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Writer. Wheelman. Occasional DIY mechanic. Walking collection of hang-ups. Hopeless romantic. Old-school. Analog soul in a digital world. I am all of these things and more.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Lately I've been on a little movie-watching spree.

First I watched was the much-ballyhooed "The Terminal." In my opinion this movie has a very vapid, almost ridiculous main plot, and it's a triumph of marketing that people won't notice it one bit. They'll simply be transfixed at Tom Hanks' stellar character acting.

I had a hard time believing it was him because he pulled off his Eastern European role pretty damn well...but it IS him. The other actors (I'm so tempted to call them "bit players" because that's what they really are) have their moments, but without Mr. Hanks, this movie will inevitably fall apart.

Conversely I had a hard time believing the great Andrew Niccol co-wrote this film. Sure, the Niccol trademark of unusual situations is there, but I don't remember "Gattaca," "Simone" and "The Truman Show" being this pathetic story-wise.
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Next one was a film I really should've seen in the cinemas last year: Quark Henares' "Keka."

I have to say Quark is a wunderkind. He wrote this film, directed it and even starred in a cameo role playing himself (a disgruntled director). The brilliant thing about "Keka" is that it comes off as very fresh; it doesn't ever try to be anything foreign as it overflows with local culture.

Yet it pokes fun at itself for being a film out of the "baduy" or tacky Philippine movie tradition, epitomized in the 1980s by the actors suddenly breaking out into a song-and-dance number that ends with some happy freeze-frame.

Cinematography's quite excellent---I love how the film has an eye for shadows and bright colors. The characters Keka and Jason have their own soliloquys on the movie and they really are cohesive to the plot's movement. Keka herself is all too human. Despite the plot premise being a bit over-the-top (she's bent on killing the five fratboys to avenge the death of her boyfriend PJ), it's still a good way of depicting how people should deal with getting over a past love.

Ending's quite lovely too...open-ended, yet fulfilling.

We should model our thesis film on this.
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The last one was the highly popular French film "Amelie."

I don't know...I think I missed a beat with this one as I was pretty sleepy by the time I watched it last night. But for what it's worth I thought it was a fascinating film. Indeed, it was a modern-age fairy tale, with Amelie deciding to be the guardian angel of everybody in her neighborhood, doing favors for them, taking care of them and occasionally getting back at the assholes that pick on them---without their knowledge, just like a true guardian angel does. So when the time comes that she sees her happiness, she's constantly at two minds about it, not sure about following her happiness or foregoing it to help others.

I think I should watch this again...but I enjoyed it. Amelie has the greatest imagination sometimes and that endeared her to me.

Technically there's nothing wrong with it; it maintains a very homey feel throughout the length of the film through its warm, bright colors and high saturation. Sometimes the film turns very silly with its scripting though---but to good effect.
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This song is from "Keka's" soundtrack...and I've known it by heart for quite a while.

Sadya ba talagang ganyan?
Palakad-lakad na nakatungo
Saan patungo?

Ngayong wala ka na, kailangang
Masanay na muling nag-iisa
Saan ka na kaya?

H'wag mo akong sisihin
Minsan ika'y hanapin
Ito ang unang araw na wala ka na
Ito ang unang araw na wala ka na...

Nasanay lang sigurong nandyan ka
Di ko inakalang pwede kang mawala
Hayan na nga

Nababato, nalulungkot
Luha'y napapawi ng singhot
At talukbong ng kumot

H'wag mo akong sisihin
Minsan ako'y iyakin
Ito ang unang araw na wala ka na
Ito ang unang araw na wala ka na...
- Sugar Free, "Unang Araw" (Sa Wakas/"Keka" OST)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I found the Terminal to be one of the best films of the year. But to each their own right? I didn't find the plot to be ridiculous. I found it to be quite entertaining and the film is actually based on a true story about a man who lives in an airport (he still lives there as of today).