Ken Yasuda and the Filipina Natileigh Sitoy in Come On, Irene
Culture Movies

A Japanese film on buying a Filipina bride tops QCinema fest's foreign fare

A film based on manga, a meditation on Tibet, and a film with a cat, plus two more foreign titles lend color and texture to this year's QCinema lineup of foreign film offerings 
ANCX Staff | Oct 24 2018

Five award-winning films from across the globe are set to take the spotlight at this year’s QCinema. These films will be screened under the festival’s ‘special screening’ section and come from a host of countries as diverse as this year’s cinematic fare. Participating in the festival are titles from China, Austria, France, Denmark, and Japan. All films have won awards, and are sure to enrich the cinematic worlds of guests to the festival. 

An Elephant Sitting Sill. IMDb

An Elephant Sitting

Captures the story of four residents from a northern Chinese town as they live out a single day of non-stop suspense. The protagonists strive to escape the tension of their lives as they embark on a train ride to Manzhouli. This electrifying directorial debut from Hu Bo is a four-hour portrait of a society of egoists. It has gained wide critical acclaim, and won the Forum FIPRESCI Prize winner at the 2018 Berlin International Film Festival.

Best thing said about it: "The film patiently draws a profoundly empathetic portrait of human suffering that is at once epic and intimate."—BFI.org

Screening: October 28, Gateway Cineplex 7, 11:30AM

Hochmair and Turtur in the Austrian Tomcat. IMDb

Tomcat

Protagonists Andreas (Phillip Hochmair) and Stefan (Lukas Turtur) lead happy lives with their beloved tomcat, Moses, until an unexpected violence shakes up the relationship and calls everything into question. The Austrian drama directed by Klaus Händl won the Teddy Award for best LGBT-related feature film at the 66th Berlin International Film Festival.

Best thing said bout it: "The acting and visuals are strong, the cat is great, but really, how much time do we want to spend with these people’s neuroses?"—Variety

Screenings: October 25 (4PM) and 27 (4PM), Gateway Cineplex 7; October 30, Gateway Cineplex 6 (6PM, with Q&A with filmmaker)

The Prayer 

Cédric Kahn’s story of a drug addict named Thomas (Anthony Bajon) who joins a community of former addicts living in an isolated mountain town, and who use prayer to heal themselves from their addiction. Bajon won the Silver Bear for Best Actor at the 2018 Berlin International Film Festival.

Best thing said about it: "Always watchable but not transcendent."—Screendaily.com

Screening: October 29, Gateway Cineplex 7, 1:30PM

Bajon in the Berlin-pleaser, The Prayer. IMDb

Come On, Irene

Japanese filmmaker Keisuke Yoshida shows the unconventional life of a married man in “Come On, Irene”, a live-action film based on the manga “Irene of Love” from Hideki Arai. The story is about Iwao Shishido (Ken Yasuda) who finds a wife after paying three million yen for a bridal tour to the Philippines. He comes back home and is confronted by Tsuru (Hana Kino)—Iwao’s freshly-widowed mother—who is infuriated that her loser son has married a woman she’s never met. Director Yoshia held auditions in the Philippines for the role of Irene and Cebuana Natiliegh Sitoy was eventually cast in the part.

Best thing said about it: "Come On, Irene is ultimately salvaged by its titular heroine, and Sitoy’s empathetic performance."—Japan Times 

Screenings: October 25 Gateway Cineplex 7, 9:30PM (with Q and A with filmmaker); October 27, Robinsons Movieworld Galleria 8, 8:30PM; October 29, Gateway Cineplex 7, 4PM 

A scene from Ala Changso. QCinema International Film Festival on Youtube

Ala Changso

Sonthar Gyal’s psychological drama "Ala Changso" explores the emotional negotiations of a  fractured family as they undertake a grueling trek to the holy city of Lhasa. It won the Jury Grand Prize and Best Screenplay Award at the 21st Shanghai International Film Festival 2018.

Best thing said about it: "Delicate, poetic, exotic."—The Hollywood Reporter

Screenings: October 25 (1PM), 26 (3.30PM) and 29 (3.30PM), Robinsons Movieworld Galleria 8

 

The “Special Screening” section of QCinema will be shown at Gateway Mall (Cineplex 10); Robinsons Galleria (Robinsons Movieworld); and Ayala Malls Cinema in Trinoma and U.P. Town Center.