Archive for indie

“Y tu mamá también” (2001)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on August 30, 2009 by kaye

y_tu_mama_tambienToday is Saturday, August 29, 2009 and last night I stayed up until 2 in the morning secretly watching Y Tu Mamá También, starring Dieego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal. I borrowed this film on from the media center in school as part of what I wanted to call a “Gael” binge, following two Sundays ago when I watched Blindness (2008). Finding the DVDs was a coincidence, though. My initial intention was actually to rent out Mike Leigh’s Naked (1993) for my Online Analysis assignment for IB Film. However, when I didn’t see it, I found instead three DVDs for Spanish-language films, all of which starred Gael Garcia Bernal: Amores Perros, Diarias de Motorcicleta and Y Tu Mamá También. I decided to borrow these three films just in case I find some sort of inspiration for my independent study.

Though I would have them on loan for a whole month, I decided to watch Y Tu Mamá También on impulse. It was late at night and I was in no mood to sleep yet, so I decided to watch the movie since everyone would be asleep and therefore not be able to walk in on my dark deed. To anyone who does not know what sorts of scenes are featured in the film, there is a parental advisory guide on IMDb.

Anyway.

Y Tu Mamá También is a film about two friends, Tenoch (Luna) and Julio (Bernal) who go on a trip to the beach with an older woman named Luisa. The film covers a lot of different subjects, including friendship, love, sex and poverty, all against the backdrop of rural Mexico. I only knew about this film, really, due to its racy and nearly explicit sex scenes, as well as the fact that it starred my two favourite Mexican actors.

However, after actually seeing the film for what it was, I gained a better view of Y Tu Mamá También beyond the demi-pornographic masterpiece that I perceived it to be before actually watching it. It may not be a meticulously crafted, calculated film like the Dutch thriller The Vanishing (which we watched in Film class), but Y Tu Mamá También was a film with its own art. I could write an Extended Essay on that film, though I don’t think I will.

One thing I truly loved about Y Tu Mamá También was how it made me appreciate a colour that I usually despise: the colour yellow. The film uses yellow – though usually a very muted tint of it – in every single setting, every scene, and nearly every shot. During the scenes along the journey to the beach, which Tenoch and Julio fondly called La Boca del Cielo (“Heaven’s Mouth”), I perceived the use of the colour yellow to be a reminder of their destination due to the colour of the sand and, possibly, the sorts of memories that they were probably looking forward to.

When I think of yellow as a symbol, yellow is a colour that is usually associated with cheerful emotions such as joy or happiness. Taking this a bit further, I could assume that the pursuit– or maybe even the discovery – of true happiness might actually be one of the main themes in the film. This is what I could interpret from Tenoch and Julio’s carefree personalities, their “Charloastra” (“astral cowboy”) manifesto, and Luisa’s reluctant yet seemingly necessary separation from her husband Jano. This is a film about happiness. This is a film about joie de vivre. About discovering joie de vivre.

I also liked the use of voice-over in the film. There are several moments in Y Tu Mamá También when all sound disappears and a deep male voice talks over the image onscreen (which, on several occasions, has shown servants going about their work). The narrator speaks from a point of view that is both distant and up-close, able to speak of both Julio’s and Tenoch’s lives, secrets, thoughts and emotions, usually parallel to one another, as well as a third-person view of supposedly random events and information that add meaning and depth to setting and the passing of time.

Furthermore, I would like to state that my favourite aspect of Y Tu Mamá También as a film is its omniscience. The omniscience in cinematography and in the voice-overs contributes to my suggested theme of discovery. The cinematography in this film covers broad images such as the rural Mexican scenery as well as more intimate scenes that take place in motels and makeshift beachside bedrooms. The concept of discovery doesn’t only apply to the viewer’s comprehension of the story, but more especially to the characters’ discoveries of each other. In this film Julio and Tenoch learn valuable lessons from Luisa, while Luisa learns about brotherhood and happiness from the two teenage boys.

Eventually, though, the main lessons learned in this story are lessons about life. Life passes. Time passes. Things happen and people change. This film is realistic and that is why I enjoyed it so much. As of now, I have two more Gael films to watch and enjoy (though the visuals of Y Tu Mamá También have showed me more of Gael and Diego than I may have wanted two years ago), and I have October’s Cinemanila film festival to look forward to. Diego Luna is coming to Manila. I am so excited.

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Six days.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 31, 2009 by kaye

filmfork

“Adam” (2009)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on July 22, 2009 by kaye

Theatrical trailer for Adam, starring super-cute Hugh Dancy (Confessions of a Shopaholic). He plays the title character who has Aspergers, the same disorder that Christopher Boone has in Mark Haddon’s novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. Anyone who has read the book should have an idea of how Aspergers works and the social disabilities of someone who has this disorder.

Adam is going to be released under Fox Searchlight Pictures, which also produced several popular indie films such as Juno, Slumdog Millionaire, Little Miss Sunshine and (500) Days of Summer, among others, as well as the upcoming Whip It! and Post Grad. It is also, unfortunately, unlikely to be released here in the Philippines.

…but I really, really want to see this. It looks like a really good film, and I’m a sucker for romances.

Ten films to look forward to.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on May 26, 2009 by kaye

102cTen films I have to see before the end of the year. All trailers can be found on www.apple.com/trailers, and, of course, YouTube.

  1. Sherlock Holmes. This one isn’t coming out until Christmas, but I’m sure that it will be worth the wait. This one will star Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law, so it’ll be a double treat for me. Happy Christmas!!
  2. Public Enemies. I’m not quite sure what this is about, but it’s supposed to be really good and Johnny Depp’s in it. This is one JD I have faith in. He’s one of my favourite actors, so I’m not gonna let this one slide.
  3. The Hangover. A film about a post-bachelor party gone wrong, this is supposed to be the funniest film of the summer. I’m not sure when it’s coming out in the Philippines, but the trailer is hilarious and I have to make sure I see it.
  4. Fame. This is a remake of the 80’s show. I think that it’s a more modern version, since reworking the film but keeping the time setting would be sort of redundant. I haven’t seen the original, but I’ll make sure I do before watching this.
  5. The Boat That Rocked. This one’s coming out in August and I’m excited. It’s supposed to be a trip, especially since it’s made by the same people who made Love Actually. Bill Nighy’s in it, too.
  6. The Soloist. Here’s another Robert Downey Jr. film. This already came out in the US a few last month, but I don’t think it’s been released in the Philippines yet. If it has, I’m gonna throw a fit.
  7. Up. This is supposed to be Pixar’s latest, I think, and it’s coming out this summer. The trailer is hilarious and the storyline is really unique and interesting.. everything that Pixar is about.
  8. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I absolutely hate the producers for putting such a long delay on this one. As a Harry Potter fan I don’t think that this needs an explanation.
  9. Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian. I don’t think I’ll be able to see this in cinemas unless I nag my parents to the bone (but that might make things worse), but I heard that this one is funny as hell, so I’ll make sure I find a way to watch it somehow.
  10. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. My summer would be incomplete without this one.

Of course, there are other films that are on my watchlist: Bruno, Little AshesHow To Be, Adventureland and (I just found out about this about 60 seconds ago) The Final Destination aka the 4th film.

The year may be almost halfway done, but there’s still a lot in store in the film department.