Saturday, December 19, 2020

Kisapmata (Mike de Leon)

All in the family

(Restored and with English subtitles, available for a limited time (Dec. 19, 7 AM to 11 PM Manila time, or Dec. 18, 7 PM to 11 AM Eastern))

Kisapmata (Blink) starts off quietly enough, with Mila Carandang (Charo Santos) informing her parents Mang Dadong (Vic Silayan) and Adelina (Charito Solis) that she's getting married to Noel (Jay Ilagan). Harmless enough scene--only why does Mila look like she's about to set off a hand grenade in the living room and why does Adelina pad quietly to the kitchen to fetch an ice pack for Dadong's sudden migraine, flattening her body against the wall when passing his chair?

Little details like that don't just embellish Mike De Leon's film but define it, set a tone that De Leon sustains throughout, that of a horror comedy.

A horror comedy? But let me explain.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Mank (David Fincher, 2020)


Not here to bury Mank; I defer to Welles specialist Joseph McBride's demolition job which may be angry but also densely authoritatively detailed-- he knows of what he speaks. Me? Just here to put my two centavos in.

Friday, December 04, 2020

Midnight in a Perfect World (Dodo Dayao, 2020)

History made at night

I thought Violator-- Dodo Dayao's debut feature-- to be one of the most intriguing of recent horrors; think Kurosawa Kiyoshi doing a punk remake of Rio Bravo, with Hawks' sticks of dynamite swapped out for the apocalypse. Midnight in a Perfect World sees Dayao stepping up his game, this time proposing a semi-utopian society afflicted with both drug use and police fascism. 

Thursday, December 03, 2020

Best of 1998

1998: the good, the bad, and the ugly 

1998 is a good year for films, but the good weren’t the ones you’d expect, and  didn’t come from where you’d expect.