Binyag (Mariami Tanangco, 2002) January 19, 2009Posted by Richard Bolisay in Asian Films, Cinemanila, Noypi, Short Cuts, UP Screening.
Written and directed by Mariami Tanangco
Mariami Tanangco’s diploma film may have come out of unconscious transsexuality, but despite its brooding machismo, despite the various motifs that further emphasize the sordid logic of patriarchy whose primary concern is having the balls to overkill, despite relying heavily on stereotypes, Binyag sustains its hardboiled tenacity up to the sly end, no matter how conventional its attack to poke suspense through editing and harsh lighting, not to mention cunning actors who add to its claustrophobic wickedness. It inspires – – secretly, the struggle to just finish a thesis turns into a challenge to earn a best thesis – – as much as it satisfies. Bravery has now lost its meaning among young students’ works; it is not anymore a fitting word to describe such courage to raise issues hushed by apathy. The steady direction makes up for unnecessary experiments, the intrusion of slow-motion images that heightens the drama, pushing it out of normalcy to effectiveness. It is not a perfect film, but I am sure the late Jovenal Velasco was proud of this work.