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Attica! Attica! Top Films of 2009! (Introduction) March 3, 2010

Posted by Richard Bolisay in RIP, Yearender.

“Get lost!” said 2010 to 2009. It walked away but it didn’t seem to listen.


It was the first film festival that graced the year. The first time I had the chance to see Kidlat Tahimik’s works. Wednesday, Turumba. Thursday, Mababangong Bangungot. Wasn’t able to catch the shorts. Had work. And was heartbroken. Did not bother to say hello to anyone. Just wanted to see the films in the retrospective. As usual, I felt and acted invisible. After the talk I bought a shirt from Kabunyan. A shirt with a yo-yo printed on it. I settled for blue. I saw blue everywhere.

Saturday came. Again, I had work so I only managed to catch Bakit Dilaw ang Gitna ng Bahaghari. Saw you. Was rather surprised that you were not with anyone, considering. . . well, considering. We talked, talked a lot. Talked more than I could remember. Asked me which was my favorite Kidlat so far and I said Turumba. I prefer Turumba to Mababangong Bangungot, I said. Asked me why but forgot what I said. You did not concur. Said you liked Mababangong Bangungot better, and you pronounced Mababangong Bangungot with your usual accent. Told me you were doing interviews with Kidlat. I said, that’s interesting!, in my usual interested spirit that was difficult to feign. Where are they now? Those transcripts? Those memories of trips to Baguio? Whatever happened to them?

Not too many people inside the Film Center. So we talked as the film started. It was long anyway, and the images were random. Told me about Independencia. Shared some local films we saw recently. And I asked when is that Tarkovsky shot coming, will it appear any time soon? No, not yet. Awhile we kept our silence. I saw you dozing off. Must be tired. I looked at you again. You were cute even with your eyes closed. It was a long film. You woke up before it ended. Told you I loved it, loved it, loved it. You concurred.

Then eight months came you were dead.


The past year did not make it easy for us, as there were a lot of painful deaths that happened, that stayed, and that lingered. In Arcade Fire’s words, (c’est) une année sans lumière. A year without light. And that year felt like night all throughout.

It’s the year of funerals, and not just the people we buried but also the innocence we lost, the lessons we learned the hard way.

Good riddance, 2009. Just let us go.


“But 2009, before you go,” 2010 said, “here are the films that can almost make me forgive you. But still, I know I can’t.

“I can only shout ‘Attica! Attica!’ all I want.”

►► Next: Honorable Mention Part 1



1. Sani - March 3, 2010

Coincidentally, I just posted my picks for the best films of 2009 just today din. Haha. I’ll be watching.

2. Richard Bolisay - March 3, 2010

Thanks, Sani. A wild list you have! You separated local and foreign? Yay, I’m sure we’ll be agreeing on some films. Some like You The Living, Lorna’s Silence, and Koreeda’s I hesitated on putting in my list because I thought they were in 2008 (though I made a great exception for Tokyo Sonata *spoiler* haha). Your gifs are such labor of love (and sweat). :)

3. Sani - March 3, 2010

I did. I don’t know why but I can’t seem to put local and foreign together. It’s just not fair. Haha.

That’s the part where I cheated. I know they were 2008 filmfest releases. But since I just saw them come 2009, I considered the US release dates instead *wink* I saw Tokyo Sonata around the first parts of 2009, around the same time I saw Synecdoche, NY. While I was convinced not to put Synecdoche because of its glaring 2008 release, I completely forgot about Tokyo Sonata. Haha.

Thank you! Since I’m super busy with work and I know for sure I couldn’t possibly do writeups for all 45 films, I thought of doing a sort of photoblog instead – in the form of gifs. So in a way may idea manlang of the mood of the film.

4. guillerluna - March 5, 2010

how about the best of noughties? :) may ginaw aako kaya lang nasa facebook. :)

5. ayn - March 22, 2010

pakshet, nagawa mo na pala ito, hindi ko lang naman naramdaman. haha. reading now. haha.

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