Cinemanyak Previews The 2009 Academy Awards

Cinemanyak Previews The 2009 Academy Awards

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Cinemalaya Day 3: Huling Biktima, My Pet, Panggaris, Trails Of Water, Tutos

Cinemalaya Day 3. Screened 5 films in competition. All shorts (Shorts Set B: Huling Biktima, My Pet, Panggaris, Trails Of Water, Tutos).

Reviewing short films is quite difficult due to the unconventional nature of the medium. So I'll just share with you how I felt after watching this set.

HULING BIKTIMA (by Vitaliano Rave) is a film noir about a detective's last minutes.

The shortest amongst the shorts in competition, Huling Biktima has the simplicity of a night time ghost story and the excitement of a good suspense movie. In just 5 minutes, the director was able to tell the story in full...from establishment to the climax to the denouement. Story telling well done. This proves that if you're movie has soul, it wouldn't suffer even if you cut all the extra "fat".

MY PET (by Anna Bigornia) is a 7-minute animation about an 8-year-old girl and her relationship with her first pet, a chick, the subject of a class experiment.

My Pet is the only animation picture in competition in this year's Cinemalaya. But surprisingly, I think this film has the most solid story line amongst all short entries. I was even amazed with the quality of animation. The film has the balance of the "animation lightness" and "cinemalaya seriousness". Thus, My Pet is definitely a short film to beat. The "Persepolis" of Cinemalaya.

PANGGARIS (by Dexter Cayanes) is about a prostitute whose life changed when her mute sibling learned to talk, uttering only the word "panggaris".

Initially, you may find this movie very silly. Imagine a man turning silver...and turning the lives of people around him. Feels like a myth? Well, that's the point of show how myths are formed and how real they are (even if they appear so fiction). Panggaris was able to effectively pull away from the Cinemalaya clutter by using a different approach...a rigged documentary. Clever...but often times, I need to remind myself during the film that I need to suspend my disbelief.

TRAILS OF WATER (by Sheron Dayoc) is an experimental film about a young boy's emotion as seen through his make-believe story.

Honestly, this film appealed to me. The story may not be that clear (and each one of us in the theater may have a different interpretation on it), but the way it was told was fantastic. The technical aspect of the film was great as well...great cinematography, great sound design, great acting. In fact, amongst all the shorts director, I'm most excited to see Sheron make a full length.

TUTOS (by L.A. Yamsuan) tells about the dynamics and complexities of a single father-daughter relationship in a post-modern patriarchal Filipino society.

The story line is predictable and formulaic. The parallelism between the father-daughter relationship and clothe-making was supposed to be its discriminator...but rather than pulling it away from the norm, it confused most of the people in the theater. Is it to deep? Is the writing bad? Is the sound not that clear? I don't know. Basta it was difficult for me to keep my attention to the screen.

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