Monday, July 04, 2016

Festival in the City - The New Filipino Cinema at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

The New Filipino Cinema - Program
The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts just concluded its festival of Filipino movies called The New Filipino Cinema which ran from June 9, 2016 through July 3, 2016. 

Mijo and I were fortunate to see three very good movies. Miss Bulalacao, Sleepless and Taklub. Thank you YBCA. We truly enjoyed the movies you've presented.

We saw only one movie from the 2014 festival and also only one from the 2015 festival. Both times were a product of lucky chances. This year, we made sure of two things. We will plan going to The New Filipino Cinema better and we will see more than one movie.  We did go this and we saw not one, not two but three movies. We enjoyed watching all three movies - Miss Bulalacao, Sleepless and Taklub. Great stories, superb acting, and super entertaining.

The New Filipino Cinema - YBCA Mission St Entrance stairs

We saw Miss Bulalacao on June 12. The movie is directed by Ara Chawdhury. This movie is about a gay guy who, after winning the title of Miss Bulalacao, gets abducted by aliens and gets pregnant. The movie is in Bisaya with English subtitles. The setting is in a small seaside town somewhere in Visayas region. I love how the movie provided layers by mixing religion, being gay in a small town and provincial way of life.
The New Filipino Cinema - YBCA Mission St Entrance 

The director of Miss Bulalacao, Ara Chawdhury, was also present that day. At the end of the movie, there was time for Q&A. I love listening to Q&A and learning the thought process and the decisions involved in putting together a movie.
The New Filipino Cinema - Miss Bulalacao Ara Chawdhury   

Mijo and I went to see Sleepless the following Thursday evening. The movie is about two young urban professionals working as call center agents and how their jobs affect their sleeping patterns and how they fight the loneliness that make them sleepless. Having lived in Manila myself, I can totally relate to this movie. I love the attention to detail that show glimpses of Manila and the local city folks. The movie is directed by Prime Cruz. It starred Glaiza de Castro and Dominic Roco. The movie is in Tagalog with English subtitles. I don't know if this movie is available commercially in the States.
The New Filipino Cinema - Tickets 

We also saw a movie by director Brillante Mendoza called Taklub (or Trap). This movie focuses on the lives of typhoon victims in Tacloban city in the province of Leyte a year after one of the biggest typhoons ever recorded struct the island. They made the movie look like a documentary, as if I was watching a reality TV. 

An added bonus is the light art installation at the YBCA called Lightswarm. If you have a chance and you're in the area, I recommend checking it out. I believe the light art installation is within the non-ticketed areas of the museum.
  The New Filipino Cinema - YBCA Lightswarm 

  The New Filipino Cinema - YBCA Lightswarm stairs 

  The New Filipino Cinema - YBCA Lightswarm daylight 
The New Filipino Cinema - YBCA messages lights

The New Filipino Cinema - YBCA lights messages 

Thanks YBCA and curators Philbert Ortiz and Joel Sheppard for this year's The New Filipino Cinema. 


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