(We thought we would re-post this one, since Adela got so many good reviews after last week's TIFF screening. For those that missed it, there's one more showing this Saturday afternoon at the AMC. -.ed) by Leonard
Today, the Toronto Film Festival sent out a press release announcing that they had added a batch of films in the Contemporary World Cinema. As in past years, at least one Filipino film has made it into the Fest, "Adela" by Adolfo Alix Jr.
Now I dunno bout you, or maybe its me because my Lola just passed away, but I totally felt like crying! And not in the "BeaAlonzodon'tbreakupwithmeJohnLloyd" sort of melodramatic way. Whether it is a good film or not remains to be seen, but seeing subject matter that hits home and touches on issues that affect us as Filipinos, no matter where in the world we live, is refreshing.
Although I try to make my way out to a variety of different films during the film fest, its an absolute necessity for me to attend the screenings of the Filipino films. In recent years, TIFF seems to have made an effort to get away from the hokey 'masa' movies that dominate TFC airwaves and bootleg shelves at Pacific Mall. In fact, I've been pretty jazzed about the entries for the past few years and my hunch was right -- although brilliant, they ended up being films that never hit the Filipino mainstream. And that is probably a good thing for Filipino film in general.
This film may never become fixtures at your fam jam, but then again neither are films by Lino Brocka, Ishmael Bernal, Mike de Leon, Celso Castillo or even Kidlat Tahimik...
...and if you don't know those filmmakers, it's time to either do your homework - or be fine to settle for carbon copy 'mall films' starring Ai Ai De Las Alas or Sam Milby.
(p.s. - if you look hard enough, you can actually find some Filipino Classics on DVD. I copped Lino Brocka's "Tatlo, Dalawa, Isa" and it was just so good. One of its stars? A younger Anita Linda, who stars in 'Adela'.)