Cinemalaya XI: Shorts ‘B’ | Movie Review

Unlike Cinemalaya’s previous years, this year’s Cinemalaya XI, with the slogan ‘Broadening Horizons’, showcases 10 short films in competition. They are divided into 2 sets, namely Shorts ‘A’ and Shorts ‘B’. Yesterday, I reviewed Shorts ‘A’, so today, it’s time for Shorts ‘B’, which consists of Lisyun Qng Geografia by Petersen Vargas. Wawa by Angelie Mae Macalanda, Mater by Annemikami Pablo, Pusong Bato by Martika Ramirez Escobar, and Papetir by Darwin Novicio.

Lisyun Qng Geografia is my favorite from this set. This movie is about, among all other things, friendship, and the factors that could ruin it. Endearing, and at the same time, heartbreaking. The movie benefits from an excellent story, breathtaking cinematography, a fitting soundtrack, and great performances from the Earl Policarpio and Ross Pesigan. It made me feel a lot of things, which is becoming rare in Philippine cinema.

My Rating: 10/10

Wawa, among all other shorts, was the most disappointing. There is a lot of untapped potential in this film, but instead we are given nothing. I have nothing to say for this film, as nothing important really happens in this film, and there’s no impact whatsoever. The only saving grace of Wawa are the stunning visuals, making great use of the surroundings. Other than that, there’s not much to like in this film.

My Rating: 5/10

Mater was surprisingly good. It was a slow burn, and the build-up may have lasted a bit longer than my liking, but it was worth it. It presents a strong metaphorical message about a different kind of motherly love. It also shows how powerful jealousy is, and that jealousy leads to unpleasant things. The subtlety of all the aspects of the film gives it a certain kind of creepiness which makes it more intriguing.

My Rating: 9/10

Pusong Bato is the most unique among all the shorts in competition. It explores the possibility of a person falling in love with an inanimate object. A heart-shaped rock, to be exact (hence the title). It’s absurd, but in a very good way. I mean, where else would you see a rock making love to a woman? There is just the right amount of craziness which makes it hilarious. I also liked the effort that they put in creating this little world that this film explores, especially with the fictional movie within the movie. The ending leaves a lot to be desired, though.

My Rating: 9/10

Papetir, albeit being shorter than usual, was a powerful presentation of the past that still haunts the titular puppeteer. We are shown that behind the happy, joyful faces these puppeteers put on in every show, there is a past they are trying to hide. It’s light, but grim and haunting at the same time.

My Rating: 8/10

Definitely, Shorts ‘B’ was a better set than Shorts ‘A’. 4/5 films stood out for me from this set, Wawa was the only one that disappointed me. My favorites from this set are Lisyun Qng Geografia, Pusong Bato, and Mater.

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