GUIDE: 13th Int’l Silent Film Festival Manila runs Aug 30-Sep 1

Now on its 13th year, the International Silent Film Festival in Manila runs over the weekend of August 30 to September 1 at the Samsung Hall of SM Aura Premier. Admission to all screenings is free and open to the public on a first come, first served basis.

Who says silent films are boring? Certainly not the loyal audiences who, year after year since 2007, join the International Silent Film Festival (ISFF) to witness an exceptional array of curated silent films, made fresh with original scores performed live.  First of its kind in Asia, the ISFF prides itself in being a venue for eclectic musicians to infuse their art into forgotten classics, adding new gradients to black and white films, their flavor to spark new interest in the younger set.

Once again, the Film Development Council of the Philippines, the Japan Foundation Manila, the Instituto Cervantes, the Philippine-Italian Association, the Goethe-Institut Philippinen and the Embassy of Austria bring you a one of kind, quirky experience that won’t disappoint.

On its 13th edition, the ISFF joins the Philippines in celebrating its first centenary in Cinema, a milestone in South East Asia: Professor Nick Deocampo, author and film historian, will share his extensive knowledge in Asian film making during his lecture on August 31, at 1 PM.

The Film Development Council of the Philippines proudly opens the Festival on Friday, August 30th at 8:30 pm presenting a 37-minute documentary about the Kalingas, directed by Dean C. Worcester in 1913, selected by Teddy Co who chairs the film commission of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCAA).  The film will be live scored by local indie band, Munimuni. 

On Saturday, August 31st, at 3:00 PM, the Japan Foundation, Manila will present The Downfall of Osen (1935) by Kenji Mizoguchi, a story about a beautiful servant girl, Osen, used by her unscrupulous employer, an antique dealer, to help his illegal business. A live musical performance by Kaduma ni Karol will accompany the film.

Still on August 31st at 5:30 PM, the Instituto Cervantes will present a comedy directed by Carlos Fernández Cuenca, Es Mi Hombre (He’s My Man – 1926). The film tells about Don Antonio who, beset by misfortune, must fend for himself and his daughter Leonor, until luck smiles upon him unexpectedly after a series of odd jobs.  Tarsius, a Manila based duo, shall take on the live score for the film.

The Philippine-Italian Association capsthe August 31st offerings at 8:30 PM, presenting L’Onestà del Peccato (The Wife He Neglected – 1918), directed by Augusto Genia. The film revolves around the tragic character of Maria d’Alconte played by an intense Maria Jacobini. Her sacrifice restores order and justice in a world weighed by greed and arrogant intellectualism.  A collaboration between Stef&No, a sax player and composer from Turin, together with the Pocket Orchestra will provide a fresh score for the film.

On Sunday, September 1st at 4:00 pm, the Goethe Institut will screen Von Morgen Bis Mitternachts (From Morn to Midnight-1920) directed by Karlheinz Martin.  An adaptation from the Expressionist theater play by George Kaiser, the story centers on a bank teller who gives into temptation and steals from a rich old lady.  The movie, which never saw the light of day in Germany, was thought to be lost.  The live score will be played by Anima Tierra, a unique ensemble inspired by traditional world music.

At 7:30 PM, the Embassy of Austria will present Kalif Storch (1924), directed by Hans Berger. The film tells about the misadventures of Caliph Chasid of Bagdad and his Grand Vizier Mansor, after they buy magic powder from a wizard. Based on a fairytale by Wilhelm Hauff, the movie is one of the few remaining family-friendly flicks from the Austrian silent film era. Rock band Tanya Markova shall take on scoring duties for this year’s closing film. 

The 13th International Silent Film Festival is made possible in partnership with SM Aura Premier, with the support of the Embassy of Italy, Cineteca Bologna, Embassy of Japan, Embassy of Spain, Filmoteca Española, Matsuda Film Productions, Globe, HearLife Foundation, Inc., Med El, Barista and Coffee Academy of Asia. 

Sinister Thai horror film ‘Reside’ unleashes terror Aug 14 in PH cinemas

Thai films have made a mark on the local screens for the past couple of years with decent flicks such as “Bad Genius,” “Brother of the Year,” “Homestay,” and most recently “Friend Zone.” These films from Thailand brought something new on the table to entertain the Filipino audiences. This time, another Thai film is set to step on the Philippine soil via the upcoming horror film “Reside.”

This marks the reunion of Ananda Everingham and Natthaweeranuch Thongmee, who both terrified the audience in the unforgettable Thai horror classic “Shutter” in 2014. What makes “Reside” more interesting is the fact that it was written and directed by Wisit Sasabatieng, whose earlier works have won international awards from different film festivals. 

For “Reside,” director Wisit was inspired by the idea of possession and parapsychology or the study of different situations which can’t be explained scientifically—such as paranormal activities, psychic phenomenons and other unearthly happenings. “I’m interested in what happens when someone’s personality suddenly changes like in the movie ‘Primal Fear’ where Edward Norton switches in seconds from a good person to a scary person,” Wisit shared in an interview. He noted that his latest masterpiece is not just a simple ghost movie nor an overly used Thai style black magic, but a hybrid horror picture with his own take on a Hollywood possession genre.  

Synopsis of “Reside”: 

In a stormy night at an isolated mansion, 6 people in black are gathering, lead by “the mother”. They are now practicing a mysterious ritual with an unknown body, not knowing that it would summon a wandering spirit to come into their residence. Haunting happenings follow its entrance, the terrifying spirit possesses members and no one has any clue who will it go for next or when. It does not only desire to fear but to bury its roots and take complete control on the innocent soul here. 

New Thai horror film “Reside” will open on August 14 in PH screens as distributed by Cine Screen.

Star of ‘Dora and the Lost City of Gold’ greets Filipino fans

Paramount Pictures has just released a couple of videos for its critically-acclaimed family adventure Dora and the Lost City of Gold, opening in Philippine cinemas August 14.

The first video has the film’s lead star, Isabela Moner, greeting ‘Ola, Philippines!’ (‘Hello, Philippines!), while the second featurette introduces the talented cast assembled by the filmmakers.  The videos may be viewed below.

An internationally beloved heroine springs to life on the big screen in Paramount Pictures’ Dora and the Lost City of Gold, the feature film debut of Dora the Explorer, the iconic Latinx trailblazer whose exploits have delighted parents and children alike since her 2000 Nickelodeon debut.

In her first live-action adventure, the now-16-year-old Dora (Isabela Moner) leads an action-packed expedition through the Amazon jungle to rescue her parents from treacherous treasure-hunters while also facing her scariest challenge yet ― high school!  

An idyllic early life spent exploring the rainforest with her zoologist mother Elena (Eva Longoria) and archaeologist father Cole (Michael Peña) has done nothing to prepare Dorato face down the most unpredictable creature on Earth, the American teenager. Sent to stay in the city with her abuelita (Adriana Barraza) and her cousin Diego (Jeff Wahlberg), Dora finds herself in a blackboard jungle where her wilderness skills do her little good.

A school field trip to the local Natural History Museum seems like familiar territory to the intrepid traveler, until she and three friends are abducted by a band of thieves who need her to track down her parents and what could be the richest archaeological find in history: Parapata, the ancient Lost City of Gold. Transported to Peru, Dora and her friends are rescued from the bandits by Alejandro Gutierrez (Eugenio Derbez), a mysterious jungle inhabitant. Dora and her simian sidekick Boots (voiced by Danny Trejo) lead a trek into the unknown to save her parents and solve the mystery behind a centuries-old lost civilization.

Dora and the Lost City of Gold is distributed in the Philippines by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures. #DoraMovie