Friday, September 7, 2007


I had to see this one because last year's Philippine movie, filmed in the same style was a very good one. "The Bet Collector" was filmed with a well-known Filipino actress in the lead role on location in the streets of Manila with real actors. The extras are whoever happens to be in the street at the time. They call it "real time" filming.

The actors were a lot younger this time and the story was of pickpockets and squatters interacting with each other, the police, non-actor holy week revelers, and real politicians campaigning for office. The director told us he felt they had a lot in common with each other.

Unfortunately, some of the scenes went on far too long, the actors spent most of the time shouting their lines, and the "real" extras didn't add much to the story. It had the feeling of a documentary but explained nothing. Interesting but not captivating.

The movie was preceded by a short "The Shock Doctrine," which was actually nothing more than a promo for a new Naomi Klein book or film (I can't remember which). Ads at the festival? I thought we'd be able to avoid such things.

Thus ended my first day at the festival: 1 win, 1 loss, 1 draw.

Director: Brillante Mendoza
Country: The Philippines
Year: 2007
Language: Tagalog
Runtime: 86 minutes
Principal Cast: Jiro Manio, Kristoffer King, Coco Martin, Nathan Lopez, Jaclyn Jose