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Cinemalaya Series: I America

Sakit, pagkamuhi, kawalan, at pagtanggap. Ilan lamang yan sa mga kaisipang bumubuo sa obra ni Ivan Andrew Payawal na “I America”, isa sa siyam na pelikulang kasama sa taunang Cinemalaya Film Festival.

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Sakit, pagkamuhi, kawalan, at pagtanggap. Ilan lamang yan sa mga kaisipang bumubuo sa obra ni Ivan Andrew Payawal na “I America”, isa sa siyam na pelikulang kasama sa taunang Cinemalaya Film Festival.

Ang “I America” ay pinangungunahan ni Bella Padilla bilang si Erica, ang binibini na lumaking wala sa piling ng kanyang tunay na magulang. Madalas niya rin tinatahak ang Maynila sa pag-asang makukuha siya sa mga TV Commercials.

Kasama rin sa pelikula si Gng. Elizabeth Oropesa bilang si Rose, ang nanay ni Erica. Si Rose ang may-ari ng isang ‘strip club’. Pinamigay niya si Erica noong bata pa lamang ito kaya lumaki si Erica na may malaking poot sa kanyang nanay. Sa kabilang banda naman ay naroon rin si Rob Rownd na gumanap bilang John Berry, ang kinikilalang ama ni Erica.

Bilang pahapyaw sa kwento, madalas tinatahak ni Erica ang Maynila sa pag-asang kumita sa pamamagitan ng pag-arte sa iba’t-ibang maiikling patalastas. Umaasa siya na balang araw ay makakaipon siya ng sapat na pera para makapunta sa ibang bansa upang makasama niya ang kaniyang tatay ngunit lahat ay gumuho at nagulo ng nalaman niya ang tunay na katotohanan ukol sa sa magulang niya. Lalo pang lumabo ang sitwasyon nang hindi inaasahang umuwi si John Berry para makita si Erica.

Hindi naman bagay kung isasalaysay ko ang buong kwento ng “I America” dahil mawawala ang misteryo ng pelikula, kaya tignan naman natin ang teknikal na aspeto ng pelikulang ito. Hindi mapigilan na mamangha dahil kumpara sa mga “sikat” na pelikula ay maliit lamang ang pera nilaan para sa “I America” ngunit nagawa pa rin nito makipagsabayan, kung hindi man malamangan, ang mga tipikal na pelikula na napapanood natin sa sinehan. Mula sa pag-arte ng mga actor hanggang sa musika na ginamit patungo sa mga lugar na pinili, lahat ay nahalo ng mabuti na nagresulta sa isang napakagandang pelikula.

Ngunit aaminin ko na marami akong napuna sa palabas na ito. Ang ilan ay patungkol sa mga birong mapapailing ka nalang. “Destiny’s Children”? Pakiusap. Subalit ang pinaka-malala kong napansin ay ang kawalan ng matinong paliwanag tungkol sa mga nangyari sa pagitan ni Erica at sa nanay niyang si Rose. Sinabi sa pelikula na nung bata pa si Erica ay pinamigay siya ni Rose sa kung anong rason. Kaya lumaki si Erica sa nanay-nanayan niya…na matalik na kaibigan ni Rose. At isa pa, halos tawid kalsada lang ang layo nila sa isa’t isa. Dahil diyan ay parang pakiramdam ko na wala sa lugar ang galit ni Erica sa nanay niya dahil malaking piraso ng nakaraan nila ang hindi naipaliwanag.

Subalit huwag niyo ko masamain. Totoong may mga ilang butas ang “I America” ngunit pangkalahatan ay isa itong nakakapangilabot na pelikula. Hindi siya tipikal na drama o romantikong komedya. Isa itong malaking komentaryo sa nakasanayan nating pagsasademonyo sa mga pokpok. Paumanhin kung may maiinsulto sa ginamit kong salita ngunit walang mali dito. Ang pokpok ay pokpok. Ayun lang ‘yon, tama? Tayo ang nagbibigay ng pangit at masamang konotasyon sa salitang ito.

Lumalayo ako, katulad ng sinabi ko, ang “I America” ay parang isang malaking komentary sa nakasanayan nating pagsasademonyo sa mga pokpok at sa nakasanayan natin ideya ng pamilya.

           Kagilas-gilas na naipakita ni Payawal ang buhay ng isang pokpok. Ipinakita niya na katulad natin, meron din silang mga pamilya, mga pangarap, at mga problema. Katulad na lamang ni Erica, lumaki siya sa nanay-nanayan niyang dati ring pokpok. Kasama rin niya sa bahay ang kapatid niya sa ina ngunit sa ibang ama. Araw araw siyang kumakayod sa pag asang balang araw ay makaipon at makapunta siya  tatay niya.

           Kung hihimayin natin ang pelikula, makikita natin marahil masyado tayong marahas sa mga ganitong tao. Kadalasan ay mga mabibigat silang problema at wala na silang maisip na paraan kung hindi ito. Marami rin sa kanila na may mga malalalim sa personal na rason kaya pinipili nila itong gawin.

           Isang tema rin na tinalakay sa pelikula ay ang tungkol sa pamilya. Makikita na kahit hindi sila magkakadugo ay payapang namumuhay sina Erica at ang mga tao sa paligid niya na parang isang tunay na pamilya. Isang bagay na kailangan pag-isipan: hindi nagsisimula at nagtatapos ang pagiging pamilya sa dugo.

           Nagtapos ang pelikula na wala na ang parehong tatay at nanay si Erica pero kahit ganoon ay nakangiti pa rin siya. Dahil siguro natanggap na niya sa sarili niya na napapaligiran siya ng mga taong nagmamahal sa kanya at sapat na iyon bilang pamilya para sa kanya.

           Nagtapos ang pelikula na nakilala ni Erica ang sarili niya. Naisip niya na hindi magdidikta sa buhay niya kung ano man ang apelyido niya.

           Nagtapos ang “I America” kay Erica na humarap sa manonood at may saya at pagmamataas na sinabi na “Hi, I Am Erica”.

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Fighting Back, One ‘OK, Boomer’ at a Time

Just like the statement “men are trash,” the phrase “OK, boomer” is attacking a system rather than an individual. It challenges the mindset of the boomers that refuses to embrace change; ones who still cling to discriminatory remarks and outdated ideologies.

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It started as a TikTok meme. Then, a New Zealand lawmaker used it to address a rude comment in parliament.

The youth has often been the subject of judgment because of their tendency to be politically-correct and woke, especially from elders who view them as “overly-sensitive snowflakes.” 

What’s the youth’s response? “Ok, boomer.”

Recently, the phrase “OK, boomer” has been circulating around the internet, and has become the rallying cry of the youth against the older folks and the system they perpetuated over the years. 

The said phrase mocks baby boomers; the generation born between 1946 and 1964. The generation got its name from the huge increase in birth rate after World War II, and is considered as a prosperous time.

The popular use of the phrase circulates in TikTok where it is used to mock elders and their prejudices towards the youth. 

It became more popular when media outlets highlighted the term after Chlöe Swarbrick, a 25-year-old lawmaker from New Zealand was discussing the Zero Carbon Bill, which aims to cut the carbon emissions of New Zealand. In the video, a heckler commented about her age, in which she went off-script to retort “OK, Boomer.”

Netizens also used the phrase to call out the Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Boy Locsin Jr. after cursing out a journalist on Twitter.

“OK, boomer,” later on became a perfect response to the generation on being problematic. An old, rich man complaining about millennials destroying everything? OK, boomer. An aunt of yours mocking your liberal arts degree, commenting on how easy it is? OK, boomer. Some random professor accusing you of being a “dilawan” and red-tagging you because of your Facebook posts? OK, boomer.

However, critics are crying foul over this phrase, with complaints mostly coming from older people. Some even compared the phrase to a racial slur, saying that it promotes ageism and discrimination. Critics think that it’s a below-the-belt attack against the boomers, a foul remark akin to bullying and racism. Well, sorry to say but it’s not.

To set the record straight, the boomers also fought for peace, racial equality and women’s empowerment at their time. What “OK, Boomer” addresses is not the people itself but their outdated way of thinking that is harming our society. 

Just like the statement “men are trash,” the phrase “OK, boomer” is attacking a system rather than an individual. It challenges the mindset of the boomers that refuses to embrace change; ones who still cling to discriminatory remarks and outdated ideologies. It wants boomers to  acknowledge that they have collectively done actions that contributed to societal issues such as climate change and worsening economy. It attempts to shake the narrative, making an older generation acknowledge the voice of the youth, making them act because they have the power and experience to do so.

This meme-worthy clapback is not just a collective sigh towards the problematic views of the old or a funny catchphrase hurled towards killjoy boomers—it is a statement, a call for action, a protest against problematic beliefs and actions.

It is a warning to the older that the kids aren’t alright and they are fighting back, one “OK, Boomer” at a time.

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Films to watch in Cinema One Originals 2019

Returning to cinemas and theaters on its 15th year, Cinema One Originals has launched its roster of films ranging from the genres of thriller, romance, and more! The film festival showcases various stories that will surely make the viewers’ minds wonder what lies beyond the trailers.

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Photo from Cinama One Originals Facebook page

Over the past decade, Cinema One Originals has given rise to a number of films that marked the hearts and minds of the Filipino. Through the artistry and expertise of Filipino filmmakers in cinematography and production, it has already showcased great films which became hit to the public like Imburnal (2008) by Sherad Anthony Sanchez, Violator (2014) by Eduardo Dayao, That Thing Called Tadhana (2014) by Antoinette Jadaone and Paki (2016) by Gian Carlo Abraham. These films have been lauded for its excellence, exception plots, and its appeal to viewers alike. 

Returning to cinemas and theaters on its 15th year, Cinema One Originals has launched its roster of films ranging from the genres of thriller, romance, and more! The film festival showcases various stories that will surely make the viewers’ minds wonder what lies beyond the trailers. So, Hurry up! Gather your friends now and buy your popcorn as Cinema One Originals proudly presents the following films for this year’s festival!

Tayo Muna Habang Hindi Pa Tayo by Denise O’Hara

Photo from Cinama One Originals Facebook page

Relevant to the relationship which the generation engages today, Tayo Muna Habang Hindi Pa Tayo portrays the relationship of two individuals who share sensual experiences and romantic gestures with each other. However, both of the characters in the film do not share the same sentiment when it comes to commitment. In the end, they both part ways in the realization that such intimacy cannot just be shared with just anyone.

Yours Truly, Shirley by Nigel Santos

Photo from Cinema One Originals Facebook page

 

After hearing a song by popstar Jhameson, Shirley is convinced that the popstar is a reincarnation of her late husband, Ronaldo. In the film, Shirley is seen to invest time and effort as she obsessively admires the popstar in the event of coping up with the pains and struggles of losing her beloved husband. 

Metamorphosis by J.E. Tiglao

Photo from Cinema One Originals Facebook page

Metamorphosis reveals not a lot but says so much in its trailer. As it depicts the metamorphosis of a butterfly, there is a teenager in the background showing its life on a daily basis. It tackles the life of an individual born with male and female genitals.  

Utopia by Dustin Celestino

Photo from Cinema One Originals Facebook page

Set in the dingy and dark parts of the city, Utopia depicts the meeting of a rookie police officer, vlogger, and an undercover agent as they try to uncover the delivery of dangerous and illegal substances. Utopia is about crime, thrill, wit and reality all in a perfect sandwich ready to keep you at the edge of your seat. 

O by Kevin Dayrit

Photo from Cinema One Originals Facebook page

Pleasant in the forms of the soft sweet piano songs, sleek sofas and white linens, O talks about the story of a beguiled morgue intern Maria who is forced by the vampire Matilda to be a blood pusher and sell blood to other vampires. Twisted and unconventional, Maria is driven to do vile actions to accumulate blood in exchange for knowledge about the creatures roaming in the dark. 

Tia Madre by Eve Baswel

Photo from Cinema One Originals Facebook page

Tia Madre takes in the form of a middle-aged woman who ardently loves her daughter. However, Emilia, the mother of a 10-year old girl, is a harboring alcoholic who abhors to be called a mother. Her daughter tries to compensate with her mother in the hopes that things will turn back to normal, as it should be.

Lucid by Natts Jadaone, Victor Villanueva, and Dan Villegas

Photo from Cinema One Originals Facebook page

Ann Cruz is a typical individual who leads a monotonous life. She works a nine to five job, goes home, and the cycle repeats. However, when she sleeps, she is not just the Ann Cruz in her waking life. At night, she is a lucid dreamer who goes on dates and engages in scenarios that favours her. She later on meets a man who challenges her to dream more than she does.

Sila-Sila by Gian Carlo Abraham

Photo from Cinema One Originals Facebook page

Sila-Sila is a coming-of-age film that tells a story of a 30-year old man who attempts to reconnect with his past friends and ex lovers in a class reunion. 

The screening of the eight films will run from November 7-17, 2019. Indeed, November is another exciting month for cineastes out there!

Photo from Cinema One Originals Facebook page

For the full list of screening schedules and further details, visit the Cinema One Originals Facebook page or their website regarding the event.

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Binge-watch worthy movies and TV shows this break!

If you are reading this, congratulations for surviving the past few months filled with academic workload to fulfill and conquer! To reward yourself, here’s a list of movies and TV shows that you can watch this school break.

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If you are reading this, congratulations for surviving the past few months filled with academic workload to fulfill and conquer! To reward yourself, here’s a list of movies and TV shows that you can watch this school break.

1. Skins | 40-50 minutes per episode

Photo from Amazon UK.

Genre: Teen-drama, Comedy

Creator: Bryan Elsley, Jamie Brittain

Synopsis: The British teen drama-comedy centers on the tense lives of a group of teenagers in Bristol, South West England as they go through the their last two years in secondary school.

Review: Skins is a nice coming-of-age series tackling different challenges teenagers face, from sex and gender fluidity issues, to drug use and mental illnesses. The series, with its seven seasons, will surely send your time down the drain if you choose to do so.

2. Money Heist | 40 minutes – 1 hour per episode

Photo from IMDb.

Genre: Crime, Thriller, Telenovela

Director/Producer: Álex Pina

Synopsis: The “Professor” executes a grand heist that makes a first in history as he targets the Royal Mint of Spain alongside eight criminals.

Review: The story progresses slowly but surely as it shows how the characters grow on each episode. The story is intelligently well-written and delivers unpredictable to make the viewers on the edge of their seats! 

3. The Twilight Saga | 607 Minutes (Combination of all 5 movies)

Photo from IMDb.

 

 

Genre: Fantasy, Romance

Director: Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight), Chris Weitz (New Moon), David Slade (Eclipse), and Bill Condon (Breaking Dawn Part 1 and Part 2)

Synopsis: Based on the series written by Stephanie Meyer, Twilight focuses on the relationship amongst the three main characters: Bella Swan, whose life changes drastically upon meeting Edward Cullen, who is a vampire, and Jacob Black, who is a werewolf.

Review: With Halloween coming around the corner, Twilight is the perfect film to binge-watch and relive major fangirling and fanboying feels. With themes revolving around love, vampires, and werewolves, are you #TeamEdward, or #TeamJacob?

4. The Hunger Games: Trilogy | 548 Minutes (Combination of all 4 films)

Photo from IMDb.

 

Genre: Sci-Fi, Romance

Director: Gary Ross (The Hunger Games), Francis Lawrence (Catching Fire – Mockingjay Part 2)

Synopsis: Based on the series written by Suzanne Collins, the trilogy centers around the life of Katniss Everdeen as she volunteers for her sister, Prim, for the Games. As she continuously challenges the system that cease to exist in each district, Everdeen realizes that there is so much worse games to play.

Review: The films faithfully adapted the dystopian trilogy, never failing to allow its viewers to feel emotions as it depicts Katniss’s journey as the “Girl on Fire” and her quest as a tribute. With its outstanding cinematography and action-packed sequences, Hunger Games will definitely let you experience how it feels to be in the games.

5. Vagabond | 1 hour per episode

Photo from IMDb.

 

 

Genre: Action, Thriller, Romance

Director: Yoo In Shik

Synopsis: After a mysterious plane crash that killed more than 200 civilians, Cha Dal-geun, together with covert operative, Go Hae-ri, initiates to find answers to uncover the truth behind the plane crash.

Review: The action-thrilled Korean series delivers suspenseful scenes and narratives that would make you stay at the edge of your seat.

6. Bojack Horseman | 25 minutes per episode

Photo from IMDb.

Genre: Animated Sitcom, Black Comedy, Satire

Creator: Raphael Bob-Waksberg

Synopsis: The animated series focuses with Bojack, a well known actor who once starred in a popular 90s sitcom, who is struggling to make a comeback due to his growing self-deprecation and his exposure to the materialistic world.

Review: Despite the dark humor and the reference to vices and worldly desires present in each episode, the animated series will make you reflect and sympathize with Bojack and his experiences.

7. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba | 23 minutes per episode

Photo from IMDb.

 

Genre: Adventure, Fantasy

Director: Haruo Sotozaki

Synopsis: When Tanjiro Kamado’s family was attacked by demons, Tanjiro embarks on a journey as he becomes a demon slayer in order to help his sister, Nezuko, who turned into a demon, become human again. 

Review: This animated series applauds Tanjiro and Nezuko for their determination to prevent the same tragedy to happen. With its top-tier animation and storyline, Demon Slayer has plenty of scenes to offer for its viewers especially on what is bound to happen between the siblings.

8. Kaguya-Sama: Love is War | 23 minutes per episode

Photo from IMDb.

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Director: Mamoru Hatakeyama

Synopsis: Both afraid to initiate who will confess first due to their pride and status, Student Council President Miyuki Shirogane and Student Council Vice President Kaguya Shinomiya, strategize on how they will make their move so that one concedes and confesses their feelings.

Review: The story build-up is slow, however, it allows the viewers to fully know the quirks and the real personality behind their icy and intimidating figures.

9. Terrace House | 40 minutes per episode

Photo from IMDb.

Genre: Reality

Producer: ‎Masato Maeda

Synopsis: Six strangers live under the same roof in order to get to know each other.

Review: Terrace House takes unscripted reality shows to a different level as it makes the audience enjoy and relax on their seats as they get to know their real stories and conflicts.

10. The Good Place | 22 minutes per episode

Photo from IMDb.

Genre: Comedy, Fantasy

Created by: Michael Schur

Synopsis: Eleanor Shellstop tries to change for the better as she realizes that she is sent to “the Good Place” by mistake.

Review: Aside from the good laughs shared by watching this series, The Good Place makes you reflect on your actions through its philosophical themes about the afterlife.

 

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