Archive for the sine muni Category

Year of the Lull

Posted in Philippine film industry, sine muni, takilya life with tags , on January 2, 2019 by leaflens

Hello folks! It seems like I skipped a whole year, again, without putting a review out there. I’ve actually been doing that more on my public Instagram account whenever I post mini-reviews of films I see, which also get cross-posted sa public author’s page ko sa FB. You can follow that account if you like: @mx_libay_linsangan_cantor. My FB page is:

The year of the lull was actually not much of a choice. I also didn’t feel like seeing, let along reviewing some Filipino films that came out this year, especially the MMFF. While I don’t think I can catch pa the MMFF these last few January days because I’m stuck in bed with a nasty foot sprain, nakakawalang gana na rin actually manood minsan, mainly because of the chika na nakakapagod na ring sundan dito sa industriyang ito, sa totoo lang, industriyang minsang minahal ko nang lubos.

My film-active contacts have been chatting about these on FB the entire year. Lalo na come festival season. Like itong nangyari sa QC Filmfest, nakakaloka nga namang maghabol ka ng sinehan from one end of the city to another. Ang beef ko pa dun, ‘yung ibang movies nasa labas ng QC! Musta namang sa Robinson’s Galleria ba ‘yun o Megamall? Define QC nga, beh. Kalokang geography-challenged problem ituh. Pero nung nakita ko kung sinu-sino ang mga nagpapatakbo kasi nun, aysus… Hindi na ako nagtaka pa hahahahaha. But I managed to get one screening in, primarily because a former student/thesis advisee had an entry (na tinulungan ko siyang i-workshop ang script niya actually, upon her request). I missed the gala kasi, ‘yung kay Sam Lee, kaya I caught it na lang some other day. Apart from that, wala na yata akong masyadong nakita pa. Pero basta mga dati kong estudyante ang may gawa, I make it a point to watch them. Kahit ‘yung mga ‘yun man lang, mapanood ko. And of course, some of my filmmaker friends’ efforts din, kung meron silang ilalabas. Siyempre support din iyon, ever. The rest? Abangan ko na lang sa Netflix ‘yan hehe.

Ito rin kasing MMFF medyo letdown na ang nagaganap, after a hopeful resurgence. Industriyang bulok versus independent openminded thinking na naman. Like what I’ve been saying time and again, “Same mafia, different decade!” Kelan kaya mababago ang sistema? Okay na sana ‘yung a few years ago na may docu, then we go back again to the usual trash cinema cycle. Sino naman ang gaganahan dun? Although this has been a movie marathon ritual for me and my mom for years now, sayang at di namin magagampanan iyon for the past year’s batch dahil nga sa sprain ko. Gusto ko pa namang habulin ‘yung isa, ‘yung gay film ni Eddie Garcia. Sayang. Abangan ko na lang dun sa mga indie cinema houses na nakikita ko, cropping up in Metro Manila. Kakatuwang may mga ganun na! Bisitahin ko kapag may time, lalo na ‘yung mga nasa QC area, sa Maginhawa yata ‘yung isa saka ‘yung sa Anonas branch nung nasa San Juan na isa. Cool! They rerun the indie films and local films there na na-miss ko sa ka-busy-han ng life. I plan to see more of that there. Sige soon.

Sayang itong industriya natin. Minsan talaga two steps forward na, tapos one step back later, then one forward again, then three backwards naman. Wala rin. I thought one giant leap for cinemakind na ‘yung naganap nung mid-2000s with Cinemalaya, but what did it do now? It just produced a newer brand of mafia-like Kami-Kami Productions na naman, junior edition. Like bow down to their system if you want to make your film kind of peg na naman. And it produces egos with cameras, not artistic filmmakers, na kahit ‘yung mga nauna-unang batch of filmmakers ay nakikita kong nasusuya din sa pinuntahan ng mga fests na ito, once hopeful, now ewan na. Sayang ano.

The other fests were no better din, lalo na ‘yang Cinema One na ‘yan. Pero may mga taon namang umo-okay-okay silang pareho, tapos may year na lalaylay na naman o may kontrobersiya na namang puputok, na may kinawawa na namang mga tao. Haaaaaay crap cinema cycle na naman, digital edition. Nakikimiron na lang naman ako sa sirkulong iyan, kasi nga madalas nakakapagod na ang mga tired old narratives that get rehashed sa kalakaran behind the scenes. Ayoko nang madagdagan pa ang dumarami ko nang uban, sa totoo lang. Hayst.

Kaya stick na lang ako sa panonood at pagrerebyu from a distance. I plan to be more active in this department this 2019. (Sorry kung famous last words-sounding na naman ito hahaha pero pramis, talagang tututs na siya.) I’m actually trying to rehash and streamline my online existence, also to house all of my horcruxes online into a cohesive spot. Been chatting with someone about that last year, so let’s see how that goes later on, hopefully within this first quarter. Also, I’m thinking of creating a pop culture podcast, but that one’s just a dream for now. Let’s see.

Hay, sige cinema, hindi pa naman tayo divorced or anything. Siguro diet lang. Life’s getting too short to waste on bad movies and stuff, kaya focus tayo sa mga mas malaman muna.

And happy new year, folks. See you again soon!


What a year, eh?

Posted in sine muni on December 31, 2011 by leaflens

Wow, either I became busy with the world or the world became busy with me! Haha in any case, I have been watching a lot of films ever since I learned a few, er, tricks of the trade and upgraded my home entertainment system at home and all that jazz. So I wasn’t able to jot down a few thoughts here this whole month! And now, we’re ending it! My, time flies really, really fast.

But don’t fret, dear readers (yes, I know you follow this!) since I just came from a movie date with my mum and I’ll be dishing out my MMFF2011 reviews very, very soon — as soon as I recover from the bad flicks and catch the good ones! (Yes, I know there are good ones, let’s not lose hope for Philippine mainstream cinema…echos!)

On that note, HAPPY NEW YEAR and see you at the movies, folks! Expecting more great flicks to see next year… and who knows, maybe we’ll do one as well? Haha it’s free to dream!

Roll credits!

tinkering with my new toy / December 2011 Manila, Philippines

of Manila movie marathons and looking for American moviehouses

Posted in sine muni, takilya life on April 26, 2010 by leaflens

As I’m typing this post, I’m watching Entertainment Tonight weekend edition on cable, in what channel I don’t know. It’s because I’m here in the U.S. while watching this, California to be exact, somewhere in the middle they call the Central Coast area. I’ve been here since the latter part of March, right after a film studies conference I attended in New York City (I’ll blog about that in the future).

I appreciate showbiz shows like E.T. because it keeps me up-to-date with the movie news I always like hearing and watching. For instance, they’re heavily promoting Russell Crowe’s latest movie with Cate Blanchett, the great director Ridley Scott’s version of ROBIN HOOD due out in a few weeks. And as I flip channels, there’s a commercial of the TCM Classic Film Festival happening in Hollywood, Los Angeles right now, which I think began last April 22, the day my sister and I left Los Angeles to drive back here, after staying there for five days to spend her vacation from work. Heck, if that was in Manila, I would be there everyday to watch the movies. Imagine watching REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE or BREATHLESS on the big screen! Wow. Oh well, but that’s the point — I ain’t in Manila.

And that’s what I miss with being in Manila — our movie marathons. I would usually spend cinema time with my girlfriend or my mother, or the both of them, in our favorite cinema houses in malls nearby. It’s not that easy to do that here, but of course it depends on where you are. For instance, I am here in a huge apartment compound which is near a commercial area. But their commercial areas don’t necessarily have movie houses here. There are stand-alone movie houses here but they are usually located in the city’s main city-center area, or where “Main Street” usually is here in America, as I found out. Sure, I can walk over there, but it will take me about 30 minutes to walk there in a leisurely pace. Sure it’s easy to drive down there as it will take only 8-10 minutes. But since my sister uses her car for work and I don’t have a California license, I can’t drive it. And no, there are no subways, buses or taxis here that just pass by. Everything’s on schedule, and fare costs a lot. But of course, that’s my forex mind always converting rates.

cinema house at the Paso Robles park area

Yes, so in short, it’s hard to go to the movies here. It’s so unlike where I live back in Manila where the cinemas are just five minutes away or a jeep-ride away for more mall cinema goodness.

It’s not the same in New York City, though. I like that area better because there are 24-hour buses and subways operating there, as it really is a city that never sleeps (well, at least some parts only). Unless you don’t mind traveling out in the cold, this is perfectly okay. And when I say cold, it’s really cold! I was there last March, about two weeks of the tail end of winter. While I didn’t really see heavy snowfall (just for one day, some flurries), once the wind blows, you better be warm and covered and heavily layered! So traveling from your house to the cinema house is really an adventure in winter wonderland, literally. Sometimes it’s not worth it, even for avowed cineastes.

Wanna watch a movie outside during winter? Then dress like this.

But aside from the weather difference, it’s still the same. Movie houses there are not so accessible. Or maybe it feels that way because you have to take at least a minimum of one subway or bus ride to reach a cinema house, and then you have to walk a bit, maybe one block or a few more. But of course, this all depends on where you’re staying there, if you’re very near the cinema or not. Lucky if you live near. If not, tough luck going there.

Now I understand more the in-house movie services here, such as the Netflix thing where your cable-internet TV subscription or whatever the set-up has like a movie subscription where you can buy movies on demand. They say that a lot here, “on demand” movies. Or they could mail you DVDs and you watch it and you mail them back to the company when you’re done. It’s like a movie rental by mail. Amazing, isn’t it. Of course it only works in countries where the systems like the postal service work efficiently. Good luck running that in the Philippines.

So in a couple of days, I’ll be flying back to Manila, and maybe the first few things I’ll do is watch movies endlessly in SM Marikina or Gateway Cubao or Trinoma with my girlfriend. Even if it’s the two of us, it’s still relatively cheaper. Imagine watching one movie here in the U.S. for 10-14 dollars each. How much is that? With current exchange rates, more than 460 pesos. Hey, I could take the 140 peso-movie anytime. It’s the same, man. Plus I get to buy popcorn and melon shake. Solb!

I’m checking out the movies currently playing in the cinemas at home, and it’s cool that I will be able to catch some good titles when I arrive. Can’t wait for that.

muni muna

Posted in Hollywood dream factory, movie musical, sine muni with tags on January 15, 2010 by leaflens

Iniisip ko kung gagawan ko ng review ang ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS (THE SQUEAKQUEL) pero parang wala naman yatang masyadong makabuluhang masasabi tungkol sa pelikulang iyon. Unless makabuluhan sa inyo ang nag-cameo appearance doon si Charice Pempengco, ang wonder singer na youtube discovery ni Ellen Degeneres at pinasikat. Sabi ng girlfriend ko, ‘yung Jabbawockees (tama ba spelling?) andun din, sila ‘yung hottest dance group na pulos Asian-Americans ang halo, at may Pinoy din daw yata doon. Di ko sigurado kasi sa cable TV yata sila sumikat, e wala akong cable sa bahay mula nang lumipat na ako sa condo. Wala lang, ayoko lang. I can live without TV actually, but not movies, of course.

Hm siguro saka na lang si Alvin. Para kasing kung pagkain ang pelikula, potato chips lang sila. E ang gusto ko ngayon e medium-rare steak. So malabo. Hindi swak ang feel.

Gusto ko ring ituloy ang MMFF09 reviews ko pero parang gusto ko munang habulin ang dalawa pang pelikulang pinalabas ulit sa sinehan malapit sa amin, ‘yung dalawang drama na MANO PO at I LOVE YOU GOODBYE. Pero dahil wala dito ang aking constant movie date at umuwi sa prubinsiya, parang wala akong ganang manood muna mag-isa, kahit ginagawa ko naman talaga iyon.

Hm, daming isipin, ano? Kaya heto, pasado alas-dos ng umaga, gising pa.

Excited din kasi ako sa mga pinanood naming DVD kahapon, and THE PRODUCERS at MIRRORMASK. Ang galing ng disenyo ng huli at maganda ang script ng una. Natawa lang ako dahil sa Mel Brooks production pala ito, mula script, libretto at producing. Kaya pala parang may old-feel sa akin ‘yung humor na pamilyar na, na medyo may kalumaan na bahagya pero komportable pa rin at masaya, kasi nga Mel Brooks pala. Naalala ko tuloy ‘yung ginawa rin niya noon na A HISTORY OF THE WORLD PART 1 kung saan may Hitler-bashing din doon tulad sa THE PRODUCERS. Punyetang “Springtime of Hitler and Germany” na iyan hahaha namatay kami kakatawa. At si Uma Thurman! “Ulla belt now.”Gaga, bakit ngayon ko lang pinanood ito hahaha. Hangsayasaya.

Pero parang ayaw ko ring rebyuhin sila. Iniisip ko pa. Kung sa pagkain, ito kasi parang isaw at brownies. Pero nasa steak mode pa rin nga kasi ako kaya luz. Walang maa-achieve.

Sige sa susunod na lang.

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