Sunday, April 19, 2015

Life Update; 2015 in Movies, 29-33

Feels like we've fallen down an endless rabbit hole. That's the internal medicine clerkship rotation at the PGH, where every day is a battle between quenching the thirst for learning (because there's simply so much to learn!) and being a slave to a student-dependent system no one has ever tried to challenge or upend. On a scale of one to wasted-tired, I can't quite place the effect IM has on the body. You see your bed, and your brain immediately sets to getting you on that slice of heaven ASAP. But enough with all this tibak poetics.

Last night, I saw UP Dulaang Laboratoryo's "Ouroboros," which comprised of three thirty-minute pieces that all distinctly sounded like Dexter Santos productions. Once again, the kids. were. fucking. SHOUTING. And that, in essence, was my biggest, perhaps the only noteworthy, problem with the show. 

Finally, have you heard? I've self-converted into a One Direction fan. 

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29. Imbisibol (dir. Lawrence Fajardo)

I really, really wanted to like "Imbisibol" because I'm a sucker for fragmentation, like "Cloud Atlas" and "A Visit from the Goon Squad." And there were really a lot of reasons to like this film, from the spotless cast to the cinematography, which made terrific use of blue and white to paint a portrait of eternal sadness. But the end result was all a distant blur and made me feel nothing for the characters. In fact, the only time I felt anything genuine was when JC Santos got himself impaled on whatever it was, but by then, it was already the fourth act. (Yes, the movie labels its segments as "acts," somehow indicating its intent to be read as a form of opera, which is ironic because the emotions being projected aren't the least bit coherent.) And that fifth act was just forced.

30. Swap (dir. Remton Zuasola)

Five minutes into the movie, I was like, "Hello there, 'Birdman.'" I actually liked this one, thought it perfectly captured the somberness of the situation being depicted, and that the emotions were well-placed and appropriately underplayed. The final scenes, though, were an abomination. 

31. Bambanti (dir. Zig Dulay)

An exercise in wasting a small story's potential for greatness and turning it into an advert for some provincial festival. As Richard Bolisay put it, "The Watch" would have been the more succinct title. Alessandra de Rossi was wonderful.

32. Wild Tales (dir. Damián Szifron)

"Ida" was a respectable winner for this year's Oscar for Foreign Language film; this would have been the more fun and daring choice. I loved it.

33. One Direction: This Is Us (2013, dir. Morgan Spurlock)

"I can't be no superman, but for you, I'll be superhuman." 'Nuff said.

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As part of my transmogrification into a One Direction fan, I watched all three of their films: two filmed concerts and the documentary film "This Is Us." The one most important thing I gleaned from these films was that One Direction basically survives on their fans' borderline-pathologic adoration and the reciprocal flattery the boys dish out in each and every appearance. In concert, it's always about making the fans feel good, telling them they're the best, they're beautiful, or, as captured on film in San Siro Stadium, Milan, they smell good. Just look at some of my favorite screenshots.

Hell, even the director of "Taxi Driver" is a fan!

Finally, Harry Styles and his tongue before thousands of horny pre- and pubescent girls.