Película Spanish Film Festival 2015 runs Oct 19-25 at Intramuros

From October 19 to 25, PELÍCULA-PELIKULA, the Spanish Film Festival featuring the best of Spanish and Latin American cinema, will continue with a second leg at Intramuros. Presented by Instituto Cervantes, the Embassy of Spain-AECID, the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), Intramuros Administration, and the NCCA, the second run of the Spanish Film Festival will screen 16 full-length films and 5 short films.

After its first leg in Greenbelt 3 Cinemas, and as a great novelty in this year’s edition, PELICULA invites the public of Manila to enjoy more movies in the second leg of the Festival, which will be free of charge and will be held in the NCCA Building, Intramuros.

Here is the screening schedule of
PELÍCULA-PELIKULA Spanish Film Festival 2015 at Intramuros:

pelicula 2015 intramuros sched

From 19 to 25 October, the halls of the NCCA will host the exhibition entitled “Spanish Cinema in 20 Posters”, a journey through the history of Spanish cinema by means of the posters of some of its most emblematic films, encouraging one to reflect on its history and to be inspired by the beauty of the advertising graphics, illuminating the visual style of the different cinematic periods.

As a complement to the exhibition, the theater of the NCCA will be the venue of Iconos del cine español,a film series of six iconic films that made history in Spanish cinema –namely Bienvenido Míster Marshall (1953), Muerte de un ciclista (1955), Viridiana (1961), Cría cuervos (1973), La colmena (1982) and Blancanieves (2012).

PELICULA is not just a caucus for Spanish cinema, but also offers a look into Latin American cinema and the voices emerging from a continent that mainly expresses itself in Spanish. Colombian cinema is one of the most interesting and dynamic of its kind in Latin America. On October 24, thanks to the collaboration of the Embassy of Colombia in Manila, the Festival will dedicate a whole day screening session of recent Colombian productions, showing Cazando luciérnagas (2013), the documentary Gabo: la magia de lo real (2015) and the multi-awarded feature film Los hongos (2014).

Presented by Instituto Cervantes, the Embassy of Spain–AECID, the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), Intramuros Administration, and Ayala Malls Cinemas, PELÍCULA is made possible by Maersk, Rustan’s, NCCA, Emperador Distillers, Ayala Malls Cinemas & Greenbelt, Vibal Foundation, Qatar Airways, Buzz Productions, and the Spanish Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with Ayala Museum, the Embassy of Argentina, the Embassy of Mexico, the Embassy of the Czech Republic, the Embassy of Colombia, Bodegas Vivanco and Barcino.

The entrance to the exhibit and the screenings is FREE, on a first-come, first-served basis. For the schedule, line-up of films and further information on the Festival, please visit the official website of Instituto Cervantes (www.manila.cervantes.es) or log on to their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/InstitutoCervantesManila

MOVIE REVIEW: The PreNup (2015)

THE PRENUP by Jun Robles Lana
Starring Jennylyn Mercado and Sam Milby
Reviewed at the red carpet premiere at SM Megamall

The PreNup follows an expected love story that blossoms when Jennylyn Mercado’s Wendy and Sam Milby’s Sean meet on an airplane en route to New York (by the way, this is not That Thing Called Tadhana). Just like in your usual romantic movies, they have a rough start in a traffic encounter going to the airport but swiftly become comfortable with each other to the point of Sean offering a hand to Wendy by letting her stay in his place for quite some time. In a matter of days, they decide to get married.

In the same manner that the two main characters have a rough beginning, the first act of the movie appears to be problematic in establishing (a good excuse to) the romance between Wendy and Sean. There is not enough character development, not to mention sparks–that sensational comfort that yes they are in love–all despite the allotted time. There are other stories where we already witnessed a good tandem of an English-speaking guy and an easygoing girl speaking in the vernacular. Hearing their exchanges of lines can be lovely at times, but largely uncomfortable with her street slang seemingly fine in his uptown ears.

It feels like the second act is where the story actually begins. Perhaps, this is the way it was conceived with the idea of having the conventionally huge meet-the-parents scene where socioeconomical strata is such a big deal. With more characters having their own spotlights, The PreNup then heads on to being extremely loud with much of the focus being lost along the way. Gardo Versoza and Dominic Ochoa have to be commended for their excellent portrayals as the gay foster parents of Wendy. Melai Cantiveros plays a goofy adopted sister to Wendy, alongside a boyish Ella Cruz sans the twerking. Another highlight is Jaclyn Jose’s take as the oppressive mother of two (Sean and Neil Coleta’s Boom) and a perfect pair to Freddy Webb’s fatherly figure.

the prenup sam milby jennylyn mercado

What saves The PreNup’s deficiency in storytelling is Jun Robles Lana’s powerful direction. In the midst of each character being too absorbed in their individual dilemmas, Lana is able to let them float their own boats. On the flip side, everyone turns out to be too busy with the rest of the story as the last act unfolds.

With a stylish stroke that relishes the lush of Central Park and the busy streets of New York City as essential parts of the story, cinematographer Carlo Mendoza is able to consistently give the vibrance needed to establish a feel-good atmosphere. Frames after frames are painted with visually striking colors that make them easy to watch, coupled with neat production designs by Sarah Edwards and Ericson Navarro apparent in Wendy’s house in Manila and in Sam’s apartment in New York.

After the success of English Only, Please that can largely be attributed to Mercado’s memorable performance, it can’t be helped but to expect something as big as, if not bigger than, what she has already done. It is as if there is nothing else to prove with regard to her versatility as an actress. While it shares the romantic comedy genre with EOP, The PreNup makes her shine even brighter with quirkier monologues and more comfortable gestures and expressions. Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours” could have been utilized further but there seems to be much restraint on it as a catchy soundtrack.

It would have been lovelier to see The PreNup with a more solid story but what we have at hand is reasonable–only with Jennylyn Mercado’s effective acting and indispensable charm–as everything else goes downhill.

The Prenup movie poster