Oggs Cruz

MAPANG-AKIT Review

In 2009, directors John Torres and Frosti Runolfsson, participants in DOX:LAB which endeavors to partner Scandinavian filmmakers with Middle-Eastern, Asian or African filmmakers for a film project, ventured into rural Antique to document the hudas-hudas, a practice done in a... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

BUENAS NOCHES, ESPAÑA Review

What separates Earth from space? If we are to base it from what could arguably be the most famous sequence in Andrei Tarkovsky's Solaris (1972), it is a speedy ride along a futuristic highway. The sequence, around five minutes in... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

SAN LAZARO Review

If Wincy Ong's San Lazaro were a student in a classroom full of recent films from the Philippines, which necessarily includes important works from Lav Diaz, Raya Martin and Brillante Mendoza, it would probably be sitting in the back, an... More »
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Cinemalaya 2011: STAR-CROSSED LOVE Review

Philippine cinema has never been one that is deeply related with literature. Except for adaptations of Jose Rizal's Noli me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, Francisco Baltazar's Florante at Laura, and other revered texts of national importance, adaptations are mostly limited... More »
By Oggs Cruz   
  

RAKENROL Review

Rakenrol is a lot of firsts for its director, Quark Henares. It is his first feature film to be produced and directed independent of any major studio backing. It is his feature first film to be completely free from any... More »
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ELEGY TO THE VISITOR FROM THE REVOLUTION Review

Originally planned as a one minute short for Nikalexis.MOV, a program of short films dedicated to the memory of slain critics Alexis Tioseco and Nika Bohinc that featured short works by directors like Raymond Red, Rico Maria Ilarde and Apichatpong... More »
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ZOMBADINGS Review

If there's one thing a filmmaker needs to know about profitable filmmaking in the Philippines, it is to acknowledge that the only kind of filmmaking that actually earns money is genre filmmaking. If the film is not horror, comedy, romance,... More »
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Cinemalaya 2011: CUCHERA Review

Joseph Israel Laban's Cuchera, a rightfully shocking exposé of the lives of low-rent drug mules, one of the drug mules, opens with the obligatory and totally unnecessary factoid on how there are so many Filipino drug mules who are still... More »
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CINEMALAYA 2011: FABLE OF THE FISH Review

Adolfo Alix, Jr.'s Isda (Fable of the Fish) appears to be just another movie set in the overexploited slums of Manila. Lina (Cherry Pie Picache) and Miguel (Bembol Roco), a childless couple despite several years of being married who have... More »
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Cinemalaya 2011: I-FUNERALS Review

Isabel (Glaiza de Castro), a promising mass communications student, has just landed an internship that none of her classmates, who are interning in television stations and film production outfits, would envy. I-Libings, a company that specializes in covering wakes and... More »
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Cinemalaya 2011: BABY FACTORY Review

A pregnant woman, notably without a husband to keep her company and more notably with hardly an emotion on her face, walks to the maternity hospital. She arrives at the hospital, revealing a queue of other pregnant women, waiting for... More »
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Cinemalaya 2011: AMOK Review

Opening with a montage of faces, scenes, and sounds of Manila scored by street children rapping about street life, Lawrence Fajardo's Amok immediately captures opposing yet strangely coexisting facets of city life, disconnect and the scarceness of distance.   The... More »
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Cinemalaya 2011: BISPERAS Review

Set on Christmas Day's eve in a predominantly Catholic neighborhood, Jeffrey Jeturian's Bisperas (Eve) details a family's return from the traditional panunuluyan, a re-enactment of Joseph and Mary's search for a place to stay involving the members of the parish,... More »
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Cinemalaya 2011: THE WOMAN IN THE SEPTIC TANK Review

Ang Babae sa Septic Tank (The Woman in the Septic Tank), directed by Marlon Rivera from a screenplay written by Chris Martinez, earns most of its laughs from the misadventures of director Rainer (Kean Cipriano), producer Bingbong (JM de Guzman),... More »
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Cinemalaya 2011: GAYUMA Review

Gayuma (Pilgrim Lovers) is a film borne out of love and sheer dedication. Armed with a budget that is minuscule even if pitted against other independent productions, director Alvin Yapan and producer Alemberg Ang ventured on to mount a film... More »
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Cinemalaya 2011: PATIKUL Review

There is no denying the sincerity of veteran director Joel Lamangan in making Patikul. Education is after all an issue that can never be overemphasized. It needs to be talked about because there is an alarming lack of it especially... More »
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Cinemalaya 2011: NIÑO Review

The Lopez-Aranda family has fallen far from grace. Gaspar (Tony Mabesa) was a promising statesman during his younger years but his political ambitions were thwarted by Ferdinand Marcos' sudden rise to power. Celia (Fides Cuyugan) was an opera star whose... More »
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Cinemalaya 2011: TEORIYA Review

An airplane flies past an anonymous Zamboanga cemetery. Outside the city's airport, reporters are waiting. Passengers from the most recent arrival scramble out of the airport. A man, donned in running gear, is approached by the reports. He won a... More »
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Cinemalaya 2011: MASKARA Review

There's one scene in Laurice Guillen's Maskara where Ina Feleo, playing Anna, the illegitimate daughter of accomplished actor Bobby (Tirso Cruz III) who recently passed away, suddenly weeps. Guillen does not opt for an extreme close-up of her daughter's face.... More »
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Cinemalaya 2011: THE DANCE OF TWO LEFT FEET Review

Ambiguity is such a beautiful thing. It is what makes art free from its artist, allowing the observer of the art part of the art-making. It is what breaks the boundaries of the literal, allowing art to traverse the infinite... More »
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