Well, if you thought last year's Cinemalaya was great, wait till you see this year's bunch. Last year gave us Maximo Oliveros'Pagdadalaga and Isnats, Sarongbanggi and Pepot Artista.
Tonight, I just saw Batad and Tulad ng Dati and I am awed.
I came in 20 minutes into Batad and loved it. Set in the farming village of Batad, in the Mountain Province, it follows the story of Ag-Ap, a teenage Igorot boy, dealing with his heritage and globalization. Symbolized by his quest to buy shoes in an isolated village, it is painful and warm and funny all at the same time. There is beautiful scenery and the cinematography for me was excellent. There are a lot of traditions here too (accurate, I hope), Ifugao and igorot costumes, rituals, even the bulols are wonderful. People. Watch it.
The second one was Tulad ng Dati. The star is Jett Pangan as himself. It's almost autobiographical, about The Dawn. But I never actually realized how big they were. It's pretty campy, to quote maui, but i felt it had a forced feeling to it. Has-Been rock star gets hit on the head and has a bout of amnesia and cannot remember anything that happened after 1988. Gets into a mess with his family and leaves the band and joins a new bad-ass band who gets him doped up on jelly candy thingies with pills. (Nope, I have no idea what those are)
And he has a weird dream/near death experience with a dead bandmate magnificently played by Ping Medina (sort of like ebenezer scrooge and his ghosts showing him the way and making realize the truth, etc.)
Favorite part of the movie- When Buddy Zabala bumps into former bandmate Raymund Marasigan at a concert, the Rat guy points at them and says, "Oy, Eraserheads!" Lots of cameos too in the film, with Miro and Stonefree, and Sandwich, and Buddy in a Cambio shirt, and Karl Roy. At first i didn't like it but i did get sucked in. Pretty good for an indie, really. As we exited the Film Center, the director announced that The Dawn were on their way to play right there for a free concert. Plus this was the first Filipino film to be nominated in some foreign film festival (can't remember which.) So am happy.
PLus. I just found out that my blockmate Kay Saguinsin just had a baby girl. Wow. Congrats, Mama Kay and Dada Abel.