Untrue (2019): Ending Explained

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Set sa Georgia ang pelikulang Untrue. Tungkol ito sa mag-asawang sina Mara at Joachim at sa mga suliranin sa kanilang relasyon. Sa unang tingin, kwento ng domestic violence ang pelikula. He said, she said ang istilo ng pagkukwento nito. Sa first act, bersyon ng babae ang maririnig. Baliw ang mister. Nananakit ito at nang-aabuso. Sa second act, bersyon naman ng lalaki. Manipulative ang misis, manloloko, at nasa loob ang kulo. 

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Poverty Porn at ang ‘Pamilya Ordinaryo’

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Unang ginamit ang terminong “poverty porn” bilang kritisismo sa 2008 film na Slumdog Millionaire. Tungkol ito sa paggamit ng kahirapan sa plot ng pelikula para sa libangan ng gitnang uring manunuod. Habang pinapakita ang paghihirap ng mga karakter ng pelikula, ineenjoy ng manunuod ang komportable nyang posisyon. At bagaman mahihirap ang sentro ng mga kwentong ito, patuloy naman silang tinatratong mahina at walang kapangyarihan. Hindi sila pinapalaya ng pelikula sa kulungan ng kanilang katayuan. 

Nang nagsimula ang digital filmmaking sa Pilipinas, naging poverty porn ang bulto ng mga Pelikulang Pilipino. Mula local hanggang international film festivals, kahirapan ang mukha ng Philippine cinema. Marahil ang pinakakilalang pigura sa genre na ito ay si Brillante Mendoza. Ang mga akda nya tulad ng Kinatay, Serbis, at Masahista ang naging template ng Filipino poverty porn films. 

Isa pang epitomiya ng poverty porn ay ang pelikulang  Pamilya Ordinaryo. Pinakita ng pelikulang ito ang dalawang mukha ng poverty porn. Una, kung paano nagiging problematic ang genre na ito sa pagkahon at paglimita nya sa mga mahihirap na karakter. At pangalawa, kung paanong ang mga pelikulang tulad nito ay may kakayahang masuri ang detalye ng kahirapan at matukoy kung anong mga pwersa ng lipunan ang sanhi ng paghihirap ng mga tao. 

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Regional Cinema in Patay na si Hesus

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The majority of the time and effort dedicated to Philippine cinema is directed towards understanding and appreciating Manila films. The golden age of Philippine cinema is synonymous with the peak of Metro Manila films. And to the eyes of the intellectual and popular Filipino film crowd, national cinema means films that depict the lives of those in the nation-center. The term national cinema is supposed to refer to films that represent the national identity. These films should have to embody the essence of being a Filipino. But oftentimes, only films that depict the Imperial Manila get to be considered as worthy of the title “national films.”

In this video essay, we examine the 2016 film Patay na si Hesus directed by Victor Villanueva. We focus primarily on how the film underlines issues and discussions on regional cinema. We use the film in explaining a film concept that may have been present from the beginning, but remains seldom discussed.

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Patintero Review: Lessons from Children’s Cinema

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Children’s cinema is a film genre that remains under-valued and undiscussed. In the country, much of the films for children are either imported from Hollywood or from the Metro Manila Film festival run. And this trend in the industry posits several problems and concerns. One, we continue to favor the colonial narrative when it comes to teaching the next generation. Two, the so-called family-oriented, comedy films during the MMFF bring no value to viewers, both adults and children. Often times, they propagate sexism, classism, and ageism to their audience. Meng Patalo, a 2015 film by Mikh Vergara, is a good reminder of the need to create children films in the country. The film teaches us how the use of children’s perspective in telling a story in film incites innovation and creativity. It shows us that tales, when seen and told in the eyes of children can be new and revolutionary.

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Bliss and the Helpless Woman: Criticism on Psycho-Thriller Films

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We have seen the surge of women in lead, even titular, roles in the recent years. In a way, they are a sign of progress for women inclusion in the field of cinema.

Meanwhile, it is essential to examine further how women, much like other vulnerable sectors of society, are depicted in films. Is their inclusion in cinema empowering? Is the use of their image revolutionary? Does the cinematic work support the plight of women?

In this video essay, we look at how Bliss uses the image of a woman in a psycho-thriller narrative. Particularly, we discuss how the film depicts a woman as a protagonist while also silences her and deems her helpless.

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