all his works and may give us the rundown of his weaknesses as scriptwriter?

That Mendoza and Jeturian believe in Lao and you don't only tells something about you.

Now starting showing proof, proof, proof, supports, supports, supports... My goodness, ang tagal mo nang nagdadaldal diyan, wala ka pang support na naipakikita hanggang ngayon.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous The Good Side:

Ha ha ha Sakit ng Pinoy, sige dada baka maligaw ang usapan. I think my arguments are very clear in my posts above. Of course we know the works of Lao, now we know his limitations. Yun lang.

When the Pinoy is down,he resorts to nationalism ("me & the Pinoys don't care"). You're asking, who are those critics? You're just betraying your ignorance.. even, innocence. Does the world even care what you people say despite all the breast-beating? Or the world really revolves on what those critics I mentioned say? How much of the world will care if you tattle within your cliques all night? How much of the world will care if they read it in "Variety"? The point is, the reason those involved in "Serbis" went to Cannes was to seek something in Cannes... obviously not to see the sights, but to show to the world how good they're in making a film.

The critics gave their verdict & I'll reprint them here (ignorant Anonymous The Good Side, the critic was from Variety, not from a bading in a gay bar):
Yes, why blame Bing Lao indeed?"

Because of these:
1) the major criticism on "Serbis" was that it revels on shock value (Explicit fellatio, blocked toilets and a crudely exploded ass-cheek boil form some of the more unsavory elements of "Service," Brillante Mendoza’s latest opus that revels in shock value", Jay Wiseberg,Variety) Signature Lao- perhaps Lao remembered the "human cannibalism" in Lino Brocka's "Fight for Us" (Oranoprobis) which was shown in Cannes years ago & that created a buzz. Perhaps he wanted to reprise that glory this time around only it misfired?
2. "pic’s rabbit-warren storylines, complete with half-dug trails" (Jay Wiseberg, Variety). Well, a direct indictment of Lao.
3. "The issues her offspring deal with - an unexpected pregnancy, an unrequited crush, a buttocks boil that just won't go away - appear trite, even lazy scriptwise" (Harold Feinstein, Screen Daily). The most direct indictment on Lao.
4. To nail the coffin, here's Howard Feinstein of Screen daily wrote:"For the first time Armando Lao, who had supervised Mendoza's earlier screenplays, has sole screenwriter credit. Might this have impacted the vision of the director, who had previously written his own scripts?"


You, people,seem to belong to the uninformed, out-of-step cliques I've mentioned above, saying hossanas to barely untouched "real-time" filmography as if it was invented by Lao, being blind & refuse to (or really can't) understand all those criticism against his work as if what you think will even matter against all those big-time critics (are Filipinos really insular & parochial? you bet)..

Thanks for clarifying things on "Kubrador" (which you happily confirm now was rejected by Cannes beforehand- reinforcing my argument that Mendoza isn't a lesser Jeturian, as claimed by somebody above, who pretended he knew some programmers).

We really respect our seniors, Mendoza was like you, saying his hossanas to Lao- so he swallowed the script of "Kubrador". & THAT's MY CONTENTION ALL ALONG- IF ONLY MENDOZA DIDN'T PAY TOO MUCH RESPECT ON LAO, AS YOU PEOPLE ARE BLINDLY DOING NOW, & overhauled that outdated script. Of course, Mendoza was at fault, but even the intelligent critics like Feinstein & Weisberg saw what was behind Mendoza's fault. A BAD SCRIPT, ptetending to present neo-realistic slice of poverty but all it wanted was to shock. Well, the lesson has been learned & all reputations are now being reevalued. But blindness has no part in the picture.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous The Good Side:


Here's classic ignorance courtesy of Anonymous the Bad Side:

"The question is, why would believe that critic. Who is that critic. What made you think that critic is credible? Can you tell us Anonymous the teary-eyed who that critic is?"

That critic was from Variety, if you didn't know, the Bible of the world's entertainment industry. I repeat, you can tattle all night within your clique singing hossanas to each other but who would the world find more credible- the one they read in Variety or your squeaks?

This is my last piece, sana nalagay ka na sa lugar mo

Anonymous said...

From Anonymous the clear-eyed:

The following question I can answer, but it is this moron's answer Im interested to hear.

Question 1: What is the difference between the works of Lao and, say, Rickly Lee. What is Lee's stregth? What is Lao's strength? What is their major difference.

Question 2: I'll give you Cannes-winning films. I hope you can determine from these which have good scripts:

Off the top of my head (ilan lang sa mga napanood ko to):

Dancer in the Dark
No Man's Land
Pulp Fiction
Dogville
Sin City
Cache
Broken Flowers
History of violence
Last Days
Manderlay
Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada
The wind that shakes the bArley
Babel
Flanders
Red Road
Volver
Marie Antoinette
4 months, 3 weeks, 2 days
Death proof
My Blueberry Nights
Paranoid Park
Persepolis
No country for Old man
Elephant
Pianist
Uzak
Mystic River
Brown Bunny
Swimming Pool
The Son's room
Mulholland Drive
The Man Who wasn't there

Question 3: Aside from passage of time, what's the use of Montage in a screenplay?


Question 4: When can you say scripts just gloss-over?

Question 5: Of Chito Rono's works which is the best and why?

Question 6: What do you is the weakness of Lamanagan?

Question 7: Of the Cinemalaya entries last year, which is your favorite, which is the best and why?

Question 8: How can you characterize Michiko Yamamoto's scripts?

Question 9: Because obviuosly you hate Lao, who is the best Filipino scriptwriter now? and Why?

Qeustion 10: What is the weakness of Raya Martin's works? Why?

Answer those question and we will see if you are credible enough.

I want to make sure that I'm not taking to an idiot before I let out my knowledge on the field.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

for moronic anonymous..

If Bing Lao's script was the problem, an intelligent film maker would say no and ask Bing to revise or do not pursue the project.

hindi mo pa nasasagot yung punto ko sa itaas..

-ed saludes

Anonymous said...

for moronic and coward anonymous..

Thanks for clarifying things on "Kubrador" (which you happily confirm now was rejected by Cannes beforehand- reinforcing my argument that Mendoza isn't a lesser Jeturian, as claimed by somebody above, who pretended he knew some programmers

- Making it into Cannes or any other fest, honestly, is no guarantee that a film isn’t bad. Just because it’s a prestigious fest doesn’t mean that all the films here will be good. It’s always a crapshoot. And given the countless critics we’ve heard ranting about hating Serbis, it’s certainly not just me ‘missing something.

(ed saludes)

Anonymous said...

Anonymous the clear-eyed:

O bigla ka yata nautal? Umaatras ka na? Hello, dont give up yet. I'm still not letting out what I know.

I'm now drafting my Lao piece. I'll make it a good piece, don't worry.

Lelecture-an kita at nang mabawasan kahanginan mo.

I'm waiting for your support. Support, support, support. Proof, proof, proof...

We'll see how far this will go.

My mga nabanggit akong film sa taas diba, in few days, I'm posting here may reviews of those films. I repeat... MY REVIEWS. I don't just cut and paste, I watch and I critique.

Now, because I'm going to show what I got, I'm expecting you show what you got.

Don't give up yet, moron. Ilalagay kita sa kangkungan.

Ang saya-saya.. hahahaha

Anonymous said...

Anonymous the Good Side:

To the world,

I guess the disadvantage of being a Filipino is the world gets to read our posts online. Well, right off, I'm saying I'm a Filipino & I'd like to tell the world not all Filipinos are averse to "fair thinking" like the clowns above. It's true Filipinos tend to automatically group themselves politically & rant to the end, believing the last one talking wins, no matter how untenable (even ridiculous) the arguments (palusot). That's why our little country never progresses because we can't seem to produce any consensus to do anything with it. Even from the most obvious issues.


Well, I think I've made my points clear already. Here I'll just reprint my previous argument because only a fool won't appreciate how fair & balanced the arguments were. It just so happened they didn't like the conclusion so just witness how Filipino "insular & parochial" psychodynamics work as they rant:


"Yes, why blame Bing Lao indeed?"

Because of these:
1) the major criticism on "Serbis" was that it revels on shock value (Explicit fellatio, blocked toilets and a crudely exploded ass-cheek boil form some of the more unsavory elements of "Service," Brillante Mendoza’s latest opus that revels in shock value", Jay Wiseberg,Variety) Signature Lao- perhaps Lao remembered the "human cannibalism" in Lino Brocka's "Fight for Us" (Oranoprobis) which was shown in Cannes years ago & that created a buzz. Perhaps he wanted to reprise that glory this time around only it misfired?
2. "pic’s rabbit-warren storylines, complete with half-dug trails" (Jay Wiseberg, Variety). Well, a direct indictment of Lao.
3. "The issues her offspring deal with - an unexpected pregnancy, an unrequited crush, a buttocks boil that just won't go away - appear trite, even lazy scriptwise" (Harold Feinstein, Screen Daily). The most direct indictment on Lao.
4. To nail the coffin, here's Howard Feinstein of Screen daily wrote:"For the first time Armando Lao, who had supervised Mendoza's earlier screenplays, has sole screenwriter credit. Might this have impacted the vision of the director, who had previously written his own scripts?"


You, people,seem to belong to the uninformed, out-of-step cliques I've mentioned above, saying hossanas to barely untouched "real-time" filmography as if it was invented by Lao, being blind & refuse to (or really can't) understand all those criticism against his work as if what you think will even matter against all those big-time critics (are Filipinos really insular & parochial? you bet)..

Thanks for clarifying things on "Kubrador" (which you happily confirm now was rejected by Cannes beforehand- reinforcing my argument that Mendoza isn't a lesser Jeturian, as claimed by somebody above, who pretended he knew some programmers).

We really respect our seniors, Mendoza was like you, saying his hossanas to Lao- so he swallowed the script of "Kubrador". & THAT's MY CONTENTION ALL ALONG- IF ONLY MENDOZA DIDN'T PAY TOO MUCH RESPECT ON LAO, AS YOU PEOPLE ARE BLINDLY DOING NOW, & overhauled that outdated script. Of course, Mendoza was at fault, but even the intelligent critics like Feinstein & Weisberg saw what was behind Mendoza's fault. A BAD SCRIPT, ptetending to present neo-realistic slice of poverty but all it wanted was to shock. Well, the lesson has been learned & all reputations are now being reevalued. But blindness has no part in the picture.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous The Good Side:

One more time, for emphasis, (but also to correct some overlooked typo errors):


Yes, why blame Bing Lao indeed?"

Because of these:
1) the major criticism on "Serbis" was that it revels on shock value (Explicit fellatio, blocked toilets and a crudely exploded ass-cheek boil form some of the more unsavory elements of "Service," Brillante Mendoza’s latest opus that revels in shock value", Jay Wiseberg,Variety) Signature Lao- perhaps Lao remembered the "human cannibalism" in Lino Brocka's "Fight for Us" (Oranoprobis) which was shown in Cannes years ago & that created a buzz. Perhaps he wanted to reprise that glory this time around only it misfired?
2. "pic’s rabbit-warren storylines, complete with half-dug trails" (Jay Wiseberg, Variety). Well, a direct indictment of Lao.
3. "The issues her offspring deal with - an unexpected pregnancy, an unrequited crush, a buttocks boil that just won't go away - appear trite, even lazy scriptwise" (Harold Feinstein, Screen Daily). The most direct indictment on Lao.
4. To nail the coffin, here's Howard Feinstein of Screen daily wrote:"For the first time Armando Lao, who had supervised Mendoza's earlier screenplays, has sole screenwriter credit. Might this have impacted the vision of the director, who had previously written his own scripts?"


You, people,seem to belong to the uninformed, out-of-step cliques I've mentioned above, saying hossanas to barely untouched "real-time" filmography as if it was invented by Lao, being blind & refuse to (or really can't) understand all those criticism against his work as if what you think will even matter against all those big-time critics (are Filipinos really insular & parochial? you bet)..

Thanks for clarifying things on "Kubrador" (which you happily confirm now was rejected by Cannes beforehand- reinforcing my argument that Mendoza isn't a lesser Jeturian, as claimed by somebody above, who pretended he knew some programmers).

We really respect our seniors, Mendoza was like you, saying his hossanas to Lao- so he swallowed the script of "Serbis". & THAT's MY CONTENTION ALL ALONG- IF ONLY MENDOZA DIDN'T PAY TOO MUCH RESPECT ON LAO, AS YOU PEOPLE ARE BLINDLY DOING NOW, & overhauled that outdated script. Of course, Mendoza was at fault, but even the intelligent critics like Feinstein & Weisberg saw what was behind Mendoza's fault. A BAD SCRIPT, ptetending to present neo-realistic slice of poverty but all it wanted was to shock. Well, the lesson has been learned & all reputations are now being reevalued. But blindness has no part in the picture.

Raya said...

I just said this in an interview, and will say it again here, that the problem with cultivating film culture in the Philippines is a problem with Filipino culture itself.

And for the record, I never submitted my film to the competition section.

Oggs, maraming salamat for the review.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous The Good Side:


To the world,

Apologies also for the impertinenece of these clowns: we entered "Serbis" in an international competition to get international recognition, but when well-known critics have had their say, we act as if these critics don't matter after all, what do they know, what right do they have... & yes, why did we go to Cannes to get world recognition in the first place? You see, world, we live in these islands, & when we don't get what we want, we sink our heads in the sands of these islands & beat our breasts the strongest we can, invoking as loudly as we can as much nationalism we could muster to salve (not save) our pride.


Yuck!!!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous THe Good Side:

Hi, Raya, you don't know me personally but I'm a fan. & I agree with what you said

the problem with cultivating film culture in the Philippines is a problem with Filipino culture itself.


The clowns above are the epitomes of the worst in Filipino culture


Congrats for "Now Showing"

Anonymous said...

101!!!

Oggs Cruz said...

Raya, maraming salamat sa pelikula. I'm looking forward to experiencing what else you have in store for us.

Jerrold Tarog said...

I don't know the full context of Raya's statement so I won't comment much. But I just want to know: does Raya mean that our culture is problematic because the masses will never be able to cultivate a cinematic taste that caters to the artistic elite and supporters of High Art?

Just asking. Correct me if I'm wrong. :)

Anonymous said...

"And for the record, I never submitted my film to the competition section."

why not?

Raya said...

Hi Jerrold. Just to clarify, the statement was referring to the way Filipinos react to (film) criticism, which is a precursor to decent discourse. Now it bothers me that you say the masses will never be able to cultivate a varied cinematic taste. All these categorical definitions are arbitrary.

anonymous, I believe in the editorial of the Fortnight section. As a good friend pointed out, cinema is not a competition.

Okay, I'm out of here. Cheers.

Jerrold Tarog said...

Thanks for the reply, Raya. That helps clarify a statement that could easily be misinterpreted by some. And, NOPE, I didn't say the masses will never be able to cultivate a varied cinematic taste. I was asking if YOU said it. :-)

Plus I didn't say varied, I said elite, by which I mean the illusory caste that one of the anonymous people in here seems to be using as ammunition to prove intellectual supremacy.

Whatever. I agree with you on all points. Congratulations on your film. Hope to meet you someday.

jologsnamanonood said...

Nakakaintimidate naman ang mga diskurso at mga pagtatalo ninyo! Sa katunayan, ang lahat ng mga sinasabi ninyo ay nangangahulugan lang na mataas ang tingin ninyo sa inyong mga sarili at ginagamit lamang ninyo ang inyong mga debate ukol sa kung sino ang mas magaling na director para lang mapagtakpan ang sarili ninyong mga narsisismo.

Gusto niyo lamang mavalidate sa inyong mga sarili na kabilang kayo sa mga elite few na tinatawag na high brow art. Hindi porke't ang gustong pelikula ng isang tao ay hindi kabilang sa mga gusto niyo ay nangangahulugang bobo na siya. Ganyan ang inyong mga pag-iisip kaya mahiya naman kayo sa mga sarili ninyo. Wala kayong pinag-iba sa mga grupong tinawag ang kanilang mga sarili na "intelihensiya" sa panahon ng mga Kastila!

Hindi niyo ba naisip na KARAMIHAN halos ng mga INDIE filmmakers sa Pinas ay gumagawa ng pelikulang PERSONAL at sa tingin ko, walang sinuman ang may karapatan na husgahan ang ginawa nila dahil hindi nila ginawa ang mga ito para mabigyan kayong lahat ng orgasmo sa panonood kundi bigyan ng orgasmo ang kanilang sariling sining.

Kayong mga nagtatalo-talo ay mga pseudo-intelektwal kung tutuusin! Gusto niyo lang mabigyan ng self-validation ang inyong intelligence.

Kung totoong minamahal ninyo ang sining ng pelikula, GUMAWA KAYO NG MGA SARILI NINYONG PELIKULA at hindi yung nagngangawa lang kayo ng mga bagay na hindi na dapat pinagtatalunan. Ang totoo niyan, lahat ng mga sinasabi ninyo ay karamihan hango lang sa kung ano ang mga nabasa ninyo sa libro!

Bakit hindi niyo subukang lumabas mula sa mga sarili ninyong narsisismo at iexperience ang paggawa ng sarili ninyong pelikula para mabigyan kayo ng respeto na gusto niyong ibigay para sa inyo.

Hindi yung nagtatalak kayo at nagmamarunong, ni hindi niyo man lang alam kung ano ang dinanas na hirap ng mga taong ito para gawin ang mga pelikula nila.

Magmarunong na lang uli kayo kapag may napatunayan na kayo at nakagawa na ng sarili ninyong pelikula. Kapag nagawa niyo yan, saka na kayo magkaroon ng karapatang manghusga ng pelikulang gawa ng iba.

In the meantime, matuto kayong lumugar sa kung saan kayo dapat lumugar. Mga pseudo-intelektwal!

Anonymous said...

From anonynous the clear-eyed:

Now that Im digging into this discourse you are starting to hold back, you moron. If you want you can seek the aid of your idol, Raya, I would never back off.

Again, I will reiterate my questions below to see how credible you are, moron.

Answer them and I will post my answers too.

This you should answer in order to prove your Lao bashing is credible, you moron:

Question 1: What is the difference between the works of Lao and, say, Rickly Lee. What is Lee's stregth? What is Lao's strength? What is their major difference.

Question 2: I'll give you Cannes-winning films. I hope you can determine from these which have good scripts:

Off the top of my head (ilan lang sa mga napanood ko to):

Dancer in the Dark
No Man's Land
Pulp Fiction
Dogville
Sin City
Cache
Broken Flowers
History of violence
Last Days
Manderlay
Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada
The wind that shakes the bArley
Babel
Flanders
Red Road
Volver
Marie Antoinette
4 months, 3 weeks, 2 days
Death proof
My Blueberry Nights
Paranoid Park
Persepolis
No country for Old man
Elephant
Pianist
Uzak
Mystic River
Brown Bunny
Swimming Pool
The Son's room
Mulholland Drive
The Man Who wasn't there

Question 3: Aside from passage of time, what's the use of Montage in a screenplay?


Question 4: When can you say scripts just gloss-over?

Question 5: Of Chito Rono's works which is the best and why?

Question 6: What do you is the weakness of Lamanagan?

Question 7: Of the Cinemalaya entries last year, which is your favorite, which is the best and why?

Question 8: How can you characterize Michiko Yamamoto's scripts?

Question 9: Because obviuosly you hate Lao, who is the best Filipino scriptwriter now? and Why?

Qeustion 10: What is the weakness of Raya Martin's works? Why?

Answer those question and we will see if you are credible enough.

Anonymous said...

From Anonymous the clear-eyed to jologsnamanonood:

Sensiya na. It's not my intention to hook up with this other moron. Nakakairita lang na parang ang saya-saya ng bobong yun na nakakabasa siya ng negatibong rebyu para sa Serbis. At di lang yun, sinisisi pa niya si Lao. At di lang yun, itinataas naman niya si Raya at ang Now Showing. Nung hiningan ko siya ng proof, ang ginawa niya nagccopy and paste lang ang loko ng mga sabi-sabi ng unreliable critic at saka pinost dito. Diba, nakakahayblad? Kung susuriin nyong mabuti ang kanyang mga debate, wala siyang sariling opinyon na pinakita. Nanghiram lang siya ng opinyon ng iba at ginawa niya yung para purihin si Raya bilang most respected filmmaker worldwide. Si Raya pa na wala pa akong nakitang matinong gawa! Well, sabagay, Maicling Pelicula pa lang ang napanood kong gawa niya kaya pwedeng mali ako sa puntong ito.

Ang sobrang nakakapanggalaiti ay yung pulaan niya ang Serbis at sisihin si Lao, ang batayan niya ay ang mga rebyu ng kung sino-sinong kritiko. Kaya ang ginawa ko, naglatag ako ng ilang katananungan kung alam ba talaga niya ang teknikalidad ng dulang pampelikula para maging makatotohanan naman ang pagbatikos niya kay Lao. Pero hanggang ngayon, ang ginagamit pa rin niyang suporta ay copy and paste lang ng rebyu ng ilang kritiko sa pagsasabing si Lao ang dahilan ng pagiging pangit ng Serbis.

Ang katanungan? Napanood na ba niya ang Serbis para makasigurado siyang pangit nga talaga ang pelikula? Inaamin ko, di ko rin napanood ang Serbis para masabi kong maganda ito taliwas sa negative reviews ng ilan, kung babasahin mo ang mga post ko, naging resonable ako sa pagsasabing base sa mga negative comments, mukhang ang backlash sa Serbis ay dahil lang sa shock value at pagkakontrobersiyal nito at hindi talaga dahil sa pangit ang pelikula. Ang contention ko po ay kung ikaw ay isang matalinong kritiko, bakit ka magpapaka-konserbatibo ng dahil lang may pornograpiya ang pinapanood mo? At totoo nga ba ang hakahaka nila na si Lao ang dahilan kung bakit pangit ang Serbis? Kung ang tema ng pelikula na ginagawa mo ay tungkol sa isang sinehan na nagpapalabas ng pornograpiya at ang mga ginawa ng mga tao sa loob ng sinehan, bakit di mo ipakikita kung ano talaga ang totoo? Kung totoong may nagseseks sa sinehan, di ba kailangan din na ipakita ang mga ito sa pelikula? Kung di mo ipakikita to, nangangahulugan lamang na pretentious ang treatment mo sa pelikulang ginawa mo, di po ba? Ano, gagawa ka ng pelikula tungkol sa pornograpiya pero wala kang ipakikitang mga hubad na katawan o seks? Ano ibig sabihin nito? Totoo ka ba sa sining mo o nagiging pretentious ka lang.

Hindi dapat hinuhusgahan ang mga pelikulang katulad ng Serbis sa kung may shock value ito o may tsupaan o wala. Kailangan ipakita to bilang realidad ng totoong nangyayari sa sinehan. Ang dapat na tingnan na mga tunay na kritiko ay ang anggulong ito: Bakit hinahayaan ng mga namamalakad ng sinehan ang mga ganun? Ibig bang sabihin na walang mga moral ang mga may-ari at hinahayaan nila ang tsupaan sa loob ng sinehan? Pero base sa mga rebyu din, parang nasagot ito ng pelikula. Base sa mga rebyu, mas maraming hinaharap na problema ang may-ari para pakialaman pa nila kung ano man ang mga nagaganap sa loob ng sinehan. Malinaw na may sagot ang pelikula sa anggulong ito.

Ang walang sagot sa mga katanungan ko ay ang moron na kaututan ko dahil obviously, wala siyang kaalam-alam sa pinagsasabi niya.

Sensiya na kung maraming typo, mabilisan lang tong post ko. Nagnakaw lang ako ng oras sa work ko. Heheheh

Anonymous said...

ingat!!!

Anonymous said...

wow so much hating here:D I think Bing Lao's next script is much more controversial than serbis; i had a privilage of reading the story concept of the next Lao-Mendoza collaboration and i wonder what will happen if this project comes out; i hope Raya's next project come out simoulaneously,again, with Mendoza;D Labo-labo na naman ito;D

the arcangel

Anonymous said...

Can u tip what's the next collaboration about? So excited about it.

Anonymous the clear-eyed

Anonymous said...

"I believe in the editorial of the Fortnight section. As a good friend pointed out, cinema is not a competition."

Wow, never thought of that. I wish everyone thought that way. Astig ka talaga Raya. Really looking forward to seeing Now Showing.

Btw, is there a way to lock this blog from the moronic mudslinging? It's really irritating.

- anna
(i usually sign as anonymous but i see now how it can be to my disadvantage)

Oggs Cruz said...

Thanks Anna,

As much as I hate the fact that my post on Raya's Now Showing turned into a mudslinging contest, I can't just lock the blog from comments, since I believe in discourse (however low it goes). The most I can do is rename this post, repost my take on Now Showing, out of respect to the work, since the comments are much more about other things than the movie. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

From anonymous the clear-eyed:

Tumahimik din ang bobo. Wag ka muna tumahimik, may ginagawa pa akong draft. Bakit natakot ka, moron?

Anywhere from Philippine Star:

The 2008 Cannes Film Festival is over and done with and, although the Philippine entry, Brillante Mendoza’s Serbis, didn’t win any award, it did get noticed, with some critics giving it a thumbs-down and others, including Sean Penn who was the head of the jury, a thumbs-up.

Here’s a post-Cannes report from Funfare’s Toronto-based “international correspondent” Ferdinand Lapuz who is the producer of Serbis:

May 25, Sunday, was the awards ceremony and as early as 12:30 p.m., we already knew that we did not win any award. We were a bit disappointed but we decided to savor the whole Cannes experience so we attended the ceremony anyway (without Jaclyn Jose, Kristoffer King, Julio Diaz, Mercedes Cabral and writer Armando Lao who left Thursday for home) — Gina Pareño, Coco Martin, director Brillante Mendoza, cinematographer Odyssey Flores and his wife Sunshine, Gina’s daughter Raquel, former actress Evelyn Vargas, French producer Didier Costet and myself.

At exactly 5:45 p.m., two festival cars fetched us from the Martinez Hotel and drove us to the palais. Our arrival was announced and we walked The Steps for the second time this time wearing our tuxedos, not Barong Tagalog. Faye Dunaway arrived and she walked right behind us. Of course, all of us were starstruck.

As soon as we were seated in the middle part of the Grand Lumiere Theater, three rows from the stage, celebrities started coming in. Best Actor winner Benicio del Toro (for Che) was seated behind me and he obliged for a photo. Robert de Niro and director Barry Levinsino were two rows behind us.

The members of the jury were announced and they were seated on the right side of the stage. A celebrity guest handed the award to the winner while jury president Sean Penn announced the winner.

After the awards ceremony, a dinner was held at the third floor of the palais. There were so many guests that when we got there we went our separate ways.

I accidentally bumped into Christian Jeune (a festival hand) and I said goodbye and thanked him for the wonderful experience. He said he felt sad that the film did not win any award but he said that jury president Sean Penn loved the film very much. In yesterday’s issue of Metro France, French critic Jerome Vermelin made his own forecast. He predicted a Jury Prize for Serbis. In the article, he mentioned that there was a rumor that Penn wanted a second screening of Serbis. Of course, this was a rumor so we did not believe it right away.

When Christian left me, I found Didier and told him how Penn loves Serbis. I told him I will hunt down Penn for a picture but he warned me that he does not oblige for photo ops. Coco arrived and he told me that Natalie Portman, a jury member was near us but I told him I wanted to look for Penn.

A few seconds later, I spotted Penn who was talking to someone. Unlike the other celebrities, he was not being trailed and no one was asking to pose with him. When he finished talking to the gentlemen, I said, “Mr. Penn!,” with my camera ready. He looked at me (boy, was I scared!) and he tried to leave.

Then I said, “Mr. Penn, I am from the film Serbis!” This caught his attention, he came to me and grabbed my arm toward him. He said, “I want to talk to you about the film.”

At first he thought I was Brillante but I told him that I was the film’s producer. I could not remember his exact words but he said that he truly loved that film and he wanted to show it in the US and he would help us in any way he can.

I introduced Coco as one of the actors of the film and he took Coco’s hand and asked him smiling, “How is your ass?” He remembered Coco’s character because of the boil in Coco’s butt.

I asked Coco to look for the other members of the team so we could all talk to Penn. Before Penn left, I asked him if I could take a picture because he might not come back. He obliged politely and told me that he would be back in a few minutes. He left his publicist and press agent Mara of ID Communications to be with me.

A few minutes later, Brillante and Didier arrived. I introduced them to Penn who was very excited in meeting Brillante. He said that he really fought for the film but mentioned that he has nine members and he could not decide for them.

He instructed us to contact Mara if we needed his help in the US, saying he could help us get a US distributor or any other help the film needed for exposure and distribution.

We spent around 10 minutes talking to him and he obliged for more photos. People around us were surprised to see how Penn was very accommodating to us. He left with his agent and we were all happy and excited with his comments about the film.

We later bumped into Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul, another jury member. He met Brillante in New Delhi before and said that he liked Serbis, too. He again mentioned that it was Penn among the jury who championed for the film.

After talking to him, we also had a chance to talk to Brazilian director Walter Salles. His lead actress Sandra Corveloni in Linha De Passe won the Best Actress honors. He was surprised to find out that Serbis was just shot in only 12 days, starting last March 21.

Fortissimo Films informed us that they have sold the film to several countries already. It has closed deals in Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg with Paradiso Entertainment. Swift Productions’ Equation will handle the French distribution and they have planned a fall opening. There are pending negotiations for United Kingdom/Ireland, the US and Canada.

Team Serbis would like to thank the following: Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) chairperson Jacky Atienza and Cinema Evaluation Board (CEB) chairperson Christine Dayrit for helping subsidize our trip; Connie Go-Alcantara of Nianji Travel and Tours for arranging our trip on a short notice; the French Embassy in Manila, especially Mr. Martin Macalintal; Patis Tesoro for the ternos of Gina Pareño, Jaclyn Jose and Mercedes Cabral, and the Barong Tagalog of Julio Diaz, Kristoffer King and Armando Lao; and my good friend Angeles City designer Richard de Jesus for my Barong Tagalog and tuxedo. Coco Martin thanks Edsy

Anonymous said...

From anonymous the clear-eyed:

"I believe in the editorial of the Fortnight section. As a good friend pointed out, cinema is not a competition."

This is empty a conviction, as empty as the moron anonymous the teary-eyed's brain is.

If Raya doesn't really believe in competition, why join Autohystoria in the Cinemanila competition?

Raya is just making an excuse. Im sure his appetite is whetting to enter in the main competition at Cannes next year. Ho-hum...

Excuses.. excuses.. big words.. big empty words...

Anonymous said...

From anonymous the clear-eyed:

What I'm curiously looking forward to is the reception of the local critics to Serbis.

After the very mixed reviews for the film, would they get swayed or what?

I'm also very interested in how Urian will handle Serbis. For the record, every local film that had been accepted by Cannes filmfest, well almost all but not all, be it in the main competition or Directors' Fornight, was bestowed Best Film by the body. Would Serbis be an exemption because of the mixed reviews or not?

Also, would Serbis cause an uproar from the moralist secture of this society?

Abangan...

Anonymous said...

Here's Raya in Cannes:


http://www.dailymotion.com/cluster/creation/video/x5kwsi_rencontre-avec-raya-martin-13_creation

Anonymous said...

Another review of "Now Showing":

The film by Martin cannot be compared with Eastwood or Soderbergh, even though the contrast can help describe what makes a film fascinating or not.

While he made the longest film, Martin’s film is a small film. An experimental film too. The images are occasionally and consciously bad quality. They sometimes look like old home movies that have been lying in the light for too long.

In their duration and lack of story, they also look like amateur shots. But Martin rightly believes in the nostalgic value of those images and the secrets they can comprise.

He also has a star, even though she’s a girl who has only just left school (Daisy Carino) who plays his Rita and he even has another girl to play Rita when she’s a little older (Ness Roque).

The film includes endearing shots of a better-off family in Manila. The drama is introduced so imperceptibly that it takes hold of the viewer like a slow-working poison.

A film that fascinates without clearly saying what it’s about. Maybe that’s what makes it so fascinating. The work of this young Filipino is yet more evidence that a lot is happening in Southeast Asia. It’s been noticed here in Cannes


http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/Wednesday/Features/20080527170517/Article/indexpull_html

Anonymous said...

This review by Diego Battle, an Argentine critic, is a litle bit incisive but criticisms are guidelines for growth (Rayianians don't shirk & become obstructionists to healthy discourse):


Cannes 08
Albert Serra lo hizo de nuevo
Diego Batlle, desde Cannes

El director de Honor de Cavallería presentó El Cant dels ocells, otra película radical rodada en catalán y en blanco y negro que recupera con gran libertad la historia de los Reyes Magos. También se proyectaron en la Quincena de Realizadores los nuevos films del filipino Raya Martin y de la francesa Claire Simon.

La Quincena de Realizadores, la sección paralela más importante e influyente de Cannes (nutre a cientos de otros festivales con sus descubrimientos), ofrece un circuito completamente alejado del glamour y los grandes nombres de la competencia oficial.

Cinéfilos, programadores de festivales, compradores de películas experimentales y los críticos más vanguardistas conforman una suerte de clan, de secta que se dedica a disfrutar de los Lisandro Alonso, los Albert Serra o los Raya Martin.

Con los colegas argentinos Diego Lerer y Luciano Monteagudo, que debemos cubrir los grandes eventos para nuestros respectivos diarios, alcanzamos a ver El Cant dels ocells en su última proyección en un muy simpático cine de barrio (Studio 13) ubicado bien lejos del ruido de la Croisette. Allí, con mayoría de vecinos y jubilados, pudimos disfrutar de esta nueva osadía llena de talento a cargo del inefable realizador catalán.

Serra redobla aquí la apuesta de Honor de Cavallería, la controvertida relectura del clásico Don Quijote, con esta minimalista, climática, contemplativa y, por supuesto, muy libre incursión en el viaje de los tres Reyes Magos en busca del Mesías.

La primera mitad del film es sencillamente subyugante en términos de puesta en escena, de planos bellísimos (como uno subacuático o varios en el desierto) y, si bien a Serra le cuesta sostener ese nivel de fascinación durante los 98 minutos del relato, puede decirse con absoluta convicción que el desafío del segundo film ha sido superado con creces.

Además, Serra -que le cedió un papel bastante importante al crítico canadiense Mark Peranson, que hace gala de sus conocimientos del hebreo- se consagra como un gran director de comedia física, una cualidad que ya se intuía en algunos pasajes de la relación del Quijote y Sancho Panza en Honor de Cavallería, pero que aquí se desata en un par de impagables escenas dignas de Los Tres Chiflados y que generaron la carcajada contagiosa de toda la platea.

En cambio, no resultaron del todo convincentes Now Showing, de Raya Martin, ni Les Bureaux de Dieu, de Claire Simon. El prolífico veinteañero filipino presentó aquí la versión final (en el BAFICI 2008 se había exhibido un Work in Progress) de esta suerte de home-movie de... casi cinco horas de duración. No la ví completa como para dar un juicio definitivo, pero está lejos de sus mejores trabajos y -luego de apreciar otras cosas suyas en el reciente BAFICI- empiezo a creer que este director está un poco sobrevalorado.

Por su parte, la directora de Ca Brule narra con el aporte de un elenco impresionante (Nathalie Baye, Isabelle Carré, Nicole Garcia, Beatrice Dalle, Marie Laforet) el funcionamiento de un centro público asistencial de París dedicado a la planificación familiar (anticonceptivos, abortos, etc.). Construido a partir de ficcionalizaciones de casos (y de testimonios) reales registrados entres 2000 y 2007, el film resulta más interesante en su concepto que en su resultado final, ya que se reitera y abruma demasiado. De todas maneras, no deja de ser una experiencia interesante.

Anonymous said...

Remember, Diego Battle admitted he didn't see the film in its entirety so he couldn't give a definitive judgement

Anonymous said...

Anonymous the clear-eyed:

And it seems from the early reviews of Now Showing that the film isn't at par. Wala na yan shock value at conversial blowjobs ha! Well, only Raya champions will extol his pa-artsy films, blindfold as Anonymous the teary-eyed is.

And so it seems Raya has a still a long way to go....

Anonymous said...

From anonymous the clear-eyed:

From the above review of Diego Battle, the following sentence is telling enough:

"I begin to think that this director (referring to Raya) is a little overvalued."

Indeed!

Anonymous said...

From Anonymous the clear-eyed:

Constructively, what Raya badly needs is storytelling/narrative skills.

My unsolicated advice? Start concentrating on screenplay.

And one more, his filmmaking style is not uncommon. What is original is John Torres'. Torres is the real new voice.

Anonymous said...

ay ako rin...! excited na ako sa magiging pagtanggap ng mga 'magagaling' nating krikitko sa serbis. pista to sigurado ako. pagalingan yan sa pag-outwit. patarayan yan. pahanginan. ay pistang pista talaga! bubulabugin talaga ng serbis ang mga nagmamarunong nating krikik. hahahaha. kaabang-abang talaga.

hahahah


kailan kaya palalabas yan. sana ang mapanood ko ay ung walang cut. gusto ko rin ma-titilate. titingnan ko kung mas magaling magbj ang pilipino kesa sa bj na napanood ko sa brown bunny.

kakaexcite naman to... grabe na.. kailangan mapanood ko ang serbis..

sana may promo din ung pelikula para kumita. at ang promo ay dapat related sa tema ng pelikula... halimbawa ganito: free blowjobs for every ticket purchased!!!!

ay kakaexcite talaga. kelan kaya to papalabas sa pilipinas. nagwawater-water na ako ngaun pa lang sa sobrang pag-aabang....

Anonymous said...

I think the Diego Batle article above should be seen in its right context.


Please put emphasis on this paragraph:
"Cinéfilos, programadores de festivales, compradores de películas experimentales y los críticos más vanguardistas conforman una suerte de clan, de secta que se dedica a disfrutar de los Lisandro Alonso, los Albert Serra o los Raya Martin"

Lahat ng pinag-uusapan natin so far ay na-sumnmarize sa paragraph na yan.
1) ang role ng mga power critics sa pagiging kilala ng isang director dahil sa parang "sektang" networks ng mga malalaking kritiko internationally (hindi ang box-office ang dahilan kung bakit naging kilala sina Godard,Bunuel,etc. ang mga "sekta" ng mga international critics ang naglagay ng korona sa kanila)At sa mga "sekta" na yan, out of the loop ang mga Asiano. Mahirap tanggapin pero maski magsisigaw tayo, di magiging kilala ang mga manok natin- unless we become part of the loop. & so far, no luck, our opinions are only for our own consumption
2. Nakapasok si Raya sa mga minamanok ng mga kritiko na ito (de secta que se dedica a disfrutar de los Lisandro Alonso, los Albert Serra o los Raya Martin")

Paano nga ba nakapasok si Raya sa mga nangungunang bagong direktor ngayon sa mundo?

I'll write this in stages, parang mahaba, but I think I'm in a position to share some bits to you. Medyo may naanakan ako na taga-Argentina kaya lagi akong bumibisita doon. Noong 2007, tiyempong nandoon ako in time for the BAFICI. Sa Argentina kasi, medyo may "film culture" sila. Serious business sa kanila ang pag-usapan ang pelikula. The mother of my child is very much a film buff & in her circle ay isa sa mga malaking critic sa Argentina na medyo naging kaibigan ko rin eventually. I was in the first row when Raya became famous in Argentina because I witnesed the big row- yes, a row, nag-away-away mismo ang mga kritiko sa sinehan & it was all provoked by a film called "Autohystoria"

(itutuloy)

Anonymous said...

As told to me by the critic:

Laging curious ang mga hispanics sa atin dahil parang long-lost brother DAW ang turing nila sa mga Pinoy. So the few Pinoy films they see, they try to show their appreciation(remember the Rico Maria Ilarde film that won in the Sangre Roja fest in Buenos Aires).
Anyway, nagsimula DAW ang interes kay Raya when his film "Indio Nacional" was shown in Europe- probably because it tackled the Spanish part of our history it was lapped up by the Spaniards. The interest was stoked by "Autohystoria"- & the ripples reached Latin America (through the critic network I mentioned above), & the center of film is BAFICI in Buenos Aires, where in 2007, they gave a retrospective to Raya. It was news because how can you give a retrospective to a 21 year old (then) with only 3 films? The first film show "Ang isla sa dulo ng mundo" was well-received, just whetted their appetite. The second film shown "Autohystoria" was another matter- right in the middle of the 37-minute walk, grumblings erupted in the cinema & the main critic of Argentina (former head of BAFICI) himself, Quintin, shouted the film is "una obra maestra" & curses flew across the cinema (parang Pinas kasi mga naglalakasang "puta" rin ang maririnig mo). Anyway, mahahalata na nahati ang mga kritiko- e, nagkataon namang andun si Koehler na naglabas agad ng article niya na he found the film the "most audacious film for 2007"- eh, alam mo na, pag Gringo ang nagsalita, the best third party mediator in any part of the Third World. Swerte ni Raya yung mga naglalakihang kritiko gaya ni Quintin, Oscar Cuervo, etc. ang kumampi sa kanya. This is important, kasi ang grupo ni Quintin ay kasamna sa loop ni Koehler, Peranson, etc. This is crucial because this is the group that would later catapult Raya to the level of Albert Serra up until then the darling of the international loop.

Si Diego Batle ay di kasama sa grupo ni Quintin, Koehler, etc.

Pagkatapos ng BAFICI 2007, parang Believe it or not, dahil sa "Autohystoria", narinig ko ba naman ito sa BUenos Aires:"cine filipino es elitista"- parang di bagay pero okay na rin.

(itutuloy)

Anonymous said...

The result: after the BAFICI 2007, maririnig mo rin ang mga comments gaya rito- mga elitista ang mga kritiko, etc. So parang nangyari, pag sinabi mo sa Buenos Aires na you appreciate the films of Raya Martin, parang sinasabi mo you're not the ordinary moviegoer- parang naging status symbol. Ang siste, naging defensive ang mga kritiko laban sa "Autohystoria" gaya ni Nicolas Prividera, parang fencesitter si Diego Batle noong una pero sabi ng kaibigan ko, kalaban daw ito. The battle line was drawn whether you appreciate films like "Autohystoria" or not.

When BAFICI 2008 came, Raya presented 3 films. Nagtaka sila, isang taon lang, nakagawa agad siya ng tatlong pelikula? Medyo nabahala ang mga pro-Raya doon kasi nakasalalay ang mga reputation nila sa success ng mga pelikula ni Raya. When the films were shown, only one among the pro-Raya Argentine critics wrote his critique on "Possible Lovers"- that was Oscar Cuervo. The rest were silent, even Koehler. To the credit of the group of Prividera, they also didn't write any comments. Parang nag-paparamdaman lang ang magkabilang kampo. Just to set things right, Cuervo released again a hallelujah critique of "Autohystoria", one year after it was shown, just to remind everybody of the "obra maestra".

It was only when word arrived that "Now Showing" was to be shown in Cannes that a word was heard from Koehler.

The buzz was : so Raya wasn't only able to do 3 films in one year but -4? Whatever doubts they had of 'Possible Lovers" was erased by the anticipation on "Now Showing".

So to say "Now Showing" was highly-anticipated doesn't begin to describe the excitement.

The pro-Raya backers are still silent but yes, I heard, it didn't turn out as they expected. Diego Battle, who didn't even see the film in its entirety, couldn't resist the temptation to fire the first salvo.

It doesn't mean anything. The big guns are still silent, you know, the politics behind film criticism work in its own mysterious ways.

Anonymous said...

From anonymous the clear-eyed:

I intentionally skipped Autohystoria but after reading the post above I'm now willing to sit through its next possible screening but of course at my availability. Who knows after seeing it, I'll turn a Raya fan overnight. But it still needs to be seen.

As for Now Showing, from the review of Oggs (I can see it was positive, as positive as any review he may be ready to churn out for any of Raya's outputs, it seems - is he, Oggs, a fan and champion? The answer is obvious, didn't say a blind kind though.) I have an inkling from gist of the content of the film, not from gist of the review, that the film (Now Showing) is a long shot from Autohystoria.

I'll reserve my comments on Autohystoria until I see it but from the accolades it got (well, according to its champions), it may well be the banner film Raya will be remembered for and judged against, maybe a one-time plateau he may not be able to or hardly duplicate ever again. My reservation still holds true: he badly needs to develop his narrative/storytelling skills if he wants to pick up and peak up.

Anonymous said...

Clarifications:

My commentaries above were intentionally brief.
1) "Autohystoria" was the most controversial but actually "Indio Nacional" was just as praised. More European critics included it in their best films for 2007 actually than "Autohystoria". It only turned out that the latter was the most controversial in Argentina which is understandable because my source was Argentinian. Ang nabasa natin ay ang Argentine segment ng loop, the loop ran through Latin America, North America to Europe. So it's not a one-shot deal for Raya.
2) Because of the very high expectation for "Now Showing", it doesn't mean that they didn't like it. Sabi nga ng kaibigan ko na napanuod niya, di pa siya maka-decide kasi di pa niya natapos ang pelikula dahil hinabol niya si Tarantino na may sked na kung ano at the latter part of the film. Neither Diego Batle saw the entire film.
3) again, I mentioned POLITICS in film criticism- you never know. I think it would be dangerous to presume anything using a Philippine context in deciphering where things will lead at this point. As I said, the big guns remain quiet

I hope I shed light in some misimpressions

I hope

Anonymous said...

babelfish, help!

Anonymous said...

Piolo goes indie again

Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 03:06:00 06/01/2008

MANILA, Philippines - Actor Piolo Pascual has started work on his third indie movie, “Manila,” a twin bill directed by Adolfo Alix Jr. and Raya Martin. “Manila” is a tribute to Lino Brocka and Ishmael Bernal. Piolo is also co-producer. Joining him in the cast are Rosanna Roces, Mitch Valdes, Jodi Sta. Maria, Jay Manalo, Anita Linda and Alessandra de Rossi.

Bayani San Diego Jr.

http://showbizandstyle.inquirer.net/entertainment/entertainment/view/20080601-140048/Piolo-goes-indie-again

Anonymous said...

mga putangina ninyong lahat!
anonynomous and otherwise! maglaba na lang kayo! mapapakinabangan pa kayo ng bayan! puro kayo satsat! puro kayo dakdak! kayo-kayo lang naman ang nagkakaintindihan! wala namang point! patigasan ng titing supot naman! magpakamatay na lang kayong lahat! matutuwa pa ko! bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

ps. at ikaw ed saludes! baklang chinupa ng tadhana! (paedsa-edsa ka pa. mahihiya sa yo si epifanio delos santos. saludes ka lang, baka nakakalimutan mo!) sana pinanganak ka na lang na tae, at hindi tao!
nagkamali ang diyos sa iyo ng isang letra e! putanginamong hindot ka! maglaba ka na lang ng brief ni tikoy! matutuwa pa sa yo yun! bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

HarryTuttle said...

Wow that's a passionate film discussion in here!

Oggs Cruz said...

Welcome to the Philippines, Harry!Hehehe

Anonymous said...

"ultimately fails to convince even on its own loosely defined aesthetic terms"

http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117937323.html?categoryid=31&cs=1

Anonymous said...

"Actor Piolo Pascual has started work on his third indie movie"

they use the word indie as though it were a genre...how sickening

Anonymous said...

cahiers du cinema review
http://www.cahiersducinema.com/article1655.html

Anonymous said...

i able to catch the screening of this film in shrangila. Its not a bad film but i think raya is still very much far away in achieving the polishness that Diaz have in epic-narrative storytelling

Anonymous said...

From anonymous the clear-eyed:

Seen this film also yesterday. My judgment?

Raya is trying to be Lav just like how Oggs is trying to be Noel.

It is confirmed: Oggs is a Raya fan and a champion. So don't believe whatever comes out of his mouth when his topic is Raya. You can hope he wouldn't be objective.

Another confirmation: Raya badly - I mean BADLY - needs storytelling skills.

There.

Oggs Cruz said...

Thanks Anonymous (clear-eyed),

I (or Raya) shouldn't take any of what you said as an insult. If I try to be Noel (and I'm not saying I am, I don't think I'll sacrifice my livelihood for what I feel is a very rewarding hobby), what's wrong with that? If I honestly think Raya's work is good, I don't think that should be taken against me. I'm not throwing objective assessments of films and as any level-headed reviewer would say, everything written here are opinions. Take it or leave it, the same way I allow everyone of you to write anything here, no matter how cowardly draped they are in anonymity. If you're looking for objectivity in opinions regarding film, good luck.

Final word, I'm never objective with anything I write. These are all opinions on what I think resonate, what I think are beautiful, what I think are good. To anonymous (clear-eyed)'s disappointment, I think Raya is a good filmmaker and I think the only similarity between him and Lav Diaz is the length of their films.

1:19 AM
Delete

Anonymous said...

filipino's must learn that insolence has no place in a proper film discourse

Anonymous said...

sorry oggs. sorry raya.

- anonymous the clear-eyed


PS. long live storytelling!!!

Anonymous said...

Uy, nanuod ng "intelligent" film si Anonymous clear-eyed"... nanibago ka ano? Parang di Pinoy film no? Sige, manuod ka lang mga pelikula ni Raya, masasanay ka rin sa katagalan... matututo kang mag-isip... Oo nga no, marunong din palang gumawa ang Pinoy ng mga pelikula na intelihente...

Buti na lang may Raya...

Anonymous said...

Anonymous the good side:

Yeah, cute cute naman siya... nakapanuod ng intelligent film. Congrats, Darkie Side... do it some more, you'll eventually learn...

wow, cute cute siya....

Anonymous said...

Hey, dark side, blow-out naman o, nakapanuod ka intelligent film. Uy, tuwang-tuwa siya....

Anonymous said...

ay pootah naman to. pakawala ka siguro ni raya noh. kaya intelligent film na lang ang turing mo sa now showing. grabe ka. salsalero ka tita.

Anonymous said...

sino ba yang the good side kase, nagkakalat na masyado yan dito. hehehe. parang siya si raya o kaya kaibigay siya ni raya o ka-sexmate kaya ganun na lamang ang pagtangi niya dito. tita, basura po ang intelligent film mo.

teary-eyed, patulan mo nga ulit yang baklang good side na yan. masyado nang nagkakalat dito. kakahiya. diyosmio.

Anonymous said...

potek naman tong si good side. masyado nang nagkakalat. hehehe.

Anonymous said...

obvious naman kung sino tong si good side. hehehe. masyado nang nagkakalat. kakahiya.

Anonymous said...

Dark Side, saan na blow-out mo? Naglulundag ka pa nga raw noong makapanuod ka intelligent film eh tapos magtatago ka ngayon

Anonymous said...

You're doing fine, kadiri na yung mga prosti squatter gay madada films, corny na. May Pinoy filmfest sa Paris next month malalaman na nila na kaya palang gumawa ng mga Pinoy ng di tungkol sa prosti squatter gay films kaya baka mandiri na rin sila sa mga makalumang neo-realist kuno na pinantakip lang naman ng ibang mapagkunwari sa mga kakulangan nila ng imagination (Social value daw para mapagtakpan nila ang kakulangan nilang mag-isip ng mga orihinal na kuwento) Ngayon buko na sila salamat sa iskandalong ginawa ng "Serbis". Maghahanap na ang mga French critics ng mga bigating plots next time (psychodramas gaya sa "Init sa Magdamag", etc), mga Eurasian beauties' romps gaya sa "Tempatation Island",etc. mga intelligent historical perspectives gaya sa "Maicling Pelicula ng Indio Nacional", among others

Actually, seriously, the Serbis debacle has produced one bright light: it exposed the tendency of Pinoy wannabes to rely on the 1980'a Brocka formula without adapting it to present sensibilities, na akala mo ang sensibilidad ng mga tao noong 1980's ay pareho pa rin sa 2000's. & I know some of those young directors are now starting to examine their directions post- Serbis

Again, Congrats, Dark Side, now you have an idea how an intelligent Pinoy film looks like

Anonymous said...

Mabuhay ka, Dark Side, manuod ka lang mga pelikula ni Raya & you'll be fine

Anonymous said...

btw, thanks to Raya, the Pinoys have shown they are capable of doing intelligent films, & the young Pinoy directors now know they don't have to be pa-Brocka para maging relevant, they now have other options to make it pala

the challenge for the Pinoys is to up the ante, up the next level, intelligent plots that really make you think, at di na lang nagpapalusot ng social relevance para mapgtakpan na gasgas na pala ang plot

gising na ang lahat dahil sa "Serbis"... now, the Philippine cinema will benefit

Anonymous said...

kaya blow-out na, Dark Side... not only because nakapanuod ka ng intelligent film kundi mas marami pang Pinoy intelligent films ang darating. Yehey, Dark Side, Mabuhay ang Pinoy!!

Anonymous said...

btw, dahil post-Brocka na ang mentality ng mga Pinoy cineastas ngayon, dapat tawagin na ang phase ng Philippine film development ng mga intelligent films ngayon na the "Raya Phase"

O, huwag ka munang mamatay sa inggit, Dark Side, blow out muna dahil marami pang intelligent films ang darating

Anonymous said...

siya nga pala. oo, may pinoy film fest sa paris next month. at ang highlight? retrospective kay raya. ay mali, kay brillante mendoza pala.

isa pa pala, si lao di sila nagkatrabo ni brocka.

grabe.. daming kalat sa paligid.

hahaha hahaha hahahaa.

macky said...

nakapanghihinayang na kung kelan may resurgence in local filmmaking, hindi naman kayang magkaroon ng meaningful criticism or debate.

based sa mga comments ng iba't ibang mga anonymous (mapa-pro or against Raya), mga filmmakers din yata sila. may mga pinagmamayabang pang mga 'inside information.'

nag degenerate ang discussion into name-calling and blind items. parang tabloid? eto ba ang kaluluwa ng local filmmaking? nakakatakot naman.

Anonymous said...

THIS DISCUSSION HAS TURNED DISGUSTING! out of respect for raya, i suggest the blog owner delete the foul comments - meaning the references to raya's ass and whatever sexual activities that have nothing to do with the film reviewed. just a suggestion lang po. this is your space and it is your right to censor those uncalled for comments.

- wilma

Anonymous said...

wilma,

don't worry, habang dumadami ang mga intelihenteng pelikula gaya ng "Now Showing", matututo ang mga Pinoy na maging intelihente rin kaya eventually ma-mamarginalize ang mga shock value acrobats na nagrerely sa mga kakatwa maging sa mga salita o pelikula nila. Wala nabisto na sila kaya hayaan na sila, matatauhan din sila na di sila uso

In the "Raya Phase" of Philippine films, only the intelligent will survive

Pero akala ni Darkie nakaligtas na siya, blow-out mo hoy, nakapanuod ka ng intelihenteng pelikula dapat magdiwang ka

Anonymous said...

I would like to repost what I posted above, to highlight the new surge of Philipine intelligent cinema:

the challenge for the Pinoys is to up the ante, up the next level, intelligent plots that really make you think, at di na lang nagpapalusot ng social relevance para mapgtakpan na gasgas na pala ang plot


kaya, Darkie, blow-out na kasi marami pang intelligent films ang darating, buko na yong kunyari magdadrama lang sa iskuwater pero kahit gasgas na yung plot great movie na raw kasi may social relevance daw (so 1980!!!).

So, Drakie, we're waiting for your blow-out for Philippine intelligent films

Oggs Cruz said...

Thanks Wilma and Macky,

While I am still adamant with my stance on comments moderation, I think I would have to make an exception with this entry since the discussion has turned into something very moronic.

Any comment (from an anonymous, or a dubious alias) that has nothing to do with the movie except to mudsling and turn this blog into an avenue for libelous remarks will be immediately deleted.

Take your intellectual fart-battles elsewhere, not here.

Anonymous said...

I just read that the cinema showing "tEMPTATION iSLAND" in Paris was full, mostly with European viewers. Now, many may miss it but the sudden disacovery of Joey Gosiengfiao has a very important effect on the Philippine movie scene- aha, so the young Filipino directors are now saying, we may not have to be pa-Brocka forever after all in order to be noticed abroad. We can do anything we want, let our imagination flow, & we don't have to be bored squatter-bound pa-relevant forever...


Yeah, nice... The Philippine movie scene has come of age... finally...

Anonymous said...

A Filipino movie could be intelligent like Raya MaRTIN's Now Showing or camp like "Temptation Island" & they're being shown in Paris...

Yehey!!

Ka Pete said...

Ang tindi ng baliktaktakan dito. Kaya lang, nakakalito. Anonymous vs. Anonymous vs. Anonymous. Hindi ba puwedeng mag-pen name mang lang kayo, pero mas madaling sundan kung sino ang para sa ano?

Oggs Cruz said...

I agree Ka Pete,

Andali kasi magbato ng kung ano ano pag di ka kilala. Maganda sana ang diskurso, pero walang pinatunguhan, pura siraan, asaran...

Anonymous said...

I believe now is excellent time to revisit the discussion on Raya Martin's ability to make a narrative piece. Anonymous (the good side) said making a narrative is a barbero challenge. To quote:

From Anonymous (the good side):

as a parting shot, seriously, I'd like to comment on one point of Anonymous (dark side):

"narrative piece is harder to do than the likes he is doing now"

Emmanuel Borlaza can do a narrative, Bebong Osorio can do a narrative- where are thse people? Narrative, hard to make? you're making a "barbero" challenge, dude.

Well, clearly not. Not for Raya Martin anyway who is getting a new film funded: New Spain. From press releases, it looks like a narrative piece. Guess who it's co-written with? Norman Wilwayco.

Is Raya on a Lav Diaz path or a Khavn path? Because while his cinema's more Diaz-like, his crew list sure looks like a Khavn-approved production, from pm to scriptwriter. Interesting discovery. I wonder if Khavn has noticed?

Going back to the narrative challenge posed here, I'd say Raya Martin failed. It's easy to bend rules but to "make something outstanding out of the givens necessitates skills, grace, and enormous talent."

I wonder how many years we'd have to wait to see a Raya Martin narrative piece, not co-written with a Khavn collaborator at that.