Favorite films

  • Arrival
  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire
  • Cleaners
  • Mary Is Happy, Mary Is Happy

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  • Everything Everywhere All at Once

    ★★★★½

  • Accattone

  • Manila in the Claws of Light

  • Manila by Night

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  • Whether the Weather is Fine

    Whether the Weather is Fine

    “The years I was editing, I was unconsciously learning from all my directors.”

    Carlo Francisco Manatad has made a name for himself as one of the most prolific Filipino film editors, with works such as “F#*@bois,” “I’m Drunk I Love You,” “Meet Me In St. Gallen,” and “Balangiga: Howling Wilderness” under his artistic belt. But in the last few years, he has successfully made a name for himself locally and internationally as a writer and director. His immediate narrative and…

  • Leonor Will Never Die

    Leonor Will Never Die

    ★★★★★

    When Martika Ramirez Escobar found out her film was going to be part of Sundance, she was on the way to a lock-in shoot for Quark Henares’ new film.

    “Yung initial reaction ko was: Ano ‘to, wrong send? Rejection letter? Joke ba ‘to?”

    (My initial reaction was: What’s this? Was it missent? A rejection letter? Is this a joke?)

    To her, it seemed like a statistical impossibility. As the largest independent film festival in the United States, Sundance was home…

Recent reviews

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  • Ñawa, Mauli-Uli Na

    Ñawa, Mauli-Uli Na

    ★★★★

    I hesitate to say that this is beautiful because of the amount of pain and frustration that was sublimated into it. It captures the feeling that many provincial kids had when the lockdown began: wanting to go home, worrying about your family, the uncertainty of the future. Somehow, one of the few films that have greatly benefitted from the online format, as one can pause and look at the details — fleeting letters from the father, rooms progressively getting more and more disheveled.

    Was really moved by this slow collapse from homesickness.

  • Days of the New

    Days of the New

    ★★★½

    Love this.

Popular reviews

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  • Leonor Will Never Die

    Leonor Will Never Die

    ★★★★★

    There is much to love about Martika Ramirez Escobar's debut feature film "Leonor Will Never Die."

    But the thing that strikes me right now is how it introduces non-Filipinos to the specifics of Philippine culture and entertainment: the pirated DVDs being sold cheaply on the streets, the gatherings of strangers around a television screen at hospitals, the near-universal love for action heroes, the perpetual desire to burst out into a karaoke song and dance, and so much more. In many…

  • Shake Rattle and Roll 8

    Shake Rattle and Roll 8

    This review is for LRT and LRT only.