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#CineFilipino2018 Reviews: “Poon,” “The Eternity Between Seconds,” “Mata Tapang”

Happening now at SM Cinemas Mall of Asia, North EDSA, Megamall, Fairview, Southmall, Mania, Greenbelt 1 and Gateway Cineplex is the 3rd edition of the CineFilipino Independent Film Festival until May 15.

Here are my thoughts on three of the eight feature film entries of the said film festival:

POON by Roni Supangan Benaid

Atmospheric at best, Roni Supangan Benaid’s Poon keeps you curious, scared curious from start until its climax. It builds its scares through its cinematography and color grading and it works.  But like some horror films, Poon seem to have this need to have a twist in its story, while it may work in some, here it feels half-baked. Glydel Mercado is doing great as a die hard believer of the Lord and miracles that she looked almost crazy but the ending is really problematic that it makes the overall feel of the film disappointing.

I was really disturbed at the look of San Vargas, the statue. Not entirely on its physical looks but how the film make it look like. It’s beyond the visuals, the film manages to make something ordinary-looking to something scary thru its story. The film may not be that satisfying but it got right on making scary its main subject.


 

THE ETERNITY BETWEEN SECONDS by Alec Figuracion

A serendipitous encounter between two people who can be anyone they want to be in a foreign country. The Eternity Between Seconds plays on time much more than we can notice. It gives the characters Andres and Sam to find and at the same time be lost with each other. It’s the kind of film that lets us realize how meeting strangers can be one of the best experiences in life we should occasionally try.

The film let’s you feel the weather in Korea. It may not get to more tourist spots than the usual travel movies, it still manages to give you the ambiance of what it feels like being there, even if most parts of the film was shot in the airport. The ambiance and the dialogues in the film were perfect pair. It gives you an authentic feel of the discussion between Andres and Sam – the shallow and the deep ones, the trivial and the personal ones.

The Eternity Between Seconds is the perfect example of how filmmaking lets you meet people. It breaks the barriers of the screen and make you learn more about a person, not in the most obvious way. It feels little by little, every detail. And once the film ends, you’re there, wondering the what ifs.


 

MATA TAPANG by Rod Marmol

A film that presents friendship beyond life, brotherhood beyond physical existence. Mata Tapang has its way of getting through the audience emotionally by tapping on the bond between friends and the value of family. Edgar Allan Guzman effectively leads the film with Arron Villaflor, Jerald Napoles, Miguel Almendras and Ritz Azul.

While the film has its tender and fun moments, it gets to be dragging at times. I’m not sure if the film could use some trimming but it did feel longer than it should be. There is something worth seeing here that might get you reminisce of the bond and promises you had with your friends.

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Catch the third CineFilipino Film Festival from May 9 – 15 at SM Cinemas Mall of Asia, North EDSA, Megamall, Fairview, Southmall, Manila, Greenbelt 1 and Gateway Cineplex.

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