Marxists, time travelers, winged creatures, and lone folks

Last week I've gone to the cinema twice. It might have left my purse emaciated, but I swear to the universe it was all worth it. On the weekends I accidentally started procrastinating again and indulged myself in film trailers, short films, and documentaries

Dammit I'm so happy right now

Hit the jump >>

September 17, Tuesday
Prior to going to Hacienda to watch UP Triskelion's event, I went to SM Clark to buy some stuff. Through promotional posters I learned that that day was the last day of screening of MMIF entries! Who the shit am I to miss such gold, eh?

Lihis (2013) | B

Lihis is about two male communist rebels, Cesar (aka Ka Jimmy, portrayed by Jake Cuenca) and Ador (aka Ka Felix / Ka Omar, portrayed by Joem Bascon) who fought not just in the struggle against social inequality and oppression, but also against their own internal conflicts.

The film sort of stated the obvious: escapist bureaucrat capitalists, the power of passion, rampant extrajudicial killings, and prevalent oppression and fascist system in the more rural areas of the country. One of the facts that are obvious yet frequently overseen (maybe by me lang, idk) was how massacres affect the survivors, especially those who are too innocent to witness such morbid stuff (‘twas embodied in the character of Putol, who was the alleged sole survivor of, and lost his family during, the Acacia massacre, which took place when he was still a kid)

When it comes to ideologies and principles, it raised a bunch of questions regarding
  • The application of the ideology in humanism
  • The importance of armed struggle in a revolution
  • The role of peasants, making up for 75% of the society, in the struggle
Sure, the questions were raised, but the answers provided were vague, so I cannot really see the sense of having those matters raised. The film didn’t really satisfy my thirst for ideology. It wasn’t even a bit comprehensive when it comes to the social issues of the time (70’s), sexuality matters aside. I think that the setting and the characters’ being NPA warriors were just utilized just so the conflict regarding their sexuality would have a venue (homosexual relationships weren’t allowed in the party at the time)

When it comes to drama, the only scene that moved me was when Ada (teacher, fact-finder, daughter of Cesar and Cecilia, portrayed by Isabelle Daza) was interviewing Cesar's mum. According to the mum, back then, her house was the only place where Cesar and Ador were free to be themselves. She supported Cesar's decision to join the armed struggle and knew about her son's sexuality. She expressed that the only thing she regrets about her son's death was that she wasn't able to tell him how happy she is that he has finally found a new and happy life with Ador, and that she supports their relationship

Ouch. That actually stung. Sakit sa puso

I’m not sure if Lihis is an erotic film, but when it comes to that aspect, I fell for dis shit. To be honest, although I have not the right to judge given that I’ve only seen very few local erotic indie films (i.e. Amor y Muerte, Serbis), if this were an erotic film, it would be the best local one I’ve seen so far! (Is A Serbian Film considered erotic? It definitely won me.) It turned me on. It even turned the gay couple seated in front of me on—they were so reactive to the homosexual sex scenes (one of which, btw, was played in slow motion), plus they kept on claiming that my Jake Cuenca is theirs /chos

I also think that the cast did their job well. Without saying a thing, Jake Cuenca’s character was able to convey to the audience what he truly wanted. I even had an even bigger crush on his character, because besides the fact that Jake looked so cute whenever he’s happy or sad (unf those jealous eyes), he was so very poetic and seemed to be very proficient in Filipino! Na-turn on ako. Poems in our language apparently convey stronger feelings than those that are in English. Poetic folks usually are stereotyped LGBT, but ugh, this one just laksjfklasjdf

I’ve had a crush on Joem Bascon even back then, but seeing this film intensified it. He portrayed this conservative dude who married Cecilia (aka Ka Sally / Ka Jasmine, portrayed by Lovi Poe) because he thought he can hide from his sexuality by doing so. Cesar’s continuous sending of love letters to him, though, didn’t help, so when he saw Cesar wasting himself away one day, he took him immediately in, and made love to him one time when Cecilia was away. Gulo ng batang iyon. Walang pinaninindigan. I found him puppy-cute, though. Hihi londe

Isabelle Daza looked gorgeous all throughout the film besides portraying a simple and medj militant character, but I can’t really say that I admire her for her acting skillz

Lovi Poe’s character is one of this film’s icon of conservatism. She was so conyo and so landi and siguro medj homophobic. This is the second time I saw her play in a film with militant elements in it. Hmm

I liked the film very much. However, just like any other film, it had cracks in it. First, relationships in collectives that are participating in the struggle have to undergo certain processes before it can actually be an established relationship. I only know so much, so what about the other stuff and processes that are employed by communists? If I witnessed one element in the film that depict something I know goes contrary to what really is prevalent in the system employed by the communists, then there may have been a bunch more unrecognized scenes that did. Second, I sort of find it weird how Jake Cuenca’s character still can’t fight those, er, primal urges given that he exhibited ample knowledge of and firmness to the MLM ideology. Finally, although I find it okay that the two took ‘til death do us part literally, I cannot take them seriously because of this particular scene:
Ador gets shot
Cesar runs to Ador, gets hold of him
Cesar screams, Adorrrrr!Cesar gets shot
Ador gets up, gets hold of Cesar
Ador screams, Cesarrrrr!Ador gets shot
Cesar gets up, gets hold of Ador
Cesar screams, Adorrrrr!Cesar hugs Ador tightly
Cesar professes, Mahal kita, AdorCesar says, Mahal ko four times
The two die
Seriously. Why don’t you guys just die once? Hahaha

Overall, I really liked it. It just turns me off that it wasn’t very original. I think the concept sort of resembled that of Brokeback Mountain, nahanapan lang ng bagong setting

September 18, Wednesday

The next day, my housemates invited me to an impromptu trip to the cinema. I was busy organizing for the pork and cuts forum which was to be held the day after, so after some thought, I tried my best to finish all of my tasks just so I could come with them. (It was too late for me, I think, to attend to the weekly fellowship service anyway haha)

I didn't get to see my crush that day, but it was definitely worth it
/talikod /hagulgol

About Time (2013) | C-

Tim (portrayed by Domhnall Gleeson) learned that he has the ability to time travel, which he used to get a girlfriend (Mary, portrayed by Rachel McAdams) and try to undo the shitty things he has done in life

Tim is a ginger who does magic. He could easily pass for a Weasley, but he had too many regrets in life. As was concurred before, he traveled in time a lot to fix things. Because of that, it made me think that the basic dilemma here was that he’ll be opening a rift through time and/or produce a bunch of paradoxes. Apparently, that outlook of mine was too science fiction-y to be applied to something meant to be romantic. I blame it on Doctor Who

The main dilemma of our hero here was that crucial changes happen every time he travels back in time, i.e. a different sperm gets to the egg thus producing a different baby. I think it is a pretty shitty dilemma, because if so, then all people should be in different random places when he travels at some points in time, too, i.e. Tim never should have been able to find Mary in the party at the exact place, and at the exact time. Man, where’s the consistency? If you’ll leave a bit of the story to chance, might as well leave the rest of it to it as well, right?

I have always hated the concept of utopia. Tim may not have been living in a utopian setting, but his life is perfect in itself. The universe has imparted to him a gift that would make him sort of a god, which sucked. That’s like perfection without reason. Another thing that made me sad was the fact that time travelling to the future gives time travelers a whole new set of memories, without getting to experience the images in their heads themselves (as was in the case of Kitkat, Tim’s sister, who, when Tim tried to not make her meet with her literally badass boyfriend, suddenly had strong feelings for Tim’s friend, Harry)

That’s so sad in so many ways

The characters are fine, I guess. These people are mental. Maybe people of the UK just are witty fellows. They gave the show just the right amount of humor. One thing I want to note, however, was that not all folks had an English accent. I guess the film had no time to explain why the shit that was, so that may be excused, I think.

The element of pop culture was also presented though Rachel’s hipsta characta, which I think is sort of amusing but arrogant. Also, although I loved Kitkat's character, I hated how it tried too hard to get the favor of the audience by being all careless and shit

Overall, I hate its concept of time travel. There are too many holes. The dilemmas were not just shallow and not very well-thought off— they were easy to point out and thus are easy to resolve, too. The film didn't really challenge the audience’s mindwork. I liked the tiny details, but not the film as a whole. I also appreciate how it pointed out that to be happy, one does not need time travel. One must live life in a way that he’ll have no regrets

I enjoyed watching it though because I can sing to almost all of the soundtrack it used. Also, Tim (the film's hero) is Bill Weasley, and Mary (Rachel McAdams) is Regina George (Mean Girls), Clare Abshire (The Time Traveler's Wife), and Irene Adler. Bill Nighy (Tim's dad) is Viktor from the Underworld franchise, and Richard Griffiths (Courtroom Barrister) is Uncle Vernon Dursley, who, sadly, in real life, just passed away half a year ago

Harry Potter, Sherlock, Underworld, and Nicholas Sparks fans, indulge

September 20, Friday

Midway (2011 short film) | C

Some of my friends commented that it was the videographer who has implanted garbstuff into the birds' innards. I don't know if that's true, but still, the message here is clear: so many creatures are gravely affected by human activity. Something must totally be done about it. I myself do not know how to deal with this shit. The only thing I could contribute, I think, is to lobby ideas like THIS to the authorities huhu

Me + You kickstarter campaign

This may not be a feature film yet, but it has impacted me greatly. I've always been sensitive about stereotypical roles in films, and I'm glad that I've finally seen the perspective of one who's been given such roles. Following the updates, the film apparently has reached its financial assistance goal just two days ago, so I'll just have to wait for the movie to come out. Hihi

Che Guevara: Life of the Argentine Revolutionary (2012 short documentary) | D

Informative, pero bitin. The film is quite subjective. Just... be wary of deception. Watch with an open mind

September 21, Saturday

Our internet connection seemed to be in my favor that day. I managed to watched documentaries, one of which is a little over an hour long through online streaming, without any particular disruption

BBC Famous Assassinations: Che Guevara (2007 documentary) | C-

I've learned that Che is a brutally aggressive bitch. Had I the time, I would have searched for a more comprehensive docu that would detail his life and ideologies *sigh*

The Aswang Phenomenon (2013 documentary) | A

At first I thought it was ridiculous, but it seriously is one of the best documentaries I've seen. SERIOUSFUCKINGLY.

Over the last 400 years, the ‘aswang’ has come to represent everything that is ‘vile, disgusting and evil in Philippine society’. It has become the most controversial, and popular, creature in Philippine Mythology and is the main subject in hundreds of movies, television programs, comics, and books. The aswang can appear in many forms- a young woman, a witch, a large black pig or dog, a corpse stealing ghoul, or the Manananggal – a self segmenting beast with a long hollow tongue that will feed on the fetus of pregnant woman.
Where did this word come from? Why are there so many different types of aswang? Why are they predominantly women? And why is the small Visayan province of Capiz suspected as their home? High Banks Entertainment Ltd. sets out to find the answers. His journey explores folk stories in pre-Spanish Philippines – re-created in animated sequences by Denver Jackson. He uncovers historical tales of social control and black propaganda by Spanish Colonizers, the Catholic Church, the Philippine Administration, and even the CIA – who all used the stories of ‘aswang’ for their own agenda.
The Aswang Phenomenon is the first in-depth documentary regarding the aswang myth – discovering where manifestations of the creature came from and how they evolved and embedded themselves in Filipino society. Learn how Filipinos have been transformed by the myth and are now evolving the aswang to fit into their developing cultural identity.
“Understanding where the ‘aswang’ came from is the first step in taking away its power and the fear it creates.”

I learned SO MUCH from this documentary. (I advise you take me very seriously when I type in uppercase.) From it I learned
  • the origin of the word /aswang/: asin (salt) + bawang (garlic), the elements that repel such creature
  • the tale of Agurang and Aswang (which are well-known in the provinces of Bicol and Panay)
  • why the aswang and the mambabarang (witch) is always depicted by women: Upheavals during the Spanish colonization were usually lead by women
  • why the manananggal can split itself into at will: Apparently they were the angels (hence the wings) who, although were involved in the great war between God and Lucifer, chose not to take sides and were banished to the earth. Some were split in half, and so goes. Also, stories of the Malaysian penanggal (a creature who can take its head off but have it connected to its body through its entrails) are adapted
  • why the manananggal's wings look like those of bats and sometimes are described to have horns: Friars applied the Christian imagery of the devil
  • how pre-Spanish communal life was like
  • that most of the "sightings" are reported to be in Manila: The aswang folklore is prevalent in towns where upheavals were usually held
  • why Capiz is known as the home of aswangs: Dystonia is prevalent among their folks

  • that such a creature is just a form of social control, an instrument of psychological warfare, to strip power from the babaylan, overthrow a rebellion, desexualize women and have children obey curfew

Suddenly I wanted to indulge myself in Philippine folklore studies. Who knows, maybe Bathala / all the other pre-Spanish pagan gods are actually the real deal?

Cargo (2013 short film) | C-

The short is set in an apocalyptic period, where zombies are starting to take over the world. It is about a dad who's trying to save his baby from being eaten... by him. I don't really find it sweet, and I don't totally adore it. The plot is shallow, but hey, it's original, I think

Noah (2013) | A-

The short exhibits how the invasion of privacy due to being praning ruins the invader's life. Sure the plot where a boyfriend wrongly gets jealous of some gay dude over his girlfriend and turns things to shit is quite cliché already, but dammit, look at how this thing worked! Everything happened in just the screen of his computer. This is fucking genius

This entry was posted on Monday, September 23 and is filed under ,,,,,. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

One Response to “Marxists, time travelers, winged creatures, and lone folks”

  1. If you would like an alternative to randomly picking up girls and trying to figure out the right thing to say...

    If you would prefer to have women hit on YOU, instead of spending your nights prowling around in noisy bars and night clubs...

    Then I encourage you to play this eye-opening video to unveil a amazing secret that has the potential to get you your very own harem of beautiful women:



Powered by Blogger.