Archive for the takilya life 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!


2016 Life, Interrupted…2017 resuming take!

Posted in takilya life on January 12, 2017 by leaflens

WordPress has changed so much that I’m having a hard time reorienting myself with their new UI. Yes, it has been that long since I’ve been here. Laman ng buhay at lamyerda sa Pilipinas at Asya ang unang inatupag ng lola mo…pero hindi pa rin nakakalimutan ang pelikula, siyempre.

At dahil MMFF ang huling paalam ng 2016 sa atin, doon ko muna sisimulan ang pagbabalik-tipa dito sa 2017. Teka, warm up lang muna bago mag-take, k. K!



All quiet on the eastern front

Posted in takilya life on February 4, 2015 by leaflens

I can’t believe 2014 passed by without a peep from me here. Life takes over sometimes, and this is what happens: social media silence. But that’s fine. If you were expecting an MMFF review, I totally missed it since I spent the holidays in the province upon learning that there will be no gender-sensitive film judging duties again this year unlike the previous year. Too much controversy abounds! But that’s Pinoy showbiz life for you. Oh well papel. Saka na ang chismax.

But of course that doesn’t mean that I have given up on this space. I will do my best to get back on track, specially since I want to write more and do more analyses and commentaries this year. So we’ll start with the upcoming #Oscars2015 race.

Have you been downloading movie marathon-ing na? I have! Sige kitakits at nood muna tayo sine. Chikahan soon!

Roll cam, roll life

Posted in cinema studies conference, Cinemalaya, digital film, Oscars, Philippine Cinema, POC Pinoy LGBT channel, takilya life on November 2, 2012 by leaflens

Did you miss me? I know you did. Aminin!

Life was just sweepingly hectic in more ways than one. But since this hibernation break, I thought of blogging more in order to get back on track.


Teaching teachers how to tackle theatrical trailers. Teh totoo ‘to! [October 2012 Pagadian City]

But before I do that, I’ll ease into it a bit. I actually wrote some stuff which are film-related and are now out — but in other venues.


My editor at Philippine Online Chronicles’ (POC) Pinoy LGBT Channel asked me to review the Philippine Oscars rep this coming year, the recent Cinemalaya entry BWAKAW written and directed by Jun Lana.

My review appeared there in POC since the film is about this aging old gay man.

Here is that review. Seriously, I think this time, we have a contender.

Read up why.



And then, a paper that I have written early this year, presented in a cinema studies conference in Hong Kong last March, is now officially published in the Kritika Kultura ejournal. The journal has a special issue of Ishmael Bernal’s MANILA BY NIGHT and I was invited to submit a paper. I wrote about the lesbian character of Cherie Gil and intersected that with the genderqueer identity. It’s entitled “To conform or not to conform, that is the genderqueer question: Re-examining the lesbian identity in Manila By Night.” That paper is available here. The rest of the journal’s issue is here and could be downloaded as a pdf file like my paper. Enjoy cinema geeks!

Genderqueering academia. Story of my persecuted queer scholarly life. Hahaha don’t ask! Offer me beer and I will do tell. Charaught! [March 2012 Hong Kong University]

Yes, I have been busy. No, film-watching and critiquing were not forgotten, just overtaken by other avenues. But I promise that now, it will be back here again, ready for more.

Okay roll cam!

Databasing ang lola niyo

Posted in takilya life on August 18, 2012 by leaflens

Since Multiply.Com recently announced that they are shutting down, I am currently scrambling to extract my previous content from my old multiply site and transfer it somewhere. Bulk of the content there is my collection of film reviews done over the years. I will be transferring them here slowly so check out the new page I created na lang to catalog everything. It’s here, sa Now Nah! Showing page at the top of the navigation bar to your right. That list will grow as I add the old ones so keep posted na lang. If you care. Charot.

In the meantime, more regular film reviewing will be back here… with a vengeance!


passage of time

Posted in advocacy filmmaking, takilya life on February 2, 2012 by leaflens

I just realized that another month passed and still, no post here. Hm did I stop watching films? Not necessarily, but I did pick up TV series watching again though. But that’s for another blog.

Also got busy doing filmmaking stuff as well, and of course teaching film. Some things with family as well, and then there’s hanging out with friends and of course taking care of matters of body parts. You know what I mean.

In the meantime, sharing this with you, my article about the MMFF 2011 in POC Pinoy LGBT Channel. Wondering how sexist and phobic the films are? I did, too. That’s in my article.

And a photo of what I’ve been doing around town, this one professionally.

Zen Garden. More fun in the Philippines. (somewhere in Taytay during a docu shoot / Jan 2012 photo by superfriend M)

And there you go.


and the Oscar goes to…

Posted in Hollywood dream factory, Oscars, takilya life on February 28, 2011 by leaflens

It’s Oscar day today as I type this, here in Manila, that is. But back in the US, it’s Oscar night. Same same.

I remember where I was a year ago today. I was here, inside Stonewall bar, the birthplace of queer pride in New York City, watching the pre-Oscar red carpet show with a couple of cool queer friends up to the first couple of awards of the main Oscar show.

Inside Stonewall, March 2010 NYC.

Read my full Stonewall visit story here and

look at my Stonewall photo essay here.


Has it been a year now? Wow. How time flies.

But with movies, it doesn’t feel that way most times. Pictures freeze memories. What more moving pictures? That is what movies are all about — endless strings of moving pictures. And thus, movies make you flashback to times once forgotten and make you excited to look at scenes up ahead in time — regardless of the kind of movie you watch. Suspension of disbelief? Of course, movies have to be escapist fare sometimes; that’s why we follow stories in different art forms, actually.

Imaginative escape through artful storytelling.

I guess that’s just how movies work for me. Perhaps that is why I chose to study it in college, and why I — despite the negativity interwoven with the art form when it comes to the business side of things — continue to be involved in it right now, albeit indirectly, through teaching in a film institute (dubbed as “one of the best film schools daw outside Hollywood) and working around its allied technology called television.

Yes, I guess it’s about telling stories, with pictures and sound. That’s how I want to look at movies. That’s also why I love watching them alone or with people I care for and care about. And no, we don’t have to like the same kinds of films because that’s also the beauty of a film — you can agree to disagree with people about how you view such films. My film school buddies and I used to stay up all night until the wee hours of the morning just talking about films. This habit of movie marathon watching and talking endlessly about films never died, and I don’t think it ever will, for me, even if the people I watch movies with and talk to afterward change from time to time.

I guess like change, the only constant thing in this world is movies.

This is why sometimes, I feel a bit sad when some people immediately dismiss the (inherent) commercial aspects of films while some vehemently reject mainstream Hollywood(ized) films without looking at their merits first, or when some (former) friends and colleagues stubbornly deny the benefits they reap from working in the mainstream and hide in that easy disclaimer of  “Here I am, a sellout!” to avoid their perceived disdain from colleagues who chose not to engage in the mainstream full-on like they did.

This is also why I feel sad when people outright dismiss watching the Academy Awards as well. I know that as a structure and as an institution, it has its flaws, like the films it honors every year. But still, sometimes we just have to step back and enjoy the show, for this show is also a constant reminder of what movies are to people who watch them — movies as memories, movies as fun, movies as cultural products, what have you.

I have my own reasons for liking films, and most of them are rooted in deeply personal reasons. Yes, sometimes watching films became a lifeline for me when I needed it during certain parts of my life. And no, even if I dissect it for a living these past years, I still am able to enjoy watching them.

I guess for me, I can re-appropriate that feminist slogan of “what is personal is political” to one that says “what is cinematic is personal” as well, for that is how movies make such marks on me. Yeah, call it romanticizing but that’s what this art form manufactures most times — dreams. Why do you think they called it “Hollywood dream factory” in the 1940s? And yes, to this day, we still buy these dreams. And that’s not a crime.

So it’s time to relax once again, just chill with the images and sound, and just let the magic of dreams begin. No harm in enjoying the good stuff of life, right?

Roll credits.

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