Sunday, July 29, 2012

My Eiga Sai Experience.


That's what I learned from the Eiga Sai Film Festival 2012. Well, 60 percent of it came from the fact that watching the films was free. The rest? The Shangri-La Mall mainly hosted this event (annually!) and that mall is a five-minute ride from where I'm staying; I'm not a die-hard fan but I can say that I like almost anything about the Japanese culture (I'm an anime fan by the way); Eiga Sai is something different from the things that take up my current normal day so I wanted to try.

Promotional poster from  Photo caption doesn't allow you to type links. :|

Before I get to the films that I've seen, here's a little background about this event. The Eiga Sai has been running since 1997. The month of July is the Philippines-Japan Friendship Month and on its fifth year, the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines, in partnership with the Japan Foundation Manila and other organizations has hold out a lineup of activities that showcases the Japanese culture and one of them is the said film festival. On its 15th year, Eiga Sai is featuring several contemporary films from different genres. The good thing about this event is that the films will also be shown to different parts of the country.

Out of the 10 films, I managed to watch five. After seeing one, I challenged myself to see all of them. I was after the 7:00 pm schedule (the only available schedule for this adventurous employee) on the weekdays but there were some repeat showings. Hey, it was my first time to this event and I'm proud of this accomplishment!
I began watching on the first Sunday of the festival. The first movie I saw was In His Chart.

Grabbed from The Reel Bits.

This is a medical drama about a practicing physician who goes through his life, ponders on what path to take in the field of medicine and comes to question its existence. Viewers get to look on the situation of healthcare in Japan's country side. This film has also some humor and I thought it was a nice starter for me.

Courtesy of Business Mirror.

The next day, I went to see Railways with my friend, Allie. You may have seen that it was shown at 4:30 pm but here's some side story. Weeks before, I asked a favor from Allie to take a leave and accompany me to inquire about the Industrial Design course of the College of Fine Arts in UP Diliman. We had a side trip to Katipunan and it was my first time there in my two years of living in Manila. Can you believe that? We finished early and decided to watch another (my 'another', this was her 'first') film from the event. Railways isn't entirely about trains, not even about the life of a train driver for that matter. A powerful corporate executive arrives at the point of deciding things caused by a death of a long-time friend, an illness that has stricken his mother, a crumbling relationship with his family, and a childhood dream. This was a tearjerker for me and the character finally doing his dream job was the part that made me relate myself to the film. There is hope for everyone who wants to work on his/her dream job.

When I heard about an animated film in the lineup, I just thought 'I'm gonna watch that at all costs!' And this film was Colorful. Allie became my movie buddy for the duration of the festival and we were so motivated to get up early for work and get out and rush to Shangri-La Cineplex. The film was shown on Tuesday night by the way.

From its Wikipedia article.

This is a story of a boy's soul put in a body of a living child. He is tasked to know how he died and along with it, learns the meaning of life and enjoys his second chance on it. Aside from the inspiring story, I am so amazed by the artistry laid on this film - I was taken so much by the use of realistic backdrops that made me remember the visual style of Rurouni Kenshin.

I had a break from the festival on Wednesday because it was a rerun of In His Chart, so Allie watched it by herself. Thursday came and we got to watch the lead film of the festival, Villain.

Took from Wikipedia.

A man runs away after murdering a girl he met on a dating website, he develops a relationship with a sales lady. The spiraling situation they're in causes madness that would decide the fate of their relationship. This was a very dark film in contrast to the ones I saw earlier. However, I got confused somehow by how the film ended. There were some questions left unanswered. I didn't anticipate the heated scenes and I was bothered that there were kids in the theater (Probably the parents didn't expect the scenes too but they shouldn't have brought their kids to a movie with a title that I think brings a suspicious feeling in the first place.). Nevertheless, the film was good, especially the acting.

For the last one, I was supposed to watch Permanent Nobara on the morning of the festival's last Saturday in Shangri-La. However, I got up late and had to do some cleaning around the unit. But since I haven't seen the next film, I decided to give it a try. This time, we were many - my friends Allie (official movie buddy who also scored 5 out of 10 films in the end), Lando, Faye, Lauren, and my sister, Andrea (oops I forgot about her, she was also my movie buddy for In His Chart, and she joined me and Allie for Colorful). We were in for some cuteness overload and slapstick comedy of Ninja Kids!

Got this from Movie Buzzers.

A film adaptation of the manga and anime series, Ninja Rantaro Flunks Again, it's about a little boy who tries to break the streak of unsuccessful ninjas running in his family. Together with his friends, they learn the ways of the ninja and go through several encounters. The kids were really cute in their costumes. Though some parts were off, I just enjoyed and welcomed again the kind of humor I had when I was still a kid. And probably, the moviegoers did too.

So, will I go to this event again next year? As long as things are still the same, definitely. And I'd also like to try other film festivals (hoping they're free too). I'm just happy to know that the experience has taught me this kind of determination that I could transform and use in the other aspects of my life (one of them a.k.a. realizing my dream job). :)

When going to this event or even other free film festivals, one has to be REALLY EARLY. Not one hour early but two hours. There's just too many enthusiasts and movie buffs (and people who just go to see them because it's free) around the metro that can snatch your slot. And pray that no clamorous crowd gets in the same movie you want to see.

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