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THE FILM BEGINS with the sound of cicadas rhythmically whirring over a black background. The sound cuts out, the film title (simple white letters) flashes on-screen. Cut to a vision of hell: a guard shrouded in steam stands beside a wood shelf containing severed heads. We are at the volcanic springs of Unzen, near Nagasaki, where friars are strung up on crosses and longhandled ladles with holes sprinkle boiling hot water on them, delicately poaching their skin. (Today of course the springs are a popular vacation resort).
In April 2016, over a million public school students in the National Capital Region (NCR), Central Luzon, and Calabarzon lined up to take part in the immunization program of the first dengue vaccine. It was recommended that the three doses of the vaccine be administered at six-month intervals. It was more than a year into the program, in November 2017, when Sanofi Pasteur issued a warning that immunized people who had not previously been infected with one of the four known varieties of dengue may experience a more severe version of the disease.
AT THE University of the Philippines Fair early this year, April Hernandez had the lucky role of opening for the popular band IV of Spades. Under the stage name “TheSunManager,” she has just around 3,000 monthly listeners on Spotify while IV of Spades has a following of over a million.
A MUSEUM, an art gallery, or a theater performance, are not places where Pinoys typically congregate. The shopping mall remains the most popular choice which is why Sunday mass is celebrated there. For “educational excursions,” teachers and their students prefer to be part of the live audience of popular TV noontime variety or afternoon game shows. Thus, it was a pleasant surprise, to find seven van loads of senior high school students attending an evening performance of Oriza Hirata’s Manila Notes in the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).
SALCEDO AUCTIONS celebrates the end of the year with fine art and collectibles at its year-end sale, Under the Tree: The Wish List. The sale offers 400 collectible pieces ranging from fine art, jewelry and timepieces to Philippine tribal art, antique furniture, rare books, prints, maps, and vintage memorabilia.
OUR beeline to Sweden takes us to Dubai in the Middle East, then another six-hour-plus flight to the Nordic country. A cogently woven tapestry of green and glistening swirls of water comes into view as the plane descends and breaks through a cloud bank. Arlanda International Airport goes up to meet us; a gateway into Sweden within the Stockholm County, but still some 40 kilometers south of the city that bears the name.
By Nickky Faustine P. De Guzman, Reporter AUTHOR, activist, and actor Nico Tortorella lay down nonchalantly on one of the long sofas at the Raffles...
MICHAEL Almereyda’s Marjorie Prime (2017) adapts Jordan Harrison’s Pulitzer-nominated play to the big screen in a small way, and it’s marvelous. Eighty-five year old Marjorie (Lois Smith, who played the role in two previous stage productions) suffers the initial symptoms of Alzheimer’s; to help her deal with the memory loss, her daughter Tess (Geena Davis) and son-in-law Jon (Tim Robbins) have installed a “Prime” — a hologram-projected Artificial Intelligence (AI) — representing Marjorie’s husband Walter (Jon Hamm) when he was a relatively young 40.
Exploring the cities of the island of Kyushu and the western part of Japan in five days was beyond my imagination—but with the help of a detailed itinerary and Japan’s efficient transportation network, my travel buddies and I were able to tick several places off our bucket list.
BY ALL ACCOUNTS, the Touhou Project has been a resounding success. What originally started out as a series of bullet-hell shooter games has evolved into a franchise spanning multiple brands across genres and platforms. Touhou Genso Wanderer Reloaded is one such example.
THERE I GO AGAIN, making assumptions. Unsure of what I was watching, I judged the opening number “Come Look at the Freaks” of Atlantis Theatrical’s Side Show as a rip-off of the crazy popular, P.T. Barnum apologist of a film, The Greatest Showman. As the silhouette of actors doing Bob Fosse-like moves filled the stage, I told myself rather snidely, hmm, I’ve seen this before.
NO ONE ever said enlightenment was easy.
YOH YOSHINARI’s Little Witch Academia is an anime franchise about young girls, witchcraft, and friendship. Following Akko Kagari, a student enrolled in the Luna Nova Magical Academy, it focuses on her journey to master the arts of magic. Akko slowly gets accustomed to what she can do. And while not naturally talented, she is able to show that with perseverance and a little help, trials and tribulations can be overcome.
At 10 a.m. on a Saturday, the festive sound of drums joined in with the clatter of the approaching train at the LRT-1 Central station. Eleven teams of four members — made up of an LRT-1 driver, an LRT-1 teller, a blogger, and a reporter — hurriedly lined up at the ticketing booth to load their Beep cards, catch the next train, and explore specific cultural and historical landmarks on a list. All were determined to arrive first at the finish line — and in the process, the teams explored Manila, despite the continuous rains.
WITH its beautiful architecture, its efficient tram system, and a countryside which is a source of both good wine and chocolates, it is very easy to see why Melbourne, the second-most populous city in Australia with almost five million people, was named the “world’s most liveable city” for seven consecutive years by The Economist.
PAUL SCHRADER’s latest feature First Reformed — his 23rd directing job — is a tiny feature shot around Brooklyn and Queens in only 20 days, on a budget of roughly three and a half million dollars. It’s also arguably his best work to date, or if not his best then somewhere up there.
SINGAPORE — Crazy Rich Asians has been hailed as a win for diversity in Hollywood and sparked controversy in Singapore for its portrayal of the city-state — but in much of Asia the movie is being greeted with little more than a shrug.
NORTHERN Ireland may not be on most people’s itineraries when visiting the United Kingdom, but it should be.
TO THE Cinema Evaluation Board (CEB);
SINCE ITS DEBUT early last year, the Nintendo Switch has been a haven for makers of rhythm games. It’s certainly with reason; the hardware boasts of touchscreen and multiple-controller configurations, backstopped by portability and ease of use. It’s why such notables as Deemo, Superbeat: Xonic, and VOEZ have been ported over, and why even offbeat — pun wholly intended — titles like Frederic: Resurrection of Music, Crypt of the NecroDancer, and Hiragana Pixel Party have thrived on the hybrid console.
THERE was a time when fighting games were little more than button-mashing exercises. Perhaps the relative lack of complexity was due to the genre being in its infancy stage. Perhaps it was borne of the publishers’ intent to be as inclusive as possible. In any case, gamers still found them irresistible for the most part, if for no other reason than because they afforded the opportunity for instant gratification. In comparison to, say, sports titles, fights involved short matches and rematches. Bragging rights were passed on quickly and often, and the speed with which they were earned, lost, regained, and desired anew served only to ramp up the intensity of the competition.
MARIO O’HARA passed on in 2012. His niece Janice O’Hara chose one of his scripts (rewritten extensively by her father Jerry O’Hara) to be her debut feature (Sundalong Kanin [Rice Soldiers, 2014]), arguably one of the best of 2014. Janice died two years later, leaving us that one film, compelling us to ask: is there some kind of curse on this family that blesses them with filmmaking and storytelling talent, but relatively fragile lives?
By Richard Roeper Television Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind Directed by Marina Zenovich • July 28, 12:35 a.m., on HBO • Aug. 2, 8 p.m., on HBO Signature THE YEAR...
On a rainy night in June, my husband and I boarded a flight from Manila to Singapore, the first leg of our 18-hour trip to Warsaw, Poland. The pilot announced that the flight would be delayed as a plane stalled on the runway. It took off almost an hour late. Since we had only 55 minutes to catch the connecting flight to Warsaw, I found myself praying for a miracle.
Air pollution is a health risk, and, naturally, urban areas are more exposed to air pollution and its attendant risks than rural areas. Air pollution does not only affect the human population, but also the quantity and quality of urban biodiversity. And this includes one of the smallest of creatures — the butterfly.
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