To mark the recent inauguration of the Cinematheque Centre Manila, an array of acclaimed Filipino and Danish films will be shown throughout the month of January 2016.
The chosen films will be screened from January 8-31, 2016 at the Cinematheque Centre Manila located at 855 T.M. Kalaw Street in Ermita, Manila.
This Cinematheque is the latest facility opened by the Film Development Council of the Philippines following the centers located in Baguio, Davao, Iloilo, and Zamboanga.
Kicking off the Cinematheque Manila’s first crop of regular screenings is National Artist Lino Brocka’s much-celebrated Maynila sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag (1975). Heralded as one of the country’s greatest films and considered Brocka’s finest, the film is lead by naïve probinsiyano Julio on his search for his lost love, Ligaya, in brutal Manila, succumbing to the misery and agony of the city. A harsh, realist portrait of Manila and the Martial Law era, the classic was restored in 2013 and went on to screen at the Cannes Film Festival.
Joining Maynila is a work by fellow National Artist Lamberto Avellana, A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino (1965). Restored earlier this April 2015, the heritage film is an adaptation of Nick Joaquin’s famous play by the same name and is about a family that tries to keep its family and home afloat despite the war and the poverty that threatens to destroy them. When family patriarch and painter Don Lorenzo comes up with his most superb work, spurned by the blame of his daughters Candida and Paula, they must decide whether to sell the beautiful painting or their house. This FAMAS award-winning film is one of the best of our first National Artist for Film.
On My Way to India Consciousness, I Reached China (1968), also a recent restoration and a film directed by one of the country’s earliest experimental filmmakers, Henry Francia, will also be screening to Manila audiences. A bohemian journey through Francia’s mind and his experiences studying and living in New York, On My Way reveals much about a little-known director and honors the experimental genre, often overlooked in Philippine cinema.
Mula sa Kung Ano ang Noon (2014), the praised experimental epic by Lav Diaz, will also join these legends. The Golden Leopard Award-winning film is a historical film set in a remote Filipino village under the Marcos dictatorship and recounts the lives of several townspeople: a farmhand and his surrogate son, a woman caring for her mentally challenged sister with healing powers, a door-to-door peddler, a winemaker, and a priest. Strange occurrences rock the small barrio—strange screams in the forest are heard, cows are mutilated, and a stranger is found bleeding on the road—leading up to the proclamation of Martial Law all over the Philippines.
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These acclaimed films will be screening with other remarkable films by established contemporary Filipino directors and produced with the FDCP. One of these fine works is Chito Rono's Badil (2013), a gritty view into small-town politics. In Badil, a young man, Lando, becomes resigned to replacing his ill father in his duties, a lackey to their small Samar barangay’s incumbent mayor and a warden to the mayor’s backers. Making sure that their votes are unswayed by other candidates’ vote-buying Lando, begins to seeing into world of cutthroat government.
There is also Elwood Perez’s Esoterika: Maynila (2014), a dizzying, imaginative trip into the capital. Young nursing student and restaurant cook Mario delves into becoming a graphic novelist and voyages into the city’s corners and underbellies. In his travels he meets many wild and unreal characters abounding the metro, revealing a brazen, unfettered picture of Manila in all its flaws and glory.
Lauriana (2013) by Mel Chionglo, also shows to Manila audiences this January. Basing off of a true story from Chionglo’s childhood, 50’s period thriller Lauriana revolves around Samuel, a soldier, who finds passion and solace in Lauriana, a nightclub dancer. What begins as infatuation soon becomes obsession, and Lauriana becomes torn with her hope for a better future with abusive Samuel, their story becoming one of violence and redemption.
Peque Gallaga and Lore Reyes’s poetic and graceful Sonata (2013) also takes to the Cinematheque Manila screen. Sonata is the story of two unlikely friends: shut-in retired opera singer Regina, shamed to have lost her voice, and young, playful Jonjon, who has been uprooted from the city and brought to Negros. The kind child, anxious but curious, discovers the country and a budding companionship with Regina.
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Following the success of the first ever Danish Film Festival last December, a prime selection of Danish films will also be offered at the Cinematheque Manila this January, sating moviegoers' curiosity for the rich and prosperous history of Danish cinema. The lineup is comprised of: The Hunt (Jagten), In a Better World (Hævnen), Babette’s Feast (Babettes gæstebud), Waltzing Regitze (Dansen med Regitze), and A Royal Affair (En kongelig affære). These films are presented in cooperation with the Embassy of Denmark in the Philippines.
The Hunt (2012) follows the story of newly divorced Lucas, who is rehabilitating his relationship with his teenage son and beginning a romance with a co-worker while teaching at a local kindergarten. A terrible accusation from one of the children threatens to destroy Lucas’s life, and he fights to maintain his innocence despite the community’s growing violence and hysteria. The film was entered into the Academy Awards and won various accolades in the Cannes Film Festival.
Academy Award-winning In a Better World (2010) is the story of a father, Anton, a Swedish doctor in Denmark who treats the refugee victims of a Sudanese warlord, as he tries to keep his family intact amidst an affair that threatens his marriage with his wife Marianne. His son Elias is bullied in school until new student Christian comes in to his rescue, and a friendship buds between them. Events come to pass that put the family’s ideas of justice and forgiveness into question.
Babette’s Feast (1987) also won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, the first Danish film to do so in the category. Based on a short story by Danish author Isak Dinesen, Babette’s Feast takes place in a small village in 19th century Denmark, where two aging sisters live puritanical lives with the rest of their congregation from their sect, founded by their father who has since passed. A Parisian refugee and cook, Babette, enters their lives to work for them for free, but when she wins a lottery ticket and chooses to spend her winnings in preparing a grand dinner for the town, their small lives are upended by Babette’s French feast.
A couple’s relationship takes center stage in Waltzing Regitze (1989) as middle-aged Karl Åge and Regitze host a summer garden party for their friends and family. Withdrawn and reserved Karl Åge looks back at his history and love with spritely, energetic Regitze, building a portrait of their life together as a tragedy comes to the fore. A classic that brought Danish film to international audiences, the film won the Robert Award, considered to be the Danish Oscars, for Film of the Year.
Period drama A Royal Affair (2012) is set in the 18th century Denmark, where Princess Caroline Matilda of Great Britain has been sent to marry King Christian VII. But the mad king leaves her miserable in her new home and marriage, until a German doctor, Johann Friedrich Struensee, becomes the king’s physician. A friendship brews between King Christian and Struensee, while Struensee’s and Caroline’s shared liberalism and idealism gives way to a romance between them, creating the start of a revolution. The film won two Silver Bears at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival.
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The films celebrating the inauguration of the Cinematheque Centre Manila will run from January 8-31, 2016. The Cinematheque Centre Manila is located at 855 T.M. Kalaw Street, Ermita, Manila. Both the Filipino and Danish films will have English subtitles.
Mula sa Kung Ano ang Noon will have an admission price of P200, while Esoterika: Maynila will have an admission price of P100. All other films will be screened free of charge. Seating is on a first come first served basis.
For film screening schedules and details, visit the FDCP website at www.fdcp.ph or follow the FDCP Facebook page.
Cinematheque Centre Manila celebrates inauguration with special screenings in January 2016
by posted on January 3, 2016