big win for the gurl who fell in the septic tank

today is a luvly day.


i enjoyed eugene domingo's cinemalaya entry, ang babae sa septic tank.  it is such a refreshing movie with an innovative script and excellent acting, direction and cinematography. i am not romanticizing poverty but i luv the picturesque shots of the dump site.
actually, the story is simple and trite (it was the execution that gave it an edge and novelty).
it was about a day in the life of three wannabe independent filmmakers -- the director, the producer and the production assistant -- who met in starbucks to discuss the movie about a poverty stricken mother who was forced to sell her child to a pedophile.
(you guessed it right, it's a movie within a movie like the french lieutenant's woman or...sorry i can't think of a filipino film with the same format or genre.)
the director and producer argued on who will play the lead character (mila, the struggling mother). they talked about some revisions in the script including changing the gender of the child who was sold to a pedophile (from girl to a boy) and the pedophile's nationality or race.
the setting of the movie (a dump site in payatas) was also discussed while the idealistic three were sipping ice cold coffee in an affluent setting.
the irony. the irony.
the director has changed his mind on who will play the mother. he now wants either cherry pie picache or current indie darling mercedes cabral to play the lead character instead of eugene domingo.
various scenes played out with cherry pie and mercedes interpreting eugene's role. i luv this part of the film because i was able to see how the three actors tackled the same dramatic role.
in the end they settled for eugene because cherry pie was busy with a lot of projects (juggling teleseryes and movies at the same time). the former eskinol girl is also deemed too mestisa (has a fair complexion) to play a poor mother.
teka, wala bang maputi na maralita?! this stereotyping could be the reason why skin whitening products are very popular in this status symbol obsessed country.

on the other hand, mercedes (she is also in another cinemalaya entry titled ligo na u or something) was seen as too young and sexy to play the losyang mother of seven children. agree!


there were lots of well executed, well thought of scenes that were so funny that i almost cried. example was when the production assistant imagined that the movie would be a musical instead of a drama.
we then saw eugene singing while feeding her seven kids, all beaming with happiness, with just one pack of noodles. paano pinagkasya? dinamihan ang sabaw!
i also luv the scenes showing the residents of the squatter community singing and dancing to the song about their plight as poor, exploited, hungry and suffering citizens of this republic.
the scenes showing eugene discussing her role and the film with the three filmmakers inside the actress's posh mansion were also hilarious (any word suggestion? i am running out of adjectives).


the movie highlighted eugene's versatility. she is great in drama, musical and of course, comedy, her forte. she has a great singing voice and could very well pass an audition in glee with flying colours. sue sylvester will be proud, i'm sure.
she was also fantastic in scenes that showed her as the poor mila (her supposed character in the film) and as herself, a successful actress living in a huge house with an indoor swimming pool (take note!) and with so many assistants to cater to her every whim. her acting here sounds familiar, parang si k?

a rare find is the actor who played the director in the film kean cipriano. he is smashing and a natural, notwithstanding the hairs on his chest. agaw eksena sya (him not the hairs).
i have no idea who he is so i googled him while writing this.
(when you are in your 40s, your showbiz knowledge becomes limited.  the stars who became popular after that's entertainment, except for piolo pascual and claudine barretto, were all alien to me.).
so i googled him and what do you know?
this is kean's first movie. in fairness di halata.
also, he is the singer pala of calla lily (yes dearie, it's an all pinoy band. but please don't ask me about their songs because i have yet to google them.)
i lyk!

(i lyk him na that i am posting another pic. enjoy!)

after kimmy dora, this is the best filipino comedy film that i have ever seen. ever.
if you want a good laugh without hurting your ego, this is the film for you.
this is a cliche but i will say it still:
if there is only one movie that you will watch this year, make it this one.
drinks on me if you will not like it!

by the way, if you decide to watch ang babae, don't leave once the credits have started rolling. there is a luvly surprise waiting for you.
stay on your seats please, flighty creatures.

after watching the film, i had dinner with a friend at his makati apartment. he cooked pochero and made spaghetti. i brought red wine and bread sticks.
we reminisced about our misadventures and gossiped about our friends who are all now living abroad, successful in their chosen careers.
we were a bit sad when the conversation shifted towards past luvers and how long it took us to recover from the heart aches.
then it turned sunny when my friend's friend joined us, the youngest in the group. we talked about our favourite actresses (angelina jolie and kate beckinsale), fashion, a bit of politics, boys and sex. we lingered on a bit of politics, mind you.


oh well, such is life.
we laugh, we cry. like characters in a film.
but unlike in movies where the director can revise the script or shout cut when the scenes are not playing out well, there are no take twos in life.
what is done is done.
in life, too, we are both the director and the scriptwriter. its success or failure lies in our hands.
so make the most out of it.
(all pictures are taken from the internet, so please don't sue me.)

footnote: the mockumentary, which made fun of "serious" filmmakers who exploited the country's poverty as come ons for their socially relevant movies in festivals abroad, is now shown in a number of cinemas in metro manila after star cinema agreed to distribute it.
the movie won best actress for eugene domingo, best picture, best director and best screenplay at the cinemalaya. there were reports it could be the country's entry to next year's oscar! luvly!
catch it before it vanishes.


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