10 films to remember

by Evans Yonson

(NOTE: I’m currently out of reach but I have automatically uploaded blog entries till I get back. At the same time, you can also visit my newly constructed site called LIGHT WRITING: THE LIGHT TRAVELLER’S PHOTOGRAPHS.)

(This piece came out 10 days before my departure from the university residence hall in Madrid, Spain.)

madrid – i am a film buff. i love filipino movies, of all genres. and i must admit that i am more into the hollywood genre. i have seen several european films before only those that have been successful at the box-office worldwide. otherwise, those european art films never reached the brownland. or if ever reached, these were shown on highly-priced glitzy cinemas in manila. i prefer watching movies before a very wide screen (read: a cinema).

here in madrid, a movie treat costs one about 5 euros (about php 350) on mondays to thursdays. and a good 6 euros (php 420) on weekends and holidays. that’s too pricey. too greenbelt. so i had to contend myself with the ever-dependable video format and my dear, Tecra (that’s my laptop). here are my favorite 10 movies i have seen for the past year here in madrid:

1. The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. 1994. i saw this movie thrice in manila. twice here in africa. the first one was with Tecra. and the second was at the mini-cinema where there were about 12 latin-americans who saw it with us. and of course, being ignorant and maleducated that this bunch of morons are, we heard howls and fowl words about homosexuals. doesn’t that surprise you? well, asians are more open and gay-tolerant than what i have here for neighbors.

favorite line: Believe me, Bob, these days gentlemen are an endangered species. Unlike bloody drag queens who just keep breeding like rabbits.

Mamma Mia in drag. Best costume.

2. Amores perros. 2000. i love gael garcia bernal. willing to be his sex slave for life. we’ll do it dog-style.

favorite line: come away with me.

3. batman begins. 2005. christian bale is yummy. i loved him in empire of the sun. and i love him even more now. katie homes should have drowned in dawson’s creek. a waste of time and negatives, this lady has given the film. and uh don’t forget that tomkat affair. where are they now?

favorite line: Death does not wait for you to get ready!

4. di que si. 2004. paz vega is sexier than ever. santi millan is funny and the husband-worthy type of guy. but in the end, the movie is as boring as the tv show where the two main characters met.

favorite line: di que si (just say yes!).

5. El dia de la bestia (The Day of the Beast). 1995. a modern dark comedy version of don quixote. a good laugh from beginning to end. it’s drugs and hallucinations to the max.

favorite line: padre, ya ha terminado todo. hemos salvado el mundo. (father, everything’s finished. we have saved the world.)

6. Sigaw. 2004. after the reading the rave reviews that this film had worldwide, i knew i had to see it. it’s just a hype. but since most of the actors, if not at all them, are Kapuso then it’s worth it.

favorite line: Hwag mo ng pakialam at para di ka rin pakikialaman. Kunbisehin mo na lang ang sarili mo na wala kang naririnig. (Don’t mind them and they will not mind you. Convince yourself that you are not hearing the noises.)

An original Filipino horror flick turned into a Hollywood film. Not bad.

7. Feng Shui. 2004. it’s been a long while since i last saw a pinoy horror flick. i don’t even remember that film anymore. after watching this chito rono movie alone in my room, i had to close the windows and with all the lights on. kris aquino is always a miscast.

favorite line: lahat ng suerte ay may kakambal na malas. (all good luck comes with bad luck.)

8. Les Poupées Russes. 2005. it’s a sequel of the movie, L’Auberge Espagnole.

favorite line: if i were you i would call me.

9. magnifico. 2003. one of the better pinoy films of late. i missed this one when they had a special screening here in madrid early this year. maryo j has his way with kids and he does it very well. yamamoto’s script is engaging yet light.

favorite line: magkano po ba ang kabaong? (how much is a coffin?)

and the most memorable movie this year:

10. Before Sunset. 2004. after watching this movie, i knew i had to go to paris and fall in love. i was hoping to meet my jesse (ethan hawke) but he was not there at all. he’s here in madrid.

favorite line:

memories are wonderful things, if you don’t have to deal with the past.

you can never replace anyone because everyone is made up of such beautiful specific details.

i’d love to see you naked.

life’s hard. it’s supposed to be. if we didn’t suffer, we’d never learn anything.

what if you had a second chance with the one that got away?

Great dialogues. Meaningful but short.