A Jellicle Blog

Confessions of a Former Jellicle Cat

Beauty in a Bottle (2014)

The Beauty Beneath the Poster (BEAUTY IN A BOTTLE: 2014)

Director Antoinette Jadaone’s (SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION FROM LILIA CUNTAPAY: 2011) latest film is a satire on a society blinded by its superficial standards on Beauty. It is an entertaining, yet a critical look at how we crucify ourselves just to have a sip from the fountain of eternal youth. Though at some point the film diverts to a familiar formula from Star Cinema Hell, the film delivers quite a remarkable feat in our local comedies. It is crisp, side-splitting, and undeniably memorable.

BEAUTY IN A BOTTLE (2014) follows the story of three women, all from different and separate lives, but with almost synonymous insecurities. Vilma (Assunta de Rossi) faces a new challenge at work when a new comer threatens to steal her opportunities in a marketing firm where she has proved her worth for years. Estelle (Angelica Panganiban) was once a star with killer looks. But when the results of a depression took over her, she lost control of her image and weight; a critical showbiz requirement. Judith (Angeline Quinto), tries to overcome her insecurities whenever faced with the fact that her boyfriend, who comes from an rich clan, cannot accept her because of her looks.

Casting for comedies can


Beyond Revenge (I SAW THE DEVIL: 2011)

Director Kim Ji-woon’s I SAW THE DEVIL (2011) is a psychological thriller that weaves a disturbing theme on violence and revenge, that it eventually passes to be considered a horror film. Using vengeance as it’s core, its characters go beyond the limit of imaginable violence, and presents a dreadful realisation that getting one’s payback is already a tragedy in itself. Ji-woon carefully handles each scene, however violent, and masterfully executes his characters’ emotions for the screen. Byung-hyun as the vengeful Dae-hoon, depicts a strong character of subtle violence overpowered by his hunger for payback. Min-sik’s psychotic Kyung-chul, on the other, with his unapologetic, killer-mania stance, tops our ranks of villains in the serial killer genre.


The New Kids of Rydell High (9 Works Theatrical’s GREASE)

For over 40 years, Grease has remained one of the world’s most popular and beloved musicals. Time Magazine even dubbed its 2007 Broadway revival as the “#1 Musical of the Year.” Now Danny, Sandy, Rizzo, Kenickie, and the Rydell gang are back, ready to bop and hand-jive at the RCBC Plaza, Makati, all weekends from November 15 to December 7, 2014. Grease will have Friday and Saturday galas at 8:00pm, Saturday matinees at 3:30pm and Sunday matinees at 4:00pm.

A limited number of performances are available for fundraising and block-buying. For tickets and other inquiries, please call 586.7105 or 0917.554.5560, or email info@9workstheatrical.com. Facebook: 9workstheatrical. Twitter & Instagram: @9WTonline. Hashtag: #GreaseManila


Romeo and Juliet – The Musical

As a season offering to all young adults, Kids Acts Philippines proudly presents ROMEO AND JULIET, edited with additional lyrics by LUIGI NACARIO and music by EUGENE BELBIS.

This William Shakespeare’s novel will be staged by maintaining the classic requirement of the play from costumes to the set. The music is composed through a fusion of western and eastern with contemporary flavor. “Romeo and Juliet” is simplified without sacrificing the original texts of Shakespeare to let young adults understand and comprehend on how the play is written. In the play, dialogues are sung with full observance of how phrases are being read.


Take a Selfie and Win an iPhone 6

One of the most awaited fantasy films to hit the country gets even more exciting with a chance to win a hot new gadget to take home. Get ready as VIY (2014): The Spirit Evil launches the Watch and Win iPhone 6 promo. All viewers of the movie VIY: THE SPIRIT OF EVIL, to be…

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Wicked! (GONE GIRL: 2014)

Every once in a while Director David Fincher resurrects and creates an instant classic that’s quite hard to pass by. This year, he reawakens to adapt a bestselling thriller that made it in the charts in 2012 and delivers a film that drives home a point.

Based on Gillian Flynn’s thriller novel, GONE GIRL (2014) unearths the secrets at the heart of a modern marriage. On the occasion of his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) reports that his beautiful wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike), has gone missing. Under pressure from the police and a growing media frenzy, Nick’s portrait of a blissful union begins to crumble. Soon his lies, deceits and strange behavior have everyone asking the same dark question: Did Nick Dunne kill his wife?

The circumstances were convenient, absurd, and arguably stupid, that at some point you scratch your head and think differently. But knowing that Fincher is behind all these, we faithfully submit to such irrationality and let ourselves get swayed, believing that we are in good hands. With a perfect cast and intelligent direction, GONE explores the duality in all of us and wonderfully presents the argument: that even in the most absurd of things, our willing suspension of disbelief is slowly killing our most prized common sense. That in our generation of uncensored social media, sensationalized programming, down to the smallest of gossips, we all embrace and fight for a truth as fabricated by just one.


The Consequence of Ambition (WHIPLASH: 2014)

If there’s one thing that films like DEAD POETS SOCIETY (1989), SISTER ACT 2 (1993), and DANGEROUS MINDS (1995) taught us, it is that teachers have always wanted their students to be the best, if not the greatest. That in the heart of education lies the passion to mold the greatest in his generation. This, we have swallowed time and again, it already makes me puke. But after seeing Writer-Director Damien Chazelle’s jazz music drama thriller WHIPLASH (2014), I gave off a satisfying burp knowing that there’s one film director who knows that idealism in education is dead, and that greatness happens only when one wants to be great.

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VIY (2014) Hits Manila

“VIY: The Spirit of Evil,” the hit dark fantasy film loosely based on the Nikolai Gogol story “Viy” will be hitting Manila theatres starting October 22.

Produced by Russian Film Group and Marins Group, “Viy” stars Jason Flemyng from The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) and Charles Dance who plays Tywin Lannister in HBO’s Game of Thrones.

“Viy” is the name of the dark and notorious monster responsible for the deaths of many village folk in a sleepy 17th century Ukrainian village. Viy’s most terrifying ability is to murder and cut through the soul of any one with just the gaze of his many eyes.

The movie revolves around the voyages of a cartographer, Jonathan Green, who was spellbound by a heavy fog on his way to Eastern Europe and chanced upon a Ukrainian village which is under siege by the monster Viy and thus began his crusade to end the village’s misery.

James Cousin's There We Have Been & Without the Stars

Dancing Mukarakami’s NORWEGIAN WOOD in Manila

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Bestsellers like Haruki Murakami’s “Norwegian Wood” have long inspired film, TV and theater adaptations worldwide – but dance? Touted as a “rising star” by Britains’ national daily, the Independent, British choreographer James Cousins dared to.

British Council, PETA Theater Center and the Cultural Center of the Philippines are delighted to present the Asian premiere of British choreographer James Cousins’ contemporary dance works: the highly-acclaimed There We Have Been and its sequel Without Stars. Shows are on Thursday, October 9 (8pm) and Friday, October 10 (3pm and 8pm) at the PETA Theater Center. The twin-bill production will next tour Malaysia and Vietnam this year.


War of the Sexes (Red Turnip Theater’s COCK)

MANILA, Philippines—John, M, W and F are back.

After making a splash during its Manila premiere last February, Red Turnip Theater is bringing back the Olivier Award-winning play “Cock” for a limited one weekend re-run this October.

Mike Bartlett’s comedy about sexual identity was a surprise smash, playing to packed houses and critical acclaim. It also marked the directorial debut of Rem Zamora who created a stir with his “innovative” (PEP.ph) and “creative” (Business World) staging; a bare stage with only his four actors and Bartlett’s witty script.


Our Own Kind of Horror (YANGGAW: 2008)

After five days of horror movie marathon from world cinema, I never thought that I’d come across a hidden gem from our very own. Director Richard Somes’ YANGGAW (2008), is a cinematic gem and a modern day achievement amidst the descending taste of our local horror genre.

Junior (Ronnie Lazaro) is a patriarch of a family living in a small farming community in some far-flung province. One day his daughter comes home with a mysterious sickness. She spends all day weak and bedridden, but is found every morning with dirt caked feet and bloodied hands. Junior consults with the local healer and learns that his daughter has been infected by a malevolent spirit, and that she is slowly turning into an aswang. With the local authorities getting closer to the truth, Junior seeks to save his daughter from this curse, or failing that, to protect her at all costs.

This the rare horror film that realizes that horror works much better


Gruesome Silences (WE ARE WHAT WE ARE: 2010)

This is arguably the most silent horror film I’ve seen in modern cinema. Yet, it creeps and haunts you like a former lover. It follows a story of a family who has an unusual appetite, but its characters unknowingly interests you that you end up rooting for them and, even you, can’t wait for dinner.

Wonderful direction, awesome design, brilliant performances and well-thought screenwriting, Jorge Michel Grau’s SOMOS LO QUE HAY (We Are What We Are; 2010) is something you should see before October starts.



Why Nora?

have always asked myself the same question Nestor de Guzman asked in his collection of essays on Nora Aunor: “anung lagnat ang ibinigay ni Nora Aunor sa sambayanang Pilipino?” (What kind of fever did Nora Aunor bring to the Filipino People?). Her popularity is timeless, her talent unmeasurable, and her fandom is unending and still feverishly blind. Whenever researchers and colleagues ask me this question I can only swallow silently and whisper, “I don’t know. I’m a fan myself.”

Yesterday, University of the Philippine’s College of Mass Communication awarded Nora Cabaltera Aunor the 10th Gawad Plaridel. The highest award given by the country’s premier university to a contributor in mass media and communication, handed over the massive (arguably the heaviest trophy), to a five foot, three inches artist that has swept Philippine show business.

Prior to the handing of the humungous trophy (with a dramatically positioned scroll and a carved Marcelo H. del Pilar as its foreground), UP President Dr. Alfredo Pascual took the lectern and justified the afternoon’s celebration. His introductory remark shook me and gave me, probably the best vindication of why this little brown Cinderella pulled the rag under the feet of an industry thriving on colonial mindset and beauty.

This part of the speech, I believe, caps everything. As in Everything!

Read on:


Ang Pulo’t Dulo ng Uso: The #IceBucketChallenge

Kabi-kabila ang mga makikita mong buhusan ng malamig na tubig sa Amerika. Nakakatuwa, nakakatawa, kasi nga naman, mga kilalang tao ung iba. Si Wintor, si Seacrest, pati sa George Bush nakisali din.

Share tayo ng share. Kadalasan, mas benta kapag palpak ang pagbuhos. Kapag naaaksidente ang magbubuhos. Kapag inaabot ng siyam-siyam ang bubuhusan, na parang nag-iisip ng dalawa, tatlo o sampung beses bago sabihing, “Go!”

Pero alam ba natin kung bakit ito sinimulan? Alam ba natin kung ano ang nasa likod ng mga kasiyahang dala ng mga nakakapasong buhusan ng nagyeyelong tubig? Ano ba talaga ang pakay nito?

Ito ay para sa pagsuporta sa isang di gaanong kilalang karamdaman na kumakalat ngayon sa mundo. Ito ay ang Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, o mas kilala sa tawag na ALS. Una itong tinawag na Lou Gehrig’s Disease. It’s a disease that attacks the nerve cells and the spinal cord that causes its victim total paralysis. Hindi na nakakagalaw, hindi pa nakaka-function pati mga internal organs.

Yes, pati ang mga internal organs….kaya sa kalaunan, hindi na sila nakakahinga.

Tulad din ng ibang malalang karamdaman, magastos magkasakit ng ganito. At higit sa lahat, nakamamatay ito.

Nagsimula ang mga Ice Bucket Challenges sometime mid-July. Darating din ang araw,

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