The Top 5 Worst 3D Movies List
There are actually many movies (both animation and live action offers) that are made into 3D flicks for the heck. And not all stories or film style or cinematic treatment are best suited for the 3D medium.
Deep Sea 3D Movie Review: An Underwater Magic Inside the Movie Theater
This IMAX experience lets you sink way down for an amazing experience that blends the grandeur of the deep seas with the spectacular IMAX 3D underwater cinematography.
A Concert Experience for the Price of an IMAX Ticket
By: Rianne Hill Soriano
“U2 3D” is a spectacular, musically and visually superb experience simulating a front row view and beyond of a U2 concert – probably the closest you can get to the real thing at this point of time. This concert film features cutting-edge technology that gives the audience a better-than-front-row seat as it establishes an uncommonly intimate and occasionally surreal bond between them and the performers.
Every development in the history of cinema has always been about making the experience more realistic, fun, and amazing. And for over a quarter-century, U2 has been recognized not only for their musical innovation, but for their incomparable gift on reaching millions of fans through new technology while keeping up with the band’s decades-spanning catalog of great music.
As the next best thing to attending a real concert with a ticket costing about ten or even a hundred times less, this 85 minutes of closely replicating the feeling of a live gig through 3D glory makes a solid rock experience that’s still quite new to the general film audience. Now, if you could just pipe in the smell of sweat, cigarette, pot, and beer, it would then be like going to a real concert with the bonus of meeting and seeing Bono, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen Jr., and The Edge performing upfront, then you go behind them or on top of them at the most impossible angles. From the breathtaking close-ups and panoramas to the convincing nature of the latest 3D technology, you get to watch the band members playing from a vantage point 4 feet above their heads, you get to see them face to face while reaching out to the crowd, and you get to see a wave of rocking concert-goers moving in unison inside a massive stadium lit by thousands of cellphones. Add up the 3D shots of multiple band members in the same frame with the final cut with as many as five 3D layers – this dazzling concert film exudes that true spirit of a U2 show.
The 3D visuals and multi-layering effects envelope you with a drift that fuses with the band’s surround-sound rapture. With a sound quality that is no less than impeccable, it creates a full-scale sensory high with the pleasure of its showmanship. The immersive marvel of the music and sound mix are electrifying. Truly, it transforms a great rock spectacle into something intimate as you become similarly immersed like the crowds filling the South American stadiums of U2’s 2007 Vertigo Tour as they go absolutely mad for U2 music. Their wildly infectious enthusiasm is very much apparent with their hands waving to the every beat. Indeed, marrying advanced 3D imagery and 5.1 Surround Sound with the unique excitement of a live U2 concert makes “U2 3D” such an incredible performance captured in a medium that attains unique aesthetics of immediacy and humanity from the powerful rock quartet – making it the next best thing to actually being in a live concert as of today.
Directed by Catherine Owens and Mark Pellington, “U2 3D” makes this film project more than just a nifty 3D experiment. It elevates itself into a rock solid redefinition of 3D live-action filmmaking. For now, it captures the premier band’s live shows in a way that no other medium could. And it boasts of state-of-the-art 3D experience showing the undubbed and purely live recording performances of one of the greatest rock bands, together with several of the greatest rock audiences of the world.
Shot at a number of stage acts of U2 shows in Latin America, the production employs the greatest number of 3D cameras ever used for a single project. It is the first digital 3D, multi-camera, and real-time production reflecting the band’s longstanding embrace to technology. Produced by 3ality Digital Entertainment, the film comprises footages from seven different concert performances. A massive undertaking, the filmmakers create live-motion collages emphasizing constant, overlapping, and evanescent dissolves as the curving runways allow Bono, Adam, Larry, and The Edge to move far out into the crowd and make more accessible angles for their various movements. The 3D effects inclusive of the new trick of layering the visuals to simulate shifting your focus from foreground to background is successful in making you feel that Bono and crew are within arm’s reach. While also offering plenty of footages of the rapturous crowd in a sight of a hundred thousand stoked fans, you get so close that you swoop towards Bono’s face and his outstretched hand surging through the screen and seizing your own. And to keep the 3D engagement for more than an hour of fun movie experience, the filmmakers also added animated versions of U2′s backdrop videos while capturing the ecstatic joy of a massive rock show – most notably a series of icons suggesting that the world’s major religions are one and presenting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
In some ways, this 3D concert film is considerably superior to a real concert. This may vary in many aspects and points of view of people. But what mainly makes this a better option is how the sound is perfected in post-production that what you hear from your seat is the best surround sound you can get for it. Moreover, you get even closer to the band and even get on stage and beyond as the 3D images bring you to the most impossible angles and the best view of the performers that even the most pricey concert ticket wouldn’t be able to provide. Furthermore, you don’t have to put up with the rowdy drunks who may block your view or you can simply avoid hysterically sweaty and smoking crowds. For those safety points, there would also be less probability of mobs, stampedes, fights, and annoying crowd members in dope and alcohol. And amidst all these, “U2 3D” makes you feel like you’re there in the crowd, and at the same time, as close as you’ll get to being on stage with U2.
Personally, the strangers on my left while watching the film at IMAX were really enjoying the concert experience with their waving hands holding on to their lit toys and cellphones – and they were standing and moving to the beat while the visuals allow every person watching to floating above the fans and riding their energy. And I found myself singing and shouting like I would probably do in a concert!
“U2 3D” is a world class live act in its finest as of today. Taking viewers on an extraordinary cinematic journey beyond the traditional concert film experience, it has a top potential in revolutionizing digital 3D technology. The 3D format may go a long way just like how technology has developed the 2D film as of today. And with the living legend U2 pioneering on this new 3D film experience, the epic nature of the U2 songs and stage acts blend them perfectly to this larger-than-life treatment for a band composed of masterful rock performers in their top form.May 3rd, 2008 Posted by Rianne | Dance/Musical, Documentary, Film Review, Films I Like, Music | no comments
When Imagination Becomes Everything
By: Rianne Hill Soriano
Directed by: Drew Heriot, Sean Byrne
Starring: Bob Proctor, Joe Vitale, John AssarafLoral Langemeier
“The Secret,” shown at SM Megamall through the company Fireball Planet Philippines, a successful internet business network, promotes a motivational documentary about the concept of “Law of Attraction.” Though already released in DVD, the film shows itself in the big screen where a number of people, whether watching it for the first time or not, try to digest what self-help guru Rhonda Byrne presents as a visual companion to her best-selling book of the same title.
This film is the kind to have the potential to spread quite rapidly via word of mouth. Director Drew Heriot presents the film in a typical documentary-style format; and yet, it effectively makes its point as an informational campaign more than becoming a mere cinematic offer. It mainly utilizes cinema as a powerful medium to extend the concept of “Law of Attraction” to the greatest possible number of people.
As an inspirational work and an intention-manifestation model on how to use the “Law of Attraction,” the film is generally made up of thorough interviews and in-depth discussion with eminent people in the field of personal growth, all coming across as charismatic and very perceptive individuals: leading authors, philosophers, scientists and how they have learned and used “The Secret” in their everyday lives. It attempts to deepen the understanding of the concept by providing numerous examples on how to apply it.
The film, coinciding with the book, reveals what the author sees as the time-tested secret that has been behind the success of some of the greatest people who ever lived including Abraham Lincoln, Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, and Beethoven. The film notes that you envision the reality you want, and in doing so, you invariably attract circumstances that align with your dominant thoughts and corresponding feelings. Your emotions serve as your internal compass to let you know how well you’re applying the “Law of Attraction.” And it further says that somehow, in some way, you may have noticed its influence already, but have not yet figured out how to use it reliably.
“The Secret” introduces lots of good techniques in introducing a positive approach to life and living life. It reveals everything you need to know to manifest your dreams through your thoughts and feelings attracting corresponding experiences and shaping them for your intended life. As the movie aptly points out, most people focus their thoughts either on what they don’t want or on reinforcing what they’re already getting. And it gives examples of what happens in reality as some people suffer from their unintentional use of the “Law of Attraction” to manifest exactly what they don’t want – including depression, financial scarcity, relationship troubles, and even their most hated presidential candidate winning the elections.
“The Secret” promotes the idea that it is all about how you think and feel. Your dream is a mindset of what you can accordingly pave way into. You are a magnet attracting to you all things via the signal you emit through your thoughts and feelings. And just like money, it is a magnetic energy that can literally be attracted to you or repelled from you.
Whether becoming fully agreeable to the concept and convictions of the film and the book or not, the more important things you can get from the “The Secret” is how its values uplifts your outlook in life and engenders a positive attitude having a synchronicity with the universe.
This film explains the “Law of Attraction” concisely while being consistent on its tagline saying: “The Secret has traveled through centuries to reach you.” It becomes an ideal introduction and primer to the book especially to those who would like to learn more about the “Law of Attraction” and how to manifest what you want through it. It becomes a good buy to anyone interested in transcending limitations and shifting to a better state of existence. Whether watching it in the moviehouse or through its DVD version (having some bonus features in it), or even get it as a streaming movie download, the film becomes an effective way to get the book’s main message across – through the audio-visual medium.April 28th, 2008 Posted by Rianne | Adaptation and Films with Related Inspirations from Lit, Documentary, Film Review | no comments
A Red Alert to the Human Race
By Rianne Hill Soriano
More than anything else, ‘The 11th Hour,’ like a kindred spirit to ‘An Inconvenient Truth,’ is something the world should watch, not exactly for the mere aesthetic values, but it goes far beyond the major cinematic intentions and need for entertainment: the film is another great inquiry into humankind’s bafflingly self-destructive tendencies because of the blind rush towards progress. It is something that is definitely worth a watch to get that tap on the shoulder on how we should rethink our relationship between ourselves and the planet. ‘The 11th Hour’ is another slick and passionate call to action to EVERY PERSON IN THE WORLD.
The documentary as a cinematic offer:
Other than this paragraph, I am not going to delve much into the cinematic values and concerns of this 95-minute documentary film directed by Nadia Conners and Leila Conners Petersen and narrated by co-writer and co-producer Leonardo DiCaprio. I believe that the more serious issues the film raises are more important to discuss and think about. In terms of visual style, tone, and scope, it is not an artsy motion picture offer, but thematically, it has a great weight to push its call. It may not have that cache and cinematic style for a filmic art form nor an Oscar-winning treatment, presentation, and gravitas, but this timely docu strikes the heart and touches the conscience. The film is merely a global warming documentary of talking heads of dozens of experts from different backgrounds, but it works. The shadowy photography of the interviewees lends an ominous tone that becomes more like preaching to the choir, but it’s still a pretty sound sermon with certain suggestions in the end. Overall, it feels like a college lecture more than a cinematic experience, but it promotes essential viewing for all. The first half of the film takes a look at the state of the global environment, the details of what’s wrong with our world and what we do, the destruction and disasters happening all over the globe, and how close we are getting to the point of no return. The second half of the film presents the needed changes and the challenges our generation must accept, what we can do, and what technology can do to adapt to the needed changes. As the film gets more hopeful, presenting amazing opportunities and challenges, it becomes quite moving; however, the profound suggestions including the visionary solutions for restoring the planet’s ecosystems still seem too idealistic and quite far-fetched in terms of social and economic reasons – which are primarily the very cause of all these environmental problems. This film, just like ‘An Inconvenient Truth,’ gives the overall picture. It gives global and generalized means to go about the situation. Maybe next time around, filmmakers can come up with other environmental films that can focus more on how an individual, group, country, or continent can keep up with the needed changes so that the call to action will be more deliverable in a more personal and practical scope.
The documentary as a call to action:
‘The 11th Hour’ is clearly a disturbing tale about the earth’s current plight. As we continue to disregard the devastating effects of human industry, the film shows the tragic consequences and the bleak future that awaits us – connecting the issues into larger patterns of human misbehavior against nature. It debates over policy, resources, money, discusses the issues of power, politics, and industrialization, and culminates in a truly global call for astounding major lifestyle changes. The film covers a wide range of socio-ecological issues and suggests constructive ways through some intelligent designs and eco-friendly structures from concerned architects, designers, scientists, and visionaries as progressive remedies to this alarming situation.
‘The 11th Hour’ pushes the debate further down the road. DiCaprio’s star power clearly propels this film further – and hopefully, his celebrity influence succeeds in getting the message across to the mainstream audience, especially those who have thought Al Gore comes out too political, in one way or another, in ‘An Inconvenient Truth.’
During the screening of this film at Glorietta 4, the audience was given the chance to ask questions and air out comments and suggestions to some authorities present and to the rest of the people in the said event. The people start asking about realty, mining, and political issues. They start thinking about the light bulbs they buy, the trash they throw, and their current gas mileage. There was a unified sense of alarm… but I reckoned, “How would all the people present in the said event take their sense of alarm as they step out of the moviehouse? How far could the film influence their littlest ways by accepting those good old-fashioned considerations? How much of the film’s points could they carry out to promote the alarm? How much guilt would they have after the cinematic experience leaves them to their everyday life at home and at work? How far could they consider the ideas with their works and businesses greatly affected? Overall, how strong is the message to let them CONSISTENTLY ACT NOW? – and that includes myself – pondering hard on how a human being deals with such a situation and how stepping on the thin line between guilt-filled alarm and personal convenience becomes such a very hard choice.’
During the event, most were left without any words to air out. But I knew people where thinking among themselves. People were contemplating how to go about the situation. And they started to further realize ‘how difficult it is to do these major changes with all the politics and power revolving around the oil and money.’
And if you ask me, this film, just like any other environmental films, strikes you in a few minutes, or hours, or days, or even more… but it doesn’t let everyone act together in a common ground. Try to think about the idea of ‘ningas kugon’ coming into play. And from this, upon going deeper into the issue in a more individualistic term for me to see how I can better contribute to this alarming condition, I am now convinced that the power of media can be one of the greatest ways to let the people act consistently by giving constant reminders. This is how we can consistently tap the shoulders of each individual in the world – only if the media continuously do their part in informing and touching the people on this greatest concern of our century. We all know for a fact that media (consisting mainly of TV, film, radio, print, and the internet), is such a powerful tool that can oust a president, dictate fads and trends, bring an ordinary person to ultimate fame, make products sell millions… the list never ends… In this regard, as an urgent call to the people in media and the artists, why don’t we use our power and our influence to further support the initiatives of ‘The 11th Hour,’ along with the other films, TV features, blogs, essays, exhibits, art works and what not… in order to constantly remind the people. And I can bet on this one: As politicians, businessmen, along with their families and friends and all the classes of people in the society, get a consistent tap on their shoulders (digging into the deepest of their consciences slowly but surely) while living their day to day with the right tools the concerned media can bring, we can better change our consciousness and transform our lives by living in harmony with mother earth in a faster and more ideal scale.
I think it is human nature having that need for a constant reminder every now and then so that we continue to act with our concern: What ever happened to the Guimaras oil spill issue after the news on TV, radio, and print was gone? There were a lot of concerns when the media bombarded us with the sense of alarm. What ever happened to the significant reactions and actions from the mass groups after the issue faded away from our eyes and ears? Was the issue ever been resolved really? Were there consistent actions from the authorities all these times? Come to think of it, this is where media can greatly help – for the people to keep up with those constant reminders so that we can act accordingly. It’s really a matter of pushing the concerns to the human consciousness. Not unless we see a mass destruction from natural calamities or human-related devastation, we tend to be complacent.
Personally, with myself being a part of media as a writer and a filmmaker, it makes me think and feel quite guilty that I spend more time working for more artistic and more commercial pursuits than contributing further to help raise awareness in the global warming issue. But I have to eat, I have to pay my bills… I need to work. If I don’t work, I’ll die of starvation or I’ll have my electricity cut off… and how can I write about global warming to contribute to raising awareness about it? See the problems?
All people should work on this. But the bigger, more powerful, and more influential ones should be on top of it so that the ones under their scale can effectively follow. How can we get them convinced and let those selfish ones having a heart of stone melt into their human sides? With their sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, parents, wives and husbands, consistently bringing the message across as they get to see them in newspapers, watch them on TV and films, see them on the internet, hear about them in school and the office, notice them on malls and other public places… these little ways of tapping the people within the family unit, radiating to the localities, stretching to the national domain, and finally reaching the global sphere is the way to go.
And once again, my stand for this now is that there should be more awareness of the issue – with the media working hand and hand – because it’s human nature to somehow seek constant reminders so that the person can act consistently on the concern and lose that sense of complacency. Conduct various conferences. Tap schools with discussions and performances. Organize symposia and theatrical presentations. Compose songs and poems and show them to the public. Make art works and sponsor art competitions. Advertise. Make some Youtube environment-friendly ads using even the smallest handycams. Come up with some deviantART works expressing how the issue is being seen in the lightest or most serious points. Show these works in alternative venues, or maybe even the major venues if the right contacts, power, and influence are there. If the likes of Oprah gets to sell books in a few seconds of words on TV, Al Gore coming up with an Oscar-winning documentary gets to create that major shake about global warming, and Leonardo DiCaprio producing a new film to remind us about our environmental concerns; if Kris Aquino, Willie Revillame, and Edu Manzano get to sell albums big time without being ultimately talented singers, why can’t such big personalities come up with albums relating to more human and environmental concerns where they can feature or endorse greatly talented or even smaller or independent bands and music artists? Why can’t we organize film festivals and events as big as the ‘Octoberfest’ and the ‘Lovapalooza’ and advertise products that could help our environmental problems with the help of both the government and private sectors? Here in the Philippines, the Filipinos are generally creative, talented, sensitive, and appreciative. Why don’t we use our creativity to come up with good works in the various fields in order to keep up with our need to find entertainment without getting hard core on things all the time? I am not saying that all the things media should bring to the people should be point blank ‘global warming, global warming, global warming…’ We can also bring valuable messages by just putting in some lessons to what we normally show. Amidst some major works clearly showing environmental themes, we can still keep up with our general programming, write-ups, books, and films, but we can also add small sips of ‘artistically/mainstreamly presented life lessons or concerns.’ It’s a matter of creativity, good intentions, and healthy competition within the various fields.
On a more serious note, it wouldn’t really hurt to have more write-ups and researches about global warming in our newspapers and magazines, more producers helping out in making environmental films (both art films and commercial films using star power to help raise the concern and reach all classes of people), more TV shows promoting a better way to live in an eco-friendly set-up (yes, let’s use celebrity power hand in hand with quality scripts and good production values for the show to rate and survive). If all the competing TV stations, newspapers, publishing houses, advertising agencies, and even production outfits share a common goal of raising the awareness of the people about our environmental and lifestyle concerns (or at the least, be sensitive enough about these concerns with what they give out to the public), the healthy competition can still make the various industries prosper – as long as they live within a common ground, accept certain sacrifices, and embrace the best intentions for everyone’s welfare.
The film ‘The 11th Hour’ does exactly what it is set out to do: to remind the audience on the doom and gloom that awaits us – that it’s a matter of a few years before our tolerance and complacency hasten our demise – that we have to act together now. AND WE SHOULD NOT JUST ACT NOW. WE SHOULD CONSISTENTLY ACT FROM NOW ON.October 15th, 2007 Posted by Rianne | Documentary, Environmental, Films I Like | no comments
By: Rianne Hill Soriano
Directed by: Howard Hall
Do you fancy going for a scuba dive and feel the magic of the sights and sounds of the gasp-provoking array of sea creatures without actually getting wet? Then get ready for a magical experience as you submerge into the coolest underground deserts and forests with ‘Deep Sea 3D.’ Clocking in at around 40 minutes, this film shows how the sight of the real becomes magic in cinematic form. This IMAX experience lets you sink down for an amazing experience that blends the grandeur of the deep with the spectacular IMAX 3D underwater cinematography to grab you by your very soul. Indeed, with 3D images so crisp and engrossing, such an IMAX movie in 3D takes you to another world.
This fascinating tour of the world’s oceans and the bizarre-looking life forms make you spend every moment oohing and aahing at the delicate balance of nature. You’ll find yourself holding your breath as the entire film envelops you with a fascinating look at some of the ocean’s irreplaceable treasures both gently and wildly swaying the deep blue seas. IMAX gives a new privilege to the moviegoers as it transports exotic sea species literally to your noses – upfront and ready to be touched by your own hands through the magic of cinema. Young and adults alike, you tend to share awe and delight – trying to touch the luminous moon jellyfish and shimmering glassy minnows that swim past your ways. The film may not provide the conventional thrills of a full-length narrative film, but what’s surprising is how intimately real this documentary makes the ocean seem to the audience. You feel like swimming alongside the splendid coral reefs, friendly sharks, colorful school of fishes, deadly squids, thinking starfishes, comic shrimps, character crabs, monstrous octopus – all drifting to and fro on currents of sheer underwater beauty.
‘Deep Sea 3D’ magically goes deep down the ocean floor with its gorgeous cinematography – that in some ways, you can actually overlook any loose ends of the film’s structure, and you start flowing in harmony with the underwater life forms. You start agreeing with the importance of relationships under the sea. You get more concerned about the violence humans do to nature. You become more conscious of the sad state in which humans have left the oceans and why humans should not upset the delicate balance of nature. This film creates a vision of nature that anybody, at some point, would get to appreciate and would want to conserve and save the ocean’s natural resources and species.
More than its documentary thread, this film’s beautiful underwater footages become its ultimate source of artistic leap. The visuals wrap themselves around a magical treat that entertains the eyes and touches the heart. Indeed, ‘Deep Sea 3D’ is a real marvel of filmmaking.
IMAX films may be expensive to produce, but with ‘Deep Sea 3D,’ it’s all worth it. With the charming and magical appeal of this short film in the company of the voices of Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet and the many wonderful creatures of the sea world, it shows how good the IMAX 3D experience can get nowadays. The technology is clearly evolving, getting better. If the typical IMAX offering has a handful of unforgettable shots, this one delivers more than the usual number. And apart from certain minor annoyances and occasional drifts, this film is one of the more solidly entertaining deep-sea documentaries filmed in IMAX. Hopefully in a couple of years, IMAX would improve much more to bring a wider array of 3D magic to the big screen.September 13th, 2007 Posted by Rianne | Children's/Family, Documentary, Environmental, Epic/Adventure, Film Review, Films I Like, Hollywood Films | no comments
The Guimaras tragedy: Through the lens and beyond
By: Rianne Hill Soriano
In response to the immeasurable damage brought about by the Guimaras oil spill from the sunken MT Solar I, ABC 5, in cooperation with the Independent Filmmakers Cooperative, invited 16 filmmakers to each shoot a short film about the current situation in Guimaras. The project named ‘Guimaras: Short Films from the Oil Spill’ has recently aired at ABC 5 (last Oct. 8, 2006) and screened at the Robinsons Galleria Movieworld (last Oct. 13, 2006).
Coming from diverse backgrounds with a unified goal to address the serious concerns about the oil spill from the sunken MT Solar 1 tanker and the abhorrent dumping of the oil sludge, the 16 participating filmmakers, along with their production teams, translate the realities floating alongside the coastline of Guimaras into a series of narrative, experimental, and documentary films expressing what happened, what is happening, and what could possibly happen in Guimaras after the deadly oil spill. With the multiple perspectives coming from the filmmakers, the various films have transpired into an emotional collection of short films of different styles and forms � all exploring the massive damage of the oil spill from the lens’ eyes to the hearts and minds of the audience. This roster of shorts becomes an accessible medium to present and express the literal and figurative conditions of the Guimaras local communities and marine life all forsaken by the hazardous oil left by the sunken tanker.
‘Ang Hele ni Guima’ by Drei Boquiren, an experimental version of the old Guimaras folklore about Princess Guima finding her lost love Aras, sets the mood for the entire stretch of the program. In this film, Princess Guima continues her search for her only love � only to be caught by the deadly, slick, black poison from the sunken M/T Solar 1. She dies within the seashore � hoping that in her last breath, she would see Aras. The powerful visuals complemented by the high definition camera used and the music laid for this experimental film makes a great emotional impact in addressing the concerns of the oil spill.
‘Bunker 0: Sumirib’ by JP Carpio exposes the series of sentiments of the people of Sitio Sumirib, Barangay dela Paz in the municipality of Nueva Valencia, province of Guimaras. This is one of the most affected areas of the massive oil spill. The townspeople and the visitors of the place share their thoughts and feelings � from the funniest to the most serious ones. Through informal meetings, discussions and pep talks, they address the various actions needed. They also validate the Filipino trademark of coping up with difficult times by taking serious things lightly accordingly in order to continue living with an optimistic outlook. The humor is there, and still, they seriously think… and do something…
‘Itim’ by Jeck Cogama deals with the harmful effects of the oil spill in human life and the natural habitats of the various species within the the Guimaras Islands.
‘Spill’ by Emman dela Cruz keeps up with the statement ‘man spills over nature; nature spills over man.’ A child watches the oil-spilled mangroves of his native land Guimaras. He tries to build hope by building a small mountain of stones.
‘Toxic Mango’ by Khavn dela Cruz is a sardonic tale of fruit and worldwide genocide. A black mango becomes the ‘Adam and Eve apple’ of Guima and Aras � causing complications between them, and later on, to all the people of their town. A film In black and white, it has the touch of a silent film presented with comic wits. The tragedy in the lives of Guima, Aras, and the whole community ruminates over the irreversible effects of the oil spill tragedy.
‘Huna Huna’ by Wilfred Allen Galila is an advocacy for Mother Earth battling with the nightmarish effects of the oil spill disaster in Guimaras. It attempts to extend more conscious efforts to do something about the tragedy.
‘Oil Spill On Canvas’ by Roxlee brings the use of a canvass and brush within the dead seashore of sand and oil. Roxlee paints on the canvass using the oil seeping through the poor sand. Indeed, the oil spill has left nothing but terrible death.
‘Life Projections’ by Raya Martin is an experimental work addressing the harsh realities brought about by the Guimaras oil spill.
‘Guima’ by Oscar Nava depicts the story of a confused, frustrated and misinformed ‘balikbayan’ who reflects on the oil spill disaster in Guimaras.
‘Biyaheng Guimaras’ by Milo Paz is an experimental travelogue about the impressions and expressions of the people shooting in Guimaras one month after the oil spill tragedy.
‘Pagbugtaw’ by Seymour Barros Sanchez is about the story of a Makati-bred son who talks about his beloved father, a native of Guimaras. Touching into various political and social concerns, the character tackles the prevalent water pollution, oil-driven US wars against the middle east, oil price hikes, and the largest oil spill in Philippine history � in Guimaras. He wakes up from his apathy and decides to take action for good.
‘La Paz’ by Ann Shy exposes the Guimaras oil spill clean up efforts and its absurdity. It features a system of negligence, ignorance and apathy amdist the very pathetic reality happening in Guimaras.
‘Ramblings From the Sea’ by Paolo Villaluna uncovers the testimony of the oldest man in Guimaras as he recalls the better days of his hometown amidst the current oil spill.
‘Ephemeral’ by Victor Villanueva is a look into the Guimaras oil spill and how it affects everyone through a semi-documentary supported by some animation skits.
‘Ayos Na Ba?’ by Kidlat de Guia is an experimental documentary of the visual experiences of traveling to the oil spill in Guimaras and begs the question ‘Ayos na ba?’ while contemplating if the present clean up, merely digging up the oil just beneath the surface, is doing enough to save life and nature � actually, the true problem remains.
‘Atang sa Guimaras’ by Kidlat Tahimik is a combination of independent visuals that bind together for clear statements and figurative expressions about the Guimaras oil spill tragedy.
The 16 short films make some sense of truth out of this nightmare. Each approach expresses the very danger haunting us, that instead of transporting 2 million liters of bunker oil from Lanao, Bataan to Zamboanga City, the oil spill is now killing countless corals, mangroves and marine life, and killing the people’s source of food and living. The high health and safety risks extend to the tiniest living organism to the tallest trees. The Guimaras people’s health is greatly compromised. And in every tick of the clock, this tragedy further threatens even the surrounding islands of Iloilo, Negros, Panay, and the other parts of the Visayas � taking decades for the affected environment to recover to a passable level. Indeed, the irreversible loss shall remain a scar in the face of Mother Earth. This tragedy is not a national disaster, it is a worldwide disaster. And this film project promotes essential goals � that in using their craft as artists, the filmmakers and organizers of this project have made a significant contribution to address the situation and create awareness among the general public of the immediacy of this dilemma. And if the government, Petron, and all those who have liabilities to this tragedy (whether they admit it or not) do their parts as well, we can help save Guimaras and the nearby islands…
On that fateful day of Aug. 11, 2006 (makes us associate things: from the Sept. 11 attack at the Twin Towers to the recent Oct. 11 plane crash in Manhattan), the MT Solar I carrying the bunker oil of Petron sank in the Guimaras seas. And at this very moment that you are reading this article, would you just let this nightmare become a fateful event in our history? Like this attempt of artists to share their piece to alleviate the effects of this disaster through their craft, can you contribute in your own way as well? How can you help heal the damaged environment � endangered of death and complete desolation? Friends, we can stop this curse… we can write, blog, shoot, draw, dance, sing, play, make, finance, rally, act, clean, pray… we can all do something.October 20th, 2006 Posted by Rianne | Documentary, Film Review, Films, Independent Films, Personal/Expression, Pinoy Films, Places | 4 comments
The warmth of the penguins amidst the freezingly chaotic antarctic
By: Rianne Hill Soriano
‘Penguin, Penguin, Paano Ka Ginawa?’ is an extraordinary glimpse into the life of the emperor penguins and their magnificent and noble exploration to their tortured life-and-love cycle. This documentary from Luc Jacquet is truly a unique story of love and survival rendered in stunning images – beautifully assembled to become a wonderfully moving nature film. This simple, heart-warming and compassionate opus is a fascinating insight into a species from under the cold, barren earth. Built with a feel for an interesting epic about the harsh life of the penguins of Antarctica the whole year round, the film affirms nature’s brilliance in the midst of much environmental challenges. And with the way the film has been shot and spliced together, it soars as one of the most passionate and perceptive expressions of interspecies empathy in the history of cinema. Amazingly photographed, this inescapably fascinating documentary is both informative, entertaining and soul-inspiring. A triumph of pure instinct and sheer poetry, this critically-acclaimed film shows how well a subject can be examined, analyzed, judged and expressed — simply by leaving it alone and putting a sincere cinematic vision into it.
‘Penguin, Penguin, Paano Ka Ginawa?’ is not just a magnificent journey for Antarctica�s emperor penguins; but also to cinematographers Laurent Chalet and Jerome Maison and director Luc Jacquet. Almost looking unfilmable, one can only imagine the hardships they have endured gathering the footages in the harsh, below freezing point weather in the icy south pole. Indeed, the cinematography captures a truly great stretch of what beauty and harshness in Antarctica offers. The experience shares nature’s incredible journeys in a splendidly desolate stretch of land rarely seen by human eyes. The camera captures the indelible detail of the whimsical, waddling, clowning, graceful and adorable penguins in such a beautiful, barren landscape of ice. It is such a wonder how Jacquet’s team pulled off capturing a never-ending series of amazing shots. Thanks to the help of the National Geographic Feature Films, the production team has made a beautiful, sensual and compassionate handling of the penguin’s plight. The French filmmakers shot on super 16mm film for a year. They haven’t seen any of the images as they progress. And the result is such remarkable footages of the remarkable species endearing the screen with awe and charm.
What makes this a truly great nature film is the emotional impact it exudes. Jacquet’s reverence for his subject turns the propagation of a species into a grand love story. Focusing on the traits and emotions of animals untouched by civilization, the sentimental expectations are abruptly undermined by scenes of nature’s brutality. And the film captivates this with its straightforward but powerful story of determination and survival against the inhospitable terrains of Antarctica.
Sharon Cuneta provides the voice-over for the Filipino version of this documentary. Her rendition for this film gives both a dramatic and comic feel that help emphasize the relatively human-like behavior of the penguins – leaving the audience amazed with its nobility while living up to the pitiless ice deserts of Antarctica. A gentle film that instills a deep reverence for the unforgiving power of nature and the stubborn resilience of life, the visuals provide astonishing close-ups and magnificent panoramic shots that describe the incredible tale of ritual and perseverance for the emperor penguins amidst the pristinely brutal land of sparkling white and aqua. Moreover, the yielding musical score is filled with arctic cuteness just like the adorable penguins. At some point, I tend to wonder if there are any CGIs and miniatures made for the film… But convincingly, the primal feel of how the actual visuals provide a brilliant tour of nature at its most unnervingly beautiful accolade is a truly sumptuous travelogue and cinematic gift to humans – a privilege to have a one and a half hour glimpse into the stoic, resolute heroes and heroines of the Antarctic � the emperor penguins finding refuge in one another in such a romantically realist way.
This kind of story proves that the simplest conflicts rendered with sincerity and creative vision are the best and most effective ones. This enthralling documentary of uncompromising charm and splendor strikes the human core and packs more emotion with its natural wonders. Each winter, thousands of emperor penguins abandon their deep blue ocean home to journey into a region so bleak and so extreme. For thousands of years, no other wildlife can ever survive the chaotic ice of Antarctica like them. Their arduous journey towards their breeding ground where they perform courtship rituals that include dances and songs before they pair off into monogamous couples is undeniably amazing. The females lay eggs, journey back alone towards their ocean home, while the males wait behind for two months without any nourishment until the eggs hatch, cradled atop their feet, then the females come back with food and take their turn guarding the young, while the males, in the shadow of predators, finally go fetch their own food. The penguins repeat their march countless times until the chicks are ready to swim in the Antarctic – it is such a feat to immortalize this simply remarkable story into celluloid really. Indeed, it is a loving portrait of gorgeously awkward creatures that, in some ways, are relatively similar to human beings. Visually stunning with its resiliency and its loyalty to its subjects, the film transcends the filmed facts into a poetic story. It shows the penguins looking remarkably graceful when they crane their necks over one another, or exchange gentle, seemingly loving beak-taps. A scene of hundreds of besotted penguins, speed-dating to decide who they should mate with in order to make their contribution to life on this planet, really makes these cutest creatures under the Earth instant movie stars marked with their fluffy gray feathers.
‘Penguin, Penguin, Paano Ka Ginawa’ is everything a nature film should be: breathtaking, heartbreaking and soul-inspiring. This film is one good triumph for documentary filmmaking. It is a privilege for the audience to witness a story of a miraculous species capable of extreme heroism, self-sacrifice, sorrow and unshakable love within the icy terrains of the Antarctic. The exquisite filming and astonishing storytelling make a primal feel of ‘what love and survival’ is all about in the point of view of these magnificent birds of the south. And like the southern lights (the splendid aurora australis) of the Antarctic, this film weaves through the skies like hallucinogenic ribbons of dancing colors – where the emperor penguins look forward to the beauty of life amidst their battle against the chaos of the harsh Antarctic terrains – that there is something bright and beautiful after the toll of harshness. Indeed, this film gives us an unprecedented look at one of nature’s miracles of love and life.
October 3rd, 2006 Posted by Rianne | Animation, Children's/Family, Classic, Documentary, Film Review, Films I Like | one comment
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