Monday, November 17, 2008

Silver Screen

Here's a list of the films I've seen lately (probably within the past month). We all know that I'm not a good film reviewer, so I'm going to say as little as possible about them.

I saw A Moment in June at the World Film Festival of Bangkok. I was quite impressed by the visuals of the movie. Very lush. Very Wong Kar Wai. Very In the Mood for Love.

The lives of the six main characters unfolded through overlapping flashbacks and a theater rehearsal. The story-telling might have been inventive but for some reason the film lacked an emotional connection. I was dazzled by the visuals but the unrelatable characters made it easily forgettable.

Serbis is in-your-face, and the filmmaker's intention might have been to kick you strongly in the gut.

I don't know why these really gritty Filipino films are getting more international exposure. Kubrador, Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros, Tirador all come to mind. I suppose poverty sells, no?

With Serbis, scene after scene of the despair of the characters were hurled directly at the viewers. I swear I can almost smell the stench of that crumbling cinema where the story takes place.

I've been longing to watch Happy Together by Wong Kar Wai, and alas my only only option was a bootleg DVD.

True to Wong Kar Wai fashion, the film's visuals were stunning. The use of heavily saturated colors and monochromes were fitting to the strong passion that runs between the two gay lovers who were pretty much trapped in Buenos Aires.

Of course the other strength of the film is the engaging performances of Tony Leung and Leslie Cheung. The script likewise effectively shows the characters' alienation from their relationship and their alienation in a foreign land.

This is truly an spectacular film that is worth watching over and over again.

Another film that I've long wanted to see is Pedro Almodovar's Volver. As with most Almodovar films, the story is a bit absurd, including a butchered husband and a mother who seemed to have risen from the dead.

Penelope Cruz dazzles in this Oscar-nominated performance.

This is truly an enjoyable film but still it does not measure up with the brilliance of earlier Almodovar films such as Talk to Her and All about My Mother.

Last weekend I also managed to finally watch Le Vie En Rose, which won Marion Cotillard the Best Actress trophy at the Oscars this year.

Holy mother of gawd, where do I start about her acting?

That woman freaking mesmerized me. Her transformation from a young, struggling singer into a full-blown diva was out of this world. The stages of her life could have been portrayed by at least three actresses, instead Marion Cotillard breezes through all of them with amazing brilliance.

Damn, I have never seen an actress totally own a role, a fitting homage to such an indefatigable artist as Edith Piaf.

Ay winner... I ran through the list again and I realized that the films came from Thailand, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Spain, and France. Wala lang, I just noticed.

Photo Credits: (1) Tomoya's Page; (2) KWEB; (3) Screen Rush; (4) Sydney Moning Herald; (5) Ferdy on Films.


Teng said...

my favorite scene in la vie en rose is when she gets the news that her boyfriend died. the camera just follows her from room to room, the shot is uninterrupted and you see all the expressions on her face before she breaks down.

i swear my heart skipped a beat.

jericho said...

pang united nations!

cling said...

Marion Cotillard was indeed amazing. She is a gorgeous actress but managed to uglify herself sooo convincingly...even Ms. Piaf's posture was mimicked perfectly. Amazing!!! And yes, Marsel's death scene made me cry buckets!!!

The Zen Bitch said...

hmn, from your opinion, ang dating ng serbis ay mala-live show (joey reyes); sandamukal ang sex, pero depressing na film, hay!'na-curious tuloy ako about it. ako pa naman, mahilig sa depressants! hehehe!

i also watched happy together a few nights ago at home; the film has aged well--the stunning visuals, great acting, and heart-wrenching story. naloloka pa rin ako even after seeing it many times na.

agree ako sa yo re volver: mas feel ko ang all about my mudra.

as for la vie en rose, i so luv the acting of ms cotillard; the movie, however, is so-so.

Lyka Bergen said...

Super gagah talagah ang Marion na yan sa Le Vie En Rose. Bruha sya! Winner talagah!

ps. Wala bang may pinakita si Coco Martin sa Serbis? Charot!

kawadjan said...

teng: amen to that. i actually held my breath throughout that scene. i wonder ano ang atake ni ate vi sa scene na yun no? just a thought.

jericho: ano fa nga va?

cling: truelagen. she is a force of nature! winner.

zenaida: true, true, true, true! truelagen ka acheng.

lyka: nagpakita nag si papa coco mo. in fairnezzz...


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