Jake Ejercito: Andi still my greatest loveINQUIRER.net 3:36 pm | Tuesday, September 30th, 2014
MANILA, Philippines — Jake Ejercito broke his silence on Twitter after his ex-girlfriend Andi Eigenmann’s interview, admitting that they have broken up, aired on “The Buzz” last Sunday.
“Andi was the only girl I loved for four years and still is my greatest love,” he posted on his Twitter account.
Eigenmann admitted on The Buzz that she had broken up with Ejercito after a photo of him kissing another girl circulated on the Internet. She said however that even before the photo came out, their relationship was already on the rocks.
“It’s not that Jake is not a good person but it came to a point that I wanted to give up. That was the point in my life when my dad got rushed to the hospital and I needed him the most, and he wasn’t there for me,” Eigenmann said.
She claimed that Ejercito stopped replying to her after he found out about his father’s condition. Her father, veteran actor Mark Gil, died early September due to liver cancer.
“First of all, I don’t deny that I’m not a perfect partner or boyfriend. I’ve [apologized] to Andi and to the people who matter most to us for all my shortcomings and I still regret a lot of things I did wrong or failed to do,” Ejercito said.
“I know a photo paints a thousand words. I am not washing my hands clean, but I did not intend for it to happen. If anything, my only slip-up was that I allowed it to happen,” he added.
Ejercito and Eigenmann were in an on and off relationship for a few years.
“Andi was the only girl I loved for four years and still is my greatest love. Before the incident, I discovered something that hit me like a truck. I am certainly not using it as an excuse, but it had a lot of bearing on how I reacted. I may not have chosen the best way to cope, but like what I said, I’m not perfect. And for that, I’ve also [apologized] to Andi.
Ejercito said he wanted to keep the issue personal and hoped it would be the last time to explain himself.
Eigenmann, also said that she has met someone who has helped her realize her worth, but denied that she was already in a new relationship. The guy was identified as Bret Jackson of the reality show Pinoy Big Brother.
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‘Dementia’: Into the dark, racking realm of paranoiaBy Arvin Mendoza | INQUIRER.net 3:25 pm | Tuesday, September 30th, 2014
MANILA, Philippines—Filmed in ethereal color and yet imbued with a spine-chilling atmosphere, Percival Intalan’ “Dementia” successfully thrusts the viewers into the dark, racking realm of paranoia.
As Intalan’s directorial debut, it spares no one—the moment they step out the theater—from wondering about the malefic prospects if such cognitive impairment hits them over time.
The movie evidently swerves from old-hat, cut-and-dried storylines that many scary movies offer. It is apparent Intalan wants to evade this usual drawback by creating a grisly dramatic tableau painting the life of Mara Fabre (Nora Aunor), a semi-retired teacher that has been struggling with dementia.
The attempt to remedy her mental decay becomes the narrative dawn, the point that leads to the restitution of her weeping past.
And Batanes couldn’t be a better place of gloom.
A sad poetry
The unadulterated and breath-taking landscape of the province welcomes Mara as she returns to her old house, with the help of her cousin, Elaine (Bing Loyzaga).
Elaine, together with her husband Rommel (Yul Servo) and daughter Rachel (Jasmine Curtis-Smith), takes the responsibility of attending to the needs of Mara, whose mind has become warped by a troubling infirmity.
“Dementia” is heart-wrenching poetry in picture. Its visual verses beguile the senses to absorb the character’s prosaic state, rhymed with its aural rhythms lulling the terror that looms ahead.
One might say that the film revolves much around Mara’s history, and that the other characters’ personal backgrounds are not explored. But it seems to be Intalan’s pure intention.
Mara’s homecoming triggers the unspooling of her dreadful memories. She starts to hallucinate, ecstatically following a miscreant little girl every time she sees the latter. At this point, she turns the delusion into reality; the apparition, unbeknownst to her, banefully portends an imminent danger.
Perhaps due to the time constraints, the focus on Mara is what the film only needs throughout its entire duration.
While “Dementia” gets short of narrative layers among its main characters, the revelation surrounding Mara’s past compensated for anything that lacks. The effectual brunt of her haunting memories is enough to rip the bones with crippling strength.
Servo’s confrontation with Aunor is short, and unnecessary. It surely tips off a bitter history between the two, but such isn’t completely explained. It just leaves the viewers in the doldrums, curious about a certain conflict that happened before.
The film could have developed more an additional speck of drama with that storyline. But still, Servo’s portrayal of an agitated, cranky father is quite convincing.
Loyzaga’s natural flair also adds up to the ominous thrill of the movie. Her calculated role spices up the heavy tension among the family, bolstering the main predicament up to the climax.
Despite her insipid lines and bored attitude on the early parts of the film, Jasmine Curtis-Smith as Rachel proves herself worthy as she becomes entangled in the maelstrom of events.
Curtis-Smith is able to make much of her nuanced act just in time when her character fully commits in the story.
Of course, the sterling performance of Nora Aunor never disappoints. Her personal tragedy serves as the leverage in which the diabolical mood of the film lies.
Even with only few dialogues, her deep visage projects the whole tapestry of her dim, fragile mind. At many instances, she effortlessly gesticulates Mara’s leanings and dispositions. Her abysmal eyes boldly shout her soul’s remorse, solitude, fear and throes altogether, especially on one particular scene at the cemetery.
Much can be said from Intalan’s exploit of Batanes’ sprawling terra firma, where steep boulders and cliffs provide a powerful dismal ambience for the film. Every earthy element was greatly captured—the swash of the billowing waves, the whoosh of the mournful wind, the hum of creatures hovering over the firmament.
With a baffling twist at the end, the film inadvertently posits itself as a subtle looking glass, where one can look through a person’s troubled brain.
“Dementia” may not be as solidly horrifying as it can be, but it does disturb the deep recesses of the psyche more than anything else.
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Ferry tragedy film causes stir at Busan festivalAgence France-Presse 3:22 pm | Tuesday, September 30th, 2014
BUSAN — A South Korean documentary about the Sewol ferry disaster has stoked controversy ahead of Thursday’s opening of Asia’s pre-eminent film festival in the port city of Busan.
The world premiere of “Diving Bell” from directors Lee Sang-Ho and Ahn Hae-Ryong will screen on Monday at the 19th Busan International Film Festival (BIFF).
The film has already stirred emotions in a nation still recovering from the shock of the April disaster that claimed more than 300 lives — including those of 250 high school students.
The diving bell of the title was a piece of specialized equipment that was drafted in for the widely-criticized rescue and recovery operation, but hardly used.
Critics, including a small number of the Sewol victims’ families, say the film is insensitive and overly politicized, and have called on the festival organizers to scrap the screening.
Busan mayor Seo Byung-soo, who is also chairman of the BIFF committee, argued that as the festival is 60 percent funded by the taxpayer, such a contentious screening should not be considered unless “the filmmakers … decide to show the film using their private funds.”
However, festival organizers have stood by their decision to screen the film while Korean filmmakers have called for a full government inquiry into the Sewol disaster and are reportedly planning a press conference during the event.
With an Asian festival calendar now jam-packed with events all vying for prominence and importance, the Busan event is turning to star power to attract attention with a guest list that includes Oscar-nominated Chinese director Zhang Yimou (“Hero”), actors Ken Watanabe and Tang Wei (“Lust, Caution”), as well as international art house directors Bela Tarr and Mohsen Makhmalbaf.
The festival will be showcasing films — including nearly 100 premieres — from 79 countries including the relatively small filmmaking communities of Bangladesh, Nepal, Lebanon and Iraq.
Busan’s “Korean Cinema Today” program boasts nine world premieres in a showcase of the country’s independent directors, including Hong Seok-jae’s hotly anticipated “Socialphobia” which tackles issues of cyber bullying.
The festival’s main award — New Currents — offers two prizes of US$30,000 to first- or second-time Asian filmmakers. This year it will be contested by a field of 12 films from 12 countries including — for the first time — Bangladesh (Abu Shahed Emon’s “Jalal’s Story”) and Lebanon (Amin Dora’s “Ghadi”).
‘Bringing talent together’
While Busan has traditionally been seen as the region’s top film festival, the Chinese market is increasingly making its presence felt as the world’s second biggest in terms of turnover.
China’s Dalian Wanda Group recently announced an agreement of support with Hollywood’s Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences which will see them jointly host the Qingdao International Film Festival in the eastern port city every September from 2016. The eastern coastal province of Zhejiang has unveiled plans to host a “Cannes style” film festival in the near future.
“They are partners to cooperate with, not competitors,” said Kim Young-woo, BIFF’s Asian cinema programmer.
“We keep good relationships with film festivals and exchange information. So BIFF will continue to work with them to collaborate as good partners for one another.”
The festival opens with Doze Niu’s cross-strait drama “Paradise in Service”, set in the 1960s around a time of heightened tension between Taiwan and China. The Taiwanese director said Busan played an important role in bringing film talent together.
“It’s the best exchange platform (for filmmakers),” he said.
“And the subsidies and incentives provided by Busan have directly led to many film collaborations and interactions in Asia. That’s all very meaningful.”
The region’s box office importance is reflected in the four-day Asian Film Market which runs during the festival and includes efforts to promote more international collaborations.
The Busan festival runs from October 2-11 and will close with the world premiere of Hong Kong director Lee Bo Cheung’s thriller “Gangster Pay Day.”
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Jessica Jung removed from Girls’ GenerationKorea Herald / Asia News Network 2:40 pm | Tuesday, September 30th, 2014
Jessica Jung, member of K-pop girl group Girls’ Generation, revealed Tuesday that her label SM Entertainment had unilaterally dismissed her from the group.
“I was preparing myself for the upcoming schedule, but I was notified today that I am no longer a member of Girls’ Generation as of today,” Jessica wrote on her Weibo account at around 5 a.m. on Tuesday.
In the message she left both in English and Korean, she could not hide her confusion.
“I have put Girls’ Generation first and actively focused on our activities, but I was informed of such news. I am very perplexed,” she added.
“You fans are special ones who I love. That’s why you deserve the truth. I felt deep sorrow and got heart-broken by those who I have trusted. I hope you don’t have to suffer like me,” the idol wrote in response to her fans’ comments.
The news comes as a surprise because it was reported that all of the group’s nine members renewed their contract with SM after their seven-year contract expired in August.
Shocked fans took to online communities to discuss whether Jessica‘s story was truth or not.
Some fans even raised the possibility that Jessica’s Weibo account was hacked, but it remains to be seen as SM has yet to announce their official stance. The company could not be reached for comment.
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Mexican’s ‘Harry Potter’ collection is world’s biggestAssociated Press 11:34 am | Tuesday, September 30th, 2014
MEXICO CITY–A Mexico City man is in Hogwarts heaven after his collection of “Harry Potter” memorabilia was named the world’s largest.
Menahem Asher Silva Vargas has spent nearly 15 years collecting all things related to British author J.K. Rowling’s young-adult wizard-fantasy series, which spawned eight blockbuster films.
His collection fills two rooms and counts everything from magic wands and toy figurines to Gryffindor scarves and replica Quidditch brooms.
Guinness World Records officially recognized it Monday as the world No. 1, at 3,097 pieces. The old mark was 807.
Silva Vargas said he began with no intent to amass a huge collection. But soon it was like being under a spell.
He laughingly called his obsession both a blessing and a curse: “My salary, my bonuses … it all ended up here.”