The society of respected film critics that hands out the annual Gawad Urian in cinematic excellence

Reviews

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Endo: Depicting a social problem without pontificating

By Butch Francisco

WITH all our concerns in this world, do we even bother to pause and think about the circumstances in life of those people who wait on us in restaurants, the sales clerks who get the correct size and shade of shoes that we buy in department stores and those young food attendants who take our orders in burger joints? Yes, those people we snap at when they bungle up on the job.

Do we even bother with the fact that these people don’t even have security of tenure and that in five months they’d be out of job and out in the streets looking for another way to earn a living?

The lives and tentative future of these young people is what we get to see in UFO Pictures’ “Endo” (End of Contract), which won the Special Jury Prize in the 2007 Cinemalaya.Read more

Confessional: Interpreting truths through conversations

By Gigi Javier Alfonso

Confessional is a film produced by Creative Programs, Inc. through Cinema One Originals and Oddfield Productions, directed by Jerrold Tarog and Ruel Antipuesto with screenplay by Ramon Ukit (aka Jerrold Tarog). Early I would like to make mention of the acting as the core of this narrative. The performers are real and believable. This is a reflection of mature direction. Truly outstanding is Publio Briones III as the former Mayor, Lito Caliso. Lead actor Jerrold Tarog gives a sincere performance, he is likewise the co-director, writer, editor, sound designer, and he does the music score.Read more

Death In the Land of Encantos (Kagadanan sa banwaan ning mga Engkanto): Sabayang panahon, produksyon ng alaala at proaktibong cinema

Ni Roland Tolentino

Hindi ang kahabaan ng oras ang isyu sa pelikula ni Lav Diaz. Sa “Engkanto,” siyam na oras ang palabas, tulad ng naunang “Ebolusyon ng Pamilyang Pilipino” at “Heremias.” Sino ang handang maglaan ng isang araw ng kanilang gising na buhay para sa pelikula ni Diaz?

Sa aking palagay, isinulat ni Nil Baskar sa “Poetic Post-mortem” ang pinakamataas na pagpuri sa mga pelikula ni Diaz:

[...] “Death in the Land of Encantos” proved to be a wholly enchanting experience, both a lesson in cinema’s capacity to profoundly shape time and space, as well as a rediscovery of its fundamental gestures, of conceiving an associating images with true artistic and political necessities. It confirmed that the work of Lav Diaz is not unique because of its epic length, but because of its original ideas and its confidence in telling a story with purely cinematic means as something that is becoming quite rare and even strange to observe in these times, when it seems that so much of contemporary cinema has elected a noncommittal and ironic detachment from everything and anything.Read more

Endo: Dead-end fate

By Lito B. Zulueta

Jade Castro’s “Endo” is a totally revealing and very effective depiction of the plight of “end-of-contract” workers, who are forever consigned to contractual status by a global economy in which the profit bottom line is considered an absolute.

The movie, which won the special jury prize of the 2007 Cinemalaya, tells of the romantic and economic struggles of Leo (Jason Abalos), a college dropout who finds it more and more difficult to play the role of family breadwinner as he hops from one short-lived service-oriented job to another. Meanwhile, he also struggles to keep the flame of romance alive between him and Tanya (Ina Feleo), his very spirited and more employable girlfriend, who represents the dream of permanence and stability that he cannot have.

The movie is really about star-crossed lovers in the harsh setting of labor economics. It’s romance and labor relations all rolled into one. Leo’s inability to land a stable job, one that would provide him security of tenure and security of benefits, is reflected in his inability to find an anchor in his relationships.Read more