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Reviews of “Independencia” and “Manila” premieres in Cannes

May 19, 2009


A glowing review of Raya Martin´s Independencia in Screen. The reviewer writes about the Brechtian mock black-and-white film: “Martin uses black-and-white footage, patently false backdrops, overacting performers, and even a false newsreel, revealing the normally hidden projector light before and after. This is hardly the stuff of the marketplace, but should find eager viewers in festivals and cinema studies classes.”. A trailer for the movie is here.

By the way, one of the overacting actresses is Tetchie Agbayani, former Playboy-model turned psychology teacher, who – like Maria Isabel Lopez, who stars in Brillante Mendoza´s Cannes movie Kinatay – was in a lot of b-movies before being elevated to arthouse actress.


Oops, now there is another review of Independencia in GQ and a first review from Variety of Martin´s and Adolf Alix Jr.´s vehicle for producer and star Piolo Pascual, Manila, a mash-up of Ishmael Bernal´s City by night and Lino Brocka´s  Jaguar, two of the best films of the Philippine neorealism of the late 70s and early 80s.

A review of Independencia from the Little White Lies blog tells us a little about the confused politics behind the film: “Before the screening, Martin took to the stage to dedicate the film to his nephews (or cousins, maybe), declaring that one day he hoped people would be able to die ‘for their country, and for cinema!’ This vaguely psychotic death wish got a few embarrassed chuckles, but good on Martin for believing in something so boldly.”


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