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Twilight Dancers

The film Twilight Dancers is social commentary (un)dressed as a sexy movie. So it makes no sense that the MTRCB gave it an X rating (see "'Twilight' gets 'X' on first review," Philippine Daily Inquirer, 10 September 2006). After seeing it this morning, I had to wonder what all the fuss is about.

True, a few penises are shown in the movie, but you'd hardly notice them because they're like Sharon Stone's leg-crossing in Basic Instinct—make sure you don't blink. I haven't seen many porn movies, but this film is far from one. Maybe it was the politics that aroused the MTRCB board members? =)

Anyway, I never saw Macho Dancer or Midnight Dancers, so I can't really say whether this one is better, more political, or even sexier. What I can say is that this one isn't shy about getting its "message" across in an in-your-face manner—which is probably appropriate considering the profession the leads are in.

There was one dancer who kept telling his mother that he was working at a call center (as a call "boy," perhaps?). It seemed at first that it was just a joke, but as the film warmed up to its "message," it became clear that the "joke" fit into the film's larger theme regarding globalization. I found it interesting that the lead character, the dancer played by Tyron Perez, was told that he needed to learn to "dance" in the new global economy. I guess I need to learn this, too, now that I'm in Canada...

The most ironic thing about the movie was that even though it was really focused on the men, the best performances were turned in by the women, namely, Cherry Pie Picache as Madame Loca, and Ana Capri as a mute mother and separated wife.

Subtitles, as with Kubrador, were a problem. This time, there were some very common Filipino mistakes (e.g., never winning a "price," "sandali" translated as "for a while," and "customer" spelled as "costumer"). I was able to ask Ricky Lee, the scriptwriter, about the subtitles after the screening, and he said that the subtitles weren't as good as they could have been because of the deadline the film had to meet. This is probably the same reason the subtitles to other Filipino festival films that I've seen weren't so good.

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And that's it for me for the Toronto International Film Festival. Maybe next year, with more money, I'll be able to watch more movies, including non-Filipino ones.

Category: Books and Movies

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