Philippine cinema centerstage in New York’s MoMA

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Contemporary Philippine cinema is getting the spotlight at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) of New York in June.

Jaclyn Jose, in a scene from Brillante Mendoza's Serbis
Jaclyn Jose, in a scene from Brillante Mendoza’s Serbis [via Museum of Modern Art]

MoMA is scheduled to present its new exhibit “A New Golden Age: Contemporary Philippine Cinema” showcasing 18 Filipino films spanning the years 2000 to present, and calls it the Third Golden Age of Philippine cinema after the first golden age in the 1950s, and the second golden age from the 1970s to early 80s.

“The Philippines’ current wave of sustained creativity is unusual in its diversity of genre and style, audacious formal experimentation, and multiplicity of personal, social, and political perspectives. Defying simple description, this dizzying array of distinct cinematic statements makes it an exceptionally unique, vibrant movement,” goes the exhibit notes.

The 13 Filipino directors whose works will be spotlighted include “Lav Diaz’s minimalist tales rendered at epic lengths,” Brillante Mendoza’s “gritty realist portrayals of the margins of society,” Raya Martin’s “experimentation with storytelling and form,” Ditsi Carolino’s “stark documentaries following the disenfranchised,” and Erik Matti’s “riveting thrillers.”

The films to be exhibited from June 1-25 are:

  1. Motherland. 2017. Directed by Ramona S. Diaz
  2. Expressway. 2016. Directed by Ato Bautista
  3. Norte, the End of History. 2013. Directed by Lav Diaz
  4. Ma’ Rosa. 2016. Directed by Brillante Mendoza
  5. The Woman in the Septic Tank. 2011. Directed by Marlon Rivera
  6. Gemini. 2014. Directed by Ato Bautista
  7. Aparisyon (Apparition). 2012. Directed by Isabel Sandoval
  8. On the Job. 2013. Directed by Erik Matti
  9. Bunso: The Youngest. 2005. Directed by Ditsi Carolino
  10. Engkwentro (Clash). 2009. Directed by Pepe Diokno
  11. Serbis (Service). 2008. Directed by Brillante Mendoza
  12. Independencia. 2009. Directed by Raya Martin
  13. BalikBayan #1: Memories of Overdevelopment Redux VI. 1979–2017. Directed by Kidlat Tahimik
  14. Manila. 2009. Directed by Raya Martin, Adolfo Alix, Jr.
  15. How to Disappear Completely. 2013. Directed by Raya Martin
  16. From What Is Before. 2014. Directed by Lav Diaz
  17. Thy Womb. 2012. Directed by Brillante Mendoza
  18. Transit. 2013. Directed by Hannah Espia

MoMA describes the contemporary Filipino filmmakers as pushing cinematic boundaries covering varied subjects such as colonial legacy, a decade of martial law, drugs, crime, corruption, fertility, and migrant workers.

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