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Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994
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Archive for the ‘Movies’

Grantland’s Pulitzer-winning film critic Wesley Morris names Norte his #1 movie of 2014

December 19, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Movies 1 Comment →

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1. Norte, the End of History

Lav Diaz’s contemplation of life after someone else’s death taxis a runway for the first 35 of its 250 majestic minutes. Once it takes off, you can’t believe you’re flying. You don’t want to land. The story, set in the Philippines, of a man wrongly imprisoned for murder, the wife he’s left behind, and the moral rot of the real killer, is like a work of philosophical and spiritual origami — Dostoyevsky with human levitation and mood lighting. The movie roves wastelands; it climbs to heaven. With each passing scene, Diaz finds new ways of compounding the visual and emotional scope of the film, reaching a degree of artistry that provokes an involuntary response. When it ended the first time I saw it, I stood up, with tears in my eyes, and clapped. The second time, I just sat in my seat, awed by what Diaz had achieved, and perplexed as to how. On neither occasion did I feel like I had simply gone to a movie. I had answered the call of God.

Read The Top 10 Movies of 2014.

Maratabat, Memory and Maguindanao

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

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Photo from InterAksyon.com

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 InterAksyon.com.

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.

Every movie we see #126: The Hobbit finale is spectacular, and we’re glad it’s over.

December 13, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Movies 1 Comment →

Didn’t feel like typing. It’s just cursive, not Quenya.
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Meanwhile, someone made a hand-illuminated edition of The Silmarillion. Read about it at Boing Boing.
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The winner of our Adapt this book contest is…

December 13, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Contest, Movies No Comments →

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UVDust, who proposes that Wes Anderson make a movie of Helen Oyeyemi’s Mr. Fox. Live-action this time.

Congratulations! Please email saffron.safin@gmail.com to collect your prize.

This contest was brought to you by National Bookstore.

If you won one of our contests from January to November this year and have not collected your prize, please do so before 31 December 2014 at the Customer Service desk of National Bookstore at Power Plant Mall, Rockwell, Makati. Call them to make sure it’s still there, 8974562.

For unclaimed prizes from our 8th anniversary Question at Midnight raffles, please email saffron.safin@gmail.com one week before you intend to claim your prize at the Fuentes Manila office, because the chocolate has to be ordered from Villa del Conte.

Off to see The Hobbit 3. Meanwhile, Saruman sings metal carols.

December 12, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Movies, Music 1 Comment →