Metro Manila Film Festival goes down the drain | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

The recent edition of the Metro Manila Film Festival ended with more than half a billion pesos in revenue and with at least one entry “Enteng Ka Ng Ina Mo” (second best picture) breaking box-office history with more than P111 million in less than a week.

That’s the good news.

But the entries were the usual predictable franchise films (“Enteng,” “Ang Panday,” “Shake, Ratttle and Roll”). One is a fairly well-crafted comedy (“My HouseHusband”) and another one is a fairly good horror film (“Segunda Mano”).

For many years now with the usual films lording it over the box office, you get the  perception that the yearly Metro Manila Film Festival was conceived only for viewers of noontime TV shows and early- evening TV soap operas.

There was a time in one’s film festival-going days when one would spend the holiday season watching Lino Brocka’s “Inay,” Ishmael Bernal’s “Walang Katapusang Tag-araw,” and cheering Marilou Diaz-Abaya’s artistic and box-ofice triumphs in “Brutal” and “Jose Rizal.” Brocka and Bernal are dead, and Abaya is still fighting the Big C

Pardon the comparison.

Fortunately for this year, there’s Tikoy Aguiluz’s “Asiong Salonga.”

After watching it for less than half an hour, you can be sure about a few good things working for it, such as the  superb cinematography of Carlo Mendoza, the unique music by Jerry Lazaten and the flawless sound recording of Mike Idioma, and the superb acting especially by supporting actors John Regala. Ronnie Lazaro, Ping Medina, Ding Navasero, and Soliman Cruz.

Surrounded by topnotch actors, E.R. Ejercito in the title role didn’t really impress. For one, he was still sporting his signature contravida school of acting.

Director Aguiluz who went to court to have his name removed in the directorial credit, is second to none in this festival. If what we saw was the producer’s (not the director’s) cut, the fact is that the film remains outstanding and the director’s fine eye for detail shows.

In the film depicting the early ’50s in Metro Manila, you learn from the box office sign that films cost only P1.20 in the orchestra section and only P1.40 in the balcony section in 1950.

The presence of Spanish composer Sebastian Iradier’s La Paloma—re-arranged and sung by Ely Buendia—gives the film an authentic period feel.

MSO stages Mozart opera

The Manila Symphony Orchestra will mount a special operatic production of Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte (All Women Are Like That) featuring the top operatic talents of the St. Scholastica’s College School of Music  at the St. Cecilia’s Hall of St. Scholastica’s College on Jan. 21, at 7 p.m.

Soprano Camille Lopez Molina, one of country’s top sopranos, will be directing the production while the orchestra will be under the baton of professor Arturo Molina.

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