Sunday, March 31, 2024

Christ almighty

Questioning The Passion of the Christ

Mel Gibson and his publicists have repeatedly claimed that his The Passion of the Christ is the most historically accurate of all pictures made on Jesus.

Monday, March 18, 2024

Gaano Kita Kamahal (Mario O'Hara, 1981)

Eternity and a day

Coming off the commercial and critical success of Kastilyong Buhangin (Castle of Sand, 1980), Nora Aunor, Lito Lapid, and Mario O'Hara put their heads together once more to present Gaano Kita Kamahal (How Much I Love You, 1981), a more ambitious more lavish production.

Wednesday, March 06, 2024

Dune: Part Two (Denis Villeneuve, 2024)

Done again

(Warning: details of both '84, '21, '24 films and '65 book discussed in freewheelingly explicit detail)

Denis Villeneuve finishing his two-part adaptation of Frank Herbert's classic science fiction novel and you want to ask: was it worth the wait? Was it worth the hype? Was it worth sitting through the first movie?

Friday, March 01, 2024

David Bordwell (1947 - 2024)

David Bordwell (1947 - 2024)

I remember him in the Hong Kong Film Festival, always at his preferred spot: first row, at the exact center, the screen filling his eyes.
I remember talking to him in between screenings, and on the ferry between Hong Kong and Kowloon: when I mentioned that 30s Hollywood films lost their visual dexterity thanks to the advent of sound he took exception; turns out he was right because he's seen practically every film ever made, or at least more than I ever did.

And while I'm trying to catch the latest and hottest films he's running off to some far-flung theater to catch the screening of a rare Hong Kong or Chinese film I've never heard of. If I was smart I'd have been trailing him.

I remember writing about his book Planet Hong Kong and having fun not just reading it but writing about it.

I still read his blog, an encyclopedic and authoritative resource for detailed analysis on everything from The Dark Knight (he hated it) to Hou Hsiaou Hsien (loved him) to Hunt for Red October (loved it).
I remember helping him access a few Filipino films, and him sending me in turn a copy of his book Poetics of Cinema. He was wonderful company, and an amazing (and amazingly thorough) film writer