Existential Boredom

Michelangelo Antonioni, 1966

Lots of significant events took place during the swinging '60s. The rise of the hippie culture. The names Che and Fidel became synonymous with the word "revolution." The Beatles conquered the music scene. And Neil Armstrong became the first person to land on the moon.


Isabelle at 18

Claude Pinoteau, 1974

Before La boum — Sophie Marceau's breakthrough film — there was La gifle. The film is a coming-of-age dramedy featuring an 18 year-old Isabelle Adjani in her first major role. It also features Nathalie Baye in a supporting role.


Simply Magical

Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2001

Wanting to spread felicity is human nature. The feeling that you get after making other people happy is priceless. Most people, even filmmakers, aim to be an instrument of genuine happiness.

Amélie isn't the first time French filmmaker Jean-Pierre Jeunet charmed audiences with his vivid imagination. Delicatessen, his 1991 film co-directed with Marc Caro, is also packed with surrealist images.


It's Carrie, Not Cassie!

Brian De Palma, 1976

The '70s was a decade of good horror films: Alien, The Exorcist, Halloween, The Omen, and Carrie. In 1976, acclaimed filmmaker Brian De Palma directed Carrie. The film starred the splendid Sissy Spacek as the title character. Carrie is the first Stephen King novel to be made into a film.

Things I Learned from "Barbarella"

Before she pioneered those workout tapes, Jane Fonda starred as Barbarella. This 1968 film was directed by French filmmaker Roger Vadim. It's based on a comic book by Jean-Claude Forest.


A Dance Into Madness

(Photo belongs to its owner/s. I don't own or claim to own this photo.)

Liliana Cavani, 1974

Rainy Vienna as a backdrop. Isn't that interesting? In The Night Porter, Italian filmmaker Liliana Cavani tackles sadomasochism and the Stockholm syndrome. Thanks to Charlotte Rampling's iconic costume, The Night Porter became Cavani's best remembered film.


Reading the Past

Stephen Daldry, 2008

The Reader was on Star Movies a while ago. The film was directed by Stephen Daldry, the guy who introduced us to Billy Elliot. Daldry's film is set in Germany, after the second World War. It stars Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes.


Rebels With a Cause

Andrzej Wajda, 1955

World War II. It's one of the events that forever changed the face of the world. It's also a product of a man's dream of building his own empire. World War II is synonymous with nightmare.

There are a lot of films out there that showed the horror and drama of World War II. But only few really enthralled me. Examples are The Pianist and A Generation; those are two of the films that stayed with me. Those films were able to show life during the war in such a realistic fashion. The latter film is directed by acclaimed Polish filmmaker Andrzej Wajda.


The Great Kahn

I watched Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles again the other day. The 1974 film features Madeline Kahn as Lili Von Shtupp. She is a "Teutonic titwillow" hired by the greedy and ruthless Hedley Lamarr (Harvey Korman) to "seduce and abandon" the film's protagonist, Bart (Cleavon Little).


A Trio, Not a Quartet

James Ivory, 1981

Merchant Ivory's Quartet is set in 1920s Paris. The film stars Isabelle Adjani as Marya, a hapless young woman adrift with her husband, Stephan (played by Anthony Higgins). She finds herself financially dry after Stephan is sent to jail for theft. Alan Bates and Maggie Smith are H.J. and Lois Heidler, an unorthodox British couple who helps Marya by letting her live in their humble abode. Of course their help is not unconditional.


Not For the Depressed

Jerry Schatzberg, 1971

Photographer Jerry Schatzberg reached a cinematic high with The Panic in Needle Park, his best-remembered film. The film also served as Al Pacino's calling card for the Michael Corleone part in The Godfather.


The Battle of Good Vs. the Thick Pea Soup

William Friedkin, 1973

To rotate your head 360 degrees is one thing. To be considered as a great film after all these years is to be The Exorcist. William Friedkin's most popular film tackles the not-so-new subject of good versus evil. This time, Friedkin adds his own blend of spice to one of the overused plots in the history of cinema.


No Plot Necessary

Grzegorz Cisiecki, 2007

Dym, which means "smoke" in Polish, is an enigmatic short film by Grzegorz Cisiecki. It's about a young man (played by Grzegorz Golaszewski) driven to surreal reverie after turning on a cassette recorder.


Fave Movie Quotes: Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid

Juliet Forrest:
But what does "FOC" mean?
Rigby Reardon: It's a slang word. It's when a man and a woman are in love, the man puts his p-...
Juliet Forrest: No, no. Written here: "F. O. C."


The Tale of a Neglected Child

Donald Wrye, 1974

After starring as the (literally) head-turning kid in The Exorcist, Linda Blair went on to star in a made-for-TV movie called Born Innocent. The film is a poignant drama about a teenager named Chris Parker (played by Blair).


Fave Movie Quotes: The Tenant

Beautiful. Adorable. Goddess. Divine. Divine! I think I'm pregnant.

Trelkovsky (in drag, looking at himself in the mirror)


This is Why Pinoy Horror Movies Suck

Before I start with my short critique of Sanib, I would like to post my appeal to (most) Filipino filmmakers:

Dear (most) Pinoy movie directors,

PLEASE stop insulting the audience by making pho
tocopied films. We, the audience, are not stupid. We don't want to see what we've already seen before. Please stop doing what Brocka, Bernal, and De Leon already did. Please stop copying other films, may it be a Hollywood classic, a hit Japanese horror movie, a French indie film, or whatever.

You are not a photocopier operator, you ARE filmmakers. And filmmakers cultivate their own ideas, so please d
o so.

We're not here to experience deja vu, we're here to see something
authentic. Please try harder to make bona fide films. Thank you in advance.


Your audience

Celso Ad. Castillo, 2003


A Brilliant Nightmare

Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007

There was Tony Montana, Jett Rink, Charles Foster Kane, and Michael Corleone. Then there's Daniel Plainview. They are a bunch of avaricious bastards; men who want a second meal even though they're not yet finished with the first one. They are successful businessmen on the outside, but tragic human beings on the inside. They have themselves as their worst enemy.


Scare Fest

Horror films. They usually make you not want to go to the bathroom and have a midnight wee-wee. They can also make you sleep with the lights on. Or they can simply make you paranoid. Despite the effects, one can't help but enjoy the fright these films have to offer. I know it's not November yet. But still! :P

These are some of the films that still terrify me after all these years.

(In alphabetical order.)

1. 28 Days Later... (2002)

A man wakes up from a deep coma only to find London empty. Apparently, lots of people were infected by a virus that turns them into zombies.


Most Beautiful Actresses of All Time... so far (2010 Revised Edition)

"There are no ugly people, only strange beauties."

- Anonymous

Beauty is omnipresent and perpetual. It is everywhere if you just open your eyes to it. Beauty is for everyone. All of us can be beautiful in our own distinctive ways. That's why I believe that there's no such thing as ugly people. What makes a person so different to label another person "ugly?"

Beauty is also present in cinema. Beauty is indeed ubiquitous. There are many beautiful film actresses out there. IMHO, here are some of the actresses whose beauty is just... captivating.

(In alphabetical order.)

1. Isabelle Adjani

Born: Isabelle Yasmine Adjani
Birthdate: June 27, 1955 in Paris, France


My Second Attempt in Analyzing POSSESSION

Andrzej Zulawski, 1981

Author's note: After reading Soiled Sinema's brilliant analysis of Possession, I decided to examine review Zulawki's film for the second time. (Here's my first attempt.)

Author's note 2.0: Sorry for the strikethroughs, but my opinion towards this film changes as time goes by.


Love - once lost, it can never be found.

(Photo belongs to its owner/s. I don't own or claim to own this photo.)

Gilles Mimouni, 1996

If you had a chance encounter with your long lost love, would you try to rekindle your broken romance with that person? Would you be willing to abandon your bright future in order to go back to your gloomy past? Max (Vincent Cassel) says yes to all those questions.


Entertaining Film - MAYBE. Quality Film - NO.

Tagline: Looks can be deceiving.

Corey Yuen, 2002

So Close is a film about two assassin sisters who are hunted by their employer and a determined policewoman.

I wish I can have the chutzpah to kick the a** of everyone involved in So Close. Aside from the preposterous action stunts and the hot actresses, So Close has nothing more to offer. In my humble opinion, So Close is a mediocre film. It's so overrated it makes its audiences stupid — stupid to like a film that is full of impossible stunts but is actually lacking in substance.


A Beautifully Sculpted Film

Bruno Nuytten, 1988

Camille Claudel is about the life of French sculptor Camille Claudel (Isabelle Adjani); her art, her obsessive love for fellow sculptor Auguste Rodin (Gerard Depardieu), and her tragic ending.


"Serbis" is Out of Service

An obviously photoshopped poster for Serbis.
(Photo belongs to its owner/s. I don't own or claim to own this photo.)

Tagline: Service. It's the family business.

Brillante Mendoza, 2008

The Pineda family runs an old movie theater in Angeles. The movie theater shows bomba films (soft-porn films). It also serves as a shabby home to the Pineda family, and a haven for their perverted customers.

The story looks promising. Serbis definitely has a story to tell, but Brillante Mendoza doesn't know how to tell it properly.


Once They Were Babies

Babies. Aren't they adorable? They're full of beauty and innocence. Babies have this irresistible power to lighten you up. Last night, while browsing baby pictures to cheer myself up, I decided to compile pictures of some celebrities at their most innocent. Let us now return to innocence.

Isabelle Adjani

Birth name: Isabelle Yasmine Adjani
Date of birth: June 27, 1955
Birthplace: Gennevilliers (near Paris), Hauts-de-Seine, France

Baby Isabelle will have enchanting blue eyes. She will be a successful theater and film actress. Some of her films will include The Story of Adele H., Nosferatu the Vampyre, Possession, Subway, Ishtar, Camille Claudel, and Queen Margot. Putting her hand on her cheek will be her mannerism. She will become one of the most awarded actresses in France.


Criminally Insane Women in Films

Here are some tour de force performances I've seen onscreen. Fearless actresses portraying mentally sick women; characters who commit crimes in the midst of their insanity. These are the performances that inspired me (not to be insane or to be a criminal). It would be a crime to ignore such performances.

Isabelle Adjani, Possession (1981)


Starring Isabelle Adjani

Today is the 55th birthday of one of France's national treasures, Isabelle Adjani. She's the youngest Oscar® Best Actress nominee (for The Story of Adele H.), until Keisha Castle-Hughes broke that record in 2003.

It's great to see that she's making movies again after taking a long break in the mid-90s. As a birthday tribute to one of the finest actresses alive, allow me to present to you my top five performances by the Adjani.

1. Possession (1981)


This One Brought Tears to My Eyes

"One day I'll get to you
And teach you how to get to purest hell."

Jamie Thraves, 1995

A man suddenly lies down on a busy pavement, people ask the man what's wrong and why is he lying there. We don't hear their voices because Radiohead's Just is on. We follow their conversation through subtitles. The man refuses to answer their questions. The people persistently demand an answer from the man.


Silent But Powerful

André Téchiné, 1979

The film tells the story of the Brontë sisters and their brother Branwell (Pascal Greggory). Les sœurs Brontë may bore some audiences because it's mostly quiet, but the film's silence is its power. Although the characters rarely speak throughout the movie, when they speak, their words are heartfelt and poetic (just like the lines from the Brontë sisters' novels). The actors' facial expressions and the film's landscapes are impressive.


Guns Don't Kill People, People Kill People

Tagline: "An underground story where lives intertwine"

Luc Besson, 1985

A year before he became the Highlander, Christopher Lambert starred in Luc Besson's second feature film, Subway.


Directed by Kathryn Bigelow

"This really is… There’s no other way to describe it, it’s the moment of a lifetime. First of all, this is so extraordinary to be in the company of such powerful, my fellow nominees, such powerful filmmakers who have inspired me and I have admired for, some of whom, for decades. And thank you to every member of the Academy. This is, again, the moment of a lifetime.


Fave Movie Quotes: Babette's Feast

Old Martina: [after learning Babette spent 10,000 francs on the dinner] Now you'll be poor for the rest of your life.

Babette: An artist is never poor.


Fave Movie Quotes: Himala

There is no miracle! The miracle is in a person's heart... the miracle is in our heart!
(Walang himala! Ang himala ay nasa puso ng tao... ang himala ay nasa puso nating lahat!)

- Elsa

Okay, sige, 'teh. Sabi mo 'yan eh. Charot.

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