Friday, May 29, 2015

THE GRAND DAME OF PHILIPPINE CINEMA

NORA AUNOR IN BRILLANTE MENDOZA'S "TAKLUB"

NORA AUNOR, THE FIRST FILIPINO THESPIAN TO GRACE BRUN PHILIPPINES ONLINE MAGAZINE COVER.

Please visit Brun Philippines Online Magazine:

Thursday, May 28, 2015

TRAP


By Derek Elley
Film Business Asia
Wed, 27 May 2015, 20:20 PM (HKT)

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TAKLUB
Philippines
Contemporary drama
2015, colour, 16:9, 92 mins
Directed by Brillante Ma. Mendoza

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“Characters are casually introduced as if the viewer already knows them, and their backgrounds and relationships have to be pieced together or guessed from small clues. The most affecting is undoubtedly Bebeth, owner of a small eating place, whose charity towards others — despite having lost three of her children — shines through the film like a beacon of hope, largely thanks to the performance by veteran NORA AUNOR”
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A climate-change info-film wrapped inside a very average docudrama. Festivals loyal to Brillante Mendoza.

Story
Tacloban city, Leyte island, Eastern Visayas, central Philippines, 2014. Almost a year after the city was devastated by Typhoon Yolanda (known internationally as Typhoon Haiyan), little action has been taken by the government to deal with the homelessness and social problems caused. Bebeth (Nora Aunor), who runs a carinderia (small eating place), has lost three of her children and now has only her teenage daughter Angela (Shine Santos) left; pensioner Renato (Lou Veloso) has just lost his whole family in a fire among some tents; young fisherman Erwin (Aaron Rivera) and his brother Marlon (Rome Mallari) try to hide the death of their parents from younger sister Daisy; and the widowed Larry (Julio Diaz) descends into masochistic religious rituals in order to handle his grief. Bebeth tries to collect money to help Renato, and also to get her ex-husband, tricycle driver Angel (Soliman Cruz), to register his DNA to help identify their children's bodies among the dead. When a tsunami is rumoured to be on its way, the population is evacuated to the city's Astrodome building for protection; in the event, the warning proves unfounded, with just strong winds and rain. Afterwards, Daisy and her brothers move back into their shoreside shack, which has suffered only minor damage, but find a thief making off with some of the corrugated iron. Due to government inaction, some of the homeless organise a petition. And with another typhoon, Lolit, now expected, people band together to rescue another of their number, Aunt Soping, from a landslide caused by the recent storm.

Review
Funded by Philippine government sources, Trap Taklub is a climate-change info-film wrapped inside a very average docudrama. It's the latest (and first feature-length) collaboration between Brillante Ma. MENDOZA and journalist-turned-senator Loren LEGARDA, a noted environmentalist, following their 33-minute documentary Downpour Buhos (2011) (about pollution and climate change) and the slickly packaged, 16-minute instructional video Ligtas (2013) (about disaster preparedness). The elements have often played a strong part in Mendoza's features (Lola (2009), Possession Sapi (2013)), and here they're up front and centre stage as the film looks at the lives of a small cross-section of survivors of Typhoon Haiyan (aka Yolanda), one of the strongest ever recorded, that hit the Philippines in Nov 2013.

Mendoza's films have always had a loose, docudram-ish feel, so his approach in Trap comes as little surprise. Characters are casually introduced as if the viewer already knows them, and their backgrounds and relationships have to be pieced together or guessed from small clues. The most affecting is undoubtedly Bebeth, owner of a small eating place, whose charity towards others — despite having lost three of her children — shines through the film like a beacon of hope, largely thanks to the performance by veteran Nora AUNOR (the midwife in Mendoza's Thy Womb Sinapupunan (2012)). Among the rest of the cast, another Mendoza regular, Julio DIAZ (Serbis (2008), Kinatay (2009)) has a more theatrical role as a widower who immerses himself in Way-to-the-Cross, Christ-like suffering to deal with his loss.

With the main roles based on real characters, and actual locals blended into the background, the sense of docudrama is heightened to a point where fiction is hardly separable from fact. But the script itself is thin and shapeless, with little accumulated tension or drama — despite an accumulation of Roman Catholic symbolism in the latter stages that will resonate with audiences in different ways depending on their religious sympathies. Yet again, Mendoza shows he has little ability to create a universally involving narrative or ensemble that goes any deeper than surface events.

Technically the production is sound, with Odyssey FLORES' toned-down photography imparting a verismo feel, especially in the storm sequence that manages much on a minimal budget. Diwa DE LEON's ominous music, all sustained chords, is atmospheric rather than descriptive. The film's Tagalog title literally means Lid or Cover, but also refers in its sound to Tacloban city itself.

Cannes: 21 Films That Stood Out at the 2015 Festival


Variety Staff
MAY 25, 2015

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Variety critics Scott Foundas, Justin Chang, Peter Debruge, Guy Lodge, Jay Weissberg and Maggie Lee weighed in with their choices for the 21 best films at this year’s Cannes Film Festival (listed in alphabetical order):

1. “Amy” British director Asif Kapadia followed up his 2010 “Senna” with this even more daring and revealing portrait of the brilliant but tragic jazz diva Amy Winehouse. Drawing on a wealth of professional and user-generated video, Kapadia again eschews the usual talking-heads interview format to keep WInehouse front and center for two harrowing hours, during which we come to understand how thoroughly the troubled singer lived her life under the camera‘s relentless and unforgiving gaze. The result is an unforgettable portrait of the cult of celebrity in the iPhone era. (Scott Foundas)

2. “Arabian Nights” Even this year’s most impressive competition films couldn’t match Portuguese auteur Miguel Gomes’ magnum opus for brazen ambition and conceptual heft. Screened in three parts across one week in Directors’ Fortnight, this six-hour allegorical meditation on the current European economic crisis bristled with invention, ribald wit and flashes of heated fury. Knotting stories of ghost dogs, mermaids and laid-off shipyard workers into one vast tapestry, Gomes made one of the festival’s most daunting-looking pics into one of its most unpredictably entertaining. (Guy Lodge)

3. “The Assassin” While viewers were rightly mesmerized by the film’s ravishing visuals and exquisite period details, most have overlooked Hou Hsiao-hsien’s subtle and timely political allegory on the uneasy yet symbiotic relationship between Taiwan and China, obliquely yet poignantly evoking the conflicting loyalties and sense of estrangement felt by Taiwan’s settlers and their homegrown offspring. (Maggie Lee)

4. “Carol” The jury may have fobbed it off with half a best actress award (for half its exemplary star duo, to add insult to injury), but Todd Haynes’ tender take on Patricia Highsmith’s lesbian romance ranks among the director’s most immaculate achievements: Though it’s composed and constructed with metric precision, a raw, reckless heart beats fast beneath its exquisite wintry surface. It also takes an immediate place in the canon of great melancholy Christmas films; one hopes and expects that American awards bodies will give generously in the holiday season. (G.L.)

5. “Cemetery of Splendor” As familiar as home and as mysterious as a dream, the lush and hypnotic world of Apichatpong Weerasethakul — let’s call it Joeburg — is a place to which I always long to return. His latest film, a melancholy melding of the personal and the political, is a calmer, gentler thing than his previous films, yet it’s no less remarkable in its ability to find a strange, otherworldly magic in the everyday. (Justin Chang)

6. “Disorder” A drum-tight home-invasion thriller fiercely anchored by the increasingly ubiquitous Matthias Schoenaerts, Alice Winocour’s sophomore feature isn’t a stunningly original feat, but was still among the most pleasant surprises in Un Certain Regard: Few would have guessed from the French helmer’s costume-drama debut, “Augustine,” that she has such tough, tactile genre-filmmaking chops. Hollywood producers should take note. (G.L.)

7. “Inside Out” Co-directors Pete Docter and Ronaldo Del Carmen somehow manage to deconstruct emotion while supplying it in generous measure in this deliriously funny, intensely cathartic romp through a young girl’s head space. The result is a wondrous return to form for Pixar, and a welcome reminder that there are still unexplored worlds waiting to be colonized by the imagination — including, perhaps, the imagination itself. (J.C.)

8. “Journey to the Shore” Not since “Truly, Madly, Deeply” has the communion between the living and dead been depicted with such tenderness and heartache. Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Japan’s maestro of psycho-horror, infuses this hushed, timorous drama of loss, regret and acceptance with his signature haunting mood, employing magical shifts of light and darkness. (M.L.)


9. “The Lobster” Lonelyhearts who fail to find a suitable partner at a dating boot camp are transformed into animals, or else forced to hide out in the forest where they’re hunted for sport, in “Dogtooth” director Yorgos Lanthimos’ jury prize-winning absurdist social satire. Taking aim at the way modern society imposes a narrow definition of marriage on everyone, the crafty Greek allegorist sets out in the darkly comic Bunuel tradition, before turning its bachelor protagonist (an emasculated Colin Farrell) loose in its unexpectedly tender second half. (Peter Debruge)

10. “Macbeth” That Justin Kurzel’s stormy new interpretation of Shakespeare’s punchiest tragedy was left until the very end of the competition led some critics to expect a cautious afterthought. What they got instead was an urgent, visceral update to enthrall the “Game of Thrones” set, unmistakably the work of the same director who electrified festival auds with “The Snowtown Murders” four years ago. With arresting performances by Michael Fassbender and a particularly inspired Marion Cotillard, this spare new adaptation stands worthily alongside Polanski’s 1971 version. (G.L.)

11. “Mad Max: Fury Road” Having set the high bar for the modern action movie with “The Road Warrior” in 1981, George Miller surpassed himself (at age 70!) with this years-in-the-making “revisiting” of his iconic post-apocalyptic action hero (Tom Hardy, ably stepping in for Mel Gibson), here paired with a formidable female ally in Charlize Theron’s Imperator Furiosa — arguably the greatest female action hero since Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley. Miller’s dizzyingly kinetic, color-saturated, wall-to-wall chase sequences kicked off Cannes with a bang which it never quite surpassed. (S.F.)

12. “The Measure of a Man” Veteran French leading man Vincent Lindon won a well-deserved best actor prize from the Cannes jury for this modestly scaled but powerfully affecting social drama from director Stephane Brize. As an unemployed factory worker turned supermarket store detective, Lindon appears in virtually every shot, effortlessly holding the screen with his weary brow and unassailable humanity. (S.F.)

13. “Mon roi” While it passionately divided critics, Maiwenn’s power-romance should be required viewing for all aspiring American indie directors (especially those of the mumblecore school). The “Polisse” director demonstrates the raw, heartbreaking emotional truth that one can achieve through personal storytelling and collaborative improvisation, eliciting career-best work from Emmanuelle Bercot (who shared best actress honors with “Carol’s” Rooney Mara) and Vincent Cassel. (P.D.)

14. “Mustang” Five headstrong sisters in rural Turkey are forced to conform to their society’s rigid concept of female self-expression in Deniz Gamze Erguven’s impressive feature debut. Undeniably scripted with Western auds in mind and not averse to exaggeration, the pic nevertheless boasts energetic performances of an intriguing nascent sexuality (think “The Virgin Suicides” by way of Sally Man) and a maturely fluent visual style very much in line with current arthouse aesthetics. (Jay Weissberg)

15. “My Golden Days” Arnaud Desplechin imagines the childhood and adolescence of his cinematic alter-ego Paul Dedalus (first played by Mathieu Amalric in 1996’s “My Sex Life … “) in this transporting memory film set in the late 1980s, with Roxanne Shante on the soundtrack and a thick, bittersweet air of first loves, fractured friendships and lost youth. Denied a slot in competition, “Golden” was the toast of this year’s Directors’ Fortnight, where it was acquired by Magnolia Pictures for a U.S. release. (S.F.)

16. “One Floor Below” Champions of new Romanian cinema long ago cottoned on to Radu Muntean’s minimalist storytelling, and while he stays true to his style here, there’s a slightly simmering quality that turns this story of a regular guy unwilling to finger a murderous neighbor into a quietly tense anti-thriller. Wrestling with questions of societal responsibility via a protag used to playing the system, the pic may seem understated, but its themes are weighted with a moral dilemma of quasi-Dostoevskian proportions. (J.W.)


17. “Our Little Sister” Hirokazu Kore-eda’s portrait of blossoming womanhood is a lightweight yet graceful divertissement that, a few arch Ozu-esque flourishes notwithstanding, reps a companion piece to the hypersensitive feminine sensibilities and visual luxuriance of Kon Ichikawa’s “The Makioka Sisters.” (M.L.)

18. “Sicario” Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin are all aces in Denis Villeneuve’s serpentine, pulse-pounding thriller, but the film’s undeniable MVP is the great cinematographer Roger Deakins, in his second visually stunning collaboration with the director of “Prisoners.” After the likes of “Traffic” and “Heli,” Villeneuve tells us little that’s new about the horrific cycle of violence and corruption that has ensnared both the Mexican drug trade and America’s war against it, but there’s no denying he tells it in muscular, bracingly cynical style. (J.C.)

19. “Son of Saul” The most powerful and provocative Holocaust-themed film since “Fateless” (which coincidentally also hailed from Hungary), Laszlo Nemes’ Grand Prix winner engages directly with the impossibility that any film could possibly do justice to those events, while challenging the notion that consequently none should try. Nemes rejects the melodrama of “Schindler’s List” in favor of a rigidly formalist approach, one that forces audiences to evaluate and consider its artistic choices alongside the already profound moral dilemmas faced by its characters. (P.D.)

20. “Taklub” Brillante Mendoza’s ode to the decency and dignity of ordinary people afflicted by the worst typhoon disaster in Philippine history thoughtfully reflects on the limits of faith, compassion and hard work. A welcome return to the studied simplicity of his earlier works like “Foster Child” and “Slingshot.” (M.L.)

21. “Youth” Paolo Sorrentino’s most tender film to date is dividing the critics and took home no prizes, yet its champions are touting the emotional rich way the bravura filmmaker explores aging via two very different figures in the waning years of their lives. Selling points include standout performancess by Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel, a blistering cameo from Jane Fonda, plenty of eccentric humor, expectedly wide-ranging musical choices and a visual banquet courtesy of d.p. Luca Bigazzi. (J.W.)


FILED UNDER: Cannes Film Festival

'TAKLUB' screens in the City of Paris on May 30


"As in previous years, a week after the Festival finishes, the "Un Certain Regard" category of the Selection transfers to the Reflet Médicis cinema in Paris. Here all the films selected this year for this category will be screened from Wednesday 27 May to Tuesday 2 June."

Source:


Check out the schedule here:

NORA IS ‘NATATANGI’: Distinct, singular


By Tito Genova Valiente
Reeling
Business Mirror
May 27, 2015

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ON June 16 Nora Aunor will receive the Natatanging Gawad Urian. The award recognizes and celebrates the actor’s body of works in cinema.

It has been a long journey for Nora Aunor from the time she sang with dwarfs at the backyard in a film that was more about the lack of magic in our life, to essaying the role of a mother searching for life in the valley of death in the aftermath of a most terrible storm. It is one huge filmic arc that, despite the lows in personal life, sustains a high in acting unseen heretofore in this industry.

As always and even with the expectations by the many, when the award was formally and officially announced by the Manunuri  ng Pelikulang Pilipino, there were sectors who asked that the recognition be justified. The question is not impertinent; the question merely demanded an answer.

And there are many answers.

There is the social history of cinema. Before Nora, there was the dominant ideology that required all actresses to be fair-skinned, tall and beautiful in the Caucasian way. More than the physical appearance, these actresses had to flesh out roles that conformed to the template of the idealized woman, the one who would do everything to keep the home intact. The actress/woman’s duty was to maintain along with the home her virginity, if she was not married, and her purity, if she was a wife or a mother. The allure of the leading lady was that she was part of the breathtaking landscape. The force to reckon with was this woman who was lovely in her fragility because the men around her were robust in masculinity. When Nora came, even early in those silly musicals, she stood there passive-aggressive in simplicity and unadorned humility. If she had purity, it was shrouded in sincerity that bordered on the naive.  The Great Unwash, if we may use the term, was making herself heard. The voice was Nora’s and the body was instinct and genius.

Came 1976. The Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino, battling what it perceived to be the lack of ardent film criticism (and we are not even talking about the absence of an institutionalized film education), rose to the occasion with a radical choice and chose Nora Aunor as its very first Best Actress. The film was Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos. The story was set in the Second World War; the enemy was played by a matinee idol about to become a multiawarded actor. Nora played Rosario, leading lady in form but in content a complex person who would sleep with the enemy and allow the generation of audiences to ask the unsettling question: Was that our war we died for?

It was the new world. The country was rushing away from the memories of the Great War. Japan, the grand nemesis in many war films, was becoming a superpower. It was time to dilute or question the collective memory. It was time for the leading lady to question life by embodying all the complexities of love, loyalty and fealty to a nation. Even if in the end, Nora Aunor’s Rosario dies and the notion of the nation as a punisher is promoted, we see the audacity of an actress to embrace what all leading actresses of the period avoided: to die at the end of the movie.

Nora, already a phenomenon at the time, became an actor in Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos.

It is often a question I ask: Are the fans of Nora Aunor aware that in most of her heralded portrayals, Nora inhabits roles that are duplicitous and convoluted, tortured and twisted in her understanding of the commonly acceptable valuations of roles and mores in society? Nora taught us the sins of the world not by denying them but by displaying the ineptitude and incoherence.

In Bona, Nora Aunor is this daughter who will never be the ideal member of a Filipino family. It is thus, the vindication of community values when Bona is mauled by her brother when she tries to sneak into the house so she could view the remains of her father. It is our fear and shame that this insensibility will befall upon us and Nora is the persona to show us all this. The show is not the crass, sentimental plot about a fallen woman played with flamboyance by Rita Gomez and Charito Solis, but a quirky ballet about religion, fanaticism and the tragedy that shuttles between poverty and identity.

For all the tremendous mystery of the apparition, Elsa in Himala will declare at the end not only the absence of miracles but the end of transcendence. “Tao ang gumagawa ng himala.” Man makes miracles. Leave it to Nora Aunor and her amazing thespic range that each pause, each taking in of the breath brings us to wonder if we could really believe her Elsa. If we believe in the Virgin Mary appearing before the simple girl, then we are the accomplice to a church that upholds the divine vision; if we affirm Elsa’s declaration that there is no miracle, then we are at the mercy of a cult. It is a baffling situation and Nora is part of the puzzle, never completing for us the picture because we are ourselves part of the big picture.

Faith is both shaken and stirred in Himala. A film that brings out of the closet all the tricks of apparitions and faith healing is also the film that represents who we are as people in religion. At the center of this order and peace is this wisp of a woman—unpredictable as a person but predictably excellent as an actor—who unfolds her own mysteries before relentless cameras that never seem to get enough because the actor before the lenses hides and shades her own tremor as a human being. That is acting, that is incarnation, when the word is made flesh and is made to dwell among the viewers.

The new performance and the seeming lack of fear and bias toward any roles enabled critics to look at the performance than the celebrity, the role rather than the royalty. It is late 197os and the military rules but the new film criticism is born, addressing without timidity and this time without question the politics not only of films but of those who make the films.

The extracinematic is born. Nora Aunor’s character in the film is judged within the context of the plot and the resolutions. The same character is investigated following Nora’s fandom, her personal stories, and her politics that while critiqued for unpredictability are, otherwise, always sustained by a sense of daring and independence, even recklessness, rarely seen within the perfumed enclaves of show business. The lines between the reel and the real are once more blurred, this time not for the invasion of the actor’s privacy but for an incursion into her politics and psychology.

If there is a milestone in the career of Nora as an actor, it was in her gradual shift to portraying roles that stopped addressing the vagaries and vulgarities of commerce.

Nora Aunor’s career swung from those monster box-office hits (that satisfied many) to films that did not cause lines to form outside theatres but inside the minds of the enlightened, Nora’s public who care to learn from this most popular of art forms, the movies.

With the roles and films, there was ultimately the formation of new ways of reading cinema. Nora was still the leading lady but there was no more the leading man. In fact, her leading ladies led only because she was Nora Aunor in the film; otherwise, in the narrative they were peripheral personas, not template for good behavior but trails to a forest of symbols. The characters are not always likeable, better for us to look at how life can be unfair and, well, better. Without us knowing it, Nora has lifted the contravida from the dark side of the stock and the stereotype into the center, the spotlight of importance for us to contemplate both the evil and the good, for us to savor the grays and the anomalous, those inscrutable in-betweens that mark us imperfect, human.

In Thy Womb, Shaleha the midwife holds the child that her husband had fathered with another woman. She praises the heavens but could not let go of the infant. When she does, the camera follows the sky. The woman is lost in the eternity that appears to be made for man. Before we got there, we are treated to how an actor suffuses the screen with awesome ordinariness that appears only ordinary because the mind behind those gestures has the gift to make the everyday profound.

Which came first, good criticism or good film? That, of course, is a chicken-and-egg predicament. What is clear is that there is a Nora Aunor, whose manifold characters can bring in a slew of questions. Love her or leave her; take her or leave her. Good critics can disagree with her, dispute the best and worst in her but no good critic can ignore Nora Aunor in cinema. Ever.

Nora Aunor is the Natatangi, separate, singular, distinct for the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino.

PAJE HAILS 'TAKLUB' SUCCESS IN CANNES


From:
Department of Environment and Natural Resources
[Kagawaran ng Kapaligiran at Likas Yaman]

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Environment Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje expressed elation over the Yolanda-inspired movie "Taklub" winning a special award in the recent Cannes Film Festival in France.

In its website, the Ecumenical Jury at the 68th Cannes Film Festival awarded “Taklub” the Special Mention “for the sensitive portrayal of individuals and communities working for life in the midst of suffering and death in the shadows of natural catastrophies in the Philippines.”

Paje was hoping the film, which was co-produced by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, would help spread awareness of climate change and the need to adapt to the global phenomenon.

He decribed the movie -- directed by acclaimed director Brillante Mendoza and starred by multi-awarded actress Nora Aunor -- as a realistic depiction of the devastating effects of climate change on the natural and human environment.

"We see 'Taklub' as one of those movies that have the power to change the way we see the world and inspire all of us to take action on the critical issue of climate change," Paje pointed out.

"The film depicts the catastrophic aftermath of what has been dubbed as one of the most powerful storms ever recorded, which is a stark reminder of the need for swift and strong global climate action," he added.

Yolanda killed at least 6,000 people and displaced four million when it struck in November 2013.

The victory of "Taklub" in Cannes comes a few months before the much-anticipated United Nations meeting in Paris in December in which countries will try to reach and sign a new international climate agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol.

"Taklub," which follows the intersecting lives of three Yolanda survivors, won the Ecumenical Jury Prize-Special Mention at the world's most prestigious film festival.

"Taklub" will have its Philippine premiere as the opening film of the French Film Festival on June 3.

The movie is produced by the DENR in cooperation with the Presidential Communications Operations Office-Philippine Information Agency (PCOO-PIA).

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Taklub: Philippine Premiere at French Film Festival


Seymour Barros Sanchez
Need I Seymour?

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After receiving a special commendation from the Ecumenical Jury at the recent Cannes Film Festival, Brillante Mendoza’s film Taklub (Trap) will have its invitational Philippine premiere at the 20th French Film Festival on June 3, 8:30 p.m., at Greenbelt 3 Cinema 1.

Camille Conde, Press Attaché of the Embassy of France to the Philippines, confirmed this latest development regarding the annual event which is organized by the French Embassy together with Alliance Française de Manille and Institut Français.

The French Film Festival, which reaches a significant milestone this year as it celebrates two decades of bringing the best of French cinema to the Philippines, will kick off with an invitational screening of Eric Lartigau’s award-winning hit comedy film La Famille Bélier (The Bélier Family), also at Greenbelt 3 Cinema 1, at 5 p.m., followed by the red carpet opening ceremonies at the Fashion Walk, at the ground floor of Greenbelt 5, at 6:30 p.m.

French film festival for 20 years, the French film festival has been providing a venue for the Filipino audience to appreciate critically acclaimed and blockbusters from the French New Wave, the classics, auteur films, and contemporary releases like La Famille Bélier, as well as Filipino films showcased in international film festivals in France such as Taklub. At the same time, the event also celebrates the developing bilateral relations between France and the Philippines.

Taklub is the only Philippine entry in competition at Cannes this year, officially selected to the Un Certain Regard category, and one of only two Filipino films screening in this year’s edition of the prestigious film festival, the other one being a restored version of Lino Brocka’s masterpiece Insiang, which was shown as part of the Cannes Classics section.

Mendoza’s film, which stars Nora Aunor, tells the story of three survivors of typhoon Yolanda in Tacloban, Leyte. The independent jury honored the advocacy film with a special commendation “for the sensitive portrayal of individuals and communities working for life in the midst of suffering and death in the shadows of natural catastrophes in the Philippines.”

Serving as one of three Cannes juries, together with the official jury and the FIPRESCI critics group, the Ecumenical Jury is made up of President Barbara Lorey de Lacharrière and Marie-Nicole Courboulès, both from France, Chiara Fortuna from Italy, Jonathan Guilbault and Andrew Johnston, both from Canada, and Jolyon Mitchell from the United Kingdom. The jury members were nominated by SIGNIS for the Catholics and Interfilm for the Protestants.

Nanni Moretti’s Mia Madre (My Mother) from Italy, an entry in the main competition, won the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury, while Stéphane Brizé’s The Laws of Contract from France, which is also entered in the same category, received a special mention like Taklub. Grimur Hakonarson’s Hrutar (Rams) from Iceland won the Un Certain Regard top prize.

Taklub is Mendoza’s fourth Cannes entry, after Foster Child, Serbis, and Kinatay, for which he won Best Director in 2009. This is also his fourth time to win an award of such nature from a film festival, after winning the Interfaith Award for Masahista at the 2006 Brisbane International Film Festival in Australia, the SIGNIS award for Foster Child at the 2008 Las Palmas Film Festival in Spain, and another special mention citation from the Ecumenical Jury for Lola at the 2010 Fribourg International Film Festival in Switzerland.

The Belier FamilyMeanwhile, La Famille Bélier is about a sixteen-year-old girl living with her deaf-mute family who discovers she has a gift for singing. Her teacher encourages her to join a prestigious Radio France singing competition, which may lead to a college degree, a good career, and a better future. However, this would mean leaving her parents and brother who have depended on her as an indispensable interpreter especially in running their dairy farm.

La Famille BelierThe film won Best Female Newcomer for Louane Emera at the 2015 Cesar Awards, Best Actress for Karen Viard and Best Female Newcomer for Emera at the 2015 Lumiere Awards, and Salamandre d’Or (Audience Award) at the Sarlat Film Festival in November 2014.


This year, the event will run from June 3 to 9, at Greenbelt 3 and at Bonifacio High Street’s Central Square Cinemas, offering a selection of 20 films, both recent and classic releases, and concluding with the new CINEMIX, a special DJ event fusing cinema with electronic music.

Nora Aunor-starrer Taklub wins Ecumenical Jury Prize at Cannes Film Festival


The Nora-Aunor starrer Taklub won a special award at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival in France.

Directed by Brillante Mendoza, this film about Yolanda survivors earned a special commendation from the 2015 Ecumenical Jury at the 68th Cannes Film Festival.

The Filipino film is one of only three movies honored by the Ecumenical Jury this year. It was the only entry recognized from among the entries of the Un Certain Regard section of Cannes.


Taklub is cited “for the sensitive portrayal of individuals and communities working for life in the midst of suffering and death in the shadows of natural catastrophes in the Philippines.”


In Taklub, Nora is cast as a mother who lost her children to super typhoon Yolanda that devastated and killed thousands in November 2013. The film is set in Tacloban, one of the hardest-hit areas in Eastern Visayas.

The film also stars Julio Diaz, Aaron Rivera, Rome Mallari, Shine Santos, Lou Veloso, Soliman Cruz, and Ruby Ruiz, among others.

Portrait Painting of Nora Aunor from the movie, Himala


Art Work by:
Vincent Kristan Quilop

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Nora Aunor wins Best Actress award in St. Tropez Film Festival


Superstar Nora Aunor won the Best Actress in a Foreign Film award for her role in Dementia and ‘Dementia’ took the awards for Best Foreign Language Film at the St. Tropez Film Festival in France on May 16, 2015.


Perci Intalan, director of Dementia accepted the awards on behalf of Nora who was unable to attend the ceremony.

Monday, May 18, 2015

SUPERFAN


The unparalleled Superstar of Philippine showbiz, Nora Aunor, had a super fan in Mandy Diaz who is the focus of this documentary from writer-director Clodualdo del Mundo, Jr.  The 23 minute short is centered around the life of Diaz, one of the most colorful and avid Noranians, and his adoration of Aunor that spanned four decades until his death. Nonie Buencamino plays the role of Diaz in the film and features select clips from some of Aunor's greatest films. Superfan was produced by Buruka Films.



Source:

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Puso Sa Puso Kasama Si Cardinal Tagle


Sa pangunguna ng aktres na si Nora Aunor, Broadcaster Ted Failon, Commission on Audit Secretary Heidi Mendoza, Children Peace Prize Awardee Chris ‘Kesz’ Valdez, ang ina ni Jonas Burgos na si Editha Burgos at Businessman Christian Leader Bobby Atendido, ipinahayag nila ang kanilang mga karanasan sa buhay kung paano naging mapalad sa gitna ng mga pagsubok, kasama ang butihing Arzobispo ng Manila, Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle sa kanyang “Heart to Heart Talk with Cardinal” sa unang araw ng Philippine Conference on New Evangelization II na ginanap sa University of Santo Tomas noong ika-15 ng Enero, 2015.


Sa bawat paglalahad ng kanilang kuwento ng buhay sa harap ng mahigit 5,000 participants, may kaakibat itong pagkalungkot, pagluha at tawanan,  Dama ng bawat isang naroroon ang pinagdaanang buhay na kanilang isinalaysay upang maging daan ng isang makabagong paraan ng pagpapahayag ng Mabuting Balita kung paano ang ating mga karanasan ng hirap at sakit ay maging isang pagpapala ng pananampalataya, pag-asa at kapayaapaan.

Ibinahagi ni Ted Failon ang kanyang karanasan sa pag-uulat tungkol sa bagyong Yolanda na nagging daan upang magbigay sa kanya na makilala ang pagpapala ng Diyos at bigyan muli ng pagkakataong mabuhay.

Mula sa pagiging batang lansangan at nagbubungkal ng basura, naranasan ni Chris Valdez ang tumira sa sementeryo. Matapos kilalanin bilang Children Peace Prize Awardee, siya ngayon ay tumutulong sa iba pang mga maralita na halos umabot na sa 63,000.

Ang maging matatag sa pananampalataya ang naging sandata ni Comm. Heidi Mendoza upang mapaglabanan ang mga tukso at malampasan ang mga hamon sa buhay na dulot ng pagiging public servant.

Makalipas ang ilang taon ng pagkawala ng anak na si Jonas, hanggang ngayon ay patuloy pa rin sa paghahanap at paghihintay na masilayan muli ng inang si Editha Burgos.  Masakit subalit hindi ito nagging hadlang upang ipagdasal na magbagong-buhay dahil anak din ng Diyos ang mga taong nasa likod ng pag-ambush at pagtorture sa kanyang anak.

Dumating sa buhay ng isang negosyante na si Roberto Atendido ang matinding pagpapasya nang ang kanyang apong babae ay kailangang dumaan sa liver transplant.  Naglalaban ang kanyang puso at isip kung itutuloy ba ang operasyon o hindi sapagkat nangangailangan ito ng malaking halaga ng salapi.  Ngayon, labing walaong taon na ang kanyang apo. Isa ng debutante.



Samantala, isinalaysay naman ng Aktres na si Nora Aunor ang pinagmulan ng kanyang buhay bilang isang anak ng mahirap na pamilya noong kanyang kabataan tungo sa pagiging matagumpay sa larangan ng pag-awit at pag-arte.  Dahil sa kanyang husay at galing sa pagkanta at sa mga taong kumilala sa kanyang talino at kakayahan, isang bagong oportunidad ang nagbukas.  Sa bawat paghihirap at pagsubok, manatiling nakakapit sa Diyos at huwag makalimot magdasal ng Santo Rosaryo, ang huling saad ni Nora. 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

PINAGPALA KA . . . NORA AUNOR


Marahil, matatawag ngang isang pagpapala ang maanyayahan at dumalo sa isang pagtitipon ng mga kaparian, relihiyoso at layko tulad ng Philippine Conference on New Evngelization na ngayon ay nasa ikalawang taon na.


May Temang “Blessed are you . . .”, ang Second Philippine Conference on New Evangelization ay nagsimula ngayon, ika – 15 ng Enero at magtatapos sa ika – 17 ng Enero, 2015 na ginaganap sa University of Santo Tomas Quadricentennial Pavillion, Esapaña Blvd, Manila

( From L - R ) Nora Aunor, Heidi Mendoza, Ted Failon, Cardinal Tagle, Cris Valdez, Edith Burgos, Roberto Atendido

Paano mo nararanasan ang kaligayagang binibigay ng Diyos, taliwas sa inaalay ng mundo? Sa kabila ng mga paghihirap na iyong nararansan, matatawag ka bang pinagpala / mapalad?  Ilang mga katanungan para sa Paksa sa Unang Araw: “Portrait of the Blessedness”. Ito ay pinagnilaynilayan sa segment na “Heart to Heart with Cardinal” kung saan ang ating Butihing Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, Arzobispo ng Manila at Chairman ng PCNE, ang siyang nanguna sa panayam sa mga panauhing mula sa ibat-ibang Sector ng Peace, Poor and Mercy.  Ang mga mapalad na panauhin ay sina Mr. Ted Failon, Mr. Cris ‘Kesz’ Valdez, Comm. Heidi Mendoza, Mrs. Edith Burgos, Mr. Roberto Atendido at Superstar Ms. Nora Aunor. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

KINABUKASAN (THE DAY AFTER) Short Film


Cinema One Originals Festival (10th Edition) will be on November 09 to 18, 2014.  Screenings of Adolfo Borinaga Alix Jr.'s KINABUKASAN, starring Rosanna Roces, Alden Richards, and Ms. Nora Aunor; under the "Short Film Program"

Philippine Premiere:

Glorietta 4, Cinema 1
November 10 (Monday), 4:50 PM

Other Screenings:

Trinoma Cinema 1
November 11, 4:50 PM
November 14, 2:40 PM

Greenhills Promenade Cinema 6

November 12, 2:30 PM
(Screening with the Cast)

November 15, 1:40 PM

Fairview Terraces, Cinema 2

November 11, 3:00 PM
November 12, 9:10 PM

Glorietta 4, Cinema 1

November 11, 10:00 PM
November 15, 12:00 noon
November 18, 12:30 PM

KINABUKASAN (THE DAY AFTER) will have a world premiere at the 
Screening will be on November 30 at 4:00 pm at The Salon, National Museum of Singapore.


SYNOPSIS

An older woman is moving on from a painful loss, when a link to the past shows up. The young man has questions that she has to help him find answers for.

Adolfo Borinaga Alix Jr.
Adolfo Borinaga Alix Jr started out as a screenwriter, for film and television, before directing his first feature Donsol (2006). It went on to become the Philippines’ official submission to the Academy Award

Friday, October 31, 2014

Social ills and personal contradictions




Film Review: HUSTISYA

Aunor’s topnotch acting, Lamangan’s directing prowess and Lee’s masterly script highlight

By Rachelle Cruz

With nearly 400 films in the roster, the 39th annual Toronto International Film Festival kicked off Sept. 4 to 14. This year, three films from the Philippines made the cut: Lav Diaz’s What is Before, Carlos Siguion-Reyna’s Where I am King, and celebrated filmmaker Joel Lamangan’s Hustisya.

 “It’s an honour to be invited in such a festival, because it becomes a show window of my film. A show window of the truth that I would like to be said about the country, and it’s always an open opportunity to say so, an opportunity given not to everybody,” Lamangan said. It’s not the first for this veteran Filipino director to have his film premiere internationally at TIFF. Thirteen years ago,  his film Hubog was one of the Filipino entries.

Aided by top-notch cast and veteran actress Ms. Nora Aunor and Ricky Lee’s script, the social realist flick is a harsh commentary on the perpetual corruption, criminality, and injustices that unfold within the nitty-gritty set of Manila. Nora Aunor plays a faithful and loyal servant to this outrageously wealthy woman (played by Rosanna Roces), blindly serving her, while she gets pulled in the dark world of human trafficking and sex slavery. Many layers of symbolism surfaced throughout the scenes that underscore the hypocrisy of people, either out of desperation, or out of greed, or out of poverty, crystallized by the many hands that exchanged using the white envelope to illustrate how ‘blood money’ or under the table’ ‘bayad’ can buy you power, buy you a life, or take one.

“Well it’s a comment on people who do not say anything.   Who just accept anything that they see. Corruption is you know, it’s in the Philippines.  Wherever you go, from the very, very lowest political strata which is the Barangay to the upper strata which is the highest form of governance, there’s corruption.   And people should be talking, people should be discussing it, it should not be hidden,” Lamangan said matter-of-factly.

The first ten minutes of the film already introduces the audience to the world of human trafficking, of young girls being fooled to think they will be working abroad to reach a better life, but in turn, the film demonstrates that they are hot commodities for sex slavery, for the reaping of wealthy elite benefactors who perpetuate the dangerous and hellish cycle. Biring (Nora Aunor) is caught in that cycle, first as a passive outsider, then later becoming an active participant in trafficking. She often catches herself in a personal struggle of staying loyal to the game and surviving, or breaking out, and potentially endangering not only her life, but also her loved ones.

Lamangan reunites with Nora Aunor, but this time, he explained that she doesn’t play the heroine, “It’s always an experience, it’s always a new experience because through the years she has aged, and just like an old wine, she has become better and better as an actress. And in Hustisya this is the first time that she’ll be doing a role that she has not done in her career.  Here, she’s not a positive character, here, she’s a part of an underground movement, is a part of a syndicate that’s doing human trafficking,” Lamangan said.

The general consensus from audience reactions show that Lamangan’s film was well-directed, and that main star had an outstanding performance. But the heavy scenes that painted the suffering and desperation lingering on the streets of Manila, of people living in abject poverty, of the women behind bars, of crooked lawyers playing within the confines of a warped justice system, of children starving, juxtaposed to wealthy priests and churches, of affluent families and endless parties, for many the film was too much to take.

“Yeah I enjoyed it, but I cannot swallow it, for what is you know, going on in the Philippines. But I know it’s true. I know that’s what’s going on, I know it’s true especially the politicians,” Percie Inacay said.

“I did like the film, it’s a riveting movie and Nora Aunor’s performance as usual is fantastic. You know it makes me sad to know that this kind of thing is still happening in the Philippines,” Evelyn Pagkalinawan added.

“Bakit ganun? Hindi magagandang lugar ang pinakikita. At saka, it’s too much. You know like, it’s mostly negative things about the Philippines, there’s nothing positive about it but anyway it was really well-directed and the actress was really great,” Susan Llanera, another film-goer, expressed in frustration.

The film is eligible for the Grolsch People’s Choice Award.  But like it or not, Lamangan’s film wants to make a point.

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