The Wheel and Axle

Archive for December, 2016


A Night of Honor

by on Dec.30, 2016, under Film & TV, Travel & Culture

This year’s Metro Manila Film Festival has certainly proven that the MMFF can have quality films and still be an astounding success despite what naysayers proclaim. The awards given out during the Gabi ng Parangal last night have also shown just how committed this year’s organizers are to truly honoring only the best of the best: the truly deserving, the people who value art and culture.

And for the first time in a long time, the word parangal means something once again for this festival, and it all actually feels… right! All the awardees just feel… right, no questions asked.

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Good Night, Debbie.

by on Dec.29, 2016, under Film & TV, Music & Theater

Because 2016 continues to be a huge ass, just one day after the iconic Carrie Fisher died, her own mother – the legendary Debbie Reynolds – passed away from a stroke at the age of 84. Now, one can argue that she was old already, but I also cannot help but think how grief over her daughter’s demise broke her heart so much. As has been said, no parent should have to bury their child.

Debbie may not resonate with the current generation, but she is much beloved by older ones. She comes from my grandmother’s era, so she is not from my time either. However, by the time we were around, growing up in the 80s/90s, Debbie was already an icon whose career had spanned decades.

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Portrait In Song

by on Dec.29, 2016, under Film & TV, Literature, Music & Theater

I love musicals. I love Nick Joaquin. I love Paulo Avelino.

I cannot wait for this.

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MMFF 2016: More Than A Woman (Die Beautiful)

by on Dec.28, 2016, under Film & TV, Queer

Metro Manila Film Festival 2016: Some Spoilers!

Trans life is still largely misunderstood by most of society, especially Filipino society, which is ironic because our pre-Hispanic culture had very different views of gender roles. Unfortunately, colonization and Christianization suppressed our ancestral paradigms, leading to binary gender thought. Even with the increasing liberalization of LGBT politics in the last two decades, the “T” remains to be a constantly misunderstood segment of the community, with transwomen often mistakenly conflated with or confused for cisgender gay men who simply want to cross-dress.

While the topic of gender can take up entire books to thoroughly discuss, media has tried to bridge the gap – sometimes successfully (Transamerica, for example), sometimes not so much (countless awful examples I shan’t go into). Locally, there have even been fewer, and with some exceptions, representation has largely been relegated to funny (sometimes offensive) sidekicks.

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May The Force Be With You, Princess.

by on Dec.28, 2016, under Film & TV, Geeky, Travel & Culture

As though taking George Michael away from us on Christmas Day weren’t enough, 2016 continues its reign of terror by snatching Princess Leia away from us just a couple of days later.

Carrie Fisher had suffered a heart attack sometime last week, but reports indicated she was already in stable condition. Now, just a few days later, she’s gone.

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Be The Someone Else…

by on Dec.27, 2016, under Film & TV, Queer

… what no one may have been for you.

Wentworth Miller is ❤️.

From 2013

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George’s Last Christmas

by on Dec.26, 2016, under Music & Theater, Queer

25 June 1963 – 25 December 2016

And this year, he doesn’t save us from tears.

Yet another legend passes on as 2016 continues its reign of terror so close to the New Year.

He was exactly 53 and a half years old.

George Michael was not just a respected music superstar. He was also an LGBT icon, one who struggled with his own sexuality at the height of his fame in the 80s and 90s until it finally caught up with him in that controversial arrest (seriously, I still firmly believe that was a major case of homophobic entrapment by the police, especially since the arresting officer tried to make $10M off of George afterwards).

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MMFF 2016: Not To Kill, But To Win (Seklusyon)

by on Dec.26, 2016, under Film & TV

Metro Manila Film Festival 2016: Some Spoilers!

Erik Matti has not failed me so far in the last few years: 2012’s Tiktik: The Aswang Chronicles and its MMFF 2014 sequel Kubot, 2013’s On The Job, and last year’s controversial MMFF entry Honor Thy Father. All highly-praised, all acclaimed, all fantastic.

He does not fail me this year with his MMFF entry, the horror film Seklusyon.

I confess to having fears that this movie would be formula Pinoy horror – you know, where some mysterious theme (weddings, bagwas, faith healing, SMS, etc.) starts killing off cast members one by one, usually in increasingly gruesome and creative ways. Here in Seklusyon, after all, we have an array of would-be priests ripe for the picking.

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