Saturday, August 1, 2009

What’s Gay About Cinemalaya 2009?

About: A group of men hunting for treasure in the mountains.
What’s gay about it? A local informant is a teacher who’s flamboyant and feisty (Andoy Ranay). Otherwise, everyone is macho, bonding away from women. Spot the homoerotic undertones at your own risk.
Eye candies? Julio Diaz is a surprisingly sexy daddy once again. Alcris Galura, Miguel Vasquez, Jojit Alonzo, Archie Adamos are rugged men of various ages.
It’s this year’s... Kadin. A solid story, and the mountain is half the movie.
Grade: B+

Astig (Survivors)
About: Four stories of men toughing it up to survive in the big city.
What’s gay about it? Two of the stories push the guys into gay sex in order to make badly needed money. A gay sex theater is a prominent location. Gay icon Boy Abunda is executive producer and makes a cameo.
Eye candies? Dennis Trillo, Edgar Allan Guzman, Arnold Reyes, and Sid Lucero are the four stars, de-glammed and hottified. They’re surrounded by plenty of other guys. The movie is a bag of M&M’s.
It’s this year’s… Pisay. Four stories about young people of a particular environment, and the festival’s box office champ.
Grade: C+

About: An ex-con and a cop on a road trip.
What’s gay about it? Practically none, but it’s an odd couple buddy movie, so spot the homoerotic undertones at your own risk.
Eye candies? Alfred Vargas is the modelesque cop with a body that’s criminally kept under wraps. A bunch of beach bums make an appearance.
It’s this year’s… Isnats. A layered crime story that suffers from hazy execution.
Grade: B-

Dinig Sana Kita (If I Knew What You Said)
About: The love story of a rocker chick and a deaf dude.
What’s gay about it? Some of their friends seem like they could be gay, or not.
Eye candies? Romalito Mallari is the charming deaf dancer. Everyone looks wholesome.
It’s this year’s… Boses. Earnest advocacy that unfortunately abuses storytelling formulas.
Grade: C+

About: A day in the life of youngsters in the slums, one of whom is fleeing a possible death threat from government-hired assassins.
What’s gay about it? The word “faggot” gets thrown around as an insult.
Eye candies? Those cute gang boys include Felix Roco, Daniel Medrana, and Zyrus Desamparado.
It’s this year’s… Tribu, obviously.
Grade: A-

Last Supper No. 3
About: A guy goes through legal hell after losing a Last Supper wall décor.
What’s gay about it? The guy is a gay assistant production designer (Joey Paras). Gay humor abounds, but sexuality is otherwise a non-issue.
Eye candies? His righthand guy is a straight hothead cutie (JM De Guzman). At one point, a hunky tricycle driver gets embraced.
It’s this year’s… Big Time. A snappy comedy championing the underdog.
Grade: A

About: A photographer who’s a sex abuse victim is assigned to cover a strange ritual.
What’s gay about it? None.
Eye candies? Neil Ryan Sese is her work partner and suitor. The local boys are nextdoor types. Publio Briones III makes for a pasty chub in Ifugao-like bahag, if that’s your thing.
It’s this year’s… 100. Stylish, but shallow.
Grade: C+

About: A boy who must take care of his mentally deteriorating family.
What’s gay about it? None.
Eye candies? Lance Raymundo is a mercurial junkie brother. His sister is repeatedly tormented by a jock type. Timothy Mabalot is the endearing kid, but he’s not of legal age.
It’s this year’s… Ang Pagdadalaga Ni Maximo Oliveros. An idiosyncratic, heartfelt coming-of-age.
Grade: A

Ang Panggagahasa Kay Fe (The Rapture of Fe)
About: A woman with an abusive husband mysteriously receives black fruits at her doorstep.
What’s gay about it? Said husband accuses another man of being a faggot because he’s not seen with any woman…
Eye candies? …But the guy is TJ Trinidad, and he’s just secretly carrying an affair with the wife. Meeyo Candelaria is his fine younger brother. Nonie Buencamino does a rape scene and fucks a carabao, if that’s your thing.
It’s this year’s… Baryoke. There’s pleasure in unexplainable magic in a small town.
Grade: A

Sanglaan (The Pawnshop)
About: The residents of a dying pawnshop, who treat each other like family.
What’s gay about it? None.
Eye candies? Joem Bascon as a former prom king smolders.
It’s this year’s… Sarong Banggi. A miniature portrait with a languid visual style.
Grade: A-


gibbs cadiz said...

bravo summation! but of course. :)

Anonymous said...

i love this post! funny, witty, short and informative. exactly what we need when we're hurrying to catch the films and want to get a good idea which films we shouldn't miss. salamat dito!

John Silva said...

You may want to read my review of Astig.
check it out at

i like all your Cinemalaya reviews. Alfred Vargas can kidnap me any day.

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