Indie fans, time for movie marathon at Cinema ’76 for just P150 each!

From March 17 (Friday) to March 23 (Thursday), indie hub Cinema ’76 will feature four audience-favorites in their lineup:

  • 2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten by Petersen Vargas
  • Baka Bukas by Samatha Lee
  • I’m Drunk, I Love You by JP Habac*
  • Sakaling Hindi Makarating by Ice Idanan

(*Preceded by Angelito by Jerrold Tarog. This 20-minute short film bridges Heneral Luna and its upcoming sequel Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral.)

Tickets are priced at 150 pesos apiece and seats are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Located at 160 Luna Mencias St. Brgy. Addition Hills, San Juan del Monte, Cinema ’76 is a micro-cinema dedicated to bringing the latest Filipino independent films as well as English and foreign-language films to its discriminating movie audience. Its setup is akin to a home theater with couches and throw pillows.

For more information, visit their Facebook page or contact them at (02) 398 1939.

Read on to see the synopses and view the trailers for each featured movie.

2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten

Felix is a friendless achiever in high school whose life changes after the arrival of the half-American Snyder brothers, entangling him in their dark ambitions.

Baka Bukas

Alex, is a twenty-something year old creative based in Manila. She is out to most people except her best friend, Jess, who she has been secretly in love with since they were kids. When Jess discovers the truth about Alex, they are forced to confront the feelings they have for each other.

I’m Drunk, I Love You.

Days before graduation, two college best friends go on one last road trip where they settle how they really feel for each other. But to put it upfront, this is not a love story.

Sakaling Hindi Makarating

A series of mysterious hand-illustrated postcards take a young woman on a journey throughout the Philippines in search of its anonymous writer.

‘2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten’ trends on social media due to MTRCB’s R-18 rating

The youth gay film “2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten,” Best Picture winner in the most recent Cinema One Originals Film Festival, trended on Twitter recently because it received an R-18 rating from the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board.

The film stars young actor Khalil Ramos as Felix, a quiet high school achiever whose life turns upside-down when the Synder brothers Magnus and Maxim, played by newcomers Ethan Salvador and Jameson Blake, transfer to his high school in Pampanga. Magnus asks Felix to be his geometry tutor and the two develop a close bond. Felix falls in love with Magnus and vows to protect him from any harm, even if it means going up against Magnus’ own brother Maxim. Set in the 1990s, “2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten” is a touching ode to first love and friendship, as it is also depicts themes of colonialism, survival, and pain of coming out.

“2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten” initially got an R-13 rating when it was shown at the Cinema One Originals Filmfest last November. It was submitted for review this month in time for the commercial release and got an R-16 rating again. When the producers requested for a second review in the hopes of getting an R-13 rating, the MTRCB gave “2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten” an R-18” despite the absence of nudity or sex scenes.

The R-18 rating elicited protest from netizens. Writer and social media celebrity Irish Dizon tweeted, “At bakit R-18 yung 2 Cool 2 B Forgotten???” Dizon also asked the government agency to justify its decision, saying “You are a gov’t agency & you are accountable to us. Your R-18 rating for 2 Cool 2 B Forgotten must be explained PUBLICLY.

“By giving 2 Cool 2 B Forgotten an R-18, @MTRCBgov, you lower the film’s chances at blockbuster success. More importantly, you deprive younger people (who stand to benefit most from watching alternative films) the chance to see other realities & learn.”

Dizon urged the MTRCB to consider the audience’s views. “Pakinggan niyo yung reaction ng mga tao. WTF talaga yung R-18 na binigay niyo sa 2 Cool 2 Be Forgotten.”

A number of Tweets surmised that the rating was due to its gay theme.

Josh @badingbinata said, “HOW AND WHY IS 2 COOL 2 BE 4GOTTEN R-18 ?????? I SMELL HOMOPHOBIA”

Top Tripper@topfucker1: “Why is 2 cool 2 be 4gotten R-18? Very progressive when it comes to daring and gay films ah. #sarcasm #MaramMocha”

Athena @athenakeana: “SO BAKIT R-18 YUNG 2 COOL 2 BE 4GOTTEN?!?!?! ANO NAMAN KUNG GAY HA husme!!!”

Other netizens were upset over the rating.

‏Alya Aboughaula@alyahabg: 2 COOL 2 BE 4 GOTTEN IS RATED R-18 IM SO MAD WIXJIWKXKW

Kean Planas@kgrplanas:
If it’s not because of that scene, then the MTRCB must be crazy. There’s nothing else in 2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten that deserves the R-18 rating.

2 COOL 2 BE FORGOTTEN is R-18 like wtf? It’s 2017. Movies with themes like this should be introduced to people so that they can have a wider and Deeper Look into the LGBTQ life. I want to watch this movie and im so bummed out by the fact that it’s R-18. GAHHHH

ARMAND SUCKS!‏ @armanddc Mar 13
Nakakainsulto ‘yung R-18 na rating ng 2 COOL 2 BE 4GOTTEN, ugh.

Twitter user Jael Gonzalez described the board’s standard as one that has not kept up with the times.

Jael Gonzalez‏ @gonzalezzdodis Why do we even give a damn about MTRCB ratings? When there really isn’t any specific criteria except their outdated conservative ideals.

Artist Juan Miguel Severo and film critic Philbert Dy questioned “2 Cool’s” R-18 rating because previously shown films that had violent scenes were given milder ratings.

Juan Miguel Severo: #2Cool2BeForgotten got an R-18 from MTRCB. Di ipapalabas sa SM. Because it’s ‘gay’. Pero yung sumasabog na bungo sa Logan okay lang, no?

Phil Dy‏ @philbertdy: John Wick and Logan are rated R-16. Both feature exploding heads. 2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten does not.

Professionals from the film industry were concerned about this recent development.

Kip Oebanda (writer and director)
I don’t get why 2 Cool 2 be 4gotten is R-18. There’s nothing explicit there. Why such a hard bar for gay films, medieval Philippines?

Moira Lang (producer)
#2Cool2Be4gotten first got R16, appealed, thinking R13 was a more accurate, fair rating (I agree!), then got slapped w/ R18 by the MTRCB.

Releasing a movie in this country can feel a lot like being in a violent R16-rated hollywood movie. yakap, @petersenvargas #2Cool2Be4gotten

Lang, and filmmaker Gian Abrahan, together with “2 Cool’s” lead star Khalil Ramos and creative consultant, Jade Castro, urged viewers to see the film and be the judge.

Moira Lang: Girls and boys (18 & up) go out and watch ‘2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten’ 2morrow! Show some love for a local flick so well crafted it’s sexy.

Khalil Ramos
A film about friendship and love that’s rated R18. Must be f&%king intense then. Go see #2Cool2Be4Gotten, in cinemas tomorrow.

Gian Abrahan: INTENSE does not even satisfy as an adjective, it BETRAYS. Support @petersenvargas as his first feature is 2Cool 2B Missed! #2Cool2Be4Gotten

Jade Castro: Like i always say, support R-18 movies & the cinemas that show them. #2cool2be4gotten is #R18 #what The problem w/ R18 is that it’s a huge blow on finances & freedom bec of sm ban. board members must act extra responsible before brandishing freedom of people to see it. more than restricting age, it’s restricting access. that’s major. any reason must be weighed against this. as long as sm ban exists & sm dominates territories, R18 is tantamount to censorship. mtrcb members must be aware it’s not mere regulation.

In an open letter dated March 14, “2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten” director Petersen Vargas expressed his sadness that viewers would not be able to see his film because of the rating and limited cinemas. He wrote, “It’s been nothing but disheartening to hear from people who would’ve planned to see our film tom but 1) not showing in their area; 2) R-18 feels like a cheat to have promised a “nationwide” release & yet find out this is as far your small, small film could go. Breaks my heart. You go back to asking yourself why you made a film like #2Cool2Be4gotten. you remember yourself a kid wanting to see something like it…”

Still, Vargas thanked those who are supporting the movie. He said, “To everyone who’s been adding up to the noise, every single one of you counts. we all hear & feel ya. there’s so much love passed around. This only strengthens our will to find the best ways to share #2Cool2Be4gotten. to everyone watching tom, know that you’ve touched my life.”

Full text of Vargas’ letter below.

#2Cool2Be4gotten opens tom for everyone 18 & above. we made the film for everyone, but i guess for now let’s settle w/ love for sexy things. it’s been nothing but disheartening to hear from people who would’ve planned to see our film tom but 1) not showing in their area; 2) R-18 feels like a cheat to have promised a “nationwide” release & yet find out this is as far your small, small film could go. breaks my heart. you go back to asking yourself why you made a film like #2Cool2Be4gotten. you remember yourself a kid wanting to see something like it.

not to vouch on a play on vanity, but it’s every bit of a pipe dream once only dreamt in dreams. and you go for it, and you try to make it.

and you do, finally tell the story of a young boy whose very confusion is brought upon by the same confusions you’ve had as a kid. it’s you.

it’s both you and not just you, but every single boy whose confusions become their life sentence. so you want to make them feel less alone.

put your belief in your small film but realize it’s not enough to get it out there, even if you feel its need. you’re just a boy w/ a dream.

so you hear people decry the supposed injustice. you hear the small boy still inside you crying along. until you cry it out yourself.

you face a group of 3 who tells you your film owns up to its unnecessary obscenity til the end, as if your own truth were inept, lacking.

you write a letter to hopefully persuade them according to your own truth, and the way it might ignite other people’s truths like magic.

face another group of 5 and feel at the very first second that you’re at the losing end. because they have power over you; you, still a boy.

grind you w/ questions & write off your film this way: “psychologically disturbing”; “no social redeeming value” & just like that, you lose.

you lose cause only they have the power, and you, you only have the heart to carry the weight of this burden, of this truth. you walk away.

& now here you are, here’s the story you want to tell, the film you’ve lived your life through to make. it’s here for you to give away.

to everyone who’s been adding up to the noise, every single one of you counts. we all hear & feel ya. there’s so much love passed around.

this only strengthens our will to find the best ways to share #2Cool2Be4gotten. to everyone watching tom, know that you’ve touched my life.”

WATCH: Travel to the land of the dead in first trailer for Disney-Pixar’s ‘Coco’

Disney-Pixar has just released the first trailer of the animated adventure Coco which follows a young aspiring musician and a charming trickster on an extraordinary journey through the Land of the Dead.

Check out the trailer below and watch Coco in Philippine cinemas starting November 22, 2017.

Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of Benjamin Bratt). Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael García Bernal), and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.

The film is directed by Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3), co-directed by Adrian Molina (story artist Monsters University) and produced by Darla K. Anderson (Toy Story 3).

Coco is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Philippines.

How they created the monster king in ‘Kong: Skull Island’

For the filmmakers overseeing such a complex production as “Kong: Skull Island,” there was perhaps nothing more challenging or exhilarating than the creation of the title character. They certainly didn’t make things easy for themselves. “I always imagined King Kong as being his own species and defying any simple characterization or comparison with the creatures of our world,” says producer Thomas Tull.

Tull’s perspective was perfectly in sync with the director’s, whose iconic monster is like no other. Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts confirms, “In our film, Kong is a throwback to a classic movie monster, not just an ape. I wanted our Kong to be more of a lonely god than ever before. Then I wanted to slowly reveal that he has empathy and pathos and can connect with others on an emotional level. Even though in our film he is god-like, there’s humanity to Kong—a heart that I think people will respond to.”
The effort to make Kong live and emote onscreen with as much detail and realism as possible involved a broad coalition of creative talents within the visual effects and animation teams, and specialists in concept art, sound and design, all unified through Vogt-Roberts’s vision for the character and his directive to think outside the box.

Premier visual effects house Industrial Light & Magic, which has spearheaded VFX for some of the biggest blockbusters in cinema history, helped bring Kong to life on a whole new scale. They were led by senior visual effects supervisor Stephen Rosenbaum and visual effects supervisor Jeff White.

The ILM team numbered almost 300 artists, animators and technicians, based in three separate facilities. ILM’s work on Kong took over a year and a half, eight months of which were spent designing the mythic figure. The principal task was to not only create a character with a presence and purpose, but to make him a powerful anti-hero as well. “Our inherent challenge was to have audiences feel an affinity for Kong and to imbue him with that element of humanity,” Rosenbaum explains.

Vogt-Roberts kicked off the process by asking the ILM team to evoke the essence of the classic 1933 film “King Kong,” preserving its cultural mystique and classic monster feel. It was a demanding mandate but one all the filmmakers took to heart as bringing together the best of both worlds.

This intersection of the epic and the intimate has produced some of the most visceral, original and pulse-pounding scenes in the history of the genre, as well as some unexpected, emotionally charged moments. White admits that some of his favorite scenes were the quieter moments where Kong connects to some members of the expedition team, or ponders Skull Island’s infinite beauty. “I particularly enjoyed scenes like when Kong is sitting quietly, gazing at the Aurora Borealis, interacts with Weaver (Brie Larson) to aid a stricken animal, and connects with Weaver and Conrad (Tom Hiddleston) on a cliff side. I think those moments are when Kong really comes alive as a character.”

In this new version of Kong, size matters. A lot. At 100-feet tall, he towers over other iterations…and the new visitors to Skull Island. “That’s important because that dimension gives Kong weight and a grandiose quality, where a human will look like a speck in the shadow of this colossus, and you see how insignificant we are in his world, where we really don’t belong,” White concludes.

Sound design was another important element in bringing Kong to life. Long before production commenced, the filmmakers experimented with different techniques to create Kong’s chilling, heartrending roar, as well as a whole universe of sounds that would give the action a visceral, theatre-shaking feel.

Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures Present a Legendary Pictures Production, “Kong: Skull Island.” The film is still showing in the Philippines in 2D, 3D in select theatres, from Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.