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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Nov 15, 2016

Cinema One Filmfest Opening Film A Disappointment, But Enjoyed Their First Local Entry To Premiere, 'Tisay' With Great Performances By Its Cast

WE ATTENDED the opening night of Cinema One Filmfest at Trinoma last Sunday and channel head Ronald Arguelles honored all the directors who has entries in this year’s festival with framed posters of their respective movies. He also gave plaques of recognition to past Cinema One entries that won honors abroad, like Ralston Jover’s “Hamog” which won the Moscow International Filmfest best actress award for Therese Malvar as a juvenile delinquent who poisoned to death all the members of the family who adopted her, the animated best film last year “Manang Biring”, the movie about a gay beauty pageant “Miss Bulalacao” and the Venice Filmfest best pic “Ang Babaeng Humayo”.

The Cinema One entries, including acclaimed foreign films, are now being shown in Trinoma, Glorietta, Greenhills, Gateway and Cinematheque. Unfortunately, the opening film, South Korea’s horror flick, “The Wailing”, is not that impressive. It’s about a buffoonish slow-witted overweight cop, who looks and acts more like a comedian than a serious hero, who investigates a series of gory and violent deaths in their province.

The main problem is we cannot sympathize with him or any of the characters. They can all die, for all we care. There’s a deliberate trick to confuse and manipulate us viewers as to who the real culprit could be and the movie just goes on and on without offering any real scares. Badly written, the script raises a lot of questions that are left unanswered.

We were so bored we wanted to walk out, but our son and his wife who came with us wanted to stay, much to our regret. Honestly, the horror flicks of Chito Rono like ‘Feng Shui’ and ‘The Healing’ are more involving and effective than this one and we hope the next Cinema One entries we’ll see with not be as similarly disappointing.

We also saw “The Salesman” by Asghar Farhadi, who directed the Oscar-winning “A Separation”, which is definitely much better than his new work. But the lead actor in “The Salesman”, Shahab Hosseini, won the best actor award in the last Cannes Filmfest where our very own Jaclyn Jose won as best actress. He’s quite okay.

The first local Cinema One entry we saw is “Tisay”, written and directed by Borgy Torre whose first directorial job, “Kabisera” (also a Cinema One entry) was quite impressive. He faltered when he was made to direct a mainstream horror flick, “Resureksyon”, but he now vindicates himself in “Tisay”, a potent brew of sex and violence. Don’t miss it as it offers great lead performances from Nathalie Hart in the title role, JC De Vera and Joel Torre, with great support from a very menacing Isabel Granada (just two scenes but with much impact) and Mailes Kanapi as the mother of JC who has an indescribable brutal scene with the sadistic Joel. Nathalie delivers one of the most shocking lines in the history of local cinema: "Sa dami ng lalaking kumantot sa'kin, kasya na ang kamay ko sa puki ko."