Archive for September, 2007

THE BRAVE ONE

Posted in drama film, Hollywood dream factory, women's issues in film on September 17, 2007 by leaflens

[FROM MY OLD MULTIPLY SITE]

originally posted at leaflens.blogspot.com

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dahil hindi na ko makapaghintay…

…chichichiryahin ko na itong bagong pelikula ni jodie foster my love.

yes, my love, dahil ang tagal ko nang itinakwil ang debosyon ko sa kanya mula nang mapag-trip-an niyang maging mas action star-ish (FLIGHT PLAN, PANIC ROOM) o kaya’y dekorasyon sa mga pelikulang kelangan ng pag-aayos ng kwento (THE INSIDE MAN, DANGEROUS LIVES OF ALTAR BOYS). pero mula pa noong bagu-bago pa lang ang internet sa buhay ko e nauna na ang debosyon ko kay jodie nang masilayan ko sa sinehan ang kagalingan niya bilang aktor (THE ACCUSED, SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, NELL, CONTACT) at minsan din ay direktor (LITTLE MAN TATE, HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS) kahit sa sige na nga, magaling siyang umarteng hetero kahit ang ka-akting niya ay banban (SOMMERSBY) o sobrang bilib sa sarili (MAVERICK) pero alam naman naming lahat na ang tawag niya sa co-parent ng kanyang mga anak ay partner at matagal nang inaabangan ng sangkalesbyanahan ang kanyang pag-amin na siya ang aming numero unong diyosa. 🙂

but i digress. let’s go to this film.

THE BRAVE ONE
d. neil jordan
dop. philippe rousselot
c. jodie foster

it’s been a while since i’ve seen a neil jordan film. i like the way he directs because he knows how to visualize a well-written material. he knows how to communicate with his production people, his dop most especially, and the actors of course, that’s why he could get the most out of all of them and make one great concoction that is so meaty, refreshing, satisfying, and thought-provoking. similar examples are THE CRYING GAME and INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE.

hm, is it strange or is there a lot of homoeroticism going on in the characters of these two films? so it might not be a wonder if jodie herself appears so freakingly dykey butchy here in the film, which made me — and i’m sure a host of other jodie-devoted dykes out there — fall in love with her anew.

and fall is right. because finally, after years of hibernation, jodie emerges with a film that befits her stature as a great thespian. finally, good material for jodie! at eto na nga yun.

the story is good. she plays erica, a talk radio host who ruminates on the essence of new york city and its streets chever. she even records sounds of the city. at ang ganda kasi it’s been ages din since i saw a film focus on sounds as life ek. at okay ito. tapos maganda rin ang discussion na “why don’t my hands shake” chever na na-feel niya when she makes killings with her 9mm automatic gun. boy, would i want to do that din, no? kaya i’m sure daming babaeng relate dito kaya nga sabi niya regarding the many outraged women out there e marami kami out there. at tama siya doon. hundreds, if not thousands of women are harassed, abused or downright killed just because they/we are seen as weaker than men. kaya when she makes killings vigilante style, men, sarap lang ng feeling kahit visceral lang. as in. well, not really. kasi ako i also target shoot as a hobby before (rifle, not pistol) , pero not anymore, since i got my glasses. at saka wala akong tinamaan na tao. although i really wish… some people…

natatawa lang ako kasi iba talaga ang nakikita ko sa pelikulang ito. o masyado bang purple-colored ang lenses ko? pero kasi naman ati, sobrang dykey lang talaga ng hitsura ng lola jodie dito eh. from the simple colored shirts to the straight cut jeans and the fitting jackets, especially the leather ones! ang simple pero ang cool! and ang lesbian! hahahahaha. and the way she walks din. postura baga. sometimes she’s so andro, sometimes she’s so butchy, soft butchy nga lang, the kind i’ll make patol to hahaha and the kind i have been accused/labeled from time to time. hahahaha. hay…

nakakaaliw lang din isipin na ang galing niyang i-shake off ang kanyang clarice sterling fbi agent training of holding a gun at kaya niyang palabasin ang first time gun holder chever dito. winner!

winner din ang support cast, from mary steenburgen to that detective dude. okay rin yung interracial ek na ang fiance niya ay isang indian national. cool.

saka hindi mo iintindihin ang haba ng film. 2 hours lang siya pero hindi siya mahaba. maganda kasi ang storytelling pace, plus i also like to look at how rousselot, one of my favorite dops of all time, lights the scene. siya rin ang nag-ilaw sa INTERVIEW and other films i also visually love like CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, LA REINE MARGOT (with another of my loves, isabelle adjani), CONSTANTINE and HENRY AND JUNE.

gusto ko rin yung discussion na you become someone else when something tragic or traumatic happens to you. tama siya doon. kaya maganda yung characterization because it’s real and it’s honest. and most important of all, it’s valid. kasi tama, you never go back to who you are after you experience something traumatic, lalo na sa mga babae, be it as “simple” as being mugged or maholdap ka sa fx, ma-harass ng isang manyak, as emotionally complicated as experiencing the death of a loved one (relative, parent, friend, sibling) or having your heart broken for the first, second or nth time, or worse, being molested or raped. no, my dears, you never go back to who you once were. tama yung film, you become someone else, and most often, that someone is indeed a stranger. like how many of you out there feel that you don’t know yourselves anymore after such a traumatic experience? think about it.

that’s what i like about this film. kahit simple lang kung titignan ang string of events, marami siyang insights na papag-isipin ka deep down. kaya keri ko siya.

o bilis, nood na! dapat big screen. sayang dop ni rousselot kapag sa dvd lang pinanood ito!

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CAVEDWELLER

Posted in book to film, queer cinema, queer issues in film on September 15, 2007 by leaflens

[FROM MY OLD MULTIPLY SITE]

originally posted at leaflens.blogspot.com

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CAVEDWELLER
s. based on the novel by dorothy allison

the reason why i watch or buy books with dorothy allison’s name is that she is an out lesbian writer who writes well. short stories ang una kong nakita sa kanya noon sa mga lesbian anthologies. kaya nung nakita ko yung librong BASTARD OUT OF CAROLINA sa bookstore dati, binili ko. pero di ko pa ito nabasa kasi may nakita ako agad na pelikula nito sa video store. so being the film buff that i am, i watched first. and boy, was it heart-wrenching. hindi ko na mauulit pa yung storyang yun, so the book now remains unread to this day. hambigat kasi men.

enter cavedweller. i don’t have a copy of the novel pero what the hey, watch the dvd na lang muna. so that i did. and as typical of allison’s stories, it is set in some midwestern/southern (not so sure) state in the US where they have twangs where they speak. medyo redneck country so to speak, for lack of a better description. specialty niyang magkuwento ng mga kuwento mula sa ganitong lugar, ng mga taong not too destitute but sometimes too desperate in their despair. either it will hit you hard or it will make you feel so detached. with this one, i am rather detached. maybe it’s the way the visuals unfolded, or the story was visualized, pero something in here doesn’t work. i think it’s the pacing. the dramatic beat of the story may have been trying to appropriate the beat of the novel or storytelling pace ni allison in general, pero parang weird. masyado yatang mabagal for cinema to have it unfold that way. or maybe it was the detachment of the characters in the portrayal of their characters. of course, typical allison themes have abused women who run from abusive men. and to note, hindi nga pala lesbian-themed ito, kahit yung BASTARD, because that one’s autobiographical, kaya mas masakit panoorin. saka mas magaling acting dun. dito kasi, ewan ko ba. miscast yata lahat sila.

HAIRSPRAY

Posted in film remakes, movie musical on September 15, 2007 by leaflens

[FROM MY OLD MULTIPLY SITE]

originally posted at leaflens.blogspot.com

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HAIRSPRAY
c. john travolta, nikki blonsky, michelle pfeiffer, queen latifah, christopher walken and that dude in high school musical and the guy from xmen

masaya ito! this is based on the late ’80s john waters film of the same title, starring ricki lake. and i know those details because i grew up watching ang loving john waters’ films. sobrang campy pero happy. kaya nung lumabas ito noon, aliw ako! tapos naging broadway musical siya nung early 2000s yata, tapos happy rin yung songs, favorite ko yung “momma i’m a big girl now.” tapos eto, naging movie musical na siya, kaya three times na ang happy. happy!

ang sarap sumayaw. mahilig kasi ako sa mga pelikulang may sayawan na ganito, tapos mahilig din ako sa mga vintage nostalgia americana chenes na ganito, mga 50s-60s type ba. ewan ko ba feeling ko my past life was there during that time. iyan lang yata ang aspect ng american culture na gusto ko ng sobra kasi magaganda ang designs. classic vintage, colors, the graphics. ewan ko ba, type ko tignan yung mga ganyan e. kaya trip na trip ko ang mga diner set-up na restos kasi ganyan ang interior design, like our uber-hangout before na sam’s diner, sometimes dean st. cafe and now butter diner. hay…

tapos maganda yung pagkakagawa ng choreo na nag-swak sa pelikula. kaya pala ganito kasi nung nag-flash yung credit sabi e yung direktor ang gumawa rin ng choreo. na mabuti naman kesa sa yung direktor e walang ideya sa choreo tapos ifi-film lang yung mga nagkakantahan at nagsasayawan. ang chachaka nung ganun. pero eto, galeng kasi interwoven ang dance and songs sa language and grammar of film. hanep! bet ko sya!

saka cool yung kuwento kasi nito. integration of races in a racially divided america noon. plus self-image din ng teen girls. saka showbiz, or the business of entertainment. daming issues pero hindi heavyhanded ang treatment, true to the feel of the original film. kaya lang mas masaya yung noon kasi mas emphasized yung hairspray element. as in lagi talaga silang nag-ii-spray ng hairspray. na nakakatawa at nakaka-relate ako/kami noon kasi ito yung panahon na talaga namang nagtataasan din ang mga bangs at buhok ng mga babae kakagamit ng aquanet hahaha! tangina nabutas lalo ang ozone nung panahun na yun! the cobra hairdo! walangya. hahaha funny.

kaya lang medyo na-off ako sa audience nito. kasi the makers did a helluva pr job about john travolta playing the role of the obese mom. pero nung may mga tender moments sila ni christopher walken, some people just voiced their homophobic rants na naman seeing nga na dalawang lalaki talaga yang nasa screen. nakakainis! i guess the suspension of disbelief was not big on them. or talagang homophobic ang mga taong matuturingan. or both.

nonetheless, di ko na pinansin yun masyado. or at least i tried. basta i focused on enjoying the film and that’s it. kaya panoorin niyo na siya sa big screen kasi mas masaya kesa sa dvd, sensurround and all.

THANK YOU FOR SMOKING

Posted in book to film, Hollywood dream factory on September 15, 2007 by leaflens

[FROM MY OLD MULTIPLY SITE]

originally posted at leaflens.blogspot.com

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THANK YOU FOR SMOKING
c. aaron eckhart

based pala ito sa isang novel. it’s a very interesting story and a very comic one. hinabol ko sa cine adarna at buti na lang sa big screen ko napanood kasi mas epektibo ang dating niya.

maganda ang pagkakagawa, yung stylistics ng filmmaking were utilized very well dito at marami siyang mensaheng naipalabas. at ang pinaka-importante, para sa akin, ay ang “walang black or white sa isyu ng paninigarilyo at lobbying, puro gray area lang” na alam kong alam naman ng lahat pero hindi ina-acknowledge ninuman, kahit ng mga advocates of whatever. puwedeng sabihing anti-smoking ang storya or whatnot, pero i think the story shows more than that. it shows you many sides of a controversial issue and it makes you decide on your own if you will stand in the black, the white or the gray area. kaya effective siya for me. now this is a novel i’d like to read, too, if ever i had the time. gustong-gusto ko yung concept ng barkada nila, yung mod squad or merchants of death kasi yung isa, spinner ng small arms, yung girl tomador kasi alcohol naman hehe tapos siya big tobacco. tapos later nag-expand kasama na ang big oil, loggers, weapons of mass destruction at saka iba pa. hahahaha. nakakatawa. ito dapat inii-sponsor ng mga NGO na film showing hahaha. funny.

BRIDGET JONES 2: EDGE OF REASON

Posted in book to film, film sequels, women's issues in film on September 15, 2007 by leaflens

[FROM MY OLD MULTIPLY SITE]

originally posted at leaflens.blogspot.com

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BRIDGET JONES 2: EDGE OF REASON
c. renee zellweger

may isang salita na dati ko pang ginagamit noong kabataan ko dahil may tunay siyang meaning na narinig kong muli na ginamit ngayong matanda na ako ng konti sa isang konteksto na nakakaaliw at nakakatuwa, di taliwas sa orihinal niyang konteksto pero may pagkakaiba ng kaunti. iyon ay ang salitang TUMBLING. ang daming kaibigan sa lgbt community na gumagamit nito na ngayon e naririnig ko na rin kahit sa labas ng komunidad. like pag nagdi-discuss ng strategies ng anti-discrimination bill sa congress, sasabihin ng mga lobbyists na “magta-tumbling ako sa kongreso bukas” or something like that. kaya tuwing maririnig ko ang salitang tumbling e natutuwa ako…at oo, magaling akong mag-tumbling nung bata ako. na ang proper term pala, i learned when i grew up, was cartwheel.

bakit ko dini-discuss ito? dahil sa nag-tumbling ang byuti ko nang pinapanood ko ito. it’s bad enough that i get reminded of how sad single life is via bridget’s ramblings blah blah na kung titignan naman talaga e single life’s not so bad. pero she makes it sound so bad, kaya naiinis din ako dahil nakakadagdag ito sa undue pressure sa mga taong single diyan, lalo na’t babae ka, at pilipina ka, at hetero ka. grabe lang sa pressure. i have tons of friends and relatives who could vouch for that. you might be one, too. well, of course hindi rin exclusive ang singlehood discourse sa hets only. even lesbian women feel the pressure. read my article on that and you’ll know, especially the section appropriately titled “keeping up with the bridget joneses.” (http://www.isiswomen.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=259&Itemid=144)

yung unang film, okay lang. may humor. pero itong isang ito e hindi ko alam pero parang naging pathetic loser shit si bridget, na lagi siyang nagmumuni-muni at nagsususpetsa sa jowa niya. makes me think how the author of the book looks at single women, na kapag matagal kang single tapos nagka-jowa ka, you become some pathetic person who holds on to the relationship and flaunts it pa sa lahat or something like that. basta! nakakairita.

mas lalong nakakairita ang pinaka-reason kung bakit ako nag-tumbling: the lesbian angle. all along, yung pinagdududahan niyang mistress ng jowa niya e sa kanya pala may gusto, at hinalikan pa siya! tangina talagang tumambling ang byuti ko sa plot twist na itich! kainis! kaasar! para saan yun??? walang silbi. wala na sigurong maisip yung author. helen fielding ba? whatever. hindi nakaka-engganyong basahin tuloy ang libro. nyetah. buset.

*toingk!* (sound of me tumbling)

SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS

Posted in book to film, children-young adult content, dramedy film, women's issues in film on September 15, 2007 by leaflens

[FROM MY OLD MULTIPLY SITE]

originally posted at leaflens.blogspot.com

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SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS
s. from the novel by ann brasshares

since there’s a dvd of this lying around somewhere here, i decided to watch it when i saw that the young adult literature (YAL) novel na pinagbasehan nito ay kasama sa “teens read too” 20-book challenge chuva ng adarna house, sponsor ng barlaya YAL workshop na sinalihan ko. dahil sa YAL at amerikano at mga teeny girlies, parang alam ko na ang mangyayari sa pelikula, at sa libro na rin siyempre.

okay ang naratibo niya, not too exciting yet not too boring either. maganda yung concept na isang pantalon sinusuot ng apat na iba’t ibang personalidad na kababaihan at sa pagsuot nila nito e may nadidiskubre sila sa sarili nila eklavu. siyempre hindi positive lahat, dahil mukhang yan ang thrust ng YAL lately na napapansin ko, na bridge siya sa pagpapaintindi sa mga hindi na gaanong bata sa mga isyu ng mundo na kinakaharap ng mga matatanda at paghahanda ito sa kanila bilang malapit nang maging matanda. something like that. like two of the characters dealt with issues of death here, yung isa, si punk rocker filmmaker nagpapaka-goth outcast e nakakilala ng isang feeling close na bata na may leukemia pala, na nadeds. tapos yung blondinang soccer player na promiscuous e namatayan ng ina. tapos yung dalawa, dilemma ng pamilya at/o pag-ibig, tulad ng karakter ni america ferrer ba yun, herrera something, basta yung si UGLY BETTY, na may race issue dahil puerto rican siya at puti tatay niya na biglang nagkaroon ng ibang pamilyang sobrang WAC ang dating. tapos yung isa e greek naman at napaibig sa isang kaaway ng pamilya niya sa greece a la romeo and juliet na plot pattern.

so mga complex na pinagdaraanan o pagdaraanan ng mga teenager ang kinaharap nila. maganda naman nga ang paglalahad. epektibo siya bilang pelikula rin kasi nakita ko ang ganda ng greece. ang sarap talagang bisitahin ang lugar na iyon. i swear isang araw, i will be there and worship at the palace of my goddess athena hehe.

medyo naging interesante ako sa libro nang napanood ko ito. makes me want to see how the narrative unfolded through the pages. sige basahin ko.

NANCY DREW

Posted in adventure film, book to film, children-young adult content, Hollywood dream factory on September 9, 2007 by leaflens

[FROM MY OLD MULTIPLY SITE]

originally posted at leaflens.blogspot.com

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NANCY DREW
c. emma roberts

in grade school, my main tambayan was the library because one thing that our catholic coed school had going for it was the extensive diversity of reading materials in that library. and the geek in me was enticed. from the grade 1-3 small ladybug series stories with pictures to the complete collections of what will be known as young adult literature, that library really rocked. so from grade 4-5, i when i finished the whole Bobbsey Twins series (the purple ones), i skipped the blue-colored section of The Hardy Boys (because adventures led by boys didn’t appeal to me early on — hmmm, my earlier dyke was already coming out na pala! haha) and went on to the yellow-colored section of the Nancy Drew series (because i preferred stories with headstrong girls who rocked — my early feminist persona surfacing!). and yes, like the geek i was/am, i finished them all by the time i graduated from elementary school. meron pa kong nancy drew activity book noon na may mystery solving clues chenelyn. nahilig din kasi ako sa mga detective mystery chenes na yan when i was in grade school-pahaiskul pa lang. i even had a detective kit complete with fingerprint chenes, as in pre-csi talaga. and i knew what forensics meant na in freshman high school. also got hooked on those choose your own adventure type books in high school to complete that mystery adventure track of my teens. o di ba la talagang ukilkilin ang past ko hane? hehe.

flashforward to now. i don’t know if the makers of this movie actually read the books but i don’t know why the whole nancy drew set-up was dumbed down for this new generation, unless ganito na ang newer series characterization ni nancy na binebenta ngayon, unlike the original mysteries (at least the first 30 novels or so before). as in, super dumb ever na siya! ganun na ba ka-dumb ang generation talaga ngayon that they had to do this? kasi kahit young adult fare ito, generally 12-19 years old ang bracket, e dapat matino pa rin ang paglalahad ng kwento at ng nilalaman nito. okay, yun meron ito, but hollywoodized version nga lang. interesting yung story na may old hollywood star na namatay na may mystery pala sa bahay niya ek. okay yun puwede na, kahit parang hindi multi-layered ang mystery unlike sa books na talagang mapapaisip ka. ayaw na yata nilang paisipin ang younger generation na ito a. hmp, kaya nasasanay at natatamad e…

pero what i can’t accept is the characterizations of the leads, lalo na si nancy. hello para siyang sinapian ni lindsay lohan at hillary duff pero naka-period costume. what gives? labo. hindi naman ganyan ka-perky perky si nancy. smart at witty siya pero hindi ganyan! hindi siya kumakain ng perkyperky cereal sa umaga! not to mention the distracting sound score na peppered by “soundtrackable songs” na obviously plucked from top 20 radio playlists and anthologized into the ost for more! it’s just irritatingly distracting. ipod fare scoring sucks (as in, the songs will end up as ipod playlists of the young peeps).

and well, i don’t know why they didn’t just stick with the original gang at si ned lang ang nariyan dahil sa syempre, heterosexist ang earth kaya kelangan may male love angle ang girl. chaka. walang silbi si ned dito kundi i-drive yung blue roadster ni nancy! kakatawa. pero likes na likes ko ang caru na ito ha! i want one!!! na-miss ko rin yung sina george and bess and all, da orig barkada in sleuthing. george being a girl, ha, kung di niyo nabasa yung novels. feeling ko tibam yun e hahahah ipinipilit lang i-love team dun sa isang boylet. pero ang characterization niya talaga e sinasabing tomboyish siya. konting taon na lang e mag-a-out na yun dapat e hehehehehe. ayuz. i heart george. relate ako sa kanya ever.

my co-fellows and i were talking about this nga sa barlaya workshop the last day. siyempre bilang young adult literature writers, labs namin nancy drew. kaya dismayado kami lahat sa resulta ng pelikula. hay…

hm, talaga lang ha. di talaga nag-appeal ang hardy boys sa akin, kahit may tv series siya noon dito na sikat. hm.

oh well.

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