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

Reviews

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Ekstra: Claiming Spaces for the Unheard and Unseen

By Gigi Javier Alfonso

Ekstra is the putting on the big screen what goes on in a day on the set of a soap opera production. Together with its many bits and pieces of narratives that create a complex montage mounting into a gamut of sounds, voices and images. The successful shifting of the lenses masterfully directed by Jeffrey Jeturian as it focuses on what goes behind the popular-glitzy-celebrated mainstream menu for millions of Filipinos, makes us stop… and think of all those who are unheard of and blurred by the engaging sparks, glamour and frenzy cranked by the busy production processes of a humongous television industry which in many ways is a dehumanizing system of production. Read more

Dukit: Carving God in the Image of a Sinner

By Nicanor G. Tiongson

In the Western cinema, filmmakers who have tried to create portraits of iconic visual artists in the narrative film have faced one and the same challenge : How does one depict in a feature film the process of creation, so essential to the understanding of an artist’s works, without ending up with a cold documentary or putting the audience to sleep? According to critic Jeff Hanson, some directors have solved this “problem “ by ignoring altogether the artist’s creative process and focusing instead on some unknown or sensationalistic aspect of the artist’s life, like the tumultuous relationship between Van Gogh and his brother in Vincent and Theo or the many dalliances of Picasso in Surviving Picasso. On the other hand, the more imaginative directors have gone beyond factual reality to weave deconstructive fables that offer precious insights into the artist, his works, and his times, as Derek Jarman did in Caravaggio and Akira Kurosawa in the Van Gogh episode of Dreams.Read more

Dukit: Material Na Produksyon Ng Ukit, Santo’t Buhay Sa Pampanga

Ni Rolando B. Tolentino

Matulain ang kwento at pelikula. At tulad ng akda ng sining, ang pag-unawa’t apresiasyon ay matutunghayan lamang sa kabuuan nito, sa masusing pagtunghay ng simula, gitna at katapusan bilang pagkilala sa materialidad ng paglikha ng sining, at ang alegorikong paglikha ng organikong artista’t manlilikha, etniko at etikal na mamamayan. 

Ang Dukit ay pagtunghay sa produksyon ng ukit, mga santo’t buhay sa Pampanga: ang magkahalintulad kundi man sabayang proseso ng paglikha ng sining at buhay ng isang manlililok, si Waldo na isinadula’t ginamapan ng tatlong artista sa kani-kanilang yugto ng sining at buhay nito: Bambalito Lacap, Bor Ocampo, at Willy Layug. Read more

Badil: Kung Bakit Nasa Indie Ang Pag-Asa

Ni Bienvenido Lumbera

Ang Badil ni Chito Roño ay malinaw na patunay na ang indie ang anyo ng pelikulang Filipino na matatakbuhan ng mga mainstream direktor na naghahangad makagawa ng makabuluhang obra. Malaya ang anyong ito sa mga sagabal na sumisira sa integridad ng bisyon ng isang malikhaing director. Tulad ng prodyuser na ang tanging layunin ay kumita ang pelikula sa takilya. Mga artistang matunog ang pangalan na ang unang-unang pinangangalagaan ay ang image nila na siyang binabayaran nang mahal ng kompanya. Ang tinitipid na mga kagamitang teknikal. At ang mga tauhang teknikal na mababa ang singil sa kanilang serbisyo kaya’t mababa rin ang kalidad ng kanilang trabaho. Read more

Bisperas: A Microcosm of Middle-Class Filipino Family

By Butch Francisco

Bisperas, culled from the Castilian word vispera or eve in English, means the day or night before a special event.

In countries where people know how to feast and celebrate, the eve of any occasion that is part of tradition is always filled with a flurry of activities. In the United States, specifically in New York City, the annual New Year’s Eve countdown in Times Square is even beamed on television to millions of viewers all over the world.

In the Philippines, bisperas is an often-used word among fun-loving Filipinos, especially in the provinces where fiestas are still big. And so we see locals who had migrated some place else rushing back home on the eve of a patron saint’s feast to be part of the celebration on the actual day of the festivities.

The two major events in Philippine calendar, of course, are Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. In the film Bisperas, the night before Christmas is used as the setting and time line for this film by Jeffrey Jeturian.Read more