By: Heinrich Domingo
In his second year in Cinemalaya shorts, Glenn Barit creates another film that calls more attention to its form than its content. In Nangungupahan, Glenn translates into cinema the ability of a space (such as an apartment room) to transcend time. In his depiction, Glenn captures on screen the abstract notions of nostalgia, permanence and transition, and the cause-and-effect nature of time and space.
Nangungupahan documents the lives of various characters devoid of the limits of time and space. In the screen, the audience can see the interaction among five generations of characters in the same apartment. While these characters live in their own context and environment, they are unknowingly connected by a place they all once called home.
Much like in his work in Aliens Ata, Glenn experiments on the film form and aesthetics in this film. He offers his take on how cinema could visually capture a supposedly non-visual element. Beneath Glenn’s experiment in form are characters who are engaging to follow. Despite the short sequences and constant cuts in the film, viewers find themselves immersed in the separate but related stories of the characters.
Nangungupahan offers a new take on how short films are in the country. It does not follow the typical structures of short films. Typically, short films attempt to become mini-versions of a full-length film complete with the three-act structure. Instead of this, the film embraces and maximizes the short time given for short films. It is difficult to imagine Nangungupahan in its full-length version, production- and story-wise.
As Glenn pushes the limit of the film medium, he contributes to the development of film form and aesthetic in the country.