Kontrabida 101 by Bella Flores

Last May 29, 2013, the iconic Kontrabida (Villain) of Philippine Cinema, Bella Flores died. Today, Feb 27, would have been her 85th birthday. In remembrance of her, here’s a masterclass of how to act as a villain conducted by Bella Flores. Though this type of acting is aching to the 40s to 50s style of Hollywood villain acting which is very grand and larger than life which can still be seen in Philippine soap operas and even in Disney animation.

In the video she said 2 awesome things. The first one is, “Walang Bida, Kung walang kontrabida”. Roughly translated, “If it weren’t for the villains, there would be no heroes.”

The second, “Bidas, they come and go. Pero kaming mga kontrabida, we never fade away,” (Heroes come and go. But villains never fade away.)


So You Wanna Go Indie

A mockumentary/satire on independent cinema in the Philippines. The short reminds me of “Babae sa Septic Tank” but I think the short is more snappy than the one that showed in Cinemalaya.

Directed by Apa Agbayani
Produced by Apa Agbayani, Lara Antonio, Pia Guballa and Arianna Lim
Director of Photography: Arianna Lim
Production Manager: Lara Antonio


History of Philippine Cinema (1990-99)

If you can get past the electric fan muffling the microphone and the oddball presentation, it’s actually a very good lecture on the history of Philippine Cinema in the 90s.

The video reminded me of an episode from the documentary “The Story of Film: An Odyssey” by Mark Cousins wherein the presenter’s quirks and voice takes a little getting used to. But once you do get over it, you’ll end up learning a lot about Philippine cinema history.


Lino Brocka Mini-doc

A talking heads documentary about Lino Brocka where people who have worked with him and are fans of him talk about his life and legacy as a filmmaker, as an activist and as their friend. We get some insight into Lino Brocka’s films and their impact and influence to Philippine Cinema and also insight into Lino Brocka’s working methods and his management and leadership skills and also some conspiracy theory on his sudden death and the reaction afterwards.

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Indie Writing by Alexis Tioseco


In remembrance of Film Critic and Cinephile Alexis Tioseco who will have been 33 today. Here’s an essay he wrote for the Berlinale Talent Campus during 2005 about what it was like to be a film critic in the Philippines. He also mentions the key to improving film criticism in the Philippines is to work independent from any influence in order to have a chance of creating progressive works; similar to what indie filmmakers are doing.

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Remembering Tado


Photo courtesy of Dakila

Arvin Jimenez, more popularly known as “Tado” passed away on the morning of February 7, 2014 in a bus crash in Bontoc, Mountain Province. The first time I saw Tado was on Word of the Lourd’s satire “How to make an Indie”. I thought nothing of him other than found his performance funny.

But then last week, I finally got to watch Brillante Mendoza’s “Captive” and as I was watching the movie, I instantly recognized Tado with his long hair and thick black-rimmed over sized glasses playing one of the Abu Sayaf bandits. I said to myself, “Hey that’s the guy from ‘How to make an Indie’.” Knowing nothing about who was in the movie “Captive” other than it being a Brillante Mendoza film; I was surprised to see the movie full of who’s who of character actors from Philippine indie and mainstream cinema. Some where even very brief in and out cameos, that you would not notice them unless you are familiar with the actor.

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CinemAyala?: Indie filmfest goes commercial

An interesting article pointing to the evolution or maybe devolution of the Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival. There’s an old saying, “Actions speak louder than words” and to know what kind of contest Cinemalaya is; all one has to do is to look at what the organization did in the past. The signs are pretty much there for anyone to figure out.

Oggs Cruz said it best in the article, “although Cinemalaya has accomplished its goal of introducing a market for alternative films, it has “revealed itself as a mutant studio.”

“[Cinemalaya] does produce quality films but to think that it has some higher aspiration than producing films is no longer a reality.”
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Are “applications” to film festivals newsworthy?

I read an article on Interaksyon.com reporting that the filmmakers of “Ekstra” submitted their movie to the Cannes Film Festival hoping that their movie will get its world premiere there.

My knee-jerk reaction to the title of the article “Vilma Santos’ indie film ‘Ekstra’ submitted to Cannes filmfest for consideration” was of shock at the presumptuousness of the filmmakers. The saying, “Don’t count your chicks before they hatch” has been redefined to another level. It’s not the first time I encountered a filmmaker jumping the gun in assuming something.

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Luzon Lingerie

An interesting movie that is supposedly THE first movie made in the Philippines. There are deferring accounts to the exact date on when the movie was made; some say 1905, while on IMDB it says it was made on 1920. Whatever the exact date is, it is undeniable that the movie provides invaluable insight on the history of Philippine Cinema and also the history of the Philippines during the early 1900s.

“Luzon Lingerie”
Black and White (Silent)
Burton Holmes Library Film

“Luzon Lingerie” is a silent movie but the video I posted is accompanied with a soundtrack. I think it’s easier to watch the movie with sound rather than watching it completely silent.


Senate Bill 3384

An odd piece of news that I read today, surprisingly marked under Science and Technology.

Reported by TJD for GMAnetwork.com on January 29, 2013:


Photo courtesy of Inquirer.net

Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago has filed a bill seeking to ban the use of gadgets inside movie theaters and similar show venues.

Senate Bill 3384 or the “Silent Mode Act” seeks to mandate persons inside movie theaters, concert halls, auditoriums and other indoor venues of public performances to turn off or place on vibrate or silent mode at all times their mobile telephones, two-way radios and other audio visual electronic devices.

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