I saw my first Andy Warhol films at the BFI (British Film Institute) just at the Right Bank, facing the River Thames. It was a symphony of Joe Dallesandro films (Flesh, Trash, Heat) which, to say the least, shook my sensibilities. I was asking myself, "Do they really show such fims at the BFI???!" They were crude and campy, but amusing. Back then (way before I was even born), they were called “underground movies”. I first saw Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Dekalog (all10 films!) from a screening that started at midday til midnight (that made me miss my tube – so I had to get a bus that somehow dropped me in front of Gladstone Park – my street!) - and then again the next day!
Every so often, I would find myself at a Festival of Short Films. And there had been several. This is the land where any kind of movie can be screened (although I have to admit that Pinoy movies are rarely screened anywhere). I felt like a winner when I saw one of the very first movies - Idrissa Ouedraogo's "Issa Le Tisserand" - to have come from the African nation of Burkina Faso at the Institut Francais, where I got a membership for almost 2 years (just so I can watch their regular screenings for free – in the heart of Chelsea/Notting Hill)!
I recently heard from someone that a major cinema critic commented that he doesn’t believe in “shorts” since, “How can you tell a story in 3 minutes?” He may have a point there, but I don’t necessarily agree with him. That’s what makes shorts amazing- their filmmaker’s capability to tell a story in so short a time. And when they do succeed with their narrative, isn’t it nothing less than celebratory?
Text info courtesy of Philippine Daily Inquirer’s Saturday Special:
“Brian and Casey are good-looking young Fil-Ams in San Francisco who find themselves attracted to each other. Following his mother’s suggestion, Brian starts wooing Casey the Pinoy way – by giving her bagoong and danggit, serenading her, and proposing to her in Tagalog.
“But he soon finds out that Casey’s dad prefers a Caucasian boyfriend for his daughter! Will love triumph in the end? Filmmaker Rica Arevalo (Cinemalaya Best Director awardee) directs Brian Reyes and Casey Pascual in the light rom-com short, which will be shown with Will Fredo’s full-length feature, “Sa Pagdapo ng Mariposa” starting May 21 at Robinson’s Indie Sine.”
My take: Feather-light and fancy-free, though the novice actors may seem to be grasping at straws, Brian Reyes has screen presence. He just needs to hone his craft; something that he may have possibly been ambushed to do for this short feature.
Casey Pascual and Brian Reyes hold on tight...