Reviews

the celebration

8
out of 10

this film was a great way to introduce dogme95 to the world. well written and directed. a gimmick? yes. but all films have gimmicks. and to have made this film any other way would have ruined it. dogme95 may not have changed the film world as their founders may have hoped, but it did bring a beautiful addition to the landscape of cinema.


funny ha ha

9
out of 10

funny ha ha is a great film. slow at times, but not torture slow, its a reflection of what cinema can be. its sad, funny, beautiful. but such descriptions don't do the film justice; it should be experienced. whereas other films which depict the mundane come off as pretentious, this film comes off as sincere. bujalski is one to watch.


Dino Manrique's picture

An Experimentation in Honesty

9
out of 10

After watching this movie, I went to IMDB.com, and can’t believe that it got a lot of bad reviews from both users and external reviewers. The critic Ray Carney is right. When you present viewers with the truth, they don’t know what to make of it. We have been so used to the Hollywood type of filmmaking that we’re always expecting, subconsciously, to be told what to think. We want to have it easy. We want the filmmakers to think for us. We’ve become so intellectually and emotionally lazy. Intellectual and emotional couch potatoes.

Although the subject of the movie –- sex addiction –- is dealt with for the most part comically, it is still a truthful telling of this topic. The movie is telling us that this is how it is to be human. Sometimes, we just keep doing a particular thing because it’s who we are.


Dino Manrique's picture

A Successful Neorealist Movie

9
out of 10

"Kubrador" is done in the neorealist vein. Here's how Wikipedia.com defines neorealism in art:

Quote:

In cinema and in literature, neorealism is a cultural movement that brings elements of true life in the stories it describes, rather than a world mainly existing in imagination only.

Indeed, it recalls such films as "The Bicycle Thief," or more contemporarily, Abbas Kiarostami's "Where Is My Friend's Home," where we get to follow, literally and figuratively, a character, and witness a day or a few days of his life -- a snapshot of his life, as it were.


Dino Manrique's picture

Unseen Beautiful Angels

9
out of 10

Written and first appeared on the Angels website in 2003. Angels didn't have a theatrical release, but was instead shown on cable.

Angels, a feature-length digital film, which I saw last March 11 at the recent 14th International Women's Film Festival (March 4-March 14) -- screened at, and organized by, the UP Film Center -- is the best-kept secret of current Philippine Cinema, and then, Star Cinema. In other words, it is a beautiful film. What is surprising is that the UP screening is just the film's second screening in the country. The first was as far back as December of 2001 during the Cinemanila Film Festival. My filmmaker friend JP Carpio, who has made a brilliant digital film of his own: the first Ilonggo feature Balay Daku —- was ecstatic over the film. During the initial minutes of the screening, he typed on his cellphone: "[Expletive deleted]! So far the film is honest," and after the screening, was all over me, that I now forget the details of what he was saying. But to understate it, he was raving about the movie, and Star Cinema.


Dino Manrique's picture

Batang West Side: Winter and Discontent in America

10
out of 10

This review appeared sometime in July 2002 of the New Jersey Journal.

Last June 28, at the University of the Philippines Film Center, the movie Batang West Side by Filipino filmmaker Lav Diaz, was screened for just the second time on Philippine soil. Although the film, set and shot in Jersey City, has earned numerous awards here and abroad, including Best Picture in both the Singapore International Film Festival and the local Urian Awards--one of the more prestigious awards in the country--and the NETPAC Jury award at the Cinemanila International Film Festival, its five-hour length has prevented it from having a wider distribution. The accolades it reaped, however, have already made their impact, as evident in the standing-room-only crowd at this second screening.