And after a week we were back at CCP for our second batch of Cinemalaya Movies to watch: Erick Salud’s Ligo na U, Lapit na Me, Alvin Yapan’s Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa, and fortunately I was still able to get tickets for Cinemalaya’s 2 Closing Films: Quark Henares’ Rakenrol and Jade Castro’s Zombadings 1: Patayin sa Shokot si Remington. I almost spent the whole day inside CCP save for the dinner we had at Harbor Square.
Ligo na U is a film adaptation of Eros S. Atalia’s book of the same title, and though I haven’t read the book for myself, I was able to grasp some of the insights on religion and feminism the author was trying to impart through the book. That in itself is an accomplishment because its really challenging to translate the numerous thoughts characters often have in books into a movie without it being too wordy or too narrative. And for the mababaw comments, yes Edgar Allan Guzman was cute, and Mercedes Cabral was hot, and they totally fit the roles of the geeky paastig friend in love with his liberal best friend. Pet peeves: Did they really have to insert the Kapamilya, Kapuso and Kapatid joke in the movie? I know Edgar Allan and Shalala are both TV5 talents, pero kailangan talagang ilusot? And the Sex scenes, was it necessary? I do have the feeling though that it comprises the meat of the book so probably the movie was just being faithful to it. And yes, the movie is for mature audiences only.
Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa is tiring to watch, because you need to think and concentrate to appreciate the beauty of this film. Poetry is intertwined with Dance to explain the dynamics of the relationship of the three main characters. There were parts where Karen was trying to make a point to Dennis and she uses poetry to explain it, and when it came to the part where it really made sense, I was saying, Shit, Oo Nga no. Langya galing! The poetry is really emotional and powerful, and how it comes together in the film is really amazing. I really wished I knew the poems used so that I can refer to them to explain. Another challenge in watching this movie is watching the dance, and the actions..because a lot of communication and meaning is expressed non-verbally, through dance, through glance and you really had to watch out for those or else you’ll be missing a lot. The poster might be misleading, the themes of homosexuality is not really explicitly shown in the film, so don’t get turned off by the notion that its another gay film, its not.
And fast forward to 3 hours later, Rakenrol and Zombadings were shown as the Closing Film for this year’s Film Festival..and the screenings were around nighttime already.
Two words for the Rakenrol screening: STAR POWER. There were celebrities everywhere, and almost 3/4 of the Orchestra section was reserved for VIPs and press people that the paying public had to occupy the third floor already. It was a bit annoying, and as my seatmate aptly put it: “Kung ganito rin lang naman, ba’t hindi nalang sila nag-pa private screening?” (If they knew that it was going to be like this, why didn’t they just hold a private screening?). If I can still call myself fortunate, I was able to line-up an hour before and occupy the front row of the Orchestra section, where everything was freakin’ huge and dizzying.
The movie itself is charming as it is. The experience of loving OPM to bits, forming a band, the gripes of dealing with inconvenient people, reality vs the starving artist, art vs pa-art, falling in love with your best friend and talking about it in an air-conditioned room, it was authentic, yet at the same time surreal with all those musician and celebrity cameos in the film (like Ely Buendia telling you that he’s a Fan of your band, and dining with your idols at a party).
And finally, for the last film of the night, Zombadings 1: Patayin sa Shokot si Remington. The CCP Main Theater was jam-packed with people up to the fourth floor, and somehow I ended up viewing the movie from the last floor of the 3rd floor, not being able to line up early. Never in my entire life have I seen so many gay people in one venue, as in lahat ata sila rumampa doon.
At the surface it is really a comedy film, and if its just comedy that you’re looking for, this will definitely not disappoint..Hahagalpak ka sa tawa! Though you can also choose to look at it for its deeper meaning or themes: how the powerful positions commonly held by men are held by Women in the film, how it was set in a rural area rather than the city, (and how rural folks view the City), the issue of homophobia, how gay people have their own language already that there needs to be subtitles for it to be understood, at paano nga kung may maka-imbento ng totoong, tangible na Gaydar? Or if you would rather not look for that, the fact that they have the most respected actors and actresses (Odette Khan, John Regala, Eugene Domingo) doing crazy stuff on film is worth the watch. The film will be shown in theaters around the last week of August so really, better catch it once it screens!
(This is a continuation of Cinemalaya 2011 Day 1 of 2)