26
Jul
11

Movie Review: Cinemalaya 2011 Short Films

FILM: UNA DIUTA Y MUNDO

Not so sure if it tries its darn best to look and feel like an intellectual project. This is kind of short film that alienates and turns off casual moviegoers. The hell. Or as I originally said minutes after watching: the f*ck is that?

RATING: C

FILM: SAMARITO

Even before the festival commenced, this entry has been the on everyone’s lips not for any other reason but for the controversy the director generated. Rafa Santos and his big mouth is more sensational than his short film. Though there is a clear beginning, middle and end; it is quite predictable, deprived of the element of surprise. The “shaking hands” acting of the lead character elicited chuckles during the Greenbelt screening. Guess that sums it all: a supposedly serious and macabre delivering laughs. (I am tempted to insert a crackers-cat food joke here but in the spirit of compassion.)

RATING: C

FILM: WALANG KATAPUSANG KWARTO

Question: is a dialogue-driven short film a lock on screenplay prize if most of its competition has little or no lines at all? Some kind of a default choice. Except for certain lines from reminiscent text jokes and cringe-inducing inspirational messages, the conversations between the characters are at best, hilariously witty. (Personal Pick: “Kailangan sa Math na ‘yan tumanda na para ma-solve ang sarili niyang problema.”) There is also a surprise ending. Though this is not my choice to take home the top prize, it still one of the top three short film entries this year.

Citation: Best Film and Best Screenplay (Emerson Reyes)

RATING: B+

FILM: EVERY OTHER TIME

After the screening, the girl in front of me started discussing the films to her friend. She proceeded enumerating all the entries then paused, “Teka. Apat lang ito. Ano iyong isang nakalimutan ko?” Her friend replied, “Iyong tungkol sa cellphone.” “Ah! Oo nga. Forgettable kasi,” the girl retorts. Ouch. The tale of a party animal who keeps losing his expensive smart phones is not exactly forgettable; it just feels too konyotik (Good thing the lead character did not utter the blood-curdling “dude-pare” combo or else this review will be less tolerant.) Despite its glossiness, this entry is a mediocre one.

RATING: B-

FILM: NINO BONITO

Such an adorable lead character! Boni raps. Boni raps all the time. Boni raps while discussing something with her drug addicted mother. Boni raps while talking back to his drug addicted and snatcher of a stepfather. Boni raps while delivering food to his rugby-sniffing brother. Boni raps while cleaning and praying to his collection of saints. Boni raps. Boni raps all the time. His adorable presence merits a high rating. Oh. Boni corrects us. He is not rapping. He is flip-topping.

Citation: Best Director (Rommel Tolentino)

RATING: A-

FILM: HANAPBUHAY

Solid. This Special Jury Prize awardee is a nice surprise in the short film competition. After 5 films, I felt that there is not much to look forward to unlike in the previous where at least half of the entries are exceptionally entertaining. Then this story of a man with an unusual job came along. The first scenes seem a bit a confusing. Why is he intentionally breaking the medicines and other paraphernalia in a medical mission? Why did he save the life of a suicidal stranger then felt bad after one of his neighbors did not get hurt from a possible vehicular accident? Then his occupation is revealed. No artistic shots. No complicated camera angles. No incomprehensible philosophical waffles. Just a fine and simple narration. Solid.

Citation: Special Jury Prize

RATING: A

FILM: OLIVER’S APARTMENT

I thought I’ll find this film relatable as it centers on an obsessive-compulsive man. Nah. His routine is too OC for me. Clinical mask. Disposable gloves. Plastic-wrapped shoes. Too much. There is a story somewhere but it is tuck inside unnecessary repetitive scenes. Glossy but still does not make the cut.

RATING: B-

FILM: IMMANUEL

Ping Medina and Meryl Soriano stars in this science-fiction short film set in the future. The Philippines is suffering from the ill-effects of a huge population. Couples are encouraged to stop making babies because resources are scarce. One is enough. The most basic requirement of life – oxygen – is rationed in cube form. Single persons are provided 2 oxygen cubes and married ones are afforded with 3 oxygen cubes. Everyone is expected to wear a breathing apparatus as the air has become poisonous. It is my first time to see an SF short film entry in the festival so I find it refreshing. The narration extended a bit. Not the best effort but a good start. More science-fiction entries. Please.

RATING: B-

FILM: DEBUT

Complete. Short. Predictable.

RATING: B

FILM: HAZARD

Complete. Long. Predictable. There is something humorous and sincere in the relationship of the father-son characters but it took some time before the point of the film progresses that one can foresee its conclusion. I did.

RATING: B-

Note: schedule of short film competition in UP Diliman

AUGUST 4 (5:00PM): Short Film Competition A

AUGUST 5 (5:00pm):  Short Film Competition B

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4 Responses to “Movie Review: Cinemalaya 2011 Short Films”


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