Category: Film/TV

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Triangle of excellence in acting

Thirty-two years after West End brought Filipino musical theater talent to the international stage in a major way via “Miss Saigon,” the European movie industry, with Hollywood connections, is finally catching up: It’s putting Philippine-born, -raised, and -based actors on the world cinema map with lead roles in high-profile films. And just like Lea Salonga,...

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Gawad Urian fulfills its social responsibility

More than being just another award-giving group in the film industry, the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino (Manunuri) is a corps of critics who review and recommend films for their commercial and artistic values to serve the best interest of Filipino moviegoers. Since it was established in 1976, the Manunuri has changed shallow notions of what...

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Always and ever: the Nora Aunor mystique

Does Adolf Alix Jr.’s “Kontrabida (The Villain)” winning a Netpac (Network in the Promotion of Asian Cinema) Award for Best Asian Film) at the 6th HIFF (Hanoi International Film Festival) held in Vietnam early this month still merit attention? Of course. Not only is “Kontrabida,” the Philippines’ entry in the festival, directed by a prolific and...

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‘On the Job: The Missing 8’ is not a sequel but an altogether different story

I’ll cut to the chase.  John Arcilla does more than a good job in “On the Job: The Missing 8”; he gives nothing less than a masterclass in acting in the role that’s front and center in a sprawling sociopolitical dramatic thriller about the labyrinthine corruption in Philippine politics and media.  If that sounds like...

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Into the forest, across streams and rivers, and up and down hills

I went back to the remote Barangay Villa Espina in Lopez, Quezon, one Tuesday morning. At 6:30 a.m. after insufficient sleep the night before, I jumped into a decrepit jeepney—only one unit plies the route twice daily if the weather is fine—bound for the barangay (village). It was sunny, unlike the first time I embarked...

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Korean megahit film producer says ban on censorship is key to success

With the worldwide success of the “Korean wave” or hallyu, the Korean entertainment industry is now regarded as one of the most prominent, productive and moneymaking enterprises on the planet.  Korean cinema already conquered the world market in 2016, when “Train to Busan” made a killing at global box offices. In 2019, “Parasite” won the...

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Unhappy Heart and the loudest whisper

Is it literally the seven-year itch?  Heart Evangelista and her husband, Sen. Chiz Escudero, recently celebrated their seventh wedding anniversary, but the loudest whisper these days is that their marriage is on the rocks. Adding to the intrigue was GMA Network’s supposed impending official announcement on the alleged breakup. But according to entertainment writer Dave...

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Filming in the boondocks on a shoestring budget

The short documentary was supposed to be about the indigenous language of the Aeta in the remote, hilly village of Villa Espina in Lopez, Quezon. It was my intended entry to the 2022 Kota Kinabalu International Film Festival (KKIFF) in Sabah, Malaysia, on Sept. 17-25. But a tight production schedule and a looming deadline for...

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The militancy in/of Jay Altarejos

It’s not every day that one encounters a militant filmmaker like Joselito “Jay” Altarejos. Local show business isn’t traditionally and usually attuned to or associated with activism, political or otherwise; it’s more known for glitz and glam, if not gossip. Anything of the hoi polloi, the great unwashed, and being combative, truthful and aggressive don’t...

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Glamour and glitz (and more) in drag

Dahhhlings, it’s time to put your wigs on. But be ready for the fabulous queens of Drag Race Philippines to snatch them right off. The local version of the hit global franchise has everything you want in drag—fashion, camp, music, talent, drama (oh, the drama!), comedy, culture, heart—and much more. The race to crown the...