Friday, January 11, 2008

Bad bet, says NY Times of 'Kubrador'

“'The Bet Collector' has its moments, including Amy’s [Gina Pareno] quirkily charming habit of translating certain word combinations ('a frog and a scared boy,' 'a child and testicles') into numbers. (It’s about the only time that she lights up.) What is particularly frustrating about the movie is that this character actually has the makings of a memorable subject, someone who... could successfully guide you into her world. The trouble is that Mr. Jeturian and Mr. Jover are far too busy guiding us into their story, their ghetto, their world, with its wretched poverty and despair, its police corruption and sudden, horrifying violence, to allow Amy either to flower fully or to wither on her own personal, individual terms.”

-- “Down and Out and Running Numbers in the Rougher Precincts of Manila”

The reviewer is Manohla Dargis. I wonder how A.O. Scott or Stephen Holden would have reviewed the film. Or Dave Kehr, a big fan of Pinoy cinema.

5 comments:

Jonjon said...

And that is what I hate about local cinema, even indies. Too many of them wallow in so much despair and suffering, as though the be all and end all of "being Filipino" is precisely that suffering and despair.

gibbs cadiz said...

JONJON, hmmm, i sure hope you got to watch BIG TIME in 2005. it was among the first cinemalaya movies, it was hip and smart and funny, and didn't wallow in despair and suffering, as you put it. although maximo oliveros got the lion's share of awards and attention, i still maintain that big time was the better movie in that batch. it couldn't translate well for international audiences, though, because of the very culture-specific jokes and references, so it didn't make the rounds of film festivals abroad. :)

Noel Vera said...

I liked Big Time, Gibbs, tho not as much as Maximo (am a sucker for Michiko's unique brand of delicate drama). Maybe it should have gone the rounds--festivals have included lesser fare.

gibbs cadiz said...

NOEL, hi, glad to see ya here. i like michiko's work too--delicate drama is exactly the right description for it. i suppose i just hugely appreciated big time's drollness and unconventionality, though i remember watching it again in sm megamall, months after it rocked the indie crowd at ccp, and all throughout the movie not a laugh was heard from the clearly baffled audience of about, uhm, 20 people. sigh. :)

lijiale said...
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