a movie a day…

shinobi
because you told me i look like the girl protagonist. oww, that is flattery-slash-white lie. but i’ll let it pass. i love its cinematography, the countless fire trees, the unwavering night hiding warriors who’ve mastered occult forms of killing. their mission, instilled in them when they were kids, was to kill the rival tribe. they are willing to die to carry this calling out. it’s romeo and juliet meets heroes asian style.

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april snow
a female and male strangers meet at the most unlikely situation: their respective husband and wife got into a grave accident, and they must sift among the personal effects of their spouses in the police station. they must also piece together how the two got together, and as they find out the truth about their spouses, they also open their own selves to the other. it’s not the most defined movie i’ve seen, but i understand the s-l-o-w pace of the movie. truth doesn’t hurry by: it will come, and when it does, it either brings a gift or a curse. or both.

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transformers
eye candy. bumblebee is such a baby. and mojo the injured dog rocks.

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the godfather
i know this is a man flick, something that gives men this i-am-invincible attitude. but hell, it’s a good movie, and i like good treats. eva loves the book = eva loves the movie. al pacino is great as michael corleone (hell, he looks great and acts great). what i expected—the atmosphere, the characters, the delivery of language, even two sex scenes—was done right, almost matching the images from my memory. shame that i only got to watch this a year and a half after reading the book. now if i can just have the time to watch part II.

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the good shepherd
things recur: a father disappoints his family and commits suicide. his son would one day turn his back on his own family to continue functioning as a loyal servant of America. it shows the birth of America’s CIA, and how the quest for the most secret of information can take a toll on your life.

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the way things go
thank you for giving me a copy of this film. this film literally shows how things go. a plastic bag that unwinds and plops down on an upright wood sets things in motion. it causes a chain effect. here, you will see tires bursting and chemicals setting off action after action. it’s a five-minuter, with no voice-over, no background music. a sheet of metal flares up, a candle oozes onto a puddle of chemical and sets off a toy car, only to roll onto another plank, and so on and so forth. if you want to get mesmerized without thinking much, watch this.

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perfume: the story of a murderer
this is the story of a man, who, since his orphanage days, had the uncanny ability to smell the littlest and biggest of scents regardless of distance and depth. i cannot encapsulate how the film showed his ability, but let me try: one shot spans from his nose to a rotting wood down into its innards, down to a dead rat, down to its maggots, down to the soil, down to the worms feasting on muck. he catches a whiff and his nose searches and sifts into a pile of garbage and finds a dead fish and goes down to its guts and towards its rotting heart.

he becomes a soulless man who kills women in order to catch the perfect scent. he cannot feel, he cannot love, he cannot be grateful. like a black hole, he sucks the life of any place when he bids it goodbye: his first employer at the tanning factory dies after the protagonist left. the perfume master who trained him got buried when his house collapsed. this happened on the day he left his second master. he chooses women of exquisite beauty, with innocence so beguiling a hush falls once he kills. you sense it’s the highest form of flattery to be killed by him because you know you will be part of his quest to create the perfect scent. when he targets a woman, he follows her by her scent. how he kills the women is in itself an art form.

the minute he mixes in the last fragrance for the perfect perfume, he is caught, brought to trial and found guilty for all the murders. with a whiff of his perfect perfume, he seduces the crowd to hold an orgy. even the pope couldn’t resist and found himself sighing in the arms of a woman. you might find yourself kneeling in homage or utter disbelief while watching this film. i love this movie, its textures, its characters. its pace. i can never fully thank the person who let me watch this movie. dude, i owe you.

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the scene where he enchants the crowd with the perfect scent, causing the people to lose all sensibilities

tuli
tuli is the filipino word for circumcision. aureaus solito, director of ang pagdadalaga ni maximo oliveros, is at his best AGAIN. i almost didn’t watch this movie, preferring to hang out at places i’m fond of frequenting. good thing my companion persuaded me. tuli starts with the ritual itself, rural-style. i honestly don’t know the names of the tools used, but it was really funny seeing boys immersing themselves in the lake to soften their little birdies and shouting their name barracks-style just before they get cut. there’s also a scene there that froze time. all my life, i’ve loved and cherished ophelia–the woman who drowned herself in grief and in madness–that i have collected digital files of paintings depicting her death. the female lead in tuli was shown sleeping while floating on a lake, her ochre-red sarong like a halo around her body, while all around her swirled dead leaves and petals. this plus images of pasyon, flagellation, salubong, Japanese invasion, lesbian love, anting-anting, and you’ve got a healthy pastiche that can only be done by a good director. the visual storytelling is whimsical, and the lighting in key parts of the story is very beautiful. musical director is pepe smith. on a side note, auraeus solito’s next movie is pisay, shown already in cinema festivals.

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our version of ophelia. such a beautiful image.

leon the professional
it breaks my heart every time i watch this movie. it’s so full of ironies; the pain seems palpable in almost all the lines. and even if i am familiar with the ending, something in me still resists, still wants to change the outcome. to summarize this movie crudely through a line from a song: “i fell too fast and i feel too much.” this is also the movie where i’ve seen natalie portman acting very sincerely, as if she’s not portraying, as if she really is the one getting hurt, as if she really planned on firing that gun outside the window to simply prove a point. and this will be forever my anthem: “is it always this hard, or is it just when you’re a kid?” to which leon replies: “always like this.”
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one of my favorite movies of all time

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