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Southeast Asian Challenge (Official, October 2020)

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Melvelet
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Southeast Asian Challenge (Official, October 2020)

#1

Post by Melvelet » September 29th, 2020, 6:19 pm

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Lewat Djam Malam/After the Curfew (1954), an Indonesian classic. Blu-ray by Criterion released 29.09.2020

Goal:
Watch as many Southeast Asian films as possible in the month of October 2020. Discuss the films, share your discoveries and opinions.
Eligible countriesShow
Brunei
Cambodia
Indonesia
Laos
Malaysia
Myanmar (Burma)
Philippines
Singapore
Thailand
Timor-Leste (East Timor)
Vietnam
Image

Rules:

- A feature film (Anything over 40 minutes) counts as one entry
- A total of 60 minutes of short films count as one entry
- For Mini-Series (40 minute episodes or longer) each episode counts as an entry.
- For Mini-Series with shorter episodes (25 minutes or so), the 60 minute rule applies.
- "Regularly occurring" television programs are eligible, with a 90-minute rule, similar to Mini-Series
- Rewatches allowed and good for the soul
- Please post the country. IMDb links appreciated, also consider posting the runtime for the bonus challenge.

Lists:
UNESCO (Official) (Indonesia and Laos)
Asian Cinema: A Field Guide (Official) (Cambodia (683-685), Indonesia (686-692), Malaysia and Singapore (693-707), Philippines (711-735), Thailand (741-770), Vietnam (777-788))
Pinoy Rebyu’s 100 Greatest Pinoy Films of All Time (Official)
iCM Forum's Favourite Movies from South-East Asia Complete List
Tabloid Bintang's 25 Best Indonesian Films
Pinoy Rebyu's The 50 Most Well-Loved Pinoy Films of the 2010s
Thai Film Archives Registry
Tiden & VWC's 25 outstanding Vietnamese films
Malaysian Best Film Award
Indonesian Best Film Award (Citra)
Thai Best Film Award (Suphannahong)
Vietnamese Best Film Award (Golden Lotus)
Noel Vera's 100 Best Filipino Films
Thai Cinema: The Complete Guide
Flipino Film Critics' Society: Gawad Urian Award
Kenji - South East Asia: A Canon


BONUS CHALLENGE #1: Runtime challenge. Every minute counts as 1 point. Please specify the runtime of the film you watched. Otherwise the OMDb runtime value will be used.
BONUS CHALLENGE #2: Watch movies from every country of the region


Rank Participant Count Minutes 1000<400 500<400 Asian Field Guide DtC ICMForum's SEA Complete ICMForum's SEA Top 50 Pinoy Rebyu’s 100
1 blueboybob 132 14820 2 1 57 5 44 11 55
2 OldAle1 57 5954 0 0 9 2 17 1 13
3 jdidaco 24 2229 0 0 1 0 9 2 2
3 psychotronicbeatnik 24 2175 0 0 3 0 8 1 0
5 sol 22 2196 1 1 3 1 9 4 1
6 Melvelet 17 1608 1 1 3 2 14 8 3
7 mjf314 13 585 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
8 flavo5000 10 990 0 0 1 0 1 1 2
8 Mate_cosido 10 1054 0 0 1 0 5 0 2
10 Fergenaprido 5 442 0 0 0 0 1 1 3
10 Mario Gaborovic 5 429 0 0 2 0 2 1 2
10 Onderhond 5 511 0 0 0 0 1 1 1
13 hurluberlu 4 433 0 0 2 0 3 2 0
14 zzzorf 3 332 0 0 0 0 1 1 0
15 cinephage 2 213 0 0 0 0 2 0 0
15 maxwelldeux 2 221 0 0 0 0 1 0 1
15 ororama 2 156 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
18 blocho 1 96 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
- overall 338 34444 4 3 83 10 119 34 86


Country breakdown:
username Brunei Cambodia Indonesia Laos Malaysia Myanmar Philippines Singapore Thailand Timor-Leste Vietnam
blueboybob 0 2 9 0 6 0 77 7 23 0 8
blocho 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0
cinephage 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0
flavo5000 0 0 4 0 0 0 3 0 3 0 0
Fergenaprido 0 1 1 0 0 0 3 0 1 0 0
hurluberlu 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 3 0 0
jdidaco 0 0 7 0 2 0 4 5 6 0 0
Melvelet 0 1 5 0 0 1 5 0 3 1 1
Mate_cosido 0 0 1 0 0 0 5 0 2 0 2
maxwelldeux 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0
Mario Gaborovic 0 0 1 0 1 0 4 0 1 3 0
mjf314 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 13 0 0
OldAle1 0 0 10 1 1 0 38 1 9 0 2
ororama 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 0
Onderhond 0 0 2 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 0
psychotronicbeatnik 0 0 4 0 1 0 14 2 3 0 0
sol 1 1 4 1 2 1 4 1 5 3 1
zzzorf 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
Overall 1 5 50 2 13 2 162 20 76 7 14


Decade breakdown:
Decade Count
1940s 1
1950s 16
1960s 13
1970s 28
1980s 59
1990s 27
2000s 107
2010s 86
2020s 1

Director breakdownShow
Director Count
Eddie Romero 17
Gerardo de Leon 15
Mike De Leon 15
Ishmael Bernal 10
Lav Diaz 9
Lino Brocka 9
H. Tjut Djalil 8
Brillante Mendoza 7
Apichatpong Weerasethakul 6
Banjong Pisanthanakun 6
Garin Nugroho 6
Kimo Stamboel 6
Parkpoom Wongpoom 6
Pen-Ek Ratanaruang 6
Peque Gallaga 6
Raya Martin 6
Timo Tjahjanto 6
Erik Matti 5
Cirio H. Santiago 4
David Palazon 4
Emmanuel H. Borlaza 4
Eric Khoo 4
Joko Anwar 4
Lamberto V. Avellana 4
Mario O'Hara 4
Mikhail Red 4
Nonzee Nimibutr 4
Oxide Chun Pang 4
Raymond Red 4
Sherad Anthony Sanchez 4
Sisworo Gautama Putra 4
Yongyoot Thongkongtoon 4
Chatrichalerm Yukol 3
Efren C. Piñon 3
James Lee 3
Ming Jin Woo 3
Rithy Panh 3
Royston Tan 3
Sari Raissa Lluch Dalena 3
Amir Muhammad 2
Anucha Boonyawatana 2
Apisit Opasaimlikit 2
Chito S. Roño 2
Ekachai Uekrongtham 2
Enrique Alonso 2
Isara Nadee 2
John Torres 2
Josh Kim 2
Kelvin Tong 2
Khavn 2
Kidlat Tahimik 2
Lou Salvador 2
Manuel Conde 2
Manuel Silos 2
Mattie Do 2
Nick Deocampo 2
Ratana Pestonji 2
Rocky Soraya 2
Tanit Jitnukul 2
Tony Bui 2
Tony Perez 2
Usmar Ismail 2
Genre breakdownShow
Genre Count
Drama 185
Horror 111
Thriller 55
Comedy 49
Action 45
Romance 39
Crime 38
Mystery 31
Adventure 28
Documentary 19
Fantasy 17
Short 16
War 14
History 10
Musical 10
Sci-Fi 10
Biography 6
Sport 4
Animation 2
Music 2
Family 1
Western 1
Movies that have been challenged more than onceShow
Times challenged Name Year IMDBICM
5 Shutter 2004 :imdb: :ICM:
4 Shake, Rattle & Roll 1984 :imdb: :ICM:
3 Batch '81 1982 :imdb: :ICM:
3 Brides of Blood 1968 :imdb: :ICM:
3 Cemetery of Splendor 2015 :imdb: :ICM:
3 Kinatay 2009 :imdb: :ICM:
3 Kisapmata 1981 :imdb: :ICM:
3 Lady Terminator 1989 :imdb: :ICM:
3 Lumaban ka, Satanas 1983 :imdb: :ICM:
3 Macabre 2009 :imdb: :ICM:
3 Nang Nak 1999 :imdb: :ICM:
3 Sister Stella L. 1984 :imdb: :ICM:
3 The Blood Drinkers 1964 :imdb: :ICM:
3 The Missing Picture 2013 :imdb: :ICM:
3 White Funeral 1997 :imdb: :ICM:
2 15: The Movie 2003 :imdb: :ICM:
2 After the Curfew 1954 :imdb: :ICM:
2 Ang magpakailanman 1982 :imdb: :ICM:
2 Badjao: The Sea Gypsies 1957 :imdb: :ICM:
2 Beast of Blood 1970 :imdb: :ICM:
2 Beast of the Yellow Night 1971 :imdb: :ICM:
2 Birdshot 2016 :imdb: :ICM:
2 Biyaya ng Lupa 1959 :imdb: :ICM:
2 Boneca de Atauro: Searching for the Lost Love 2016 :imdb: :ICM:
2 Chanthaly 2013 :imdb: :ICM:
2 Dangerous Seductress 1995 :imdb: :ICM:
2 Dead Bite 2011 :imdb: :ICM:
2 Demon of Paradise 1987 :imdb: :ICM:
2 Demons 2000 :imdb: :ICM:
2 Fun Bar Karaoke 1997 :imdb: :ICM:
2 Genghis Khan 1950 :imdb: :ICM:
2 Haplos 1982 :imdb: :ICM:
2 How to Win at Checkers (Every Time) 2015 :imdb: :ICM:
2 Insiang 1976 :imdb: :ICM:
2 Kakabakaba ka ba? 1980 :imdb: :ICM:
2 Leaf on a Pillow 1998 :imdb: :ICM:
2 Mad Doctor of Blood Island 1968 :imdb: :ICM:
2 Mystics in Bali 1981 :imdb: :ICM:
2 Now Showing 2008 :imdb: :ICM:
2 Oliver 1983 :imdb: :ICM:
2 On the Job 2013 :imdb: :ICM:
2 Ritual 2012 :imdb: :ICM:
2 Sanda Wong 1955 :imdb: :ICM:
2 Satan's Slave 1982 :imdb: :ICM:
2 Sewer 2008 :imdb: :ICM:
2 Speck in the Water 1976 :imdb: :ICM:
2 The Criminal of Barrio Concepcion 1998 :imdb: :ICM:
2 The Queen of Black Magic 2019 :imdb: :ICM:
2 The Rites of May 1976 :imdb: :ICM:
2 The Twilight People 1972 :imdb: :ICM:
2 The Woven Stories of the Other 2006 :imdb: :ICM:
2 Three Seasons 1999 :imdb: :ICM:
2 Wawata Topu: Mermaids of Timor-Leste 2013 :imdb: :ICM:
Last edited by Melvelet on October 22nd, 2020, 6:26 pm, edited 27 times in total.
Current recommendation: This Is Not a Burial, It's a Resurrection (2019)


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Current focus: Southeast Asia, 1000<400, Contemporary Arthouse

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#2

Post by Melvelet » September 29th, 2020, 6:20 pm

Feel free to post more lists and debate the 90 minute rule for regular TV series
Current recommendation: This Is Not a Burial, It's a Resurrection (2019)


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Current focus: Southeast Asia, 1000<400, Contemporary Arthouse

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#3

Post by OldAle1 » September 29th, 2020, 6:46 pm

Just FYI the Pinoy Rebyu top 100 contains the whole of the top 50 - it's just a slightly later enlargement of the initial list; there are slight difference in order in the top 50 but otherwise just using the top 100 makes sense. Then again there are more films in the bottom half of the list that would be difficult (if not impossible - many films with 0 checks and <25 IMDb votes) to find though, so maybe looking at the top 50 list will be less depressing :lol:

Also here's the Gawad Urian list from the Flipino Film Critics' Society.

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#4

Post by blocho » September 29th, 2020, 11:30 pm

Melvelet wrote:
September 29th, 2020, 6:19 pm
BONUS CHALLENGE #1: Runtime challenge. Every minute counts as 1 point. Please specify the runtime of the film you watched. Otherwise the OMDb runtime value will be used.
This could be a good preview of what challenges might look like if we eventually move to runtime equivalency, which is my hope.

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#5

Post by blueboybob » September 30th, 2020, 3:03 am

I think your Unesco numbers are off.

- Thailand: Thai Film Archives Registry -- dead

- Philippines: Pinoy Rebyu's 50 Greatest Pinoy Films of All Time -- dead

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#6

Post by beavis » September 30th, 2020, 5:46 am

Gershwin has renamed his icm lists very recently...

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#7

Post by Melvelet » September 30th, 2020, 10:55 am

blueboybob wrote:
September 30th, 2020, 3:03 am
I think your Unesco numbers are off.

- Thailand: Thai Film Archives Registry -- dead

- Philippines: Pinoy Rebyu's 50 Greatest Pinoy Films of All Time -- dead
Thanks, I will correct it. Does anybody know where the Thai Film Archives Registry list is located now?
Current recommendation: This Is Not a Burial, It's a Resurrection (2019)


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#8

Post by St. Gloede » September 30th, 2020, 11:04 am

I'm in. Will aim for 10, and will definitely to try see After the Curfew.

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#9

Post by Fergenaprido » September 30th, 2020, 11:45 am

Since October will be my last month living in Southeast Asia, I think I'll join this challenge. It's going to be a busy month packing and wrapping up my life, though, so will likely only hit a dozen films, maybe one per country.

Also, why link to the Mubi page for the Asian Field Guide instead of the icm page? The country breakdown for that list is Cambodia (683-685), Indonesia (686-692), Malaysia and Singapore (693-707), Philippines (711-735), Thailand (741-770), Vietnam (777-788)

Other lists for you:

Malaysian Best Film Award
Indonesian Best Film Award (Citra)
Thai Best Film Award (Suphannahong)
Vietnamese Best Film Award (Golden Lotus)
Noel Vera's 100 Best Filipino Films
Thai Cinema: The Complete Guide

And they may not be available in all countries, but Mubi's got a large number of Southeast Asian films in their library (mostly skewing on the blockbuster and horror side), and a number of specials too. They don't always have English subtitles, however (especially Malaysia and Indonesian films)
https://mubi.com/library/specials/malaysian-sinema (Malaysian)
https://mubi.com/library/specials/horror-fridays-movies (not exclusively SEA)
https://mubi.com/library/specials/3-a-m ... st-stories (Thai)
https://mubi.com/library/specials/kisah-seram-malaysia (Malaysian)
https://mubi.com/library/specials/nusan ... ter-movies (SEA Asia)
https://mubi.com/library/specials/asia- ... a-and-thai (Thai)
https://mubi.com/library/specials/sinema-classics (Indonesian & Malaysian)
https://mubi.com/library/specials/indon ... -watch-now (Indonesian)
https://mubi.com/library/specials/doors ... -anthology (Filipino)
https://mubi.com/library/specials/gantu ... series-boo (Malaysian)
https://mubi.com/library/specials/the-b ... hai-movies (Thai)
https://mubi.com/library/specials/boo-r ... 4ea78b1f29 (Malaysian)
https://mubi.com/library/specials/lavdiaz (Filipino)
https://mubi.com/library/specials/suzza ... ian-cinema (Indonesian)

Or you can use the What's On Mubi? Website to filter for films available in your country. Here's Laos: https://whatsonmubi.com/?catalogue=all& ... xpires-asc You can toggle the filters to select the country of the film and the country of your location.

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#10

Post by sol » October 1st, 2020, 7:21 am

It starts! First in. :D And this makes it a rare month where I have gotten three "first in"s with three different films. :woot:

1. Chanthaly (2012) Laos

Image

While it is curious to see a horror movie from Laos, the film does not really bring much new or different to its subgenre. Bits and pieces of the story do not quite add up either. Her father keeps insisting that her mother died in childbirth (to protect her from the truth; she killed herself) and yet given that she was six when her mother died, of course she is going to remember her. The film has a fair dose of atmosphere though with lots of low lighting.
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#11

Post by Mario Gaborović » October 1st, 2020, 7:32 am

Guam / Palau / Northern Mariana Islands?

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#12

Post by Melvelet » October 1st, 2020, 8:24 am

Mario Gaborović wrote:
October 1st, 2020, 7:32 am
Guam / Palau / Northern Mariana Islands?
Never heard them mentioned as part of being Southeast Asia. It rather belongs to Oceania: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oceania#Demographics
Current recommendation: This Is Not a Burial, It's a Resurrection (2019)


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#13

Post by Mario Gaborović » October 1st, 2020, 8:34 am

Melvelet wrote:
October 1st, 2020, 8:24 am
Mario Gaborović wrote:
October 1st, 2020, 7:32 am
Guam / Palau / Northern Mariana Islands?
Never heard them mentioned as part of being Southeast Asia. It rather belongs to Oceania: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oceania#Demographics
Their football teams play in AFC competitions. Also their populations are culturally more tied to the Philippines and Indochina.

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#14

Post by Fergenaprido » October 1st, 2020, 9:07 am

Mario Gaborović wrote:
October 1st, 2020, 8:34 am
Melvelet wrote:
October 1st, 2020, 8:24 am
Mario Gaborović wrote:
October 1st, 2020, 7:32 am
Guam / Palau / Northern Mariana Islands?
Never heard them mentioned as part of being Southeast Asia. It rather belongs to Oceania: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oceania#Demographics
Their football teams play in AFC competitions. Also their populations are culturally more tied to the Philippines and Indochina.
No, they're Oceania. Australia also plays in AFC in football, and Israel and Kazakhstan play in UEFA. That has nothing to do with anything.
Culturally, I don't think they're tied to Philippines (and definitely not Indochina), but economically they may be since they're US territories/former territories and the Philippines is also a former US territory with a lot of connections still.

I think ASEAN should be the definition we use for this challenge, as it's the same that we used for the SEA poll, and is the most commonly accepted definition of Southeast Asia.

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#15

Post by sol » October 1st, 2020, 10:07 am

Laos: 1 / Thailand: 1Show
1. Chanthaly (2012) Laos 99mins

2. Shutter (2004) Thailand 97mins

Image

I found this intriguing to begin with, featuring lecturers about how photographs do not always reflect reality and how the photographer can choose to reveal or conceal certain elements. There are also a few chilling moments in the protagonists' red-glowing darkroom. The vast majority of the film felt very-the-books to me though, reliant on jump scares, boo-moments and freaky-looking human beings. I did like the ending though - that was well done.
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#16

Post by sol » October 1st, 2020, 1:44 pm

Laos: 1 / Thailand: 1 / Vietnam: 1Show
1. Chanthaly (2012) Laos 99mins
2. Shutter (2004) Thailand 97mins

3. Three Seasons (1999) Vietnam 105mins

Image

The lives of the protagonists here rarely intersect and the whole thing feels a little jarring as it jumps between storylines. The most compelling tale has as a former American soldier returned to Vietnam to try to find the daughter he fathered over two decades earlier. It is also relatively interesting to watch a child street vendor wander the streets, occasionally stopping to watch television (see above) but the other characters are a lot less engaging.
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#17

Post by Melvelet » October 1st, 2020, 7:43 pm

1. Kraben rahu 2018 — a.k.a. Manta Ray 6/10 - Thailand 102 min
A mute Rohingya refugee is rescued by a Thai fisherman whose life he slowly begins to take over after the fisherman's disappearance at sea. Told with beautiful images and sounds and without a lot of words, it nevertheless didn't really leave an impression on me
Current recommendation: This Is Not a Burial, It's a Resurrection (2019)


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#18

Post by Mate_cosido » October 2nd, 2020, 12:05 am

I haven't been able to enjoy much movie-watching these past months, but i will try to get back to it, watching some for these chalenge since it's a region i'm very interested in, i may try to watch some horror too but we'll see how that goes

1. Kisapmata - Blink of an Eye (1981, Mike De Leon) - Philippines - 98 min
Last edited by Mate_cosido on October 2nd, 2020, 6:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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#19

Post by psychotronicbeatnik » October 2nd, 2020, 12:19 am

I wasn't planning to do this challenge this month so I just could just relax and enjoy horror, but you got me with the running time bonus. I'm a fan of tracking running time rather than points (I introduced it on another forum I was a part of after IMDb's forums went away and after some initial reluctance it was a hit) so I wanted to throw in my support for it here. Anyway, thanks for hosting, Melvelet, and a special thanks for doing the running time bonus! :cheers:

1. Gancore Gud; aka: Dead Bite (2011 / Apisit Opasaimlikit / Thailand) FTV 6+/10 {94 m.}
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2375045/

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#20

Post by Melvelet » October 2nd, 2020, 9:31 am

2. Insiang 1976 8-/10 - Philippines 94 min
A melodrama, inspired by the Neorealism, in the slums of Manila, focussing on the relationship between the titular young woman Insiang (very memorably acted by Hilda Koronel) and her mother who projects her frustration towards her father (who has abandoned the family to live with another woman) onto others and especially her daughter. The mother kicks out their relatives out of financial reason (the impetus being the nephew's sexual harassment of the local shopkeeper), only to let her younger boyfriend move in. He's the leader of a group of local youngsters that includes Insiang's boyfriend and quickly starts preying on (and ultimately raping) Insiang.

Temporarily banned by Marcos' government (then under martial law) for showing a Manila that differed from the official image, there is also a subtle critique of what has recently been dubbed 'toxic masculinity' and the treatment of women. It leans a bit towards sentimentalism at times but avoids crossing the border. A worthy inclusion in our hidden gems and nicely restored (although the sound quality is still rather poor).
SpoilerShow
1. Kraben rahu 2018 — a.k.a. Manta Ray 6/10 - Thailand 102 min
2. Insiang 1976 8-/10 - Philippines 94 min
Current recommendation: This Is Not a Burial, It's a Resurrection (2019)


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#21

Post by Fergenaprido » October 2nd, 2020, 9:39 am

I found the Vietnamese list in the OP on icm, so you can link to that instead of the spreadsheet: https://www.icheckmovies.com/lists/tide ... ms/mjf314/

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#22

Post by Melvelet » October 2nd, 2020, 9:53 am

Fergenaprido wrote:
October 2nd, 2020, 9:39 am
I found the Vietnamese list in the OP on icm, so you can link to that instead of the spreadsheet: https://www.icheckmovies.com/lists/tide ... ms/mjf314/
Updated and first stats are in the OP.
Any wish for other other lists to be included in the table? Country breakdown by user will be added soon
Current recommendation: This Is Not a Burial, It's a Resurrection (2019)


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Current focus: Southeast Asia, 1000<400, Contemporary Arthouse

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#23

Post by sol » October 2nd, 2020, 12:00 pm

Laos: 1 / Myanmar: 1 / Thailand: 1 / Vietnam: 1Show
1. Chanthaly (2012) Laos 99mins
2. Shutter (2004) Thailand 97mins
3. Three Seasons (1999) Vietnam 105mins

4. Mudras Calling (2018) Myanmar 106mins

Image

Born in Myanmar but adopted by a US couple and raised there, a college student returns to Myanmar to track down his birth parents in this drama from the Southeast Asian nation. This sounds promising but everything quickly detours down less interesting romantic path. Language issues weigh against the film too; all of the supporting players deliver their lines in a heavily rehearsed manner, as if they had to learn them phonetically (and maybe they did?).
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#24

Post by OldAle1 » October 2nd, 2020, 1:36 pm

Day 1 - two heavy meals of heavy Filipino slow cinema, and a rather stale Thai horror dessert

1. Imburnal / Sewer (Sherad Anthony Sanchez, 2008, PHILIPPINES, 196 minutes)
2. Now Showing (Raya Martin, 2008, PHILIPPINES, 279 minutes)

I don't want to say that Sanchez or Martin are deliberately following in the footsteps of Lav Diaz with these films, but certain comparisons seems obligatory - both films have many long, static or slow-moving shots, both are cast with apparently non-professional actors, both are very low budget and shot on DV, and both in their own ways explore the negatives themes in Filipino history and the Filipino character that Diaz has dealt with time and again in his epic-length work: the legacy of colonialism and conquest, the poverty of both body and spirit of much of the country, a sort of national depression and hopelessness in the face of one new and terrible government or ruling power after another, etc etc. Neither of these films is as explicit in these areas as most of the Diaz films I've seen, and their differences from each other and from the older master's work are probably more important than the similarities.

Imburnal is a slice-of-lives story about a diverse group of mostly younger people - kids, teenagers, 20somethings - living near a large concrete culvert that empties into a brownish, brackish pond of a sort - the title location. They are mostly poor and destitute or close to it, and they talk about sex, drinking, doing drugs, how to make money, etc; or they engage in these activities. The younger kids catch bugs, swim, spy on the older kids fucking. All of this is done in a non-narrative, non-linear fashion - you kind of know what you're getting into from the first two shots, which are first a static shot of a boy half-submerged in water at the end of the culvert with the pond behind him, and second a shot that starts out static, with branches overhanging a large body of water and no people in sight, but the sound of young women talking very explicitly about sex, then tracking slowly towards the left and towards the women. These are about 6 and 10 minutes respectively, but the rest of the film is made up of all kinds of shots and includes some slow-motion, backwards-motion, and occasional rapid cutting; the visuals are saturated DV with blurring sometimes at the edges, and sometimes of the whole frame - it's hard to know if this was deliberate or the result of a very low budget, contracted shooting schedule, and inability to do re-takes with a cast of amateurs; I'm really not sure it matters, as the film seems to me to be attempting to tread that line between documentary and fiction throughout. There's also an interesting segment near the end where two young boys are talking about jumping off a rock into the water, and we see and hear (I think) several possible outcomes of this scenario - one of them being the death of one of the kids on the rocks. But this sequence, like most of the film, is difficult to get a handle on as a piece of distinct and clear narrative, and I don't think we're meant to see it as such - rather it is part of a tapestry describing the hopeless eternal now of an impoverished people who live as much in impossible dreams as in a present and future that will never change for the better.

A tough watch but overall fairly rewarding.

Now Showing - There are some SPOILERS here but I don't know how much they matter - or which spoilers (story or filmmaking) matter in this case.

I saw Martin's previous feature Autohystoria the last time we did this challenge and quite loved it; that was a much more overtly experimental work (on the surface anyway) which brought to mind Godard as much as Lav Diaz, though the latter's presence in terms of confronting historical realities and fictions was certainly there. This nearly 5-hour work is something very different, a relatively simple and easy-to-follow story focused on a young girl and her journey to adulthood, but told in a fairly unconventional way both in it's visual strategies and in it's use of sound and it's choices of narrative focus. Rita is a girl of maybe 12 or so in the beginning, which is all apparently shot on a very early type of video camera - it's in close to a 1:1 aspect ratio and rather dim and low-res, and I wondered for most of the first half of the film whether in fact this was just a terrible copy - but things change. Rita is a lonely girl who can't seem to connect with her friends and has a somewhat strained, if mostly loving relationship with her mother; her father is absent and while early on mom tells her that he's away on business, we're never sure of this - or of many things that happen. Rita goes out with some of her classmates looking for a dog; Rita has a birthday party where no-one except relatives show up; and in the very first scene, Rita dances on her bed and sings - but her voice is silent, and in fact any scene of singing in the film for most of it's running time is muted. There is the notion that Rita has an extroverted heart wanting to break out, wanting to sing or act or just do something to get out of her lonely life - but it never happens.

Later, around the 1/3 mark of so, the film switches to a more convention 4:3 and better video format, with better colors and clearer visuals overall, and we have several scenes in which we get scraps of disparate information - Rita is crying, on a beach, with a truck and several people around, a boat... is her father dead? She was going with her mother to meet him... or someone. A group of unrelated young people are sitting around a table, drinking, talking about a girl whose mother just died, who was waiting for her father...but then later we see Rita still living with her mother, several years older, a tall, pretty and slender teenager working for her aunt selling pirated DVDs and in a strained relationship with her boyfriend, and feeling isolated from her friends. In between these older-younger halves of the film there is a segment of 10-15 minutes of old b/w, silent footage that seems to come out of nowhere, but when you look at the film from the end, backwards, you can see that it's all been about memory, that the early shots of Rita or others singing, with no voices, mirror the old silent footage - bits from some of the rare surviving moments in a national cinema that has mostly been lost to the ravages of heat, moisture, lack of a national will or funds to save it... it's all been about memory, about Rita's inability to get past her own or to learn from it, and about the country's sad inability or disinterest in saving it's own visual memories. But in the last half-hour or so, as Rita prepares for a life change, packing her suitcase and leaving a lonely house or apartment, the visuals shift again to 16:9, up-to-date and clear, and there seems at least to be a chance for a more positive future, as a long bus-ride begins, and the end credits roll, and we hear music...

This was another tough viewing in many ways of course - most long films are - but in the end it all seemed to come together and while I can't say for sure if I think it's a "masterpiece", it is certainly something special and unlike anything else I've seen. There are parts that have the home-movie feel of Jonas Mekas and other moments, particularly towards the end, that feel more typically Filipino (if I can say that, limited as my knowledge yet is). And it's one of those films that really feels like it could improve exponentially on a second viewing, now that the narrative strategy is (well, seems to be) more clear. One element that I haven't remarked on is the acting - I THINK that Rita was played - in both parts of the film - by Ness Roque; the sole long and fairly insightful IMDb review suggests this; but they look completely different and I'm not sure that the manipulation of images in the first part (obviously the sound is manipulated as I mentioned above) accounts for this. I don't know - in any case if it is the same actress she's quite amazing, and if not then both actresses are impressive in their ways, and the actress playing the mother is also terrific.

Still sorting through this in my mind. I have the feeling I am going to want to go through all of Martin's films at some point in order - I think he may be one of those filmmakers whose work as a whole adds up in different ways depending on how and in what order you see it. In any case, a very high recommendation for those with the taste for such things.

3. See prang / 4bia / Phobia (Banjong Pisanthanakun/Paween Purikitpanya/Yongyoot Thongkongtoon/Parkpoom Wongpoom, 2008, THAILAND, 112 minutes

I am going to dispense with this one quickly though first I want to point out that the IMDb run-time of 4 hours is obviously fake news; I think somebody may have added this and it's sequel together - my copy was a PAL rip so the NTSC version is probably close to 2 hours, and the sequel is listed at 125 minutes. Whatever. In any case the 4 stories on this copy match the 4 stories listed on the IMDb description. First up is "Happiness" in which a young woman with a leg in a cast living in a high-rise apartment, lonely one night, starts up a text conversation with a young man who quickly turns out to be not what he seems; this was very predictable and dull though not badly done apart from the really ugly digital video; I have to say that nearly all* the DV films I've seen from the 2000s and even up into this past decade that are heavily dependent on FX look pretty bad to me - digital when used for more "serious" films like the two above can look pretty good at times, or at least can fit in with the context of the low-budget experimental work that's being done. Here we're just trying to do the same kinds of horror stories that have been done forever but the digital blood and effects and colors just look awful and fake for the most part. Which leads me to the second and by far worst story, "Tit for Tat" in which a bullied young student wreaks his revenge on the half-dozen boys and girls who pushed him around. This has both very quick editing and shakycam through much of the piece and looks absolutely terrible - and the story and even it's denouement are as old as the hills. Segment 3 "In the Middle" is about a group of four young guys going camping and rafting and the terrors that befall them; it has less effects than the previous part, it's the only segment that has any real humor, and it rather amusingly deliberately references several other films (spoilers for The Sixth Sense, TItanic and Shutter here). Far and away the best of the four and the only one that I'd say even approaches "good." The last bit, about an airline stewardess who has to take care of a bitchy royal princess, is mostly just boring, though I liked the lead actress more than most of the actors in the rest of the film. Overall pretty bad though certainly not bottom of the barrel.

* really big-budget films are something of an exception - but you don't see that in horror very often

587 minutes total
Last edited by OldAle1 on October 3rd, 2020, 12:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#25

Post by blueboybob » October 2nd, 2020, 6:41 pm

1. Woman of Breakwater (2003) [Philippines]
2. Demons (2000) [Philippines]
3. Blessings of the Land (1959) [Philippines]
4. Genghis Khan (1950) [Philippines]
5. Mee Pok Man (1995) [Singapore]
6. The Overture (2004) [Thailand] <--- I hadn't heard of this movie before starting it. But it was really good.
7. Hell Hotel (1957) [Thailand]
8. Yam yasothon (2005) [Thailand] <---- No

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#26

Post by psychotronicbeatnik » October 2nd, 2020, 9:59 pm

2. Vampariah (2016 / Matthew Abaya / Philippines) FTV 6/10 {90 m.}
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3552316/

Mad Monster Party?! Goes Southeast Asian!Show
1. Gancore Gud; aka: Dead Bite (2011 / Apisit Opasaimlikit / Thailand) FTV 6+/10 {94 m.}

2. Vampariah (2016 / Matthew Abaya / Philippines) FTV 6/10 {90 m.}

Views: 2 / FTV’s: 2 / Doubles w/ Horror Challenge: 2 / {184 m.}

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#27

Post by blueboybob » October 3rd, 2020, 1:45 am

9. Bangkok Haunted (2001) [Thailand] -- This one is decent
10. After the Curfew (1954) [Indonesia]
11. The Tiger from Tjampa (1953) [Indonesia]
12. Bulan Tertusuk Ilalang (1995) [Indonesia]

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#28

Post by Melvelet » October 3rd, 2020, 8:45 am

blueboybob wrote:
October 3rd, 2020, 1:45 am
10. After the Curfew (1954) [Indonesia]
Did you get the box set? Can't find it on Criterion Channel or the usual other places
Current recommendation: This Is Not a Burial, It's a Resurrection (2019)


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#29

Post by Melvelet » October 3rd, 2020, 9:19 am

3. Ruined Heart: Another Lovestory Between a Criminal & a Whore 2014 6/10 - Philippines 73 min
Christopher Doyle cinematography without many lines of dialogue but many more lines of lyrics, as this has no less than 30 songs (in 4 languages) within 73 minutes instead of a coherent plot, this trip is more like a very long music video in quite a few regards, for better or for worse. I'm inclined to upgrade the rating later.
SpoilerShow
1. Kraben rahu 2018 — a.k.a. Manta Ray 6/10 - Thailand 102 min
2. Insiang 1976 8-/10 - Philippines 94 min
3. Ruined Heart: Another Lovestory Between a Criminal & a Whore 2014 6/10 - Philippines 73 min
Current recommendation: This Is Not a Burial, It's a Resurrection (2019)


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#30

Post by sol » October 3rd, 2020, 9:28 am

Indonesia: 1 / Laos: 1 / Myanmar: 1 / Thailand: 1 / Vietnam: 1Show
1. Chanthaly (2012) Laos 99mins
2. Shutter (2004) Thailand 97mins
3. Three Seasons (1999) Vietnam 105mins
4. Mudras Calling (2018) Myanmar 106mins

5. My Stupid Boss (2016) Indonesia 106min

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Looking a lot like Colin Farrell in Horrible Bosses with a terrible comb-over, Reza Rahadian brings much energy to the title role here; he is, however, stuck in a single-joke comedy that hardly goes anywhere. With a brief revenge angle, the film finds some direction in its second half, but this still amounts to an episodic collection of obnoxious boss scenes. The second half is also not exactly an improvement as it soon turns maudlin. Terrible film.
Former IMDb message boards user // iCM | IMDb | Letterboxd | My top 750 films // Long live the new flesh!
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#31

Post by sol » October 3rd, 2020, 11:58 am

Melvelet wrote:
October 2nd, 2020, 9:53 am
Any wish for other other lists to be included in the table? Country breakdown by user will be added soon
Looks okay to me. B) I am definitely interested in Country Breakdown though since the first 10 films that I have lined up are from different SE Asian countries. It seems like Beatriz's War is the only thing that I can (re)watch for East Timor. Still thinking about whether it is worth the rewatch.
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#32

Post by OldAle1 » October 3rd, 2020, 12:51 pm

Hot Curries and Slow CinemaShow
Day 1 - two heavy meals of heavy Filipino slow cinema, and a rather stale Thai horror dessert

1. Imburnal / Sewer (Sherad Anthony Sanchez, 2008, PHILIPPINES, 196 minutes)
2. Now Showing (Raya Martin, 2008, PHILIPPINES, 279 minutes)
3. See prang / 4bia / Phobia (Banjong Pisanthanakun/Paween Purikitpanya/Yongyoot Thongkongtoon/Parkpoom Wongpoom, 2008, THAILAND, 112 minutes)
Day 2 - Lav Diaz' heavy sadness; Filipino vampires and Thai ghosts

4. Melancholia (Lav Diaz, 2008, PHILIPPINES, 446 minutes)

I'm going to spoiler this as much of the film is about identity - and secret or assumed identity is a big part of it.
SpoilerShow
Diaz's 9th feature and 5th of his epically huge works is, like most of his work, a long and sad look at a long and sad history, this time seen mostly through the eyes of two troubled 30somethings, Jenine (Angeli Bayani) and Danny (Perry Dizon) - at least, that is the names they give in the first part of this three part drama, which spends roughly the first three hours with these tow, a prostitute and a pimp / sex show arranger, as well as a nun and several other characters, in the small mountain town of Sagada. It soon (well, soon in Diaz-time - maybe an hour in or more) becomes apparent that the hooker, pimp, and nun are all "characters" - all playing parts of some kind, apparently arranged by the pimp, also known as Julian, and they are in Sagada as some form of therapy - or perhaps an acting workshop - or both; it's never really spelled out. All are miserable in some ways though Danny puts on a brave face. After a time there is an abrupt switch - typical of Diaz - to a bigger city, some time later, with Danny/Julian in his intellectual writer mode - apparently his "real" persona - and Jenine is now an educator, Alberta - a name that one of her customers in Sagada felt was her real one, a customer who claimed to know her but was denied. Alberta is trying to take care of her daughter, Hannah, a teenager who has started to work the streets, and Julian is meeting with people about literary and film projects - and both are concerned about Rita, the "actress" who played the nun in the first part of the film. Part three - half the length of the first two parts, roughly - is set in the jungle and involves Alberto, Alberta's dead husband, a decade or so earlier as he and a couple of other rebels fight the government but mostly just trudge through the rain and mud, and wonder miserably what it's all for.

I'm not sure on one viewing if I like this quite as much as the other four long films I've seen from Diaz, but it's in the same ballpark for sure, and the first segment of the film is pretty close to as brilliant as anything he's done, and the ending brief wrap-up is wonderful and --- melancholy, as it should be. It's really the jungle section that is just a little less interesting than the rest, but the film as a whole is punctuated with the kinds of experimental narrative elements that Diaz always seems to come up with and make fresh in every work. This is a little more overtly like Rivette in some ways - the way the theater and music numbers (particularly a very long and loud noise-music segment) are integrated into the film reminds me very much of Out 1 and like that film and many of Rivette's other works, this has "acting" and playing a part as a central motif. One thing I really noticed on this viewing, perhaps more than with other Diaz films, is the way in which he handles sound, which is usually direct (not looped) but though full of rain or forest or train or car noises, is nearly always intelligible. And I continue to marvel at just how much he seems to get out of his gray-scale b/w photography, which is especially beautiful in the first segment in Sagada, and in the night-time sequences along the river with lights in the background, later in the film.
So much more to be said about this but it would require much more time - and perhaps another viewing, and more knowledge of Filipino history than I have. The ways in which this deals with Filipino history ca 1997-2004 are beyond my knowledge or ability to discuss, and the particular unique "melancholy" of the Filipino people isn't something that I would guess any foreigner can really understand - every country has a unique history after all, and every national character is shaped by it. But Diaz and other Filipino filmmakers have been dealing with their national traumas and explicating them in great detail, and while this can make for tough going at times (especially given the length of some of these films), I continue to find their re-workings of their nation's soul as rewarding as anything else in recent cinema. I will say that watching one, or more than one, of these films as part of a big challenge definitely has it's downside - one needs time to reflect and think about it, though perhaps it's that need that Diaz is giving in to when he so often lets his shots run a minute or two, or longer, than the "action" in them requires. We are given that time within the film itself - the film becomes the reflection.

5. Kulay dugo ang gabi / Blood is the Color of Night / The Blood Drinkers (Gerardo de Leon, 1964, PHILIPPINES, 87 minutes)

Advertised as the first color horror film from the country, but this isn't *entirely* accurate; a good portion of the film, certainly over half, is in monochrome - usually blue or red-tinted. It's a relatively ordinary vampire film, enlivened by a twin theme - the evil vampire (who looks rather like bald Brando) needs the heart of one twin sister to save the life of his beloved - and some pretty good cinematography and editing, which usually cuts from one color-scheme to another fairly skillfully and appropriately. Amalia Fuentes, one of the biggest stars in Fillipino cinema from the 60s-80s, who died almost exactly a year ago, plays the twins but Eva Montes as "the vampire bride" - you see, our vamp isn't a one-monster guy - makes more of an impression. This has midgets and beast-vampires and priests, staking vamps with wood, and a flare gun used to light up the sky - don't know that I've seen that in a vampire film before - and is overall pretty fun if nothing to really write home about.

6. Suay Laak Sai / Sick Nurses (Piraphan Laoyant/Thodsopol Siriwiwat, 2007, THAILAND, 82 minutes)

My second bad Thai horror in a row, this ended up being even worse than Phobia, in large part because it's basically a half-hour concept stretched to what seems an interminable 82 minutes (though to be fair the end credits - full of outtakes at the beach - are pretty long). A bunch of cute nurses, and a male doctor-body snatcher were involved in murdering one of their own, and the ghost comes back to kill them all in different ways. To give credit, it's not a bad looking film, the girls are attractive, and the kills are varied and a couple are somewhat unusual, but it's really tiresome overall. There is an interesting plot development later in the film which I for one didn't see coming - the murdered girl turns out to have been trans, and the doctor was involved with her, and she had a sex-change to marry him, which he didn't want - but it's handled so strangely, and it's hard to see whether it's there as purely exploitation or to try to make some kind of moral point - and I'm not sure what the moral view of the filmmakers even is. Blech. I need to be more selective with this crap, but I'd had this for a decade for some reason so it got into the queue.


1202 minutes total

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#33

Post by OldAle1 » October 3rd, 2020, 12:54 pm

FYI melvelet, I added in the four directors in my #3 film Phobia; I didn't catch that you were counting up director mentions at first.

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#34

Post by Melvelet » October 3rd, 2020, 5:50 pm

OldAle1 wrote:
October 3rd, 2020, 12:54 pm
FYI melvelet, I added in the four directors in my #3 film Phobia; I didn't catch that you were counting up director mentions at first.
It's alright, that info gets fetched from OMDb automatically and is usually correct. For runtimes it's more likely that it differs from the exact version that the participant has watched
Current recommendation: This Is Not a Burial, It's a Resurrection (2019)


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#35

Post by OldAle1 » October 3rd, 2020, 5:54 pm

Melvelet wrote:
October 3rd, 2020, 5:50 pm
OldAle1 wrote:
October 3rd, 2020, 12:54 pm
FYI melvelet, I added in the four directors in my #3 film Phobia; I didn't catch that you were counting up director mentions at first.
It's alright, that info gets fetched from OMDb automatically and is usually correct. For runtimes it's more likely that it differs from the exact version that the participant has watched
Ah OK. Yeah my runtimes are definitely out there - happens a lot with long films, and the PAL/NTSC difference can sure add up over many films/hours.

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#36

Post by ororama » October 3rd, 2020, 6:42 pm

1. Shutter (2004) * 96 min.

I have wanted to watch Shutter for years, and was excited to see that it was on Netflix, but held out about 6 weeks until this month to watch it, and was not disappointed.

*First time viewing

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#37

Post by maxwelldeux » October 3rd, 2020, 6:47 pm

1. Shutter (2004, Thailand) 97m

More comments in the Horror challenge, but I liked the mood and feel through the first hour or so, but then it started going off the rails for my sensibilities.

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#38

Post by blueboybob » October 3rd, 2020, 10:47 pm

13. Lumaban ka, Satanas (1983) [Philippines]
14. Service (2008) [Philippines]
15. Black Mama White Mama (1973) [Philippines] <--- I really liked this one. Pam Grier is great.
16. No Fear: The Manny Pacquiao Story (2004) [Philippines] <--- Not what I thought. It was like 15 minutes of talking and 90 minutes of boxing matches
17. The Blood Drinkers (1964) [Philippines]
18. Khao Chue Karn (1973) [Thailand]
19. Mystics in Bali (1981) [Indonesia]
20. The Day of the Trumpet (1958) [Philippines] <--- Would like a 2nd opinion if this one counts.

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#39

Post by Mario Gaborović » October 3rd, 2020, 10:56 pm

01. Surat untuk Bidadari (1994) - Indonesia
Last edited by Mario Gaborović on October 15th, 2020, 7:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#40

Post by Mate_cosido » October 4th, 2020, 3:18 am

2. Tôi thay hoa vàng trên co xanh - Yellow Flowers on the Green Grass (2015, Victor Vu) - Vietnam - 98 min

3. Nunal sa tubig - Speck in the Water (1976, Ishmael Bernal) - Philippines - 119 min
Seen so far:Show
1. Kisapmata - Blink of an Eye (1981, Mike De Leon) - Philippines - 98 min
So far, the two movies from the Philippines were quite good, the vietnamese one, not so much

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