concentrated nonsense

Tuesday, October 03, 2006
VIFF Dispatches (2)

Another eventful day at the VIFF that included chatting up the industrious (and even more cordial) David Bordwell, having my picture taken with him and the infamous clicker (yes, the one used to count the number of shots in a given film), and watching a film by one of my favourite contemporary filmmaker (see picture on left).

Today's viewing line up included:
5. Talk to Her: Digital Shorts by Three Filmmakers
- About Love, Darezhan Omirbayev
- No Day Off, Erik Khoo
- Twelve Twenty, Pen-Ek Ratanaruang
5.5 Away from Her (Sarah Polley) - *came in 45 minutes into the film
6. Shortbus (John Cameron Mitchell)
7. Still Life (Jia Zhangke)
8. Syndromes and a Century (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)

Difficult to record coherent thoughts when you arrive home between midnight and 1am every night, have a dozen or so e-mails to sift through and an early screening the next day. Comments on some of the films, and the Bordwell picture, to follow in a future post.

Monday, October 02, 2006
VIFF Dispatches (1)

Days 1 and 2 in Vancouver have passed in a whirlwind. At the time of my leaving (5:05pm, Saturday September 30th), Manila was still reeling from the effects of typhoon Milenyo, a horrible thing that caused damage not only to billboards and signs, but to trees as well. Both those grand pillars that have been living in their spaces for over a half century, and those that were recently relocated by the MMDA (Metro Manila Development Authority) for the purpose of making the city appear more beautiful fell, taking down power lines with them (friend and young photographer Tammy David takes a picture of her sister next to some minor damage above). Most of Manila had been without electricity for three days at the time I left, with the rare restaurant or mall running on generators.

It's a strange feeling to be back in Vancouver for a Film Festival. I spent 14 of my formative years in this city (age 2-16), but this is only my second time back in the last nine and a half years, and my first time to attend the Festival. I've been planning on coming back for the festival for several years, but it was only now, on an invitation from Dragons and Tigers programmer Tony Rayns (who I met and spoke on a panel with at Osian's Cinefan in New Dehli) that I am finally attending. There is certainly an abundance of interesting cinema to take in at the VIFF, and the festival's vibe as a whole is very warm and charming. It's serious, but not impersonal; almost intimate one might say (especially with the venues almost all a stones throw from each other).

My film log is made up of four films so far:
1. Out 1: Noli Me Tangere -- Episodes 1 & 2-- (Jacques Rivette)
2. Rain Dogs (Ho Yuhang)
3. No Mercy for the Rude (Park Chul-Hee)
4. The Host (Bong Joon-Ho)

More on these in coming posts...

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

This blog will be revived in the near future.

Thursday, October 21, 2004
Does anyone still read this?

Please visit


Sunday, April 18, 2004
I update to tell all of you of this great site: GreenCine Daily.

For those hardcore film fans (and I know there are a few of you, lest you have decided not to patronize this forsaken journal), this site will prove a wonderful resource for daily updates on happenings and new articles on film on the net. It's what Aint-it-Cool wishes it was. And it's easier to read too.

Sunday, February 22, 2004
For all few of you that read this (and those that linked me, bless your souls), please redirect yourselves to: here

I think I'll be updating there instead. I love having the links here (it's become my homepage), but the facts that the comments are outsourced and got deleted once bugs me...and that blogger is google-able. Bastards. Sorry for the trouble.

Monday, February 02, 2004
ImeldaRamona S. Diaz's documentary Imelda, on our former first lady Imelda Marcos, was screened at this years Sundance Film Festival, and took home the prize for Best Cinematography, Documentary. Very nice.

The film has yet to be shown in the Philippines, but something tells me it would take in a lot at the box office if ever it received a commercial release -- which is something I don't think any other documentary has done here.

How is the Philippine audience going to react to the film? How much is Imelda loving this?

This is going to be interesting.

Relevant links:
Imelda's page on the Sundance website
Inquirer interview with Imelda director Ramona Diaz

Thursday, January 15, 2004
(Above line mine, rest from Quark)

Hey guys! I'm pleased to announce that after five
months KEKA's finally out on DVD! if you guys ever
thought of getting the film on video (and the
thought SHOULD have passed your mind, being the
LOVING and SUPPORTIVE friends you are :)) this is
the format to get it on! here's why...

-it's a great transfer. i like the look better
than what you actually saw on the big screen. the
colors are a more vibrant and the blacks are
blacker! thanks to the brilliant and always lovely
lia martinez who graded it :D

-animated menus by the handsome and sexy edsel

-the film is uncut and complete (just to
reiterate, no, there is no nudity anyway)

-subs if you want to send the movie as a gift to
your penpals and foreign friendsters!
also, some special features...

-a rare low-budget music video we did for the
pinup girls starring angel aquino, mylene dizon,
clara balaguer, angela velez and marielle dini.

-the recent video we did for rivermaya's "a love
to share".

-the theatrical trailer of Keka

-last but not least, something i'm equally
excited about as keka's release on dvd is the
first time "A DATE WITH JAO MAPA", a short film i
did in college, will be available in the market.

so buy! and tell your friends to buy! and tell
your video rental store to buy! it should be
available in all astrovision and video city
branches. and buy original ha! this romantic
comedy is the perfect gift to your loved one for
valentine's :)

Wednesday, December 31, 2003
Happy New Year. :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2003
Vancouver, Night One:

Lost in Translation
(the title is so poetic I don't need to write a real header)

After eating a nice home cooked dinner of Bola-Bola (so good to eat my moms cooking again, she's the best cook), and seeing my Tita Grace with her husband and most adorable two year old son Ryan (I'll post pictures, this kid is the cutest), me and my brother Leo went to catch the 9:40pm show of Lost in Translation at Tinsletown Theaters. Much more subdued and quiet than I suspected (many spots of silence, much more than Virgin Suicides), and with a light pace, I still thoroughly enjoyed the film. And I'm sorry Cecile, but if the time comes, I may have to say goodbye and pursue my future with Scarlett Johansson. ;) I'm sorry, I just love her. Even her most stoic, expressionless face is just amazingly beautiful. Bah! I might have enjoyed the film a bit more had it not been for the two, young, loud white ladies sitting directly behind me and my brother. I have not, in my entire life, heard people laugh as loud as they have in public, let alone a movie theater. May the souls of those they sit behind next be blessed.

"AHAHAHAHA! Are we being loud? I think we might be a bit loud."

You're damn right you are you f*c&!n$ chicken!


Vancouver Day One/Day Two:

Only on Vacations and in Thrift Stores

Sunday and Monday we pursued Leo's favourite past-time: shopping!

I'm usually don't do much shopping. I can be seen in the same 5 or so t-shirts and long sleeves shirts regularly, with one of two pairs of sneakers, and my trusty blue jeans (hand me downs from my brother Chris). The only real shopping I've done since I've moved to the Philippines has been on vacation (to Hong Kong with Chris New Years '99, and to visit my sisters in Beijing last sem break), and two instances of ukay-ukay shopping in Manila (thanks to the expertise of Pia, and the taste of Cecile), so it was good to finally get some decent shopping in, even better to have my ever-so-kind-hard-working brother decide to pay for my clothes.

Sunday my Mom, Paola, Leo and I went shopping in downtown Vancouver and in the MetroTown, and Today Leo, his friend Cat, and I wento down to Seattle to do some shopping. All in all I've come away with one nice pair of jeans, two pairs of shoes (one sneakers, one a little less casual), a couple golf-shirts and a long sleeve shirt, and a shitload of cheap, durable looking t-shirts. (American Eagle Outfitters has great shirts and is pretty damn cheap. They have these deals, buy $40 and you get a $15 discount card you can use next time, good on any purchase over $25. Which is great when you have a big family). I don't think I'm going to be buying clothes for a while after this trip. It's a good thing I only took one luggage coming here.

Regret: That great red flaming lips shirt didn't fit right.
Regret: I didn't have money to get that 'Ramones' shirt for Ramones.

Dinner at Earls. Monday night we ate at my Mom and Leo's favourite restaurant Earl's. They have pasta and pizza that would make anyone drool, and not only that, but all of the waitresses that work their are young and pretty. Okay, yeah, they have young and clean cut waiters there too, so you can hold on your sexist remarks. Discriminating: maybe, but at least not sexist.

Film not to be set aside. We passed by a bookstore downtown that has everything 20% of the cover price, and was able to pick up Moviemakers Master Class, by Laurent Tirard. Quark picked this up in Fully Booked in Manila and tipped me off to it, but I haven't been able to tind myself a copy.

I got to talk to my friend Matt Ricordi tonight. He is 1/2 Italian, and 1/2 French (we used to bug the hell out of him for this. High School kids in Canada, my part of it anyway, hated having to take french. and since he was part french and fluent, we had to give him a rough time). He's a film major in the University of British Columbia, and has done criticism for the French Radio, and French Television Channel here. This bastard, via the Vancouver Film Fest, he was able to meet and chat over coffee for over an hour with french director (and ex-husband of Maggie Cheung) Olivier Assayas, and film critic Adrian Martin. Man, I gotta try and be here for the festival one time. Good news: I found out he has copies of Edward Yang's A Brighter Summer Day, and Bela Tarr's 7-hour opus Satantango. I've heard so much about these movies I'm really looking forward to watching them. We're gonna schedule a night (or a day more likely) to kick back and watch them.

Just being back here has been so refreshing for me.

Seeing the streets lined with trees, filing your eyes with the beauty of nature and lungs with freshness of clean air. It's an awesome feeling to drive down the street, any street, and have it lined with great elms leaning toward each other creating shade, and to walk down the street mid-day and breathe freely, allowing the cool air to perpetrate your lungs.

Seeing the color of the city; a wonderful concoction of indian, filipino, chinese, spanish, french, italian, african, and japanese, together with nary a soul noticing or caring about the color of anothers skin. Sure, some may call me obliquely optimistic, but it's a beautiful thing to see all of these different ethnicities blend together without a hint of tension, hostility, or awkwardness.

And, more than anything else, seeing my family. Seeing my moms smiling face and hugging her is worth more than anything in the world.

Sunday, October 26, 2003

I rode the plane with Jesus.

Because we got to the airport late, my dad and I were not seated together. I found myself seated next to a man named Jesus Tutanez. He is a Canadian citizen and has lived in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada for the last 22 years. He is 60 years old, his wife passed away this past May, and this trip to the Philippines, only his third since he moved to Canada, was to bury his brother. He was a pleasant man, and was surprised I could speak a little tagalog (despite having told him that I've lived in the Philippines of the past 6 years). He taught me the meaning of a few words of tagalog that came up in our conversation that I didn't understand.

Strange: the PAL inflight video about stretching and exercising stars Issa Litton.

All Families are Psychotic (with a nod to Ramon and Douglas Coupland)

Our flight arrived around 5:00pm, and my siblings Chris and Paola were at the airport to pick us up. Because they expecting large amounts of luggage they took two cars, my Mom's Volkswagon Jetta, and my brother Leo's pimped out old Mercedez (that Chris registered, had insured, and drives. He needs help to get chicks, what can you do?). My mom and Leo had work till 7, so we planned to meet them at Bettina's condo (which Paola occupies). Chris and I decided to pass by Leo's salon to surprise him. We were up the stairs and in front of the door, before Chris remembers: "shit, I don't have my camera! I promised Cubie I would tape it. We have to do it later." Lol. What a clown. Why video tape it? That, my friends, is the story, and why I've been so excited about this trip. As most of you I've spoken to in the past few weeks know, this is my first time back in Vancouver since I moved to the Philippines 6 1/2 years ago, and, more significantly, the first time I am seeing my Mom in 4 1/2 years, and my eldest brother Leo in 6 1/2 years.

It's such an amazing feeling being back here and getting to see my family again that it almost makes you want to give my Dad a hug, thank him, and forget about all the times I got all worked up and excited to come, only to not be allowed. (like when my brother Leo was giving me a ticket to Vancouver as a high school grad gift, and my Dad didn't allow me to go). Almost. But either way, it's great to be back.

I wanna keep writing but it's 2:00am and I need some shut eye. More tomorrow.

Friday, October 24, 2003
6 1/2 years later.... =)

see you all in three weeks!

Wednesday, October 22, 2003
"I'll fake it through the day, with some help, from Johnny Walker red..."

Nothing I write can do justice to what your music meant to me.

='( elliott smith (1969-2003)

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Rice PaperThank you Carla!

[note: experimenting a little with the layout.]

Picked this up from the post office today with many, many thanks to Lala (you rock). Rice Paper, as described on their website, is an Asian [arts] Canadian [culture] magazine. It's great to see something productive out of the Asian Community in Vancouver (where the magazine is based). I've been working on a stupid powerpoint presentation for the past litte while and thus haven't gotten to really read it yet. As much as the graphics/design of the inside leaves a lot to be desired (they use the font Arial for the entire magazine) there seems to be a number of pretty interesting articles. Not to mention the cover of the latest issue [the end of pure race] kicks ass (click on the the picture to make it bigger). Thanks so much Lala!

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