Monday, May 18, 2009

more kinatay reviews

more reviews of kinatay are now slowly trickling in. some are totally scathing and terrible but a few are more forgiving. this filipino movie - as bad as it is - is the most talked-about movie at the cannes film festival, and it's making me so excited - call me weird or whatever - haha.

the publicity it generates for philippine cinema is priceless, take that mastercard! lol...

the film may not win the palm d' or (heck, it may not even screen here in the US at all!) but it got the world's top critics attention. isn't it exciting? yeah, am really weird. lol.

here are more reviews:

from kirk honeycutt of the hollywood reporter

There is only one film whose selection for Competition is unconscionable, and that is Mendoza's "Kinatay." This marks the Filipino director's second Competition entry in as many years, having brought "Serbis" to Cannes last year. The polarizing filmmaker works in a gritty, neo-realistic realm that explores the sordid underbelly of Manila, where life is cheap, sex a commodity and corruption endemic.

In "Kinatay," a prostitute behind on her drug payments is kidnapped by thugs at night and driven out of town to be beaten, raped, repeatedly stabbed, then slowly dismembered, a procedure that takes up most of the movie.

The dilemma here is not that of ultra-violence -- cheap horror films show worse -- but of the undoubted pleasure the director takes in rubbing your face in this attack. Mendoza's social protest against police corruption is simply a cover for a pornographic indulgence in misogynistic violence.

from jay weissberg of daily variety

Acolytes convinced Brillante Mendoza is ready for his second Cannes competish slot will dwindle following "Kinatay," an unpleasant journey into a brutal heart of darkness. Mendoza strengthens his gift for describing space with inquisitive cameras, but as the helmer's star rises, his subtlety wanes, resulting in obvious statements made banal by heavy-handed ironies. This noirish tale of an innocent guy drawn into a dark world of torture and dismemberment understands that an unwilling accomplice is still tarred by fate, but the pic's graphic nature does realism no favors. Fest life may linger, but theatrical won't survive long.

Exec producer Didier Costet is well aware of the risks; his distrib company Equation has already released three Mendoza titles in France, including last year's controversial Cannes entry "Serbis" which he co-produced under Swift Prods. "Kinatay" is Tagalog for "slaughter," which could be a prescient title given the likely drubbing the pic will receive from mainstream critics...

from sukhdev sandhu of the uk's daily telegraph

Filipino director Brillante Mendoza emerged as an intriguing talent at last year's Cannes with Serbis, a portrait of a fading porn cinema in Manila. Kinatay, screening in Competition, is infinitely darker but an equally strong depiction of modern-day life in the former American colony that some are comparing to Gasper Noe's Irreversible.

Peping (Coco Martin) is a freshly-married policy-academy student who helps a drug-gang acquaintance to collect outstanding payments. He only wants to help his family, but his first operation involves an unforgivingly protracted and wicked assault on a prostitute.

Frankly, most people will find Kinatay (it means 'butchered') either unremittingly tedious, harrowing or vile. Possibly all three. Mendoza is no gore-hound. He's more serious than Noe. This is a fiercely moral and horribly unforgettable denunciation of societal corruption.

from mike goodridge of screen

Showing the kidnap, beating, humiliation, rape, murder and dismemberment of a young prostitute, Brillante Mendoza’s new film Kinatay (which means “butchered” in Tagalog) is a nerve-shredding exploration of crime which is both repellent and grimly compelling. Offering audiences no relief or redemption, it is perhaps most notable for its daring in attempting to capture the moment a young man crosses the line into irrevocable evil.

Well-made by Mendoza and more coherent than last year’s Serbis, it will nevertheless be hard for even the most adventurous arthouse audiences to stomach. Somewhere in the indie shocker niche occupied by Irreversible or Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer, Kinatay should win a small following on the festival circuit and sales to edgy distributors who specialize in handling tough movies. Distribution opportunities in some territories will be hampered by the extreme nature of the material.

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