Cebuano cinema in focus

Weekend readers reveal their fave homegrown movies

By Cassandra C. Poculan

 

WHAT o the most revered films have in common? What does one look for in a movie that would convince him to watch it? It could be the cast, the cinematography, the storyline, or a compelling combination of these elements and more. Cebu used to be the second largest film-producing province in the country back in the ‘50s and its films have been known to delve into all sorts of themes and interject Cebuano humor, as well as emotional and aesthetic influences into them. This is true for both pioneers in the industry and the new breed of Cebuano filmmakers. We asked these readers what their favorite Cebuano movies are and why.

Hanna Regis, 22
Audio Editor
G-Angle Entertainment Inc.

I choose Patay na si Hesus because of its dark and pleasant humor. And also, I got the chance to see the acting prowess of Chai Fonancier and the other cast members, which is remarkable. From what I remember, there is this part of the story, specifically Chai Fonancier’s role, that made me emotional. Yeah I’ve got to admit, I could relate to it. Well, I also really loved the dog, big role I say, but the ending gave me mixed feelings–should I be sad or should I laugh? But all in all, the film was really good.

Maebelle Varon-Ong, 34
Chief Executive Officer
Dreamboat Events

It would have to be Miss Bulalacao. I love how writer-director Ara Chawdhury challenges the viewer’s perspective on societal norms and society’s magnitude for acceptance in general. That and the fact that actors Russ Ligtas and Chai Fonacier were stellar in this film.

Erik Tuban, 33
Senior Graphic Artist
Bluewater Resorts

My favorite Cebuano-made film is Remton Zuasola and Keith Deligero’s Uwan Init Pista sa Langit (2009). This film is my visual initiation to the “Cebuano New Wave,” three years before I properly met these lads at Binisaya. For a 30-minute film, it captures the poignancy and playfulness of the bucolic Cebuano temperament where the banal becomes beautiful — a bildungsroman (coming-of-age) dressed in AM Radio melodrama’s clothing.

Manna Alcaraz, 32
Communications Manager
Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

It’s so hard to pick a favorite, but I have to say Patay Na Si Hesus because it was funny and groundbreaking. I was laughing out loud the entire time while watching it. What’s also good about it is that it was a movie that was not only enjoyed by the Bisaya-speaking audience, but even by the non-Bisaya speaking viewers as well. It was also able to penetrate the mainstream market, which, for me, is a big win for our Cebuano filmmakers. I will also mention Miss Bulalacao because I love how “lagpas” it was and it was very interesting finding out how the story would end.

Danibe Tutor, 23
Marketing Assistant
Homedirect Inc.

My favorite is Ang Damgo ni Eleuteria Kirchbaum by Remton Zuasola (2010). “Ah katong one long take” was what I usually heard before I got the chance to watch the film. What struck me was its cinematography and how the unbroken shot contributed to the storytelling in terms of representation of time and capturing the rawness of reality. In addition, the presentation of the main character overcoming her struggles became more realistic as tiny unchoreographed details of reality were captured through one long take. The theme of the film also reflects our lives, especially teenagers who struggle with the pressures of society.

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