the title is a take-off from an essay i wrote about the lesbian portrayals in philippine cinema, published in this book by the UP Press. wala lang, it's a sunny afternoon (from a rainy morning) and i decided to hole in here to watch some films and now, make reviews. feel ko lang magsulat e. la lang. sama ko na rin yung iba kong napanood dati pa na pinagmuni-munihan ko muna.
IMAGINE ME & YOU
d., w. ol parker
c. lena heady, piper perabo
pitch: a recently married woman gets struck by love at first sight with a lesbian florist, and is torn on what to do
catch: wala! maganda siya! :)
okay, this is not the first queer-oriented film that piper appeared in. i liked her first in COYOTE UGLY kahit hindi queer ang character niya, pero napaka-queer lang ng scenario ng film (e kasi mukhang mga tranny performers yung ibang models doon). i liked her in LOST AND DELIRIOUS even if the whole lesbian storyline of that film is soooo whacked! (as in haller, tragic lesbian love na naman, pweh!). i like her here, too, kas siguro okay ang chemistry nila ni lena hedy, who plays the lesbian florist na na-inlababo-han nung just hetero-married character ni piper.
out of the list of films i really want to watch, gusto ko siya simply because of the title hehe. kanta kasi siya, at isa sa kanta na gusto ko mula sa lumang panahon. or more appropriately, first line siya ng kanta ng the turtles entitled "happy together." well, it doesn't really get featured so prominently in the film pero ginamit siyang device in the end kaya nagkitang muli ang would-be lovers na itey, in that star cinema kilig fantasy way.
and that's how the whole film feels -- it feels like a star cinema production! palitan mo lang ng hetero loveteam ang lesbian loveteam dito and you get the whole star cinema film shebang: title na halaw sa isang kanta, two gorgeous-looking lead stars, a good storyline with believable characters, humorous sidekicks used as foils (the girl bida's new hubby's promiscuous best man best friend who wanted to bed the lesbian florist), smart wisdom-y things from old characters (piper's dad supportive of her daughter's experience of "love at first sight" despite the homo odds), the mega kilig muntik-nang-maghalikan-pero-idelay-para-kilig moments (at madami ito ha, piper has perfected acting this out haha!), the mega-kilig plant and payoff devices used to make the characters find each other (complete with habulan sa ending kasi papunta sa airport/vacation ang hurt one, na hahabulin ng natauhang loved one at hahabulin yung isa chuva), grabe lang kulang na lang ang credits nito e sabihing directed by olivia lamasan produced by charo santos concio hahahaha! sobrah! all the elements are really there!
kaya siguro gusto ko. kasi it's so mainstream that way (but unlike star, laidback lang ang storytelling at hindi magarbong attention-caller) kaya effective ang kilig moments kasi nakaka-relate ako. finally, a true lesbian kilig film! winner!
hotness si lena heady! yun lang. hehe. i was wondering where i saw her before, and a quick imdb search revealed siya nga pala yung nasa spanish/english film na LLUVIA EN LOS ZAPATOS (the man with rain in his shoes) directed by spanish filmmaker maria ripoll, whom we all met when she went here a couple years ago and we had coffee and cake at the upfi office. tama! at siya rin yung hotness na queen sa testosteron-y cgi film 300. ayuz. i love lena hehe especially that british accent niya ha. happy siya.
happiness ito. for a hetero guy writer-director, super sensitive ang approach sa materyal na ang ganda. parang non-issue masyado ang pag-switch ng hetero lead girl sa pag-fall in love sa lesbian, kasi given lang na hey, it's love, chever. although masyado lang mabait at madaling natanggap ng husband niya, pero sige kineri na rin ng characterization ng dude, so puwedeng palusutin.
but all in all, okay siya. watch!
NOTES ON A SCANDAL
s. from the novel by zoe heller
c. dame judy dench, cate blanchett
pitch: a veteran closeted lesbian high school teacher uses a younger new teacher's scandalous affair with a student to curry favors in her favor
catch: putangina ang homophobic!
bwisit! bwisit ito! nakakairita! arrgghh! sayang ang talents. pero iyon ang ipinagtataka ko: bakit pumayag ang talents na lumabas dito?????????
the film is about hidden scandals, usually frowned upon by society. cate's character is an art teacher in a high school and currently undergoing a seven-year itch sa marriage niya with an older man. si dame judy naman is a closeted lesbian pero alam naman ng lahat ba, yung ganun. she had a previous run-in with another teacher na, it turns out in the end, naging stalkerish ang moda niya at the girl had to issue a restraining order pa sa kanya. tapos heto na naman siya, na-focus-an niya ng affection yung new art teacher na halos i-blackmail niya emotionally pero pa-underground ang dating when the art teacher had a sexual love affair with an underage student. haggard! i'm sure hetero ang sumulat ng novel na ito, and not once binanggit nila ang posibilidad ng sexuality chever ng closeted older teacher. nakakainis kasi napaka-homophobic lang ng buong set-up, not to say na walang lesbyanang closeta man o hindi na mangba-blackmail ng ganun sa isang babae para maging emotionally indebted sa kanya yung gelay. maraming ganyan diyan sus i can name names hahahaha. pero that's not the point. the point is, sobrang condemned na agad ang character ni judy in the beginning, kahit na cate's character was "punished" for punishing the closeted lesbian, pero iffy pa rin ang whole situation, kasi the older teacher ends up beginning something na maaaring ganun ulit sa isang complete stranger in the end. aaaaah basta! ayoko ito. buset. kakainis. argh. sayang talent! asar.
d. chris columbus
s. from the broadway musical created by jonathan larson
dop. stephen goldblatt
c. rosario dawson and some of the original broadway cast
pitch: a musical about angsty middle class but kinda poor-ish new york artists living in tenement housing chever
catch: er, nasan ang ibang songs?????
it takes a good director to understand the angsts, the motivations, the desires and the longings and loneliness of the characters of a script (or a play) and to be able to translate that on screen requires an enormous amount of understanding. sadly, chris columbus is not that kind of a director.
from the visual language itself, one could see just how homophobic the person behind the camera is. songs about same-sex love are filmed so very far and with some stupid element foregrounding in the mise en scene that we don't get to feel the love the couple is expressing (best demonstrated by the song "i'll follow you" about angel the tranny and tom collins the teacher). minsan din mukhang tanga ang filming ng same-sex eksena na you don't get to understand the nuance of what's happening (best exemplified by the "take me or leave me" number kung saan nag-aaway ang lesbian couple maureen and joanne during their engagement dinner! at habang palipat-lipat sila ng lokasyon per stanza e nakatungangang sumusunod lang ang ibang tao sa kanila! nubayun!!!!!!!!!!!!!). the only moments we see the camera capture tenderly the tender moments of couples ay yung sa treatment na sa huli ng hetero couple roger and mimi. pero pag discussions na about people having AIDS and all, nakalayo rin ang camera, except when that montage of roger and april's love story was being montaged, tutok sa tragedy siya, which felt iffy and sensationalistic a la tv patrol of yore. yes, needless to say, puro long shots at wide shots ang pelikulang ito karamihan. buset.
parang sinayang ni columbus ang musicality ng materyal. hindi siya marunong mag-shoot ng isang musical film, that's it. he should learn from the masters. like how WEST SIDE STORY was shot, na kahit napaka-gay minsan ng choreo ng sharks and jets hehe e buo pa rin ang masculinity ng gangs kahit maga-jazz-jazz sila sa kalye ng new york! ito...ewan, ang labo. ang pangit. asar na asar ako kasi original dvd ang binili ko nito!!! pang-pirated lang pala dapat ang kaledad niya. hmp. buset.
kulang sa imagination, e! like how "tango maureen" was interpreted. man, iba attack ko dito kung ako magdidirek nito. ang chaks! ang bland! at heartless. wala talaga siyang compassion sa characters, sa situations nila, sa materyal. parang di niya naiintindihan ang angst ng ganitong klaseng mga tao. sayang. sayan sobra. hay... sayang kasi i really really reaaaaaaaaaaaally love the musical. i watched new voice's staging of this, twice! (the first staging, with monique mooning the audience hehehe was better, yung sa music museum. the second, nawala na ang angst ng roger ni calvin millado, kasi in-love na siya hahaha. ito yung sa gsis theater na)
o sya, more movies later.