Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for the ‘Current Events’

Do you have an appointment in Manila on Friday? Reset.

January 07, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events 2 Comments →

It’s the annual procession of the Black Nazarene and 15 million people are expected to attend.

More people will surely be present at the Papal visit. We’re going North.

Update: Everyone had the same idea and the old houses at Sitio Remedios are booked. So we’re staying put.

Some days the editor in your head just won’t shut up

December 28, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events, Music No Comments →


On the radio: “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” the latest incarnation.

– Why should they, if they have other religions?
– And barring freak occurrences, there hasn’t been snow in Africa since the Ice Age.
– What about The Snows of Kilimanjaro?
– Damn you, Ernest Hemingway.

Advertising text: “The Greatest Artisanal Achievements of the Human Hand”.

– As opposed to the artisanal achievements of the human foot.
– I know lots of artisans who’ve achieved greatness with their left nostril, not to mention their small intestine.
– To say nothing of the artist Pricasso.
– Shouldn’t most artists be named that, though?

Thank you, Kim Still Less Famous Than Kardashian

December 27, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events, Movies No Comments →


We spent December 25 the way we did last year: hanging out with friends, coaxing Drogon out from under the furniture (sometimes he gets shy), eating leftovers (When will that lechon end?) and watching movies.

This year we saw the biggest talking point of the season: Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s The Interview. It’s stupid and hilarious! Even Juan laughed at it (he doesn’t take to stupid as well as we do)! Thank you, Kim Still Less Famous Than Kardashian, for getting us interested in a movie by making it a rallying cry for free speech. Otherwise we might’ve ignored it.

Katy Perry’s song Firework has a major role in the movie, which reminds us of another movie featuring Firework: Rust and Bone by Jacques Audiard (The Beat That My Heart Skipped, A Prophet). In the Audiard, Marion Cotillard plays a whale trainer who loses both her legs in a terrible accident. Sitting in her wheelchair, she recalls the choreography to the whale show, so whenever we hear Firework we remember that moment and our hair stands on end. (Cotillard is sublime, the only time we saw her put in a so-so performance was in the last Nolan Batman.)

Kindle a blaze in this dark world.

December 22, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events, Movies No Comments →

It’s the Winter Solstice, which is not a mysterious super-soldier revealed to be someone from Captain America’s past, but the point at which the North Pole is tilted farthest away from the sun. Druids marks it as the sun’s “rebirth” for the New Year.

Fine, we don’t have winter here in the tropics, but we buy the Fall/Winter collections of international retail brands sold in local malls, so we can’t be sure.

To mark the Winter Solstice, here are the lyrics to the song the Princess sang in Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress, which all good film nerds know is the basis for Star Wars.

hidden fortress

Remember that.


Maratabat, Memory and Maguindanao

December 16, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events, History, Movies No Comments →

Photo from

In Maratabat, the first film by journalist Arlyn de la Cruz, one family—Abubakar—rules a fictional yet familiar province in Muslim Mindanao. The father is Governor, the eldest son Congressman, the younger son Mayor. Their power appears to be absolute; they don’t so much govern the province as hold it hostage. Early on the Governor (Julio Diaz, switching between charm and malevolence so fast it makes your head spin) has breakfast with a young relative. All is friendly until the younger man confirms that he intends to run for mayor against the Governor’s son. The Governor casually shoots him in the head and leaves. No witnesses come forward—“It happened so fast.”

Motherhood, Money and Medicine

How many movies have we seen in which a bitchy, overbearing woman is revealed in the end to be a tender-hearted softie hiding behind a veneer of toughness? Thankfully, Zig Dulay’s M (Mother’s Maiden Name) is not one of those movies.

Zsa Zsa Padilla is terrific as Bella, a successful lawyer and single mother who discovers that she has late-stage cancer. “How did that happen?” she asks her doctor. “I eat expensive food. I seldom drink, and only expensive liquor.” Thus she sums up her upper middle-class notion that her lifestyle will protect her from anything really terrible. That’s what she thinks. In M, everyone is vulnerable to illness regardless of socio-economic class; however, money will determine the quality of medical treatment.

Read our column at

Today’s reviews are brought to you by the letter M.

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M (Mother’s Maiden Name) and Maratabat will screen at the New Wave (in other words, indie) section of the Metro Manila Film Festival, December 17-24, 2014 at Glorietta in Ayala Center, Makati and Megamall in Mandaluyong.

Helping the Hackers: Media should stop doing the Sony hackers’ work for them. Update: Sony, theatres fold completely. Cyberterrorists win.

December 15, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Art, Books, Current Events, Movies No Comments →

Update: Sony Pictures cancels holiday release of The Interview after threats.

That’s great, chicken out after weeks of free front-page and viral publicity, when people now want to see The Interview.

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While we enjoyed the confirmation that Hollywood is run by horrible people, the confidential reports of forthcoming projects, and the appreciation of Michael’s Fassbender, that information came from a crime perpetrated by a group that wants to stop the showing of a movie. They want to gag free speech.

The news organizations who used the stolen data claim that they selected only the “newsworthy” stuff–we need a new definition of what is news. They’re invoking free speech to make revelations made possible by people who are against free speech.

Never mind the reputation and income of the corporation, but sensitive personal data of its employees has been made public.

And if we only watch movies made by nice people (and read books, listen to music, look at art, eat food, live in buildings, wear clothes, use gadgets, ride cars by nice people), there would be no culture.

Read about it at the NYT.

Hmm, Haircuts for the Homeless, Helping the Hackers—today’s headlines are brought to you by the letter H.