Bebsism’s current emo mode: Goodbye My Lover (acoustic) – James Blunt
I went to UP Cine Adarna to give support to my friends who had their Thesis Defense yesterday and well, today. Been a year since my infamous “I had no funds, I couldn’t do my thesis” line. Being there was sort of nostalgic, though I didn’t sit on the same area where I was last year. (Uts, remember we sat beside each other, supporting our batchmates, while consoling ourselves for being the ones “left behind.”)
I arrived at 2:30 pm so I missed the films that were shown earlier. Based on what I’ve seen yesterday and today, here are my favorite films:
BINGIT by Maikel Cardoz. A political film about a researcher who did a research on what goes on at the highlands. A girl drowned in a river who was believed to be killed by a monster of some sort and a madman named Nognog was pointed out as a suspect. In the end, the researcher discovered how everything was set-up by the military and things that happened to her after that became parallel to what happened to the girl in the beginning of the film.
Maikel did well in his direction. Jaja Arumpac’s (who’s also my thesis’ Cinematographer–go, Jajing!) shots were breathtaking. Jaja’s expertise on handling landscape shots and night scenes really astounded the audience. Maikel’s take on silence and the understated acting was superb.
It was funny how the Panel loved the film because they didn’t really understand it.
I guess this is the strongest contender for Best Thesis this year. Yan ang CINEMAster! Congrats, Kardotch.
By the way, I hope Kardoth would take my suggestion on putting a shot or a short offscreen dialogue before the researcher was drowned. That could answer the questions why that shot was placed in the end.
TUTOS by LA Yamuan. I honestly didn’t expect LA to come up with a tightly sewn story like Tutos. LA, I perceive, was an underdog, with her more visible batchmates, taking the limelight all the time. LA took the spotlight with her simple story of the relationship of a father, her boyish daughter and their tailor-employee.
LA alluded the story of the father and her daughter, the father and his employer, the employer as a second father to the daughter to sewing and writing a story (over the typerwriter). Sir Nick (Tiongson) was right. The subject matter was rarely tackled. It was sort of a familiar take on something not too common.
The storytelling was fluid. There were many, many dissolves as time lapses but they worked. The actors were good with their understated acting. They were handled well. Sol’s cinematography had the right blending. Editing for the first two minutes was jaggy but it was well executed after that.
I was just disturbed by the Voiceover in the beginning where the Narrator referred to the protagonist as his brother, but they were not really brothers. That statement was kind of misleading. LA could rephrase it. Other than that, the film was good.
THE TEAR STEALER by Eric Declaro. Eric’s six-digit pesos animation was fabulous! The 2D/3D animation is the story of Stella and her partner who exchanged his love for his ambition to possess the powerful Elixir from the seductive crocodile. The Elixir will make him immune to the burning ladder that will lead him to the beautiful constellations. That, in exchange for the last tear that Stella put in a vial that she wears wherever she goes.
The mythical film reminded me of the snake’s temptation of Adam in the Garden of Eden. It was wonderfully scored by whoa, Vincent de Jesus. The colors were bright, the script was beautiful and lyrical. There were some portions thought that I couldn’t hear the narration because it was overpowered by the musical score.
Eric, for all its worth, you came up with a good film. Best Animation, eh!
LILIP by Rex Yadao. Not because I edited this thesis but it merits a commendation for its simplicity and treatment. Rex and I had an endless debate on which version to submit-the one with the dark lighting or the one with the brighter lighting-the darker, more textured version finally made it to the cut. There were pros and cons on each version, though.
The one with the brighter cinematography had sure camera works but the darker version had a lot more texture plus the camera panned back down to the point where it started, so it made more sense to choose it over the other.
The Panel was right when they said that it was brave of Rex to defend a film with a one-shot, one long take form, but the film’s simplicity and deep statement blew them away. After Ma’am Anne ditched Rex’s storyboard for its non-experimental approach, I thought, it was the end of Rex.
Though I would have opted for the film to be done based on Ma’am Anne’s suggestion, still the final Lilip was pulled off. This film even blew me more than the other films with complicated concepts but were poorly done. Call that pretentious.
It was gracious for Eric to treat us over pizza (after a little shoving! bwaha.) Thanks Eric. I hope to see you next sem, all of you, for hopefully, a thesis defense for those “who were left behind”. And I shouldn’t forget your promise: a standing ovation with a one-by-one-followed-by-another-until-it-becomes-a-chorus clap.
Damn, by that time, I hope I’d be able to say, I really deserve that. Bwaha. Go thesis!