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More mainstream venues open their doors to indies

/ 12:14 AM September 19, 2015
DAZA. Portrays an OFW who dies while working abroad.

DAZA. Portrays an OFW who dies while working abroad.

We’re glad to see that mainstream movie houses are increasingly opening their doors to Filipino indies. This month, for instance, “Heneral Luna” is showing in some theaters, “Ex with Benefits” is on its second week, the psycho-horror film, “Resureksyon” is about to start its run, as is Piolo Pascual’s latest starrer, “Silong,” and Lav Diaz’ celebrated “Norte” will have a special screening on Sept. 21.

That may not sound like a whole lot of cinematic activity and exposure, but it’s much better than what had been obtaining before. Let’s hope the situation continues to improve!

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Specifically, Borgy Torre’s “Resureksyon” tells the chilling story of Mara (Isabelle Daza), an OFW who dies while working abroad. When her body is flown home for burial, her hometown experiences a series of mysterious and violent deaths. Eventually, the terrified populace realizes that a vampire is on a lethal rampage in their midst!

—A vampire in a small town in the Philippines? That’s a bit of an unlikely stretch—but, the production explains the incongruity away by revealing that Mara was an OFW in the embassy of an Eastern European country—hence the more “logical” relevance of the film’s “vampire connection.”

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For its part, “Silong” casts Piolo as a doctor who’s trying to recover from the loss of his wife. He rescues a battered woman (Rhian Ramos), and the encounter refocuses his shattered life so he can find love—or love can find him—again.

Themes

“Norte, the End of History,” by Lav Diaz, is described as a cinematic exploration of themes involving crime, class and family: In it, the lives of three people end up conjoined when Joaquin (Archie Alemania) is wrongly accused of murder and ends up in jail.

His wife Eliza (Angeli Bayani) works hard to feed their children, while the real murderer, Fabian (Sid Lucero) remains free.

The film’s notes add: “His disillusionment with his country—its history of revolutions marred by betrayal and crimes unpunished—drives him to the edge of sanity.”

The film’s cast also includes Soliman Cruz, Angelina Kanapi, Mae Paner and Hazel Orozco.

The movie is a daunting four hours long, but has won critical acclaim and was cited by Sight & Sound magazine as one of the 10 best films of 2013. It won best picture at the Urian, Cinemanila, International Cinephile and Human Rights Festival Awards.

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ARCILLA. Compelling performance in “Heneral Luna.”

ARCILLA. Compelling performance in “Heneral Luna.”

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TAGS: Heneral Luna, Independent Cinema, Mainstream, Norte, Resureksyon, Silon, the End of history
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