Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Right on the money

REVIEW: 'Tulad ng Dati' Philippine Daily Inquirer, 8.06.2006 AMNESIA, amnesia.

One of the 2006 Cinemalaya Film Festival’s recurring ad spots showed a woman trying to wiggle out of a minor traffic violation by weaving a cinematic story of love, heartbreak and a missed date at the altar due to, well, amnesia. The apprehending cop got so taken in by the tale that he let her go. “Nasa istorya ‘yan,” (It’s in the story) said the tagline, tongue firmly in cheek.

What a rich and pleasing irony, then, that the Best Feature Film in the recently concluded festival went to Mike Sandejas’ “Tulad ng Dati,” a film that featured for its central effect a character suffering from amnesia. How clichéd could you get? Except that “Tulad ng Dati” is anything but.

Sandejas’ sophisticated, remarkably self-assured first feature is a playful but profound riff on the life and times of the The Dawn, the band responsible for operatic rock anthems like “Enveloped Ideas” and “Iisang Bangka Tayo.”
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