Sunday, June 28, 2015

Japanese cuisine themed films at the Eiga Sai 2015

July 10-19, 2015
Shang Cineplex (Cinema 2), Shangri-La Plaza

With the rising popularity of Ramen houses and other Japanese cuisine establishments in the Philippines, it’s not surprising that Eiga Sai, The Japanese Film Festival 2015 will have the theme Tasteful Japan as films featuring Japanese cuisine gets screened starting this July 10, 2015 at the Shang Cineplex of the Shangri-La Plaza Mall.

The films centering on food include Tale of Samurai Cooking - A True Love Story, PATISSERIE Coin de rue, The God of Ramen, WA-SHOKU ~Beyond Sushi~, and It’s a Beautiful Life ~IRODORI~. The festival will also feature contemporary Japanese films like Parasyte, Wood Job!, Thermae Romae II, Tada’s Do-It-All House: Disconcerto, and Princess Jellyfish.

The festival opens with the film Our Family, and the film’s director Yuya Ishii will be the guest of honor come opening night. Comprising the educational component of the festival, Ishii will have a director’s talk on July 10, 2015, 3:00 PM at the Lopez Center Studio, Ateneo de Manila University and on July 11, 2015, 4:30 PM at the Shang Cineplex Cinema 2.

Director Yuya Ishii
©2013 “Our Family” Production Committee

As always, after the Manila leg at the Shangri-La Plaza, the festival will tour to Davao on July 14-19, 2015 at the FDCP Cinematheque, and July 24-26 at the Abreeza Mall. The screenings return to Metro Manila on Augurt 12-15, 2015 at UP Film Institute. Finally, the festival wraps with screenings at the Ayala Center in Cebu on August 19-23, 2015.


© 2014 "Parasyte" Film Partners. All Rights Reserved.

During the press conference of the Eiga Sai held at the Shang Cineplex, the film Parasyte/寄生獣 was screened. The film, directed by Takashi Yamazaki, is the live adaptation of the science fiction horror manga series by Hitoshi Iwaaki.

In the film, strange, insect like creatures (or the parasites) take over human beings, specifically their brains, eventually taking over them. These infected humans need to devour other humans beings, and in a gruesome manner at that, for sustenance. Unfortunately, one such parasite was unable to take over Shinichi Izumi, played by Shota Sometani, only gaining control of the teenager’s right hand. This right hand, usually morphing into a strange alien like creature consequently named Migi, formed an unusual relationship with his host. Together, they try to stop the gruesome murders brought upon by the infected humans’ need to survive.

Being an avid reader of various manga series, the film really felt as if various volumes of the manga were crammed to fit into an hour and a half film. The plot moved in such a rapid pace that characterization and the exploration of relationships weren’t fully realized. So that during vital points in the film, the resulting outcomes failed to have some weight and bearing once I got over the shock. But still, Parasyte, is an exciting ride that kept me at the edge of my seat. With each new character/subplot revealed, stakes were raised and things became more urgent. The film eventually ends in a major cliffhanger that I bet would made people want the sequel to be shown in next year’s festival.

Here is the screening schedule of Eiga Sai 2015 at Cinema 2 of the Shang Cineplex:

July 10, 2015
1:30 PM Princess Jellyfish
4:30 PM Wood Job!
7:30 PM A Tale of Samurai Cooking - A True Love Story

July 11, 2015
1:30 PM PATISSERIE Coin de rue
4:30 PM Our Family
7:30 PM Tada’s Do-It-All House: Disconcerto

July 12, 2015
1:30 PM Thermae Romae II
4:30 PM A Tale of Samurai Cooking - A True Love Story
7:30 PM Wood Job!

July 13, 2015
1:30 PM WA-SHOKU ~Beyond Sushi~
4:30 PM Tada’s Do-It-All House: Disconcerto
7:30 PM Thermae Romae II

July 14, 2015
1:30 PM Wood Job!
4:30 PM WA-SHOKU ~Beyond Sushi~
7:30 PM The God of Ramen

July 15, 2015
1:30 PM Tada’s Do-It-All House: Disconcerto
4:30 PM Princess Jellyfish
7:30 PM Our Family

July 16, 2015
1:30 PM It’s a Beautiful Life ~IRODORI~
4:30 PM PATISSERIE Coin de rue
7:30 PM WA-SHOKU ~Beyond Sushi~

July 17, 2015
1:30 PM Thermae Romae II
4:30 PM It’s a Beautiful Life ~IRODORI~
7:30 PM Princess Jellyfish

July 18, 2015
1:30 PM Wood Job!
4:30 PM A Tale of Samurai Cooking - A True Love Story
7:30 PM Parasyte

July 19, 2015
1:30 PM The God of Ramen
4:30 PM PATISSERIE Coin de rue
7:30 PM Tada’s Do-It-All House: Disconcerto

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

July 14-19, 2015
FDCP Cinematheque,
Davao City

July 24-26, 2015
Abreeza Mall,
Davao City

August 12-15, 2015
UP Film Institute
Quezon City

August 19-23, 2015
Ayala Center Cebu,
Cebu City

Eiga Sai, The Japanese Film Festival 2015, kicking off the Philippines-Japan Friendship Month celebrations is presented by the Japan Foundation, Manila, in cooperation with the Embassy of Japan, Tokyo International Film Festival, Shangri-La Plaza Mall, UP Film Institute and the Film Development Council of the Philippines.

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

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

Monday, June 01, 2015

French Film Festival celebrates 20 years

June 3-9, 2015
Greenbelt 3
Ayala CenterMakati
Bonifacio High Street Cinemas
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City

The French Film Festival running this June 3-9, 2015 celebrates 20 years of bringing quality French films to local audiences by expanding further as the festival adds the Bonifacio High Street Cinemas at the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig as another screening venue alongside the Greenbelt 3 Cinemas.

The films to be screened for this year include Diplomatie (Diplomacy), 3 Cœurs (3 Hearts), Chante ton bac d’abord (We Did it on a Song), Dans la cour (In the Courtyard), Eden, Hippocrate, La Belle et la bête (Beauty and the Beast), La Famille Bélier (The Bélier Family), La French (The Connection), La Jalousie (Jealousy), La Prochaine fois je viserai le cœur (Next Time I’ll Aim for the Heart), L’Amour est un crime parfait (Love is the Perfect Crime), Le Havre, Les Garçons et Guillaume, à table ! (Me, Myself and Mum), L’Homme qu’on aimait trop (In the Name of My Daughter), Lulu femme nue (Lulu in the Nude), Saint Laurent, Timbuktu, 108 Rois-Démons (108 Demon-Kings). Tickets for the film screenings cost P100 each. As always, films will be screened with English subtitles.

French Ambassador Gilles Garachon

On the festival’s red carpet opening night, Taklub by director Brillante Mendoza, the only Philippine entry to the Un Certain Regard section of the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, will have its Philippine premiere. Taklub, starring Nora Aunor, is produced by Sen. Loren Legarda with the support of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Philippine Information Agency. The film follows the lives of the survivors of the super typhoon Yolanda. The screening of Taklub follows that of La Famille Bélier (The Bélier Family) which will be held earlier in the afternoon of the festival’s opening. These screenings of La Famille Bélier (The Bélier Family) and Taklub will be by invitation only.


At the press conference for the festival held at the Bonifacio High Street Cinemas, the film Hippocrate from 2014 was shown. Directed by Thomas Lilti, Hippocrate is a medical drama-comedy starring Vincent Lacoste as Benjamin Barois, a young doctor taking his internship at the hospital where his father serves as the director. Vincent starts his internship full of optimism but problems, in the form of stained, ill-fitting coats, broken ECG machines, office politics, party minded fellow interns, a stubborn foreign doctor and accusations of being a papa’s boy start to arise. And these prove to be a lot harder to cure than the patients admitted to the doctors’ care.

This poignant film focuses more on relationships rather than medical jargon although I think I got a good grasp on what an ECG and a morphine drip is despite not having any background in medicine. Reda Kadeb, playing the Algerian doctor Abdel Rezzak whose convictions almost cost him his career, turned in one of the most memorable and nuanced performances in the film. I couldn’t help to notice the irony of doctors lighting up a cigarette right after they've gone through tense and stressful situations.

Avoiding major spoilers, I had to say that the incident involving Vincent towards the end of the film felt too forced and I knew what was about to happen moments leading up to this pivotal part of the film. And the outcome, felt too convenient as if everything wrapped up nicely, with the main villain getting his due and everyone coming out of it satisfied and almost unscathed.

The 20th French Film Festival is organized by the Embassy of France to the Philippines, Institut Français, the Alliance française de Manille and Cebu, in cooperation with the Ayala Malls Cinemas, Bonifacio High Street and Greenbelt. This event would have not been possible without the support of the platinum sponsors: SSI Group, Inc., Beauty Bar, Eden Park, Lacoste, L’Occitane, Oliviers & Co., and Vilebrequin; gold sponsors ThinkBIT and Chateau; bronze sponsors Delsey, Kickers, Sledgers, Peugeot, Bizu, Le Cellier, Don Papa, Monin and TWG; and media partners ANC, the Philippine Daily Inquirer, BusinessWorld, High Life,, L’Officiel Manila and Rogue Media, Art Plus Magazine, Expat News, Mellow 94.7 Sounds Good, and

Ticket price:

For inquiries:
(0936) 919-6097,
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