Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Moviemov, Italian Cinema Now returns with Oscar winning film

July 24-27, 2014
Shang Cineplex, Shangri-La Plaza

Moviemov’s absence back in 2013 was deeply felt by film aficionados but this year, the much awaited Italian film festival makes a comeback this July 24-27, 2014 at its new home, the Shang Cineplex at the Shangri-La Plaza Mall.

In this year’s Moviemov, the Academy Award winning La Grande Belleza/The Great Beauty leads the selection of contemporary Italian films. Famed Italian film maker Ettore Scola’s works will be screened in the retrospective showcase of the festival. And probably the most awaited highlight of Moviemov is the appearance of Italian actors like the returning Andrea Bosca who will present the world premiere of his short film A tutto Tondo.

Aside from La Grande Belleza/The Great Beauty, the other contemporary films to be screened are Il Sud è Niente/South Is Nothing, Anni felici/Those Happy Years, Allacciate le cinture/Fasten Your Seatbelts, Il capitale umano/Human Capital, Smetto quando voglio/I Can Quit Whenever I Want, and Benur - Un Gladiatore in Affitto. The films to be shown as part of the Ettore Scola retrospective are the classics Dramma della gelosia/The Pizza Triangle, C’eravamo tanto amati/We All Loved Each Other So Much, and La Cena/The Dinner. There will still be special screenings for students, which comprises the educational component of Moviemov.

Joining Andrea Bosca are actresses Eleonora Sergio and Paola Minaccioni. Andrea Bosca will present the world premiere screening of his short film A tutto Tondo, also his directorial debut, at the festival. This special charity project born out of Bosca’s visit to Smokey Mountain and Tondo back in 2012 also stars Paolo Minaccioni and 2012 Moviemov guests Davide Iacopini and Salvatore Striano.

La Grande Belleza/The Great Beauty

During the press conference for Moviemov held at the Premiere Theatre of the Shang Cineplex, La Grande Belleza/The Great Beauty was screened. This award winning film directed by Paolo Sorrentino stars Toni Servillo as Jep Gambardella, a flash in the pan novelist, now cultural writer who indulges in the seemingly carefree and decadent life of a socialite in Rome. Earlier on in the movie, a scene during Jep’s 65th birthday made for a very striking visual with all his fellow socialites partying like there’s no tomorrow. But this birthday spurs Jep to reassess his life and where it is headed. Somehow, the film seemed to head nowhere as Jep wanders through his empty life. He meets eccentric personalities like a performance artist who slams herself on the wall, a spoiled girl whose tantrum paintings sell by the millions, an elderly nun with a sleazy agent, among many others. As the film went on, I felt that Jep wanted to get a sense of his life but just couldn’t get a break: a brief fling ended abruptly, a search for closure involving a past love went unresolved, and the attempt to write the follow up novel was only hinted out.

Dr. Alfonso Tagliaferri, First Secretary and Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Italy, mentioned that the film had mixed reactions in Italy although it practically swept all major awards abroad. I think that the film’s digs about life in Rome, politics, the art scene and even religion made this film hard to swallow by the Italians. But regardless of what the Italians felt about this, the film is still visually striking, like a love letter to Rome and it might have been Rome itself that is meant to be as the grande belleza.

Here is the screening schedule of Moviemov 2014 at the Shang Cineplex:

July 24, 2014
11:00 AM Premiere Theatre: Il Sud è niente/South is Nothing*
6:00 PM Cinema 2: Allacciate le cinture/Fasten Your Seatbelts
7:00 PM Premiere Theatre: Dramma della gelosia/The Pizza Triangle
8:00 PM Cinema 2: La Grande Belleza/The Great Beauty

July 25, 2014
11:00 AM Premiere Theatre: Anni felici /Those Happy Years*
4:00 PM Premiere Theatre: La Grande Belleza/The Great Beauty
6:30 PM Cinema 2: Il Sud è niente/South is Nothing
8:00 PM Premiere Theatre: C’eravamo tanto amati/We all loved each other so much
8:30 PM Cinema 2: A tutto Tondo (short film) to be followed by Anni felici/Those Happy Years

July 26, 2014
11:00 AM Cinema 2: Anni felici /Those Happy Years*
12:00 PM Premiere Theatre: La cena /The Dinner
4:00 PM Cinema 2: Il Sud è niente/South is Nothing
5:00 PM Premiere Theatre: Benur - Un gladiatore in affitto
6:30 PM Cinema 2: Smetto quando voglio/I Can Quit Whenever I Want
8:30 PM Cinema 2: Il capitale umano/Human Capital

July 27, 2014
11:00 AM Cinema 2: Il capitale umano/Human Capital*
12:00 PM Premiere Theatre: Benur - Un gladiatore in affitto
2:00 PM Cinema 2: Smetto quando voglio/I Can Quit Whenever I Want
3:00 PM Premiere Theatre: A tutto Tondo
4:00 PM Cinema 2: Closing Ceremony (Audience' Choice Award) 

* Limited seats due to educational block screening

Free admission. First-come, first-served basis.

For inquiries:
Shangri-La Plaza 370-2597

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Clarinetist Andrew Simon takes spotlight in ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra concert

July 24, 2014, 7:30 PM
Meralco Theater
Ortigas Avenue
Pasig City

Andrew Simon, clarinet
ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra
Gerard Salonga, conductor

Carl Maria von Weber
     Overture from Oberon
     Concertino in E flat major, Op. 26
Felix Mendelssohn Overture from The Hebrides, Op. 26 Fingal’s Cave
Heinrich Baermann Adagio for Clarinet and Orchestra
Maurice Ravel Pavane pour une infante défunte
Claude Debussy Première rhapsodie
Aaron Copland Clarinet Concerto
Leonard Bernstein Three Dance Episodes from On the Town

After the success of the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra’s inaugural Spotlight Series featuring Ryan Cayabyab, the orchestra follows it up with a concert highlighting the clarinet happening this July 24, 2014, 7:30 PM at the Meralco Theatre. Joining the orchestra and its music director and principal conductor Gerard Salonga is guest artist Andrew Simon, the Principal Clarinet of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra.

The first classical concert for the year by the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra, the evening will feature pieces written specifically for the clarinet like Carl Maria von Weber’s Concertino in E flat major, Op. 26, Heinrich Baermann’s Adagio for Clarinet and Orchestra, Claude Debussy’s Première rhapsodie and Aaron Copland’s Clarinet Concerto. Other pieces to be performed on that night will be overtures from Weber’s Oberon and Felix Mendelssohn’s The Hebrides. Maurice Ravel’s Pavane pour une infante défunte and Leonard Bernstein’s Three Dance Episodes from On the Town complete the evening’s music lineup.

Clarinetist Andrew Simon

Andrew Simon, a graduate of the Juilliard School, serves on the faculties of The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, The Chinese University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Baptist University. He has collaborated with conductors such as Yuri Simonov, Matthias Bamert, Alexander Lazarev, Donald Johanos, Diego Masson, Alexander Rahbari, and Marin Alsop.

For all of Andrew Simon’s accomplishments, one that really stands out for me is his non-musical claim to fame which is playing and eventually losing a tennis match against the temperamental John McEnroe. He may have lost that match but I’m pretty sure he is set to win hearts when the spotlight shines upon him and his clarinet.

The Spotlight Series is the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra’s chain of concerts highlighting masterpieces from world renowned composers, performers and music masters.

Ticket prices:
P1200 Orchestra Center
P1000 Orchestra Side
P500 Loge 
P400 Balcony
-50% student discount
-20% senior citizen discount

For inquiries:
Karlo Cea 415-2272 local 2409, (0937) 410-3242
TicketWorld 891-9999

Monday, July 21, 2014

Vancouver based Filipino pianist Ross Salvosa in concert

July 23, 20147:30 PM
Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (CCP Little Theater)
Cultural Center of the Philippines
CCP Complex
Pasay, Metro Manila

Ross Salvosa, piano

Franz Schubert Piano Sonata in A minor, D. 784
Joaquín Turina
     5 Danzas Gitanas, Series 2, Op.84, II. Circulos rítmicos
     Mujeres Españolas, Series 1, Op.17, II. La andaluza sentimental (monólogo)
     5 Danzas Gitanas, Series 2, Op.84, IV. Danza rítmica
Frédéric Chopin Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 35
Igor Stravinsky/Guido Agosti Firebird

Vancouver-based Filipino concert pianist Ross Salvosa kicks off the 2014 edition of the CCP Special Concert Series this July 23, 2014, 7:30 PM at the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (CCP Little Theater).

In this concert, Salvosa performs Franz Schubert’s Piano Sonata in A minor, D. 784, Joaquín Turina’s Circulos rítmicos and Danza rítmica from 5 Danzas Gitanas, Series 2, Op.84 and La andaluza sentimental (monólogo) from Mujeres Españolas, Series 1, Op.17, Frédéric Chopin’s Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 35, and Guido Agosti’s arrangement of Igor Stravinsky’s Firebird.

Ross has been performing in concert venues around the world as orchestra soloist, solo recitalist, collaborative artist and chamber musician.  He was a prize winner of national and international piano competitions.  A very versatile artist with a wide range of solo, concerto and chamber music repertoire, Ross frequently performs and premieres contemporary works. A winner of the National Music Competitions for Young Artists, he was under the tutelage of Filipino pedagogues Mauricia Borromeo, Reynaldo Reyes, Emilio de Rosario and aunt Ruby Salvosa.

Pianist Ross Salvosa

Ross is currently a doctoral candidate in Musical Arts majoring in Piano Performance at the University of British Columbia under the guidance of legendary pianists Sara Buechner and Corey Hamm. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees on full scholarship graduating magna cum laude at the Conservatory of Music at Lynn University under the tutelage of Roberta Rust and Philip Evans.  Ross is Vancouver’s one of the most sought after piano pedagogues. His students have won numerous national and international competitions, and have performed as orchestral soloists. He is renowned for developing prodigious talents from early formative ages to young professionals.  He has adjudicated numerous international competitions.

The other featured artists of the Special Concert Series are Italy-based Filipino flutist Sarah Mae Gabuyo, on August 15, 2014 and double bass player Jiovanni Tabada on September 24, 2014. Both concerts start at 7:30 PM at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (CCP Little Theater).

Ticket prices:
P800 Orchestra Center
P600 Orchestra Side
-50% student discount
-20% senior citizen discount

For performance inquiries:
CCP Box Office 832-3706
For masterclass inquiries:
CCP Music Division 832-1125 local 1604,

Friday, July 11, 2014

Singaporean conductor Darrell Ang performs in Manila

July 11, 2014, 8:00 PM
Tektite Tower Auditorium
Phil. Stock Exchange
Ortigas Center, Pasig

Arthur Espiritu, tenor
Christine Coyiuto, piano
Manila Symphony Orchestra
Darrell Ang, conductor

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
     Misero! O sogno, o son desto?, K.431
     Se vuoi che te raccolgano from Il sogno di Scipione, K.126
     Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major, K.488
Ludwig van Beethoven Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, Op. 55 Eroica

I first heard about Darrell Ang coming here way back in early or mid-2012 to conduct an all Wagner concert. Things happened and the concert pushed through but with a different conductor. And the idea of Darrell Ang ever coming here got pushed at the back of my mind. That was until I was told earlier this year that he is indeed coming, now for sure, to conduct a Mostly Mozart concert.

Born in Singapore, Darrell is currently the music director of the Orchestre Symphonique de Bretagne in France. Prior to this, he was the Young Associate Conductor of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra for five years. I’ve never seen him conduct personally before but I was able to see video of him conducting the Orquesta Sinfónica de RTVE. And I had to watch the video again to pump me up for the concert happening on July 11, 2014, 8:00 PM at the Tektite Tower Auditorium at the Philippine Stock Exchange in Ortigas, Pasig.

Joining Darrell for the Mostly Mozart 2014 concert is the Manila Symphony Orchestra, tenor Arthur Espiritu and pianist Christine Coyiuto. The pieces to be played include Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s concert aria Misero! O sogno, o son desto?, K.431, the rarely performed Se vuoi che te raccolgano from Il sogno di Scipione, K.126, Piano Concerto no. 23 in A major, K.488 and Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, Op. 55 Eroica, the epic symphony that changed music forever.

RAd and Darrell Ang

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Darrell during an intimate lunch with a few members of the press. I was able to ask him his thoughts about where the music of the 21st century is headed. He said that there are many composers now, especially in Europe, who are creating new works. Darrell thinks that the contemporary composers who will be celebrated decades or centuries from now include the American John Adams, the Chinese Tan Dun and the British Harrison Birtwistle.

Darrell, with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, has recently released a recording of Giacomo Meyerbeer’s Overtures and Entr’actes for Naxos Records. Naxos is also set to release his recording of Zhou Long’s works.

Sorry Darrell, but I'm no Lang Lang!

Mostly Mozart 2014 featuring Darrell Ang, Arthur Espiritu, Christine Coyiuto, and the Manila Symphony Orchestra is presented by the MCO Foundation as part of the Great Performances Series of their 29th  Season.

P2000 Orchestra Premier
P1000 Orchestra Regular

For inquiries:
MCO Foundation 750-0768, (0920) 954-0053
CAEO 782-7164, (0918) 347-3027
TicketWorld 891-9999

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Films about Family take spotlight at Eiga Sai 2014

July 4-13, 2014
Shang Cineplex (Cinema 2), Shangri-La Plaza

The Eiga Sai 2014 focuses on the family as the highly anticipated annual Japanese Film Festival presents movies centering on the family unit. Sixteen films, the biggest selection so far, will be screened from July 4 to 13 at the Shang Cineplex at the Shangri-La Plaza Mall.

During the press preview, the Japan Foundation Manila’s Assistant Director Yukie Mitomi, mentioned that in her six years here in the Philippines, she had experienced several natural disasters and that from these events, she had seen the resilience and strong family bonds of the Filipinos. And thus, she made it her mission to gather Japanese films that highlight the resilience of humans and the importance of families amid the disasters that has befallen Japan. Most of the films selected for the Eiga Sai 2014 will center on the theme of family, starting from the immediate, extending to the other relatives and expanding towards the neighbors and the rest of the community.

The film Reunion was screened during the preview and it’s an example on how the Japanese film industry responded to the deadly earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011. The films to be shown at this years Eiga Sai are the following: Homeland, directed by Kubota Nao which will open this year’s festival, the award winning family drama Like Father, Like Son, the historical drama Fly, Dakota, Fly!, the documentary Hearts Together, the coming of age films A Story of Yonosuke, The Kirishima Thing and Momoiro sora o. Other films in the festival are Hospitalité, Tug of War!, Robo-G, Until the Break of Dawn, Tamako in Moratorium, Casting Blossoms in the Sky, Symphony in August, Things Left Behind, and the feature animation Wolf Children.

The 2014 Eiga Sai is presented by The Japan Foundation, Manila in cooperation with the Embassy of Japan, Shangri-La Plaza and Film Development Council of the Philippines, and supported by WAO Corporation, Akira, SumoSam, Shu Uemura, and Net25 TV and Radyo Aguila. The Eiga Sai  is part of the Philippines-Japan Friendship Month celebration.


© 2013 Fuji Television Network

The film screened during the press preview was Reunion/遺体~明日への十日間 which was based on the nonfiction book Itai Shinsai, Tsunami no Hate ni by Kota Ishii. Directed by Ryoichi Kimizuka, the film tells the story of what happened right after the deadly earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan back in March 11, 2011. It is a very touching and emotional tale of the people ranging from firefighters, doctors, rescuers and volunteers who work hard at a makeshift morgue in order to make retrieval of bodies by family members less difficult than it already is. Lead actor Toshiyuki Nishida plays social worker Tsuneo Aiba, a retired funeral home worker who takes in the reins after he sees the chaotic situation at the temporary morgue. He effectively humanizes what possibly could be one of the most difficult tasks ever, handling corpses and dealing with grieving families. The recovery, checking, cleaning, labeling, identifying and retrieving of bodies could have easily gone the way of an assembly line, highly efficient and yet cold and impersonal, but Aiba made sure that the bodies will be treated with respect and dignity. Despite the odds, he was able to round up his confused and traumatized co-workers at the makeshift morgue and put a human and compassionate touch in their work.

The movie gave me a new perspective on how the Japanese, especially those who work in funeral homes, send off the departed. It also touched upon the themes that were tackled in Departures/Okurubito, the Academy Award winning film that was shown in Eiga Sai back in 2011. After seeing the film, it made me wonder how the Philippine film industry will respond to the super typhoon Yolanda that devastated most of central Visayas last November 2013. Reunion was screened in Japan only in 2013, just less than three years after the disaster, so I guess that it's still too early for local films to tackle Yolanda.

Here is the screening schedule of Eiga Sai 2014 at Cinema 2 of the Shang Cineplex:

July 4, 2014
1:30 PM Hospitalité
4:30 PM Tamako in Moratorium
7:30 PM Momoiro sora o

July 5, 2014
1:30 PM Until the Break of Dawn
4:30 PM Wolf Children
7:30 PM Like Father, Like Son

July 6, 2014
1:30 PM The Kirishima Thing
4:30 PM Fly, Dakota, Fly!
7:30 PM A Story of Yonosuke

July 7, 2014
1:30 PM Kokoro o hitotsuni
4:30 PM Casting Blossoms to the Sky
7:30 PM Symphony in August

July 8, 2014
1:30 PM Things Left Behind
4:30 PM Momoiro sora o
7:30 PM Tamako in Moratorium

July 9, 2014
1:30 PM Symphony in August
4:30 PM Tug of war!
7:30 PM A Story of Yonosuke

July 10, 2014
1:30 PM Fly, Dakota, fly!
4:30 PM Casting Blossoms to the Sky
7:30 PM Hospitalité

July 11, 2014
1:30 PM Tug of war!
4:30 PM The Kirishima Thing
7:30 PM Like Father, Like Son

July 12, 2014
1:30 PM Tamako in Moratorium
4:30 PM Reunion
7:30 PM Homeland

July 13, 2014
1:30 PM Wolf Children
4:30 PM Like Father, Like Son
7:30 PM Until the Break of Dawn

After the Shangri-La Plaza leg, the film festival continues at these venues:

July 25-27, 2014
Abreeza Mall,
Davao City

July 29-August 3, 2014
FDCP Cinematheque,
Davao City

August 6-10, 2014
Ayala Center Cebu,
Cebu City

Free admission. First-come, first-served basis.

For inquiries:
Japan Foundation, Manila 811-6155 to 58
Shangri-La Plaza 370-2597
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