Monday, May 18, 2009

Roger Ebert skewers Brillante Mendoza's "Kinatay"

The Philippine film representative for this year is called the worst film in the history of cannes by ebert.

There are few prospects more alarming than a director seized by an Idea. I don't mean an idea for a film, a story, a theme, a tone, any of those ideas. I'm thinking of a director whose Idea takes control of his film and pounds it into the ground and leaves the audience alienated and resentful. Such a director is Brillante Mendoza of the Philippines, and the victim of his Idea is his Official Selection at Cannes 2009, "Kinatay." Here is a film that forces me to apologize to Vincent Gallo for calling "The Brown Bunny" the worst film in the history of the Cannes Film Festival.

After extensive recutting, the Gallo film was redeemed. I don't think editing is going to do the trick for "Kinatay." If Mendoza wants to please any viewer except for the most tortured theorist (one of those careerists who thinks movies are about arcane academic debates and not people) he's going to have to remake his entire second half.

read the whole thing. i report, you decide.

Mike D'Angelo offers some nice words for Kinatay:

I admire Kinatay for its uncompromising rigor—the lengthy van ride, which constitutes nearly half the film, is a tour de force

yes, read the whole thing rin.

Wesley Morris wrote that unlike Lars Von Trier's "Antichrist," "Kinatay" had a lot of the viewers walking out.

UPDATE: Inquirer: ‘Kinatay’ draws raves, rants in Cannes

And roundups re the film.

Video excerpts of Kinatay.

Hmmm... a 45-minute car ride in the film... parang ayaw ko na.

UPDATE: Brillante mendoza wins Cannes best director award.


Maria Margarita Hongsakula said...


The film won an award for best direction at the Cannes Film Festival. I guess what you consider the worst film in Cannes Film Festival's history is directed by this festival's BEST DIRECTOR.


J. Ashley said...

Cannes Filmfest choices are always controversial. Probably because the judges are soaked in champagne and caviar and too tired after vigorous work-outs during bedtime.

Maybe the judges liked the Manila street scenes and wanted to come to Manila for themselves.

Or, they thought they would give the human rights advocates a boost by giving an award to this film which portrays the police as the worst criminals.