Sunday, June 20, 2004

JUNE 20, 2004 (SUNDAY)

Comfort In Your Strangeness

Just got back from the Fete de la Musique. This year marks my third year of attending this celebration - not bad, since the festival started only six years ago. This time, it was held at Eastwood, Libis with more than 150 Filipino bands playing on simultaneously on 11 stages. I love attending this particular event because aside from the free music, there's that whole communal party ambiance where you get to see people from all walks of life - from those kanto boys who dive into the mosh pit without their shirts to the conyo girls in their too-high stilettos and almost-blonde hair.

Went with a bunch of GRAIL people: Al Rio, Ruzela, Meia, Zena. We also had the only thorn (or nail, as Meia put it) among the roses, Don. We were supposed to meet up with OJ and his girlfriend, as well as Dell, but due to a lot of unforeseen circumstances, it never happened. However, I was glad to see other people: a bunch of Grey Tablers (Jilly, Kla, RitaMarie, Kara), Ginny from Dumaguete, and my cousin Sandra. Even my Fiction instructor was at the Alternative stage, listening to the last song of Sundown Muse.

The fireworks that kick-started the festival was beautiful. From our vantage point near A Different Bookstore, you could see the whole sky light up with artificial shooting stars. As usual, I revel in crowds, and this was no exception. I parted from the GRAILers by 8.30 and squished myself into the crowd in front of the Main Stage. The Capoeira band was playing their set to get the crowd worked up, and even though it was hot and sticky and sweaty, people still managed to move to the beat.

And then it was Cynthia Alexander...*faint* Nothing really needs to be said anymore. (I cried, though, when she sang "Comfort In Your Strangeness." Rita had to hold my hand and tell me, "Gabby, don't you dare cry in public." He sang that to me over the phone while I was in Dumaguete, missing him. I've always thought that it was our song. And I've always imagined that we would hear it live. Well, so much for that fantasy.) After her, the Makiling Ensemble played. Al was telling me that she went to school with these guys at Makiling - they were all Visual Arts majors back then, and she was the only girl, and that they all had problems regarding personal hygiene. ^_^ Again, I marvel at coincidence: he loves the Makiling Ensemble, ever since they performed at that Yearbook launch at Dusit Hotel last December.

Damn memories. I wish I was a goldfish.

Then it was off to check out the alternative scene, up on a balcony-like setting on top of Tokyo Tokyo. But I only stayed there for a few minutes; my boot-clad feet were hurting like hell, and I collapsed at the soft soft couch of A Different Bookstore to wait for my companions to pick me up. I still had one more band to go: Sugarfree.

Rather unfortunately, the Fete was cursed because as soon as we got out of the bookstore, a sudden gust of rain met us head-on. And as if getting cold and wet in a place that was designed with sunshine in mind wasn't bad enough, Meia-chan had just spent Php 1,500 on a perm that afternoon - which means that it couldn't get wet. So I lent her my purple shawl and lavender umbrella and watched her look like someone from the witness protection program while we hopped from one rain-soaked corner to another, looking for a place where we could sit down and wait the weather out.

Finally managed to find a corner table at Pho Hoa, which is an overpriced Vietnamese restaurant (aw, c'mon people - we're students here!) but still, they accomodated us. We played about three rounds of Fluxx - thanks, Atsi Tin, for lending me the cards! And yes, you do not look older than Johann. ^_^ As soon as we got out of the restaurant, the rain had stopped...and the Fete was cancelled. From the looks of it, the tarpaulin covers of the Main Stage had blown off because of the strong winds, and most of the stages were flooded. Defeated at 12.30 AM, we trudged on home.

And now, my feet still hurt. And I never got to listen to Sugarfree. So now I just end up listening to them on the CD player. *sigh*

French Film Festival


All systems go for the 6th Makati Cinemanila International Film

The annual festival will now run from July 1 to 12, moved from the original schedule of June 24 to July 5, still at the Greenbelt cinemas in Makati City. However, premiere screenings and sneak previews of some acclaimed full-length features from this year's festival will start on June 24.

Last year, Makati Cinemanila had the distinction of screening Fernando Meirelles' "City of God," Gene Cajayon's "The Debut," Petr Zelenka's "Year of the Devil," Lars von Trier's "Dogville," Niki Caro's "Whale Rider," Aki Kaurismaki's "The Man Without a Past," and Francois Ozon's "Swimming Pool," among others, for the first time in the country.

This year, festival director Amable "Tikoy" Aguiluz VI promises an even better line-up of films. Opening the festival is Venice International Film Festival Silver Lion awardee "Zatoichi," the latest film from acclaimed Japanese director Takeshi Kitano. Japan Foundation Manila and Teriyaki Boy - Glorietta will be co sponsoring the opening night on July 1.

Aside from "Zatoichi," festival patrons will also witness the Philippine premieres of more than 75 award-winning and critically acclaimed international titles led by Afghanistan's "Osama" (Siddiq Barmak), 2004 Golden Globe winner for Best Foreign Film, Israel's "Broken Wings" (Nir Bergman), Brazil's "Contra Todos" (Roberto Moreira) and "Bus 174" (Jose Padilha), Cuba's "Seven Days, Seven Nights" (Joel Cano), and UK's "The Girl with a Pearl Earring" (Peter Webber) and controversial film "The Mother" from "Notting Hill" director Roger Michell.

Cannes winner Jafar Panahi will chair the Main Jury, which is tasked to select the grand prize Lino Brocka award winner among the films in competition. The Iranian filmmaker's "The White Balloon," "The Mirror," "The Circle," and "Crimson Gold" will also be screened at the festival.

Jon Red's "ASTIGmatism," Mario O'Hara's "Babae sa Breakwater," Jeffrey Jeturian's "Bridal Shower," Mark Meilly's "Crying Ladies," Lav Diaz's "Ebolusyon ng Isang Pamilyang Pilipino," Maryo J. de los Reyes' "Magnifico," and Clodualdo del Mundo's "Maid in Singapore" will banner the local movie industry in the international film festival. Filipino-American filmmaker Ramona Diaz is also joining the march through her Sundance-winning documentary "Imelda."

Sweden's "Evil" (Mikael Håfström), 2004 Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, and Finland's box-office hit "Bad Boys - A True Story" (Aleksi Makela) lead 10 other films in the Nordic Lights program featuring films from Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland.

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