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

2006

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Todo Todo Teros

Examining the pain behind geopolitical romance
By Mike Rapatan

The recent World Trade Center 9/11 disaster has firmly etched in the public consciousness the horrors of international terrorism. This 21st century tragedy has stirred diverse responses from different filmmakers who have portrayed in varying scales the seismic changes that have reshaped world affairs. On one end of the spectrum, one finds filmmakers who have produced epic movies with apocalyptic doomsday scenarios of a global meltdown while on the opposite side are other filmmakers with their personal films that probe the psyche of the wounded who mourn and struggle and cope with the loss of their beloved. Read more

Rome and Juliet

No stereotyping of women who love women
By Gigi Javier Alfonso

THERE is a dearth of text in film on lesbian relationships in the Philippine setting. This is a sign of society’s tendency to erase such phenomenon in a Catholic country environment…as if this does not happen. And if it does it is considered a form of aberration and is considered to be a mortal sin. Read more

Kubrador

Betting on Luck and Light and Shadow

By Tito Genova Valiente

We have seen this figure in many films. An alpha male. But, in the film, Kubrador, the person is a woman. She is Amy, mother, Danger incarnate. Believer.

Today is no different from any other day. She begins the day with a prayer, asking for divine intercession, the votive candles approving, the saints seemingly listening. Her gaze is unflinching. The intensity is disturbing because it is all too sincere and all too frank. For Amy is praying that God, and all the saints in heaven, will save her from the enemies—the cops.

Life is a gamble

By Butch Francisco

We already have a best picture for 2006. And the winner is—drum roll—Kubrador.

Now, if something superior comes along later in the year, then all the better for the local film industry.* But Kubrador, directed by Jeffrey Jeturian, is a tough act to beat. Read more

Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo

Marrying a family
By Butch Francisco

Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo is clearly the 2006 Metro Manila Film Festival winner in both box-office and creative terms. It has all the elements to make it a First Best Picture of the festival plus the Gatpuno Antonio J. Villegas Cultural Award as it espouses family values and it is very Filipino in heart and soul. It is well-edited, the music in the soundtrack is contemporary and meaningful, camerawork is unobtrusive. Read more

Kaleldo

Summer heat
By Butch Francisco

Brillante Mendoza is a director to watch. Cineastes first got a glimmer of his importance as a new directorial talent in Masahista, which won a prize at the Locarno Film Festival. Masahista is a film about the lives of masseurs who double as male prostitutes, set in Manila and Pampanga (the director’s hometown) and with some dialogues in Kapapampangan. His second full-length feature, Kaleldo, is set entirely in Pampanga with more Pampango dialogues (and a corresponding set of English subtitles for the rest of us non-Pampangos). Read more

Huling Balyan ng Buhi

Pagkatangi ng Huling Balyan at Ilang Isyu Mula Rito
Ni Rolando B. Tolentino

Mahirap maintindihan ang “Huling Balyan ng Buhi” (Woven Stories of the Other). Apat ang espasyong di direktang nagtatagpo pero pinaghabi ng lokalisadong tunggalian ng hukbong bayan at militar: ang balyan o manggagamot na ang sariling sugat sa mga kamay (parang stigmata) ay hindi niya magamot; ang grupo ng New People’s Army (NPA) na sa pagitan ng paglilipat ng maysakit na kasama ay unti-unting nangapigtas; ang isang sundalo na napalapit, kung posible man ito, sa baylan; at ang magkapatid na tila diwatang naglalaro sa kagubatan, hinahanap ang ina. Ang lahat ng ito ay nakalunan sa katutubong komunidad ng Matisalog at sa Barangay Naplico sa Arakan Valley, North Cotabato. Read more

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