Double Feature: Aliwan Paradise & The Woman in the Septic Tank

Aliwan & Septic Tank image

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013 @ 6:30pm
Aliwan Paradise
Philippines, 1992 (27 mins)
Tagalog with English subtitles

Dir: Mike De Leon
Screenplay: Clodualdo (Doy) Del Mundo Jr.
Cast: Julio Diaz (as Julio Madiaga), Melissa De Leon (as Ligaya Paradiso), Johnny Delgado (as the Impressario)

Director Mike De Leon’s view of the future is both hilariously fantastic and uncomfortably real. Although obviously inspired by the near-fascist regime of Ferdinand Marcos, the film’s setting can be read as a caricature of a Filipino society that is addicted to the pleasure of illusions, to the fleetingly amusing, to the ephemeral and the unreal. Doy del Mundo’s screenplay is essentially a satire, but the film’s prophetic observations as to how “entertainment” has turned from being a source of respite to a parasite that lives on woe and suffering leaves survival as the only thing worth fighting for. Aliwan Paradise is a true masterpiece of political and social commentary.

The Woman in the Septic Tank (Ang Babae sa Septic Tank)
Philippines, 2011 (90 mins)
Tagalog with English subtitles

Dir: Marlon Rivera
Screenplay: Chris Martinez
Cast: Mercedes Cabral, Kean Cipriano, JM De Guzman, Eugene Domingo (as Mila / Herself), JM de Guzman (as Bingbong), Kean Cipriano (as Rainier), Cai Cortez (as Jocelyn), Jonathan Tadioan (as Arthur Poongbato), Cherry Pie Picache (as Mila)

Following almost exactly 20 years after Aliwan Paradise, Ang Babae sa Septic Tank (The Woman in the Septic Tank), directed by Marlon Rivera from a screenplay written by Chris Martinez, earns most of its laughs from the misadventures of director Rainer (Kean Cipriano), producer Bingbong (JM de Guzman), and production assistant Jocelyn (Cai Cortez). This overly ambitious troop of filmmakers are out to make their Oscars dream film entitled Walang Wala (Broke) by exploiting the picturesque poverty of Manila…and showcasing what’s depressingly wrong with the current state of Philippine filmmaking in the most hilarious of ways. Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank won Best Director, Best Film, Best Actress, Best Screenplay, and the Audience Choice Award at the 7th Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival in 2011.

-Oggs Cruz, Oggsmoggs.blog

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