Monday, July 27, 2020

Pamilyang Ordinaryo (Ordinary People, Eduardo W. Roy Jr., 2016)

Brocka's children

Eduardo W. Roy Jr.'s Pamilyang Ordinaryo (Ordinary People 2016, now streaming on Netflix with English subtitles) is one of the many and arguably one of the best recent films to continue the brand of social realism Lino Brocka helped initiate in Maynila sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag (Manila in the Claws of Neon, 1975)--if anything, raises the ante on challenges facing the eponymous couple. Aries (Ronwaldo Martin) and Jane (Hasmine Kilip) aren't just homeless they're homeless teens, aren't just homeless teens but married homeless teens with a month-old child named Arjan (a portmanteau of both their names) dependent on their constant hustling pursesnatching shoplifting for bare minimum sustenance.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Neomanila (Mikhail Red, 2017)

Mother and son

(Available for free on Youtube, with English subtitles)

Mikhail Red continues his oddward journey with his third feature set in Metro Manila's mean streets--to be more precise in the city of Pasig, one of the more eccentric corners of the National Capital Region. 

Pasig looks new feels new, the colonial Spanish architecture you see in the rest of the metropolis largely absent; Pasig in my childhood was cogon fields and farmlands till they sprouted neighborhoods then factories then (in the 90s) commercial hubs. Once started the growth barely paused; have not visited in seventeen years but the urban setting of Red's film is an alarming combination of Blade Runner and Ghost in the Shell and an upgraded Maynila Sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag. I mean--even the slums look new, the grime just smeared across concrete walls, the garbage freshly deposited down narrow alleyways.