TOP 100 FILMS - 46 - 50


Continuing the ambitious blog project, AUDITOIRE's TOP 100 FILMS 2010, which have been in hiatus due to my busy life in college, at last, the TOP 50 film batch is ready to go. Although, sadly, I did not finish my undergrad degree on time and will be extending until the first semester this coming June, the hundred film project is still up and running. Hopefully, you'll get a glance of the full countdown at the end of June or earlier. I am glad to announce that I am collaborating with many film projects of starting filmmakers like Sonny Lim Jr. [FB]and Jeffrey "Epoy" Deyto [FB] hence a busy schedule for the following months ahead. Details are proprietary. Sorry pfouz$! I am also involve in an upcoming Women and LGBT film festival at UPFI this September 2011 headed by esteemed USC Councilor Heart Dino. The event is still for deliberation by the USC. Aside from these, AUDITOIRE will also be partnering with movie sites in future. All partnerships are still under negotiation. If you have a website, journal, web magazine or a blog that seeks some partnership or collaboration you can send me an email: and let's see where we can take it.

Recently watched NEXT ATTRACTION (2008) by Raya Martin

May is a good month for every cinephile in Manila. There are lots of events to go to. Aside from joining the discussions with other Filipino cinephiles + Indian cinephile Vishal Verma at CINEPHILES!, you can visit Fullybooked-The Fort at Bonifacio High Street this Saturday, May 7, for some FILM APPRECIATION shit (its a pun, no harm intended! haha) hosted by Clickthecity film critic Philbert Dy and the bombshell film critic of Lessons from the School of Inattention, Oggs Cruz. If you can remember it right, Oggs was one of the lucky guys picked at the recently concluded Berlinale Talent Press hosted by the darling organization, FIPRESCI. Philbert, on the other hand, is the owner of the infamous beer-to-death MOGWAI Cinemateque which the owner of this blog frequented for the past few months. And yes, yes, yes, they'll be showing a good amount of films at the end of May, part of Khavn de la Cruz's Club.Mov monthly series from May 23 - 26, 2011. They scheduled Auditoire's favorite Khavn, Cameroon Love Letter (2010) on the 26th and I'm going there. Click here for details. Aside from the Club.Mov schedule, MOGWAI Cinemateque will resume its free monthly screenings with a focus on Sydney Lumpet lining up the following films: 12 Angry Men (1957) for May 9-12, Serpico (1973) for May 16 to 19, and Network (1976) for May 30 to June 2.

If you prefer some lively discussion over cup of coffee and chips, you can join fellow Titusian duringthe monthly screening of films in Titus Brandsma Center this coming May 7 or May 14, 2011 with a focus on Motherhood. I don't have details yet but one can contact my goodie goodie friend, Chris Fajardo for more information. UPFI has some good stuff this May. They'll be playing Mes de Guzman's Ang Mundo sa Panahon ng Bato (Stone is the Earth, 2010), Remton Zuosola's Ang Damgo ni Eleuteria (2010), which local critics considered as one of the best Filipino films of 2010. Also Malaya Camporendondo's Ang Pangtagbo sa Akong Mga Apohan (The Day My Grandmothers Met, 2010?) and Mayohan (Maytime, 2010) by Dan Villegas will also be screened. Danny Zialcita's Ikaw at ang Gabi (1979) will also be slated at May 18.

Anyone up for beer and films? Contact me here.

Anyway, here's the beginning of the TOP 50 films. Tune to AUDITOIRE daily for updates and like us on FACEBOOK.

Blue Velvet (1986), for some, is Lynch's masterpiece. On one hand, it can be be considered as his most accessible phantasmagorical film along with Eraserhead (1978), Lost Highway (1998), Mulholland Drive (2001) and Inland Empire (2005). All the elements associated to Lynchian cinema is present: a room, enclosed spaces, lampshades, sing-and-dance performances, out of the body experiences, extreme polarized acting with credits to the performance of the late Dennis Hopper. His transcendental deliverance becomes a talk-piece to many critics that time Blue Velvet was shown in Toronto International Film Festival last 1986. Other dominant Lynchian elements were references to 1960s music and popular icons. Lynch's usage of wide angle lens heightens the tension in the screen. Dennis Hopper's transgressive performance during his encounter with the beautiful heroine Isabella Rossellini transport the depth and complexity of the film at great heights. It refurnishes old routes of expressionism with almost experimental approach, original and thought provoking. This opens a lot of thematic formations in Lynch's constructional principle with regards to forming narratives while dissecting the psychology of his characters. Associational devices such as auxiliary shots function as comparative cues to instigate emotional and psychological responses never before seen in films. Lynch's originality in the use these associational devices in Blue Velvet is quintessential to his development as a filmmaker. It is his strong suit. This would reach the zenith with Inland Empire (2005) where he explored multiple dimensions and meta-narratives. Blue Velvet's unique style and balance with experimental flare and linear narrative made its one of the most highly studied Lynch films among his works.
Arnaud Desplechin is one of the most noticeable arthouse directors of France living today. With almost eight films in his oeuvre, his most recent is Un conte de Noel (A Christmas Tale, 2008), an unsentimental take of a family drama with a visual design fresh and organic. With sensitivity and graceful approach to his subjects and a non-pervasive approach to lighting, he maintains a balance between the form and his style. At it's core is a family drama centering somewhat on a part of the family that wasn't there: the son of Junon, played by the beautiful Catherine Deneuve, and Abel, played by Jean-Paul Roussillon, who died of leukemia when he was six years old. On a Christmas Eve, the family got together for the first time in years. The main motivation of the narrative is the resolution of many conflicts such as the conflict between Elizabeth, played by Anne Consigny, and Henri, played by Matthew Amalric over the financial instability of Henri in managing his properties from her sister. Elizabeth is suffering from depression and so as his son, Paul. Desplechin structured his mise-en-scene not only as the setting to which his characters move but also an extension of themselves, their thoughts, their own stories, their psyche. Idiosyncrasies abound in delivering these character extensions. Smartly done like in Desplechin's Kings and Queen (2004), the resolution of these conflicts are characteristically non-conventional and non-sentimental. Discoveries of family secrets set the story to the zenith until its denouement. Desplechin has a penchant for breaking the fourth wall. This adds a peculiar accent. It almost transforms the family genre at newer levels. Across the story, audiences encounter thoughts about personal understanding of oneself and of the people surrounding them. The brevity of Desplechin's writing amounts into a richly textured story about a dysfunctional family working its way to survive the tragedies every human being faces once or twice in their own lives. Everyone, meet the Vuillard family.

Inception (2010) is Christopher Nolan's most notorious work and his most profitable and high budget to date. Its mercurial state, being a highly psychological film, has reached overriding labeling such as "a masterpiece" and "one of the best film of the decade" attributed to its complexity. It draws many high praises as much as doubts to its 'true' complexity. Perceptually, Inception is a complex film. It allows you to rearrange mise-en-scenes mentally in the first sequences. Upon careful consideration of numerous routes to this labyrinth of mise-en-scene, the labyrinth map became almost definable in the latter part of the film for it can be learned immediately. This is mainly because the film has a hierarchical structure that enables audiences to identify which one is lower or deeper than the other. Unlike many dream-related films, the usage of dream-space is simplistic. This is in contrast to many films of the oneiric genre which uses a fairly nonlinear mise-en-scene arrangement and surprisingly ephemeral sequences that appears without warning or without background information of the viewers. In Inception, the intertwined dreamworld is almost given, the information about how levels interact is disclosed to the audience via conversations of the characters. It somehow deflates the intelligence of the more mysterious works of Nolan in Memento (2001), which is, to me, his best yet. Inception has a peculiar and highly complex cinematography, judging by how effect-sy it looks like. To my mind, Inception is new The Matrix (1997) only that it is shallower, less philosophically oriented, more into wows than contemplation. The vibrant aspect of the thriller-heist narrative and multiple plot twist has made the film your uber blockbuster Sunday movie, though some people claim it to be more than that. In any case, Inception has both the charisma of an artsy-fartsy film and a Sunday Blockbuster hit making it a total package for every audience to gawk upon.

[extract from a review] Manila by Night (1980) is externally structured by diegetic time: day and night. It starts at night and end at day and continuously repeating as if the day and night elements are mutually constructed to fill in the absence of one with the fullness of the other. The prosaic worlds where the characters exist have surprising commonalities and differences particularly in the placement of mise-en-scene elements on the two temporal areas. The rigidity of the day and night is defined by the rules of editing, such that most of the transitions from daytime and nighttime are divided by a sharp cut. The only exception to this stylistic strategy is Bernal’s execution to the last transition scene when he shows the actual naturalistic transition from night to day: the sun rising. This deviates from the dominant aesthetic system of the film since the whole design of the movie are motivated by expressionistic elements in full swing from subtle outburst to excessive symbolic overtones which will be discussed in detail below. The second to the last shot of the movie dissociates from this series of expressionism where Alex, the confused rebel of the film, lay on the grass. The usage of natural sunlight hitting on Alex’s face denotes the transition from night time to day time. This is viewing from the perceptual angle. In terms of its meaning-making qualities, the shot is connotative. Since the final shot of film constitute the sun rising, it closes the story of Alex. It might mean that since the sunlight shines all around Manila, that not only Alex’s psychological turmoil closes but also hints that all characters must have been... [continue here...]
Le Ballon Rouge (1956) is one of the most unforgettable masterpieces I've ever watched. It approached me with sensitivity, magic and grace that led me to ask: to what point can cinema make us forget reality and entrance us to surrender to its magical world, the world most fantasy films have dared to take us in. The story is about a boy who encountered a large-helium filled balloon on his way home from school. The balloon is apparently following him and it has some kind of life in it. They formed a friendship with each other and like a man and dog relationship they each helped each other in protecting themselves from the obstructions of societies. At one glance, it seems to be a shallow children's film. Well, it is a film for children about children. However, like many masterpieces about children, it extends from that genre and involves themes such as friendship, alienation, love, oppression, violence, and pursuit of happiness that many adult films have tackled today and in the past. The comedic flare of Le Ballon Rouge has lessen the gravity of the seriousness of these themes. It resolutely tells us that: hardships in life is not about the endurance, but an adventure. Le Ballon Rouge will remain close to my childish heart forever.

(coming up shortly) 41-45<...>51 - 55