Posted by: nastypen | December 14, 2008

Just Because I was Forced to Have a Haircut, I Want to Watch Movies

Well, this is part of doctor’s orders.  I need to relax and do things I want to do.  So, I was just reading the newspaper here and found out the Dubai International Film festival is on.  Of course, the price of the ticket is worth similar to the cinema with lazy boy seats and bottomless popcorn in Manila, but I want to watch these films now.  Lord knows when these movies will be shown in Manila if they will be shown there at all.

Yup, I am in Dubai for the holidays.  Nope, not to look for a job but to celebrate Christmas with my mom and little sister.  After a long-ass flight of eight hours, my hair was a mess.  I would normally be awake most of the eight hours and watch all those great movie selections at Emirates Airlines.  But this time, I switched to the music section and fell asleep to George Handel‘s music.  Apparently his works made my hair twirl and curl in a more elaborate baroque way.

So, when I arrived at 5am in Dubai, my mother’s lips went pencil thin with disapproval and said that I have to have my curls chopped off.

We asked a barber friend to drop by my mom’s place and so, now I look like this:


I wanted to grow out my hair till my birthday.  but I also want to be a supermodel.  So, there are things that are not meant to be.

So, I feel a bit of ennui.  Not just because of the haircut, but because I haven’t seen a great movie in a looooong time.  The last time I watched great films was during the Spanish Film Fest in Greenbelt months ago.  So, enter the Dubai international Film Festival.

I squealed when I saw that they are going to screen this one:


I love a glut of misery and a glimmer of hope type of movies which Darren Aronofsky brilliantly does.  But the best thing about this movie?  Not just Mickey Rourke‘s great acting; he deserves at least an Oscar nomination here.  However, my absolute favorite thing from this film is Bruce Springsteen‘s song.  I hope that song gets nominated and wins an Oscar.  I just read the Golden Globe nominations and The Boss is up against (ugh) Miley Cyrus (for her song from Bolt) and (triple ugh) Beyonce Knowles (from Cadillac Records).  Whatever.  The song for The Wrestler is fantastic and sublime.  No need for techno rifts nor yodelling.  And I love the movie.  What a tearjerker, despite the fact it’s about a world I am totally disassociated from: Pro-Wrestling.

Anyway, this film is all about Mickey Rourke.  Too bad his face has been effed up by surgery, he is a great actor here.  Marissa Tomei, as usual, is dependable as a stripper with a heart of gold and scissor-like legs.  Evan Rachel Wood offered great searing scenes.  But this is Rourke’s film.  Not even Aronofsky’s traits in film can overrun Rourke’s crumbling presence.  Watch this movie when you are really happy.

I watched it alone.  My little sister Dang and her boyfriend Ronnie watched a Japanese film 10 Promises to My Dog.  If you are a dog lover, this one is for you.  That movie was a tearjerker as well.  I wanted to watch it but Aronofsky’s pain is more palpable.

Yup, I chose to watch the following film over a lighthearted French Animated Film:


I am the last one to clamor for a cowboy movie.  But this was written and directed by Ed Harris.  So, yes, I am sold.  I watched it to see Viggo in cowboy get-up.  It was ok film.  No, I am not a fan of Westerns but the script here is great.  Normally, wit is  not found in cowboy films.  This one has some sharp banters.

What I detested while I watched this movie alone, an American bimbo was just three seats away from me and she was screeching “OhmyGOD!  Like, I was in Nepal and I met this dude named, like, Kumar, and I was, like, DUDE, you are like that funny movie Harold and Kumar and he was like I know right!?”  I lost brain cells as I listened to her.  And to top it off, she had this friend who is so huge I am anorexic next to him.  That’s exactly what happened, the guy sat next to me and our seats cried in pain.  And the smell!  Good Lord.  *Sigh* the things I do for the love of cinema.

I would absolutely bitch and moan for weeks if i missed this one:


Now, this film was a head trip.  Thank goodness that the film festival is not subject to government censorship.  (Last time I flew to Abu Dhabi, the inflight film was Ms. Congeniality, and they cut out the scen when Ms. New York announces that she’s a lesbian.)  I have always admired Plympton’s work.  while most animators use cel art or flat paints, he used colored pencils.  The texture of his works are rough and not bloodlessly technical unlike all the big animated films out there in the market.  Long live independents!


He said after the screening that he finished the film in just a year and he personally rendered 25,000 drawings.  Wow.

I was all giddy!  I didn’t know that Bill Plympton was in Dubai.  I knew Salma Hayek, Ben and Casey Affleck are here.  but, I am more excited for the filmmakers’ presence.  Tsui Hark is here!!!!  I love his Hong Kong action films!  Terry Gilliam is here and I screeched that I missed the screening and open forum.  Terry Gilliam and Bill Plympton are two of the best animators on earth!  I admire both of them for their utter independent spirit not to mention the gravitas of their vision.

So, Plympton was there and gave out his drawings to the audience.  I almost died.  I was all smiles as he handed out the stuff.  He was selling his actual drawings from the film and some DVDs.  I wanted to buy some but then again, I do not forget I am a teacher for the third world; so my salary bracket is right between sex slave and janitor in the open market.

Salary woes aside, today gave me a light feeling I have not encountered for so long.  I went home bright and spritely from the films I watched.

The screenings were at the posh and farflung Mall of the Emirates (so rich it snows inside the mall), almost equidistant from UP Manila to Novaliches and the taxi fare costs a smidgen of 500 pesos…one way!  So, I cannot really go there every single day of the festival.  the Indian volunteers interviewed us for a survey.  The guy was shocked we watched three movies today alone.  Bitch, please.  I tired five movies in one day in Makati and still went home to watch a DVD.

The festival did have interesting choices.  There was a Filipino short film but I cannot watch it.  Of course, I wanted to watch the entire run of the Dubai International Film Festival, I really wanted to catch Slumdog Millionaire but not just of the distance and cost, I have to go somewhere else…..

But i am not complaining because these are the best films to close a quite stressful 2009.



  1. Hi Bro Bear. You got a new haircut. Do you like it? More pics please. heheh

  2. great films! hope you make it back in manila soon lol. coming home for the holidays?

  3. Congratulations! I’m glad you are enjoying yourself there!!!

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