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LFC Reel Time August 2013


Table of Contents News 4

LFC Brings Lola to Town

6

Film Literacy Classes

Announcements (12)

Reel Time

November 2013 Newsletter

Film Critique 13

Fete Du Film

19

Lola

21

Elysium

Interview 24

Man on the Street

Guest Article 26

Sci-Fi Inspiration

Externals (28) Screenings (30) Credits (31)

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NEWS

LFC Brings

lola to Town

BY PAMELA SAN LUIS

A

fter a month of delay, LFC pushes through with its semester-ender event, Loyola Screen. This is also the Documentation and Publications Committee’s major event, and this year, they have decided to screen Brillante Mendoza’s award-winning film, “Lola.” It was held last September 21, Saturday, on the fifth floor of the New Rizal Library from six to nine in the evening. A quite large number of people came to watch this film about two grandmothers, from students to adults to even (yes, you guessed it) lolas. Also present in the event was Brillante Mendoza’s publicist, Mr. Rene Durian. The film started rolling as soon as people were seated comfortably, and even though the venue did not give off a theater vibe, you could see that the audience was really interested, bobbing their heads up and down just to see it clearly. The people who attended the event were engrossed in the realistic film that is Lola, and almost no one left their seats during the whole two hours it was shown. By eight in the evening, as the film reached its conclusion, a forum with Mr.

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PHOTOS BY PONCH MUTUC

Durian was opened. He talked about Brillante Mendoza’s style in film, about how he was drawn to “real” stuff. “[He wants] real stories of real people in extraordinary situations,” he said. Lola was based on a true story, and since it was real, Director Brillante wanted to make it as real as possible, as was the case with his various other films. On the topic of how these were filmed, of how he makes an impoverished setting look appealing, Mr. Durian said, “Si Direkkasi, bineblendniyayung realism with aesthetics.” It was mostly a matter of cinematography, and making it seem more realistic is the trick. Even the extras Direk Brillante includes in his films are mostly the real people in the community as they do not have to act anymore; they just have to do what they usually do, making the flow more natural and not forced. The topic of poverty porn

was also touched during the forum, with Mr. Durian saying that it wasn’t an exploitation of the setting of poverty. “Poverty is reality,” he stated, explaining that this is what these films want to show. This was Brillante Mendoza’s style, and even in his upcoming horror flick Sapi, showing in theaters this November 6, his film will still feature social commentary amidst its terrifying scenes. The forum concluded with Mr. Durian discussing the message and audience of the film, stating that Lola’s message was universal. As he so nicely put it, who wouldn’t be moved by these two grandmothers and the lengths they go to just to give their grandchildren a better life, despite one being a criminal and the other one dead? This was enough to intrigue and touch the hearts of its audience, be it a young college student or an elderly Lola watching alongside her apo. LFC Reel Time August 2013

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Film Litera DAY 1: FILM HISTORY

Film Literacy Class Starts with a Bang! PHOTO BY JELI SANTOS

T

he film literacy class is a series of lectures that aims to help people to further their understanding and appreciation of all things film. The first of many of this year’s film literacy classes will begin with a seemingly simple topic, film history, to be headed by one of the Communication department’s very own Dr. Victor Valbuena. The lecture had a lot of content in terms of actual history, wherein Dr. Valbuena showed various ways of interpreting film history: through the development of technology from the silent era to the now prevalent high definition movies, through film language and technique such as the development of the Auteur movement, and 6

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BY PAOLO SAMPANG

through the different genres that dominated throughout film history. Dr. Valbuena also covered topics such as the history of film in the Philippines and issues that the film industry has dealt with as a whole. At the tail end of the session, the guest speaker shows the attendees a clip of a documentary, Hollywood: the Golden Years, a story of the world’s most glamorous filming industry capital. The documentary which was received well by the attendants can be acquired by talking to the FLC Head. This year’s film literacy class is off to a good start with the coverage of the film industry’s illustrious history.


acy Classes DAY 2: HORROR FILM

raised their hands. He was not

tended “victims”. Affect horror

shocked by that result because

means that it should have an

Thriller in SOM 211

he explained that horror is

effect on the users whether if

a disreputable genre. On the

the viewer would say it’s scary

contrary, he also said that

or not. This breaks the false

horror is also a popular genre.

notion that for a movie to be

BY ROBERT BRYAN S. CUARTERO

Despite the understandably

considered a successful horror

small numbers of horror fans,

movie, it needs to be able to

he went on to describe and give

scare the pants off its audience

small glimpses into the movie

at first glance. Instead, it de-

n the 2nd day of Sep-

genre of horror. These included

pends on its ability to mentally

tember 2013, LFC had

O

the basic concepts of the entire

charge its audience, slowly

its second Film Literacy Class,

goal of horror films were, as

affecting their thoughts and

the topic being Horror Films.

well as the writing that went

feelings; perhaps not prompt-

The speaker of the said event

into creating these worlds in

ing them to say it was a scary

was Andrew Ty, who comes

which the viewer is drawn into

moment, but definitely a tense

from the Communications De-

the proverbial “false sense of

one with cues that are beyond

partment of the Ateneo and is a

security”.

the normal state of things. In

horror movie fanatic himself. Before the event started,

Ty also gave the class some

the end, horror is the challeng-

tips on identifying and analyz-

ing of the mind and emotions,

Ty asked the class if who are

ing horror movies. Making

something very integral in all

die-hard fans of horror mov-

references to Douglas Winter

types of movies.

ies like him. Only a minority

about affect horror on its in-

PHOTO BY ROSSETTE TUGADE

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DAY 3: SCI-FI AND FANTASY

Scientifically

Fictitious

BY CARMEL ILUSTRISIMO

T

he FLC for Science Fiction and Fantasy was held on September 6, 2013, Friday, at the Social Science Conference Rooms 1 and 2 around 4:00-6:00 pm. The speaker was Professor Carlo R. Rivera of the Ateneo De Manila University English Department, who was described by several of his former students who are members of LFC as “the best prof ever” because of his sense of humor and creativity in engaging his students in lectures and discussions.

Before the talk started, while people were still coming in, he showed video clips of people covering the soundtrack of Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring using various musical instruments such as the violin and the flute. He also showed a short clip of the science fiction video game Skyrim, and asked a bonus question: “What is the first literary work in English to feature dragons?” (The answer is Beowulf.)

He first discussed about Science Fiction as a genre, wondering why it is not as respected as classical fiction, and talked about how people are still reluctant to admit that they are “geeks.” He ventured on the relevance of the genre, how it opened up to endless possibilities, and brought to light the social implications and commentary cleverly utilized in favorites PHOTO BY NICOLA CUSTODIO such as Star Wars and Star 8

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Trek. He discussed how Star Trek was ahead of its time, daring to go against racial stereotypes and even inspiring a fan to become the first black female astronaut. He also explored the similarities between mythical heroes and the main characters in Star Wars, and how the characters in the latter follow the tropes described in the so-called “Hero’s Journey,” comparing Luke Skywalker to Jesus. He ended with the “pale blue dot” and how all of humanity’s histories, aspirations, and experiences are contained in the pale blue dot found in an iconic photograph taken by a satellite so far away in outer space. He started his talk on Fantasy with a short introduction to the historical background of Lord of the Rings, and how it came to be after Tolkien, who had always been interested in wordplay, invented his own language and wanted it to be used somewhere. He talked briefly about the


language and themes in Lord of the Rings before venturing off to the topic of superheroes. He compared the superheroes of the 60s and the 70s to their 21st century counterparts, and contrasted the idealistic and utopian qualities of the former to the grittiness and the fear that characterize today’s super-

O

heroes movies. He explained how fear has become the driving force of our time, and how fantasy, even while discussing grim realities, can provide a more optimistic alternative, encouraging viewers and readers to be more courageous.

tions from the students. Before ending the class, he mentioned that science fiction and fantasy continue to influence each other and proved his point by showing a fan video of several “giant robot movies” including the live-action Pacific Rim set to the soundtrack of Voltes V.

He answered a few ques-

n September 9, 2013, Monday, the Loyola Film Circle held the fourth talk in the Film Literacy Class series, this time, focusing on independent films. Mr. Francis Pasion, the founder of LFC and currently an indie film director as well as a teleserye director at ABS-CBN, shared with us his experience and knowledge about what it’s like as an indie film director and about the nature of the indie film today. He began with a brief history of how he established the LFC. Then he gave tips for those aspiring filmmakers in the audience, stressing that to get started, one should make short films and work on material that you find an emotional, passionate connection to. The bulk of the talk was an open forum. Mr. Pasion invited his audience to ask him questions. The first question asked addressed the issue of the current indie film scene being perceived as poverty porn, to which the director responded that poverty

DAY 4: INDIE

Going Indie BY MIGUEL BENAVIDES PHOTO BY ALO LANTIN

porn “exploits the issue of poverty. If a film shows poverty as reality, it is not poverty porn.” This discussion led to a talk about indie films and international film festivals which, Mr. Pasion says, tend to exoticize thirdworld countries for their images of urban poverty and the rural picturesque. Other questions concerned his involvement with the filmmaking process and his experiences as a director. Mr. Pasion ended the talk with a short message -- to watch and support Filipino indie films. LFC Reel Time August 2013

9


D

uring the 5th FLC last September 16, guest speaker Ayo Supangco asked students what they thought defined drama. The answers mostly revolved around one thing: feels. Drama is most often associated with emotions. That involves shots of people crying or angry at the universe about how unfair their life is. Supangco, however, disagrees with this. Instead, he says that there is drama in any story. The first clip he presented to the class was from a film entitled “Life is Journey.” He was also quick to add that it was the exact title of the film and his grammar wasn’t wrong. It was with the caustic and self-aware delivery of his remark that he set the tone for the rest of the lecture. First, he deconstructed the idea of drama as a genre, and that it was an environment. In this environment, a conflict culminates. Drama, therefore, is essential to any narrative – a story can’t exist without a conflict. He stressed that the important thing about creating a conflict is showing the weight of it to an audience in order to create a connection. Simply saying “someone died” isn’t enough to trigger an emotion. The focus then on that conflict and its context is what needs to be fleshed out in a story – he explained that in Lion King, no one really cared about the politics or social hierarchies present. The emotional connection was in10

LFC LFC Reel Reel Time Time August August 2013 2013

DAY 5: DRAMA

Right in the Feels BY AZI DELA PAZ

PHOTOS BY NICOLA CUSTODIO

stead on a child growing up without a father. The lecture was effective in delivering key aspects of drama by presenting different relatable tropes, as well as one of the golden rules of storytelling – to show instead of tell. He emphasized the importance of knowing when to use language and when to use silence and his minimalistic visual aids delivered that message well. It allowed an avenue where people could really listen. That, he explained, was an important aspect of a narrative’s experience.


DAY 6: ELEMENTS OF SCREEN ARTS

main essence of a film. It usu-

light, its direction, and charac-

ally consists of the basic design,

ter. He also gave the definition

which includes the scenario,

of different shots like framing,

image, story, style content and

wide shot, medium shot, over

form. Other elements are the

the shoulder shot, angles and

theme, characters, actions,

the like, followed by different

movement, dialogue and voice

camera movement like pan, tilt,

overs, treatment or how you

tracking, dolly in/out, zoom in/

“attack” your story, setting,

out, crane shot and camera-

transition, form and structure,

work. Then he mentioned what

cinematography, shots, camera

makes up the sound in a film:

movement, composition, sound

dialogues, voice overs, sound

You need to dissect it be-

and, of course, editing, the

effects and even silence, which

fore you get to know it,”

“invisible” art.

is also important, though most

Being One with the Elements BY PAU ERA

people take silence for granted

says former LFC president and guest speaker, Gael Gatbonton

He also discussed the differ-

or irrelevant. He discussed two

at the beginning of his talk

ence between story and plot.

important factors regarding

about the Elements of Screen

“The story is the WHAT. It is

composition: the movement of

Art, the sixth and final Film

about what happened in what

the people in the frame and the

Literacy Class for the semester,

you’re telling,” says Gatbonton.

movement of the frame itself.

held on September 20, 2013

“The plot is the WHY and HOW.

The guidelines for theme were

at Bel 308. He started off with

It is the filling in your skeleton.”

not forgotten, too: The theme

two major details of film: the

Going further into the elements

must be true. It should be intel-

content and the aesthetics. He

of screen art, he discussed

lectually and philosophically

then proceeded with another

the fundamentals of form and

interesting and it should be

two things one must remember

structure which include the

presented effectively.

when creating a film: the WHY’s

shot, which he defined as “the

and the HOW’s. Why do it? Is

duration from when the camera

the story worth telling? How

starts rolling to the end. These

with pictures and clips from

are you going to do it? How are

are like your sentences,” the

films containing elements of

you going to tell your story?

scene or “the collection of shots

what he discussed while oc-

which are like paragraphs,” and

casionally challenging the audi-

of course the sequence, your

ence to guess what film they are

break down the elements

chapters, as said by Gatbonton.

from stating, “I’ll give you mad

one by one, starting with the

Next is the cinematography

respect if you know this one!”

screenplay, or the skeleton and

which gives great importance to

Gatbonton then began to

He ended his presentation

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ANNOUNCEMENTS

Now accepting online submissions

Ateneo Video Open November 13-15

Under the Stars Host Hunt December 21

Yule Ball

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FILM CRITIQUE

Fete du Film

The Most Distant Course Que Tan Lejos 3 Idiots PHOTOS BY ANDREA BELDUA

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FETE DU FILM

U

pon hearing that there was going to be a Chinese film playing during the Fete du Film, I immediately jumped at the chance. After all, as a Chinese girl, I felt that I ought to expose myself more to my own culture. With that, I chose to watch The Most Distant Course, a Taiwanese film written and directed by Lin Ching-chieh. Watching the movie was quite an experience. The story was different, after all. There was Tang, a “sound recordist” by profession, who would send the sounds of nature to his soon-to-be ex-girlfriend through tape. Little did he know that the girl had already left and that a new woman was residing in her old apartment. At first, of course, she was reluctant to open the tapes that weren’t meant for her, but she eventually gave in and listened to them. Inspiration led her to look for the mysterious man who was the sender. On the other hand, there was Tsai, a psychiatrist who was going through martial problems. 14

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He came upon the realization that he needed to let go of things after meeting a patient whose husband was having an affair. He then went off to look for his former lover. I liked the cinematography of the film. The props were utilized to show scenes nicely and unique angles were used. Seeing the scenery of Taiwan also added to the charm of the film. The music was good as well. I liked the idea of enjoying music provided by nature for it served as a reminder to stop every once in a while to listen to the various sounds around me. The acting was also convincing enough. Tsai, for one, was convincingly humorous and wacky. On the other hand, I found the movie quite confusing. There were certain scenes that left me stunned, particularly ones that involved Tsai, and the ending left me wondering what had just happened. The pace of the film was also slow in general, which some people may find boring. Either way, I enjoyed trying to decipher the Chinese words that were

The Most Distant Course

BY PATRICIA NGO

being used in the film. I felt satisfied every time I would hear a familiar word and see that the English translation was the same as what I thought the meaning was. It was a nice way to familiarize myself a bit more with the Chinese language. All in all, the movie was okay. If I’m going to be honest, though, it just wasn’t my cup of tea. I felt that it was too vague for my taste. Nevertheless, I’m thankful that I got to experience watching a foreign film.

Patricia Ngo is a first year Management Engineering major who loves books, music, and chocolate. She enjoys singing and dancing randomly.


FETE DU FILM

Que Tan Lejos BY MIGUEL BENAVIDES

I

t’s not so often one sees

translated as “How Much

Cuenca happens to be one of

a movie that follows the

Further”, is a film directed

forlorn love. Along their jour-

man-on-a-road kind of plot.

by Tania Hermida. Set in

ney, they are joined by a man

It’s an experience that would

Ecuador, the movie mainly (or

named Jesus,( pronounced

at times sentimentally remind

loosely) follows the journey

with a Latino ‘H’ sound, mind

you of life in all its vicissitudi-

of two women, Esperanza

you), and he wishes to go to

nous drama. It reminds me of

(Tania Martinez) and Tristeza

Cuenca to spread the ashes of

long walks under an autumn

(Cecilia Vallejo), on their

his late grandmother.

haze, going somewhere, not

way to Cuenca. Esperanza, a

quite sure where, but I’m filled

somewhat bubbly, if not too

I have this unexplainable

with a vague sense of certain-

enthusiastic Spanish tourist,

feeling that this is the kind of

ty about where I want to go,

journeys for the love of jour-

movie that begs to be watched

hoping that perhaps if I walk

neying, to capture every scene

more than once. Out of respect

long enough, I’ll find what I’m

and every moment with her

for the director, I feel that this

looking for. It’s like, a journey,

handheld cam recorder.Triste-

movie has nuances that I may

you know? Yeah? Me neither.

za is the cynical, serious wom-

have missed. This is a typical

an whose reason for going to

art-house thing but I am disin-

 Que Tan Lejos (2006),

LFC Reel Time August 2013

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FETE DU FILM

clined to judge it based on its

good job of portraying them.

hear me out). So these names

art-house merits. Instead, (if

The chemistry between Espe-

would mean that these char-

you haven’t noticed already), I

ranza and Tristeza is there,

acters are metaphors. The film

offer only impressions.

and you can’t help but smile

then takes up another level

when you see them together.

where it wants to talk about

Their opposite personali-

the general human condition,

purely experiential level, I

ties contrast nicely; you feel

perhaps about life being a

felt confused. As the credits

vaguely happy inside seeing

journey and it being repre-

rolled, my friends and I looked

two souls setting out like sis-

sented by the contrasting but

at each other, eyebrows raised

ters. Jesus is the funny, oddly

ultimately human emotions of

followed by a synchronized

avuncular figure who gives

sadness and hope, only to be

look of what-just-happened?

words of wisdom to the two

guided by Jesus. But that’s just

It is difficult to appreciate a

women, and he is personally

my take.

movie that follows this kind of

my favorite character.

Let me be honest. On a

plot, a journey with no precise conflict, or at the very least,

I have little to say for this The overall effect is hard

film. And what little I can say,

an extremely unfocused one.

to put into words. It’s not

I can only say vaguely. It’s

Tristeza’s anxiety over what

the profound ineffability of

nice to watch, and you’ll enjoy

she expects at the end of her

beautiful artistry you feel;

these characters, but odds are,

journey is perhaps the closest

rather, it’s the inability to

you’ll scratch your head and

thing one might call a conflict.

say much simply because you

wonder more. Maybe that’s

Esperanza’s is so subtle, it

don’t feel like much hap-

the point. Maybe the whole

takes a stretch of thought to

pened. There seems to be a

point of the movie is that the

wonder what she’s even doing

veneer of literariness I have

journey of life is a mystery.

there besides enjoying the

yet to explore, but off the top

Deep stuff, but couldn’t you

scenery. I have no idea why

of my head, I feel like there’s

portray the inherent mystery

Jesus is there, though he does

something to their names. Es-

of life in a clearer way? I’m not

make a pleasantly amusing

peranza introduces herself as

so sure myself. The best reac-

viewing. The fact that he looks

Hope to Tristenza who in turn

tion I can give for this movie is

like Jesus is a bonus.

introduces herself as Sadness.

a shrug of the shoulders and a

Jesus looks like Jesus (this

slanting lower lip.

The characters at least feel human, and the actors do a

16

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may be an incredibly biased and subjective statement but


FETE DU FILM

3 Idiots BY ANDREA LOPEZ

Y

ou don’t usually hear Asian movies getting hype, let alone Bollywood films, but Rajkumar Hirani’s 3 Idiots certainly does prove everyone wrong. It all begins when Farhan Qureshi (Madhavan) and Raju Rastogi (Sharman Joshi) are summoned by old college classmate nicknamed ‘Silencer’ (Omi Vaidya) to reveal the location of Rancho, their long-lost best friend who had mysteriously vanished right after graduation. The film goes on to nar-

rate the absurd antics of the trio back then. The main cast does a brilliant job of bringing their characters to life; Rancho (Aamir Khan), presented as a sort of redeemer to his two friends is intelligent, charismatic, and a little too honest for his own good – enough to eawrn the burning ire of ‘Virus,’ (BomanIrani), the cold and derisive Director of the Imperial College of Engineering. If there is one thing this movie deserves an award for, it would be the characters. Memorable and fleshed-out, they were portrayed with a good sense of wit and genuineness not usually present in most LFC Reel Time August 2013

17


FETE DU FILM

melodramas. Even Rancho, who seemed to unfold as your typical “messiah” trope later on in the film eventually finds his way back to the ground. Although usually overlooked, especially in this kind of genre, music plays a large role in this film, and I have to applaud the composers for the great job they did here. Perfectly in-sync with the mood, every scene, every swoop of the camera, the musical score is definitely what gives 3 Idiots its distinct flavor. Of course, let us not forget this movie’s roots. What kind of Bollywood movie can be called one if not for the fantastical song and dance sequences? I personally am not quite fond of them, but hey – it works. It gets slightly unnerving once you hit the three-minute mark, however, and everything seems to drag, the energy slowly fizzing out, but it makes up for it once you come to realize they add to the plot just as the rest of the film. For a comedy, it’s refreshing to see how serious topics are handled as they are. I particularly appreciate how it scatters these loose ends throughout the scenes, only to come back around to tie them all in a neat little bow. The film doesn’t exactly do anything spectacular with the plot – it’s the same old formula we’ve been seeing for years, but it uses those same ingredients to create something that simply shines, lifting everything up to a whole new plane, and that I believe is a feat in itself. 18

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Andrea Lopez is a first year AB Communications major who loves to read, watch movies, cry over fictional characters, and maybe cry a little more.


A FILM CRITIQUE ON

Brilliante Mendoza’s Lola BY HENNA YU

A

fter the success of Kinatay at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, director Brillante Mendoza released another film in 2009, Lola. Shot in various locations in Metro Manila, Lola tells the story of two grandmothers whose lives intertwine after their grandsons are involved in a violent crime, with one grandson being the suspect and the other, the victim. Lola went on to win critical acclaim in various international film festivals, including best film at 6th Dubai International Film Festival. Beginning scenes can be described as slow and somewhat tedious. There is a long scene that follows Lola Sepa (played by Anita Linda) and her young grandson as they make their way to through

Carpio). Puring just barely misses bumping into Sepa as she makes her way to the precinct to visit her own grandson, Mateo, who is revealed to be the killer of Sepa’s grandson. The film then shifts from one grandmother to another, following them as they try various means to gather enough money for their grandsons, one for a grandson’s burial, the other for a grandson’s bail from jail. the busy streets of Manila. We then find out that their destination is a funeral parlor, with the scene culminating in the revelation of the corpse of Sepa’s slain grandson, Arnold, in the funeral morgue. Lola Sepa then proceeds to the local precinct to report the case of Arnold, where her story finally intersects with that of the other grandmother, Lola Puring (played by Rustica

At the open forum that followed Loyola Film Circle’s screening of Lola last September 22, publicist for director Mendoza, Rene Durian, described Lola as an “ultra neo-realist film, ”and perhaps this accounts for the movie’s seemingly tediousness, as it takes a sort of documentary route. The rest of the movie, just like its opening scenes, cannot be described as acLFC Reel Time August 2013

19


tion-packed. In fact, it doesn’t seem to move at any pace, instead following the slow footsteps of its grandmothers. Both grandmothers go through various seemingly mundane tasks to earn money for their grandsons, and as we watch them slowly and painstakingly do things liking ride a boat to ask for donations from neighbors or gathering coins spilled on the sidewalk, we begin to feel frustration for their situations and awe at their resigned patience with the slow pace of their lives. This film is carried by the acting of actresses Anita Linda and RusticaCarpio, who play the titular grandmothers. In fact, what they did in this movie could hardly be called acting, as they truly become their characters, something a realist film like Lola requires from its cast for it to be successful. As the audience, we forget that they are actresses, but instead feel like we are watching a true story retold before our eyes: these grandmothers could possibly be anyone we know or pass by here in Metro Manila. Their superb acting skills were showcased particularly in a striking scene where Sepa and Puring engage in conversation in a food court. They talk about ordinary things like high blood pressure, arthritis and their deceased husbands, and it is only when Lola Puring brings out the money she brought to bargain with for her grandson’s freedom is their extremely complicated situation brought suddenly back to the forefront. The actors who played the secondary characters also did a great job; however, 20

LFC Reel Time August 2013

there was little material for them to work with as these other characters (including Puring’s grandson, Mateo) weren’t exactly fleshed out and seemed more like part of the setting than characters in their own right. Perhaps, Mendoza felt that the focus of the movie should really just be on the grandmothers, and fleshing out the lives and motives of these other characters would detract from this. Also there are various scenes which at first glance, may seem useless to the plot of the movie, scenes like the robbery of a woman’s bag in the jeep at the beginning of the film, or a scene where visitors to Arnold’s wake caught fish in Lola Sepa’s fish pond. However, deeper individual reflection on these scenes in connection to the plot may reveal that these scenes are more important to the plot and character development than how they first seem—but that is all up to the audience. At the last scene we see Lola Puring and Lola Sepa going their separate ways, probably never to meet again, and as we leave this movie, we are also left with lingering questions about the real cost of a person’s life and freedom.

Henna Yu is a second year AB Communications major who loves watching movies, talking about movies, crying over movies but hates popcorn.


I

t’s rare nowadays to see movies with clear political and social commentaries, especially in sci-fi. Elysium (2013) is Neill Blomkamp’s sophomore piece, the follow-up to his successful District 9 (2009) which explored racial discrimination in the form of aliens against humans. Here, Blomkamp returns with a polemic on class struggle that is vaguely reminiscent of something one would pick up from a textbook on Marxism. Only, it would be wrong to think of this as an étude on a possible dystopian future of a capitalist world gone wrong. This is a sci-fi blockbuster that just so happens to have a socio-political commentary. This is the world Elysium sets up: It’s 2154. Earth is overpopulated, over-polluted, impoverished. It’s a beige wasteland aesthetically similar to the one in District 9.

More Fun, Less Politics:

ELYSIUM BY MIGUEL BENAVIDES

Up above is the space station called Elysium, a paradise of palm trees, trimmed lawns and ultra-modern houses where the wealthy elite are served champagne by droids. Also, on Elysium, there’s a piece of technology that cures any disease and heals any (and I mean any) physical injury. Max De Costa (Matt Damon) is an ex-felon on Earth who leaves his old life to work at an industrial manufacturing company. Unfortunately, he gets into an accident resulting in a lethal dose of radiation and leaving him only LFC Reel Time August 2013

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five days to live. Seeking a ticket to Elysium, he teams up with a group of his old fellow-criminals in a plot to infiltrate Elysium and heal himself. On Elysium, Secretary of Defense Delacourt (Jodie Foster), unhappy with the loose border protection policies of the current government, plans a coup to take over Elysium, and Max’s actions interfere with hers.

with enough motivation and drive to let you root for him. Jodie Foster on the other hand was odd. Her character reminded me of some pissed off English queen; her facial expressions were cartoonish and exaggerated and at times, felt mismatched with what she was saying. The overall effect more often resulted in my giggling than the supposed fear I’d expect from a villain.

This premise has great potential to make the film full of action. There’s no shortage, no doubt, but Blomkamp resists that impulse to drive the film scene by scene with explosions and bullets. Instead, he lets his characters move the story. And, for the most part, their motivations are quite clear. I sympathized with Max. I wanted him to live, and every time he was on the verge of dying, I was gripped with fear. Matt Damon delivers a solid performance for a character

On the topic of actors, Sharlto Copley is just brilliant. He plays Kruger, Delacourt’s sleeper agent who carries out her covert, unauthorized missions. His character is menacing, disturbing, messed-up, but not revoltingly so. This actor, hands-down, steals every scene he’s in. I am literally in awe at how this is the same actor who played the scrawny pathetic protagonist from District 9 and the goofy Murdock from The A-Team (2010). His strange South African

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accent only adds to his psychotic charm, even though it takes a few seconds to decipher what he’s saying. Elysium’s plot is unevenly paced. It introduces you to its world without dwelling on it, but I can’t help feeling that it too was underdeveloped. I have a lot of questions about how this dystopian future came about. If you need a citizenship to enter Elysium, I suppose that makes it its own state. How did the people who started Elysium grant it its own sovereignty? I could understand that this could have been a purely commercial venture where only the wealthy could afford to live there, but for it to establish its own government from people who came from Earth, I feel something’s off. Part of what made District 9 great was its visual direction and its beautifully detailed special effects. Elysium is no different. Seldom did I think to myself, “This is CGI.” The droids were fluid; the space-age weaponry, reasonably advanced (nothing looked ridiculously sci-fi; think handheld rocket launchers firing missiles into space); and, the space ships were well designed (Bugatti still exists in 2154). Perhaps the closest thing where I thought, “Well, hmm, that

doesn’t look 100% real,” would be the facial reconstruction surgery on Kruger. After proverbially eating a grenade, we see what’s left of his face being re-atomized. In fact, it reminded me of a time lapse video of a decaying piece of meat, only in reverse. This should also give you an idea of the amount of violence in this movie. Granted, there were a few shaky-cam moments but they weren’t gratuitously inserted out of lazy visual direction. Sure, it’s dizzying but at least I felt appropriately dizzy. The chaos in the scenes demanded it. But the visual direction goes beyond that, and this is best shown in the fight sequences which pace the fast, vertiginous stunts with punctuations of dramatic slow motion. In fact, the final showdown between Max and Kruger showcased one of the most impressive feats of visual acrobatics I’ve seen. For all its somewhat shallow social commentary, Elysium is a sci-fi blockbuster that does not disappoint. It’s a film that delivers great performances with a compelling enough plot in a decently constructed but visually beautiful world. You probably won’t care about the division between the rich and poor more, but it’s nice to know there’s a filmmaker out there who’s at least incorporating these socially relevant issues. Elysium may not develop a polemic as compelling as District 9’s but it does deliver a thoroughly enjoyable movie-going experience.

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INTERVIEW

W

M A N ON T HE ST R E ET

hat if you wake up one morning to a whooshing sound only to find a blue police box smack right in the middle of your bedroom? And from the said blue box out comes a man in a bow tie and holding what seems to be some sort of screwdriver. Before you knew it, you are being whisked away on an adventure and you discover, with complete and utter disbelief, that the box is bigger on the inside. The man in the bow tie turns to you and says, “So. All of time and space. Everything that ever happened or ever will. Where do you want to start?”

BY CHALINA PILAPIL

I f y o u co u ld t i m e t ra v e l to o ne pl a ce a n d ti me , w he r e wo u ld y ou go?

If given the option to time travel, some people may have different reasons for going to a certain place at a certain time.For some, it may be out of “oh-wells” or “what-ifs,” to undo what has been done or to do something that has been not. Others may time travel out of curiosity, to know the reality behind what may have been unanswered questions. Did the dinosaurs really become extinct because of a meteor? Thousands of years from now, have we discovered if there are life forms on other planets? Others may go to a specific place and time because it’s something of significance to them, so that they may relive that precious moment. Whatever the reason may be, there is always that feeling of wanting to know more than what we do now: from one small insignificant detail, to the mysteries of the universe.

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Sci-fi Inspiration BY ROBERT BRYAN S. CUARTERO

Science fiction films contain elements that are non-existent in the real world. There are times that we tend to believe that the events that occurred in these films will not happen in the real world. However, these films can be a clear reflection of what is happening to our world

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today. In order to make the themes relevant to the current time, I will only look at the films shown from 2008 onwards. The first theme that I will focus is the environmental theme of science fiction. Many science fiction films are set in a dystopian setting. A good

example is WALL-E. The film is centered on a robot who was the only one left in an abandoned Earth filled with trash in the year 2805. In this film, the viewers are given an idea of what will the earth look like if people will continue to neglect their environmental responsibilities, and also the effect of overconsumption on Earth. Environment is also one of the themes of the all-time highest-grossing film Avatar. The film has shown how humans have tried to exploit the natural resources of Pandora only


to be stopped by Pandora’s original inhabitants, the Na’vis. The story of this film is parallel to what is happening in many parts of the world, especially in Brazil where virgin rainforests in the Amazon are being depleted, forcing the indigenous people to leave their homes and lose their livelihood. Another theme that science fiction also focuses is social inequality. A good example of a film of that theme is Elysium. In this film, the rich are living in a floating utopia called Elysium where they have access to healthcare while the rest are living in a dystopian Earth where healthcare is inadequate. Although the events of this film is set in the year 2154, it is currently happening right now, especially on developing countries. Healthcare nowadays is not accessible for the underprivileged. They are forced to settle in health centers or small hospitals where hospital equipment and medical

training are below world standard. Another film that focuses on inequality is In Time. It focuses on the unequal share of time among the rich and poor in a futuristic world where time is the universal currency, and a person dies if he or she runs out of time or “time out”. The events of the film are reflected in the real world by the unequal share of a country’s wealth among the rich and the poor. The rich enjoys the best things in life while the poor are left to fend for themselves. This proves why science fiction films are not created willy-nilly. Just like any other genre, they want to convey a message to the viewers. They get those messages through what is happening around us nowadays. Although some of the inventions we use today were inspired by science fiction, we should remember that science fiction films are inspired by what is happening today.

Robert Bryan Cuartero is an MIS Freshie who loves anything techie. One of his passions is multimedia, which is the reason why he wants to specialize in interactive multimedia. He also wants to learn more about that through his training in LFC. LFC Reel Time August 2013

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EXTERNALS

Fast Forward 2013 Nov. 16, 2013

Cinema Supremo Nov. 4-18, 2013 cinemasupremo@gmail.com

Ricardo Buhay III Carlo Directo Marie Jamora Marilen Magsaysay Jason Tan Phoeben Teocson Treehouse Story fastforward.ph

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Indie Un-Film 2014 Oct. 1, 2013-Jan. 10, 2014 http://indieunfilm.tk

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SCREENINGS

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featured

WRITERS

&

PHOTOGRAPHERS WRITERS

PHOTOGRAPHERS

Miguel Benavides Robert Bryan S. Cuartero Azi Dela Paz Pau Era Carmel Illustrismo Andrea Lopez Patricia Ngo Chalina Pilapil Pamela San Luis Paolo Sampan Henna Yu

Nicola Custodio Alo Lantin Ponch Mutuc Jeli Santos Rossette Tugade

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brought to you by

LOYOLA FILM CIRCLE 16 DOCUMENTATIONS & PUBLICATIONS D&P Head Tiffany Jillian Go Documentations Head Sarah Arrojado Publications Head Emil Hofile単a

EDITORIAL STAFF

Editor-in-Chief Antonio Adre Features Editor Carmel Ilustrisimo News Editor Pamela San Luis

DESIGNERS Ross Du Nikki Solinap

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LOYOLA FILM CIRCLE The Ateneo’s Premier Film Organization


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