Ang Pagdadalaga Ni Maximo Oliveros: Growing up gay, grim and determined
By Lito B. Zulueta
“Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros” has a deceptive charm that seems not to have faded since it became the crowd-pleaser and the Special Jury Prize winner in the first Cinemalaya independent film festival in 2005. A character study on the titillating subject of a poor homosexual kid’s coming of age, it easily shows the seemingly limitless capacity of digital cinema to provide new spins to tired narratives and concerns, endowing them with freshness, venturing new discoveries, and creating new worlds.
But looking back now, however, the achievement of Maximo Oliveros is even more astounding. Here’s an utterly small film about an utterly self-effacing character, a slum kid growing up gay and carefree, suddenly smitten by puppy love, but suddenly subjected to the ruthless social realities of the adult world, is forced to grow up and emerge not exactly unscathed but definitely unbowed.Read more
Ebolusyon ng Pamilyang Pilipino (2004): The Digital Revolution Comes Full Circle
By Lito B. Zulueta
When it was nominated for the Gawad Urian best picture award in 2004, it was warned that Lav Diaz’s “Ebolusyon ng Pamilyang Pilipino” might trigger a revolution. Seven years later, the revolution has been fully realized, and it’s tectonic—nothing less than a sweeping artistic ferment set off by the digital upheaval.
“Ebolusyon” was the first full-length digital film in Philippine history and by its sheer length—more than 10 hours!—it’s very remote we would ever forget that milestone. A marathon screening of the movie embodies its length and breadth, a virtual-reality tour of what its comprehensive narrative tries to capture: the epic tale of the Filipino nation.Read more
Magnifico: Tearjerker made timeless by its beauty, the central hero’s magnificence
By BUTCH FRANCISCO
In 2003, the Film Ratings Board (FRB) was abolished and was replaced by the Cinema Evaluation Board (CEB) which gave higher incentives to quality movies that were either graded A or B. (Graded A films were given a hundred per cent tax rebate, while those that got B were allowed to retrieve 65% from the taxes collected by the various cities and municipalities all over the country based on its income at the box-office.) Magnifico was its test case.
The newly sworn-in CEB members, eager to set the yardstick for graded A movies, thoroughly dissected this Maryo J. de los Reyes film and didn’t feel generous enough to give it a hundred per cent tax rebate.
The prints submitted to the board to begin with had a yellowish tinge and somehow that got in the way during the CEB screening.
Magnifico, however, had its supporters among the CEB members, the three staunchest of them being Lourd de Veyra, Ian Monsod, and this writer. We pointed out that whatever defect the prints had could still be corrected which true enough were made in time for the film’s premiere several days later.Read more