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FDCP to showcase Cannes-winning contemporary, restored classic films

by Joanna Deala

THE Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) has started screening classic and contemporary Filipino romance films for this year’s edition of its “Sine Sinta: Pag-ibig at Pelikula,” coinciding with the country’s celebration of love month and National Arts Month.

It made sure to bring butterflies—and tears—to Filipino viewers as it added hit romance movies “One More Chance,” “I’m Drunk, I Love You,” “That Thing Called Tadhana,” “Kita Kita,” “Isa Pa With Feelings,” and “Love You to the Stars and Back” to its slate.

Classic films like the 1939 “Giliw Ko” and the 1996 “Radio Romance” are also part of the lineup.

But if you’re looking for more movies that will give you all the feels, the FDCP has got your back!

The agency is set to bring restored classics and critically acclaimed contemporary films to its “FDCP Presents: A Curation of World Cinema” program.

So get ready, cinephiles, as these international movies are set to hit selected local theaters starting March 6, 2024:

‘Anatomy of a Fall’

Directed by French filmmaker Justine Triet, the 2023 legal drama film tells the story of a widow named Sandra who becomes a suspect in the death of her husband Samuel. With her is their visually challenged son Daniel, who faces a moral dilemma as a witness in his father’s case.

“Anatomy of a Fall” starred Sandra Hüller as Sandra, Milo Machado-Graner as Daniel, Samuel Theis as Samuel, and Swann Arlaud as lawyer Vincent Renzi, among others.

The film premiered at the 76th Cannes Film Festival in May 2023 where it bagged the Palme d’Or, the highest prize given at the festival, for Triet and the Palm Dog Award. Triet became the third female director to win the most prestigious award.

‘How to Have Sex’

Another 2023 movie included in the list is the coming-of-age drama film “How to Have Sex,” directed by British filmmaker Molly Manning Walker.

The story follows three teenage girls—Tara, Em, and Skye—who go on a holiday trip that involves drinking, clubbing, and hooking up. But the supposed “best holiday ever” turned out to be a nightmare, especially for Tara.

“How to Have Sex” featured Mia McKenna-Bruce as Tara, Lara Peake as Skye, and Enva Lewis as Em.

It also premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last year, where it took home the Un Certain Regard award.

‘Only the River Flows’

Actor Zhu Yilong unleashed his investigative skills as he portrayed the role of Police Chief Ma Zhe in the 2023 film “Only the River Flows.” 

His character leads the investigation into the death of a woman whose body was found by the river. While an arrest was already made, Ma Zhe found several clues that pushed him to dig deeper into the behavior of his fellow citizens.

Helmed by Shujun Wei, the movie was based on author Yu Hua’s novel “Mistakes by the River.”

It was nominated for the Un Certain Regard award at the 76th Cannes Film Festival, where it premiered. Despite not winning the award, “Only the River Flows” earned multiple recognitions, including the Best Film award under the Panorama section of the Asian Film Festival Barcelona.

‘Chungking Express’

The 1994 romance crime film is one of the restored classics that narrates the different stories of two melancholic Hong Kong police officers who fall victim to Cupid’s arrow. 

One develops romantic feelings for a mysterious female underworld figure, while the other falls in love with a beautiful waitress working at a late-night restaurant where he is a regular customer.

“Chungking Express” was directed by filmmaker Wong Kar-wai. It starred Bridgette Lin, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Faye Wong, Tony Leung, and Valerie Chow, among others.

The movie earned multiple nominations and awards, including the Best Actress award for Wong and the FIPRESCI Prize for the movie’s director at the 1994 Stockholm International Film Festival. It was also in the same year that Leung was named Best Actor at the Golden Horse Film Festival.

‘Fallen Angels’

“Fallen Angels,” another classic film by Wong in 1995, centers on a hitman, who wants to turn over a new leaf, and his female partner.

Kaneshiro once again teamed up with Wong as one of the cast members, along with Leon Lai, Michelle Reis, Charlie Young, and Karen Mok.

The noir movie gained several recognitions at the 15th Hong Kong Film Awards such as Best Actress for Mok, Best Cinematography, and Best Original Score.

‘Happy Together’

This 1997 film depicts queer love between a couple who travels from Hong Kong to Argentina to seek greener pastures, but destiny has other plans for the two, who find themselves drifting apart from one another.

Leung and Wong joined forces anew for “Happy Together,” which also featured actors Leslie Cheung and Chang Chen. 

Cheung, Leung, and Chang portrayed the roles of Ho Po-wing, Lai Yiu-fai, and Chang, respectively. At the 1997 Cannes Film Festival, the movie won the Best Director award for Wong and was nominated for the coveted Palme d’Or. 

It was also screened at various film festivals such as the 1997 Toronto International Film Festival. 

‘In The Mood For Love’

Completing the FDCP’s list is another Wong film titled “In The Mood For Love,” which is also another collaboration between Wong and Leung.

In the romantic drama film, Leung gave life to the character of a journalist named Chow Mo-wan who develops a connection with his neighbor Su li-zhen, played by Maggie Cheung, after learning that their spouses are having an affair with each other.

Leung’s performance in the movie earned him the Best Actor award at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival, where it premiered. 

In 2016, “In The Mood For Love” was named the second-greatest film of the 21st century, according to a BBC survey in which 177 film critics participated.



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