Private joke at the Italian film fest

At the Manila Peninsula, during the launch of Italian travelling film festival called Moviemov: Italian Cinema Now, senior scribes became more inquisitive when they learned the lineup of Filipino films included in the second edition of film event that will run for five days at Greenbelt 3 cinemas.

One scribe stood up, put the microphone close to his mouth,  and said with conviction, “The Mistress is not of a festival quality.”

John Lloyd Cruz kissing Bea Alonzo

Apparently, the blockbuster film that earned almost P300 million at the local box office is among the five Filipino films that will be exhibited for free in this year’s edition of Moviemov in Manila. The other films named are Chito Roño’s Dekada 70, Manuel Conde’s Genghis Khan (a restored version) and the film that will win the National Film Festival in Davao.

To give a clear explanation, an Italian attaché said that ABS-CBN is one on the major media partners of the festival. And part of the agreement is to exhibit films produced by the movie outfit. They had a long list of Filipino movies to choose from but they picked The Mistress not because of being relevant to many cultures but because it has English subtitle, and of course Filipinos love the film.

One scribe yelled from the back, “Why not show Praybeyt Benjamin instead? “

Retrospective of spaghetti westerns

Sergio Leone

The phrase spaghetti westerns was originally a depreciative term given by foreign critics to cowboy films popular in the first half of the sixties and lasted until the second half of the seventies because they thought they were inferior to American westerns.

Although most of the films were made with low budgets, several still managed to be innovative and artistic, even at the time they didn’t get much recognition.

It was Sergio Leone who defined the look and attitude of the genre with his first western and the two that soon were to follow:  For a Few Dollars more (1965) and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966).  Together these films are called The Dollars Trilogy and it’s good to note that they launched the career of now Hollywood icon, Clint Eastwood.

From Dec. 5 to 9, local cinephiles will be able to relive these Leone’s cult classics for free as the travelling Italian film festival called Moviemov is in town again, Greenbelt 3 cinemas to be exact.  The film event promotes modern Italian movies among Asian audiences, particularly in the Philippines, Thailand and India.

In addition to Dollars Trilogy,  Moviemov’s Sergio Leone Retrospective will feature The Colossus of Rhodes, Once Upon a Time in The West, Once Upon a Time in America, and A Fistful of Dynamite.

Moviemov: Italian Cinema now is touted as the biggest Italian international film festival in Asia. The film event is supported by the General Direction for Cinema of the Italian Ministry of Heritage and Culture and the Film Development Council of the Philippines, organized by the Embassy of Italy, Playtown, the Philippine-Italian Association, Rustan’s, The Peninsula Manila and the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

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