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Showing posts from June, 2008

Now Showing (3)

Read part 1 and 2 of this review. Then, as the image (and sound) quality improves (along with the audiovisual technology history of recent years), the importance of the scenes also matures and becomes more meaningful. This naturally follows the education of a (fictional) filmmaker learning from experience to channel the enthusiasm and only shoot what might stay interesting when watched on TV for a viewer unrelated to this family. Rita has grown up too, she's over 16 in the second epoch, and her concerns change from kidding around, playing with the neighbours, witnessing family drama from the sideline, to moving outside the house, meeting new friends and arguing with her boyfriend. The (fictional) apprentice filmmaker also moves outside family environment and films the city, composes better shots, plants his camera in a static position with a meaningful point of view. So the film really tells at once the evolution from the 90ies to the present days of Rita (from a child to a wom

Now Showing (2008/Martin)

Now Showing (2008/Raya MARTIN/Philippines/France) Cannes 2008 - Quinzaine des Réalisateurs Read part 1 of this review here I was actually shocked to learn the film was entirely scripted and staged (shot in 6 days, edited from 40 hours of footage) because I totally believed I was watching Raya Martin's personal homemovies compilation dating back as far as the VHS era. The staging involved was, in my mind, the kind a member of the family would direct informally by requesting the "protagonists" would pretend the camera is not there, and keep doing what they naturally do everyday, sharing confidences like if nobody was listening. Though there are a few "extras" who occasionally look into the lens when the scenes require a larger crowd foreign to the household. I could easily picture myself the evolution of a family-movie collection where the subjects learnt over time not to pay attention anymore to that boy in the corner with his camcorder constantly on. There

Raya Martin in Cannes 08

In his video interview for Cahiers , Raya Martin explains that Now Showing (2008), this 4h40 long film is the first episode of a new "trilogy" called Box Office ( Now showing , Next Attraction , Coming Soon ). If this doesn't blow your mind coming from a decidedly ambitious 23 years old filmmaker, wait for his two other trilogies already planned for future developments. A Short Film About Indio National (2006) is the first of a trilogy following the foreign occupations of the Philippines (Spanish, American, Japanese), which recreates "pseudo-found-footage" of cinema made during these different periods. This one reminds the similar narrative structure used by Hou Hsiao-Hsien in Three Times (2005), to tell the story of historical occupation of Taiwan in three periods (1966: American occupation, 1911: Japanese occupation, 2005: Independence). His second, more autobiographical trilogy started with Autohystoria (2007), now followed by Possible Lovers (2008) wh