Cinemanila 2000

Here's something from an e-mail subscription I have ([email protected]). Credits go to Noel Vera.

Cinemanila will be showing films from New Zealand, Iran, India, Taiwan, and the Sundance Film Festival. The festival will be held from June 30 to July 9, at the Shangri-La Mall and Glorietta 4 theaters. Call 411 9436 for more information, or log on to .

Highly recommended? The Iranian films are all gems. The Indian films--Bandit Queen, Fire, Janani, and The Last Dance, are reportedly very beautiful, and very hard to find. The Taiwanese films are also a rare chance to watch films from this country (one of their filmmakers, Hou Hsiao Hsien, was voted Director of the Decade by The Village

If you haven't watched the Filipino films, go watch them, especially Mario O'Hara's--he's our least known great Filipino filmmaker, possibly our greatest, as I think his retrospective will show.

Possibly the best--not to mention funniest, most inventive, and most outrageous--film of last year, "Being John Malkovich" will open Cinemanila 2000 at Shangri La Cinema, June 30, 8 pm. Directed by first-time director Spike Jonze, son-in-law of Francis Ford Coppola, and written by first-time scriptwriter Charles Kaufman, the film
tells of how a puppeteer (John Cusack) finds a small doorway that opens into the brain of award-winning film actor John Malkovich.

The film features Cameron Diaz, as Cusack's wife, and John Malkovich as John Horatio (Horatio?!) Malkovich. Nominated for three Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actress (Catherine Keener), Best Director, and
Best Original Screenplay. Nominated for three Golden Globes: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress (Cameron Diaz), and Best Screenplay. Winner Best Picture and Best Screenplay, National Society of Film Critics; winner, Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor (for John Malkovich!), New York Film Critics Circle.

Roger Ebert, popular film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times, gave it four stars and wrote that the film "supplies a stream of dazzling inventions, twists and wicked paradoxes." He adds: "The movie has ideas enough for half a dozen films, but Jonze and his cast handle them so surely that we never feel hard-pressed; we're enchanted by one development after the next." Janet Maslin of the prestigious New York Times has this to say: "Jonze's film…is not the first to explore the prospect of being able to sneak into the mind of another person. But Jonze's version is definitely the most fun."

Filipino Films
Mario O'Hara was once a close collaborator of Lino Brocka and wrote two of his best films, "Insiang" and "Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang" (incidentally giving a great performance in "Tinimbang" as Berto, the town leper). He is also a major filmmaker on his own right, having directed "Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos" (voted in a survey conducted by both Manila Times and the UP Film Center as one of the best Filipino
films ever made).

"Babae Sa Bubungang Lata," is O'Hara's elegy to the Filipino film industry, a heartfelt celebration of what it once was and a scathing critique of what it is now. His "Sisa" is possibly the most radical reinterpretation of Philippine national hero Jose Rizal yet made, with Rizal caught in a passionate love affair with his most famous literary creation.

Other O'Hara films include "The Fatima Buen Story," based on the true tale of a woman with a doomed and violent destiny, and "Bulaklak sa City Jail," with Nora Aunor as a pregnant woman convicted and sent to
the Manila City Jail. Showing on projected video are O'Hara's first film, "Mortal," the true story of an insane man who murders his wife, and his masterpiece, "Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos."

Climaxing the retrospective is the world premiere of O'Hara's latest work--"Bulong ng Balakyot," a strangely beautiful if flawed film about political turmoil and magic realism (the mix evokes the works of Gabriel Garcia Marquez) in the Negros provinces.

Raymond Red is the first Filipino filmmaker to ever win a Golden Palm from the Cannes International Film Festival--a feat even Cannes veteran Lino Brocka failed to accomplish. His prizewinning film "Anino," about a photographer wandering the streets of Manila, is a strange mix of social realism and imagination.

Other shorts include his "The Yawn," "Kabaka," "Kamada," and "****," some of which have been shown in Edinburgh, Hawaii, Hong Kong, and the prestigious Forum section of the Berlin International Film Festival.

British film critic Tony Rayns once compared Red's works to Jorge Luis Borges and Franz Kafka, declaring Red "a talent on a Wellesian scale; this kid…can do anything--write, direct, edit, operate a camera."

The Philippine Panorama section will include: Lav Diaz's "Hubad sa Ilalim ng Buwan," which was shown at the Forum section of the Berlin Film Festival. Mike De Leon's video production of "Bilanggo Sa Dilim," his adaptation of John Fowles' "The Collector." Ishmael Bernal's first film "Pagdating sa Dulo," a classic comedy on Filipino filmmaking. Maryo J. De Los Reyes' "Paraiso ni Efren." And Marilou Diaz-Abaya's "Muro-Ami."

Cinemanila also celebrates the independent Filipino filmmaker. Works to be featured include the first-ever digital video feature film to be made in the Philippines--John Red's "Still Lives," a Tarantinoesque tale about a robbery gone horribly wrong. "Motel" is a digital video feature made up of three stories, all of which take place in this one motel, and is directed by Ed Lejano, Emmanuel Davidas, and Chuck Escasa.

Independent shorts include Tad Ermitano's "Susej" and "The Retrochronological Transfer of Information" (a science-fictional mockumentary). Peter Chan's surreally black-and-white "Buwan." Sari Dalena's strangely lyrical "Asong Simbahan." Elizabeth Balitaan and Arleen Cuevas' "Taguan." Anthony Elvert's "Patak Kamandag." Erwin Romulo's "The Window." Louella Beltran's "Kisses." Crisanto Macaventa's "Bakas." Francis Pasion's "Bakit Tinutuhog ang Sampaguita?" And Jade Castro's "Hopya Love Me, Too."

Iranian Films
Majid Majidi's "Children of Heaven" is about a boy and his sister, and what they do when the boy accidentally loses his sister's shoes. The film, very simple yet beautifully told, has become a great international success, and is the first-ever Iranian picture to be nominated an Oscar for Best Foreign Film. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times says the film "glows with a kind of good-hearted purity," and that "the theme of this movie is so universal there is not a child who will not be wide-eyed with interest and suspense." Legendary film critic Stanley Kauffman of the New Republic notes that the children in the film "reflect a grave and winning decorum," and recalls reading about how Iranian filmmakers found children to be "less a restriction than an opportunity" because, as one filmmaker put it, "you can only find the hope and passion for life in children." Aside from the Oscar nomination, the film won the Grand Prix at the Montreal Film Festival and the Silver Screen Award at the Singapore International Film Festival.

Majidi's latest film, "The Color of Paradise," is about a blind Iranian boy, and his troubled relationship with a father who doesn't love him. The father is about to be married a second time, and thinks that the blind boy presents too much of a burden to him so he sends his son away to become apprentice to a blind carpenter.

The film achieves sequences of great simplicity and emotional power, against a background of ravishing natural beauty. The Iranian countryside--a land of misty forests, singing streams, and rolling hills--is photographed with stunning clarity.

Majidi's latest work is apparently gaining some notice; Richard Corliss of Time Magazine calles it "artfully simple,
beautifully observant of man and nature." Stephen Holden of The New York Times says, "as much as any film can, this explicitly religious movie offers a visionary experience of t


  • AnaliAnali Just visiting PExer
    Thanks for the info Yoshi and for pointing me to Noel Vera's mailing list. I just signed up as well. Do you know where we can get the detailed film schedule of Cinemanila? I checked their site but it's just a lineup of movie posters.
  • YoshiYoshi Member PExer
    Anali: I really don't know, but you might want to call up the number listed. :)
  • tightshottightshot Member PExer
    The line-up at cinemanila is really good nga raw. How come none of the government agencies or our local producers are supporting the festival? I mean isn't this event supposed to help improve the film industry? is there any politics involved that's why there's a lack of support? Sayang this is what our local cinema needs pa naman.
  • YoshiYoshi Member PExer
    tightshot: I guess the only government-related agency that helps this project is the City of Mandaluyong (Mayor's Office, I believe). I remember an article where Tikoy Aguiluz, the organizer of Cinemanila, mentions that to this day, he's still paying for last year's festival. Kawawa naman.
  • tightshottightshot Member PExer
    I just watched being john malkovich sa cinemanila opening kagabi. Ang galing ng movie! seems like this year's roster is another good one. I'm especially looking forward to the Iranian films.

    By the way Yoshi: I just learned today that Mandaluyong withdrew it's support from Cinemanila because of the FRB issue sa film industry.

    Kawawa talaga si Mr. Aguiluz.
  • flydermanflyderman Prendli Neyborhud PExer
    What the..... I MISSED BEING JOHN MALKOVICH!!! argh. :eek:
  • JDELEONJDELEON Saint in Process PExer
    BEING JOHN MALKOVICH is a MUST SEE FILM. It is an intelligent, well-executed script. You may be left with a few questions hanging, but overall, you will leave the theater AMAZED. The puppetry action (whether computer graphics or not) is beautiful and fluid. The concept is original and the way the actors and directors put it together does not disappoint. It makes you wonder, if you could be anyone else, whose head would you want to walk into?

    As a bonus, we also saw RAYMOND RED'S Palm d'Or winning short film, Anino. An indie production and it shows. A work of art and it shines through. The narrative is tight and imagery is gritty. It makes you look at Manila a little differently. After watching it, I can't help but wonder if there are indeed no such spectres haunting Manila.

    May Angels smile upon you,
  • Felix JimenezFelix Jimenez Member PExer
    Ewan ko ba, pero anything about Tikoy Aguiluz parang nawawalan ako ng ganang suportahan! So siguro iyung mga questions ng iba dito kung bakit hindi sinusuportahan ng gobyerno,etc. ang Cinemanila has something to do with Mr. Aguiluz?

    Just asking! :)
  • YoshiYoshi Member PExer
    I agree, Being John Malkovich is a must see! It is probably the best—not to mention funniest, most inventive, and most outrageous—film of last year. :D
  • flydermanflyderman Prendli Neyborhud PExer
    Yoshi & JDELEON: Great. Now you've made my life even more miserable. angry.gif

  • YoshiYoshi Member PExer
    Film Schedules: :)

    "Sleeping Dogs," "Bandit Queen," "Janani," "Punitive Damage," "Annaluise and Anton"

    "Directors in Focus (Mario O'Hara and Raymond Red)," "Here on Earth," "Annaluise and Anton," "The Bandit Queen"

    "Scarfies," "Smash Palace," "The Bandit Queen," "Annaluise and Anton," "Light It Up"

    "Muro Ami," "Annaluise and Anton," "Wild Games," "Return to Me"

    "Shoot the Sun by Lyric," "Channeling Baby," "Beresina: the Last Days of Switzerland, "Rosetta," "Yana's Friends"

    "A Pornographic Affair," "Yana's Friends," "Nang Nak"

    "The Martyr," "Rainbow Trout," "Tales of Kish," "A Pornographic Affair," "Nang Nak"

    "Wild Games," "Kondorn," "Annihilation of Fish," "Yana's Friends"

    "Eating Air," "Channeling Baby," "Hidden River," "A Poet," "Rosetta"

    "Tales of Kish," "Il Portaborse," "Holy Smoke," "Buwan," "Color of Paradise"

    "Il Portaborse," "Eating Air," "Hidden River," "Color of Paradise, "Return of the Idiot"

    "Wild Games," "Heavenly Creatures," "The Anihilation of Fish, "Nang Nak"

    "Tales of Kish," "The Last Dance," "Wild Games," "Fire," "Color of Paradise"

    "Directors in Focus (Mario O' Hara and Raymond Red)," "Hidden River," "A Poet," "Rosetta"

    "Pagdating sa Dulo," "The Martyr," "A Pornographic Affair," "Fire"

    "Signed: Lino Brocka," "Rainbow Trout," "Heavenly Creatures," "A Poet"

    "Still Lives," "The Bandit Queen," "Color of Paradise," "Beresina:The Last Days of Switzerland"

    "Hotel," "Channeling Baby," "Lithium," "Color of Paradise"

    "Bilanngo sa Dilim," "Rosetta," "The Limey," "A Pornographic Affair"

    "Return of the Idiot," "Nang Nak," "PI," "Color of Paradise"
  • Noel VeraNoel Vera Film critic ✭✭✭
    Buhay pa ang Cinemanila!!!

    "A Pornographic Affair" is almost as popular as "Being John Malkovich," which had SRO crowds (and during a typhoon, yet). Deepa Mehta's "Fire," controversial, banned film in India about a housewife having a lesbian love affair with her sister in law, should be just as popular.

    For more details on the films, and for the schedule at UP Film Center check out my article at

    Sorry, the Glorietta 4 sked in my article is wrong, but the UP sked of films should still be valid. For a more up to date sked on Glorietta 4, check this out:

    At Gloretta 4, for whole day each

    Saturday, July 22, Color of Paradise

    Sunday, July 23, A Pornographic Affair

    Monday, July 24, A Pornographic Affair

    Tuesday, July 25, Il Portaborse / Fire

  • Noel VeraNoel Vera Film critic ✭✭✭
    Last chance to see these films....
  • pinkmoonpinkmoon parker poser PExer
    Hey I think I mentioned "The Limey" to one of the organizers! Hehehe. I think Terrence Stamp is an excellent actor and his talents just run the whole gamut of abilities!
    "Pi" is something that should have been shown in Manila a loong time ago.
    Too bad Canada is not being featured this year, they have had their share of filmfest gems in the last few years such as the very original sci-fi thriller "Cube" and a rash of in your face documentaries. Hope to see them on the roster next year!
  • Noel VeraNoel Vera Film critic ✭✭✭
    Cinemanila at Gloretta 4 is still on till Tuesday.

    On Tuesday--Il Portaborse, and Fire.

    Fire is the controversial film about lesbian sex that was forced to close during its commercial run by violent demonstrators, members of a relgious cult group.

    This film is HOT. Don't miss it. Call 752 7880 to 81 or 411 9436 or 411 92 84 for an exact schedule.
  • asteriskasterisk Member PExer
    Bakit ba binoycott ng mga Filipino directors ang Cinemanila at si Mayor Abalos?
  • Noel VeraNoel Vera Film critic ✭✭✭
    Originally posted by asterisk:
    Bakit ba binoycott ng mga Filipino directors ang Cinemanila at si Mayor Abalos?


    I don't want to answer that. Too many facts need to be uncovered, and it's still too fresh.

    Officially, Mayor Abalos is not a sponsor of Cinemanila, and offically there is no boycott. That's all I can say.
  • chez-ochez-o Bollywood Icon PExer
    galing ng bandit queen!
    i missed fire!!!!! hay naku....

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