The last week of the year means preparing for the onslaught of Christmas parties, dinners, and of course, the annual Metro Manila Film Festival. Ever since its excellent lineup last year, I promised to watch this year’s entries even if it regressed to its previous formula. Still, there were gems. I watched Siargao last week and fell in love with the visuals. I also watched the much-lauded Ang Larawan and enjoyed All of You. This week was all about watching movies, both good and bad, local and foreign. It was a good week.
My mom got me a copy of Richard Carlson’s Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff omnibus for Christmas and it’s helpful in dealing with anxiety. She got me a copy after I opened up on how I’ve been feeling down these past few months. She also gave me a copy of Dr. Margie Holmes’ Down to 1: Depression Stories. I don’t want to call what I have depression since I haven’t been diagnosed but I love how my mom has been supportive of my feelings.
I’m still reading Soseki Natsume’s I Am a Cat and I’m determined to finish it in January so I can keep my goal of reading two books per month in 2018.
I worked on a few campaigns for clients, including one for another telco brand and a brewery. I also wrote about Washington SyCip Park and Legazpi Active Park reopening in Makati. I love parks!
Saw an article online listing Madonna’s top 20 singles in celebration of the Queen of Pop’s 35 years in the industry. I’ve been listening to her songs again and my favorite Madonna song is still “Like a Prayer,” which became controversial when it was released in 1989 for featuring racism at a time when people weren’t talking about it. The song is incredible and it has been featured on many best-of lists, including Rolling Stone‘s “500 Greatest Songs of All Time.”
Call Me By Your Name wrecked me this week. The highly-acclaimed film tells the story of the summer romance between Elio Perlman (Timothée Chalamet), a 17 year old boy, and his father’s intern Oliver (Armie Hammer), in the sun-drenched Italian countryside. The film is gorgeously-shot and vividly portrays the joys of first love, along with its heartbreaks. It’s going to be screened commercially in the Philippines in select Ayala cinemas starting January 31, 2018 and I’m excited to watch it on the big screen!
I also watched Nocturnal Animals, Tom Ford’s second film following the beautiful A Single Man. This time, Ford unfolds the relationship between Susan Morrow (Amy Adams) and her ex-husband Edward Sheffield (Jake Gyllenhaal), who wrote a disturbing novel that’s somehow similar to their relationship. The film is haunting and stylish, and it gets plus points for Adams’ doppelganger Isla Fisher playing Susan in the novel! Nocturnal Animals won the Grand Jury Prize at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival.
I got to see three Metro Manila Film Festival entries. This week, I watched Ang Larawan, All of You, and Gandararrapiddo: The Revenger Squad with Mark, who has become my MMFF-watching partner.
All of You explores relationships and what happens when the people in them get too comfortable. In the film, Gab (Jennylyn Mercado) and Gabby (Derek Ramsay) go through the motions of a typical relationship: nagging, clashing, and screaming. There were parts I wish could be explored more but I enjoyed watching this film, which really didn’t have a villain. All of You won Best Actor for Ramsay and Best Screenplay.
Ang Larawan is based on the musical of the same name, which in turn is based on the Nick Joaquin play A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino. It is set in pre-war Manila and follows Paula (Rachel Alejandro) and Candida Marasigan (Joanna Ampil), two sisters struggling to survive and care for their aging father (Noel Trinidad), a noted artist who has stopped painting. The musical film is beautiful and well-designed, with a thought-provoking story that explores the lengths people would go to to maintain their gentility. The film won Best Picture, Best Actress for Ampil, Best Production Design, Best Musical Score (by Ryan Cayabyab), the Gatpuno Antonio J. Villegas Cultural Award, and the Special Jury Prize for Joaquin.
Gandararrapiddo: The Revenger Squad was okay at best, unfunny at worst. Vice Ganda plays Gandarra, a trans superhero who defeats the villain Madman (RK Bagatsing). She is forced to care for his son Chino (Daniel Padilla), hiding his true ancestry and pretending to be the boy’s sister. All seems well until Chino turns 21, the age when his powers are said to manifest, and Gandarra realizes that the true villain is still alive and has used Kweenie (Pia Wurtzbach) to fight back. The movie’s humor relies on poking fun at people’s weight and looks, and its saving grace is the gorgeous Wurtzbach, the use of “she” and “her” when referring to Gandarra in the captions, and the use of having gay people as superheroes. Other than that, it was meh. The Revenger Squad won the People’s Choice Award so I guess they cried their way to the bank.
Of how I can watch the rest of the MMFF entries next week.
That 2018 will be just as relaxed as this week.
That I will be able to complete all eight MMFF entries. Or at least watch more.
That I have a great streak on Duolingo! I’m relearning Japanese and I’m making great progress on my hiragana.
To have a great 2018!
To plan everything right so I can have a great year ahead!
Relaxed. Between my tub of Lush’s Sleepy lotion, Badger’s Sleep Balm, and Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, I feel really zen.
18 Heartbreakingly Real Confessions About Holiday Loneliness. Heartbreaking indeed.
We Picked Madonna’s Top 20 Singles to Celebrate 35 Years Since Her Debut. I need to listen to everything again.
The Sunday Currently was originally created by SiddaThornton.