You have not known what you are.
You have slumbered upon yourself all your life.
Your eyes have been as much as closed most of the time.
What you have done is already in mockeries.

The mockeries are not you.
Underneath them
And within them,
I see you lurk...


-Walt Whitman


11.12.11

i'm here


I REMEMBER when I first watched this, I could actually feel my heart breaking inside my chest. Love sometimes may appear stupid or irrational, but if you're living in a place like what Spike Jonze had conjured; a world where everything is bound to be broken beyond repair, to love is a risk more worth taking.

 

I'm Here premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival to great critical acclaim.
.

8.11.11

grow till tall





You'll know when's time to go on

You'll really want to grow till tall

They all, in the end, will fall.


- Jonsi, Grow Till Tall





28.8.11

me singing a song of ice and fire


My bestfriend has been ranting all about it and her talks of how really good it is and how it somehow resembles Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings is enough for me to add this to my already cramped up list of series to sink my teeth into. Like I always say, I value her aesthetic taste in things :)
A Game of Thrones is based on George R. R. Martin's epic fantasy saga, A Song of Ice and Fire. I am currently half-way reading the first book for which the whole series is named. Martin has created a mystical world where summers last decades and winters a lifetime; a Middle-Earth-like world in a time of kings, ladies, horselords, wildlings, and magical creatures whose fate were interwoven snugly by political conflicts, romance, and magic. Like LOTR, what made this really interesting (and quite a headache to read) is the intricacy of the history, the different cultures that make up the fictional universe.

I am really excited that HBO decided to develop this for television. HBO has a reputation for producing series with bold screenplay (bold meaning "Keep away from children." This is teeming with explicit sexual acts, mutilation, blood, and blood, and blood which I think is necessary to make the screenplay deem effective) and extravagant production perfectly capturing the essence and overall feel of the series.

I am done with the 10-episode first season, and I am really happy that Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister) just won a supporting-role Emmy. I love his shady character; simply my favorite in the sreies. GoT garnered 13 nominations in total including Best Drama series along with Mad Men, Friday Night Lights, to name a few. Sadly, it didn't win. I was also really rooting for FNL (Congatulations to Mr. Kyle Chandler for pulling that upset to win the leading-role Emmy), but Mad Men has proved yet again that there is no competition in this category.


Season 2 of GoT premieres next year, based on the second book of the saga - A Clash of Kings. Winter is coming.




20.8.11

shirk


A perfect blend of genius choreography, high level of technical skills, and a piece of great music has always been the formula to capture the artistic quality of dance...


Dancers: Lauren Froderman & Marko Germar
Style: Contemporary
Music: "Shirk" by Meshell Ndegeocello
Choreographer: Tessandra Chavez


27.7.11

dear coffin rock


Dear Coffin Rock,

I am sorry I've been fickle lately, but I assure you I am aching to just to pour my insides in here just like the old days. It just shows that time moves faster when you decide to actually live (meaning work). :)




Without wax,

Luke




20.6.11

when stones come to life...


"Every once in a while...a number comes along that is so magical and when everything happens one with the universe."


And indeed everything became one with the universe when my two favorite dancers, Melanie and Marko, performed a Travis Wall contemporary routine in the first live episode of So You Think You Can Dance Season 8.

It was like watching some Greek god and goddess creating an artwork through precisely calculated and harmonized movements. It is poetry in motion--poignant and pure.

The combination of superb technique and stunning choreography was just breath-taking and emotionally-enthralling. The chemistry, dynamics, and emotions emanating from the routine was amplified through the use of a great piece of music- Turn To Stone by Ingrid Michaelson (This song was perfect for the routine. I fell in love with this song when it was featured in the Grey's Anatomy finale where Izzy married Alex).

I remember watching this performance three nights ago and I could feel my pulse racing, hands sweating, and eyes wide to what was happening in front of me; that usually happens whenever I am exposed to rare remarkable form of art.

This will win an Emmy. Mia Miachaels may not be here this season, but I am really glad that Travis Wall is truly becoming a master of his craft. Two highly technical dancers and a genius choreographer- What do you expect to see? :P

This season is shaping to be the best so far, and for the first time in SYTYCD history, no one got eliminated from the results show...because they were that good!. I am really excited for this season, but I hope they change the stage. It seems to lack the illusion of space. Hehe. Anyway, go Melanie and Marko! (Marko is a Filipino did you know, and Tadd, the B-boy).

What a gloomy day... so perfect. :)






14.6.11

so you think again


The new season of the Emmy-winning dance reality show So You Think You Can Dance is finally here, and so like my downloader, the right side of my brain is going haywire. No other show can capture the artistic and entertaining attributes of dance than this, the way it showcases new talents and mind-blowing choreography (I am looking forward to Dee's, Sonya's, Travis' and of course Mia Michael's).

One of my favorites this season is an art major from Fordham University, Melanie Moore (She looks like Dr. Sarah Tacredi of Prison Break, doesn't she?). I fell in love with her the first time she danced a contemporary piece to Alexander Desplat's The Meadow. I just adore her technique, but I love her quirky personality more.

Another standout for me is Marko Germar, the one with a bullet still lodged in his right shoulder bone because of an encounter with an armed robber. He seems really cool and I love the way he blends hip hop and contemporary in his movements. I loved his audition. I may be a bit biased though because he danced to James Morisson's If You Don't Want To Love Me on his audition.

And what a way to open the new season with a captivating contemporary piece by Stacey Tookey to the tune of In This Shirt by the Irrepressibles.



The amalgam of great technique and artistic choreography is just breath-taking and dynamic--a piece of heaven indeed.

11.5.11

elephant in the room

Discovering a new artist is like listening to a whole new different genre of music. It's musically liberating, to hear such words and melodies that are often heart-felt, honest, and unadulterated.



How heavy are these words?
They're heavier than air
That rushes past your face as you drive away from me again.

How heavy are these hands?
They're heavier than blood
That rushes to my head as you walk away from me again.

And I hope you can see
I'm more than this, this heap at your feet
Who are you to judge me?

-Richard Walters, Elephant in the Room

8.5.11

this is it. are you ready?


I am expecting a finale that will rival Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Am I expecting too much? :P



Nonetheless, Harry Potter will go down in my book as one of the best series translated on the big screen. It would be really bittersweet to walk out of the cinema after watching this. But I guess, there is still the Wizarding World in Universal Studios-Orlando to cheer me up--my very last Potter frontier.





26.4.11

to build a home


There are only few songs that could bring about happiness, artistically wrapped within a melancholic symphony of loss and the bittersweet concept of letting go.



And I built a home
For you
For me
Until it disappeared
From me
From you
And now, it's time to leave and turn to dust.

-To Build A Home by The Cinematic Orchestra




2.3.11

a robot lovestory


Francesca: Do not do that!

Sheldon: I'm gonna do it!

Francesca: NO DON'T!

Sheldon: I'M GONNA DO IT!!

Francesca: I'm not asking for this.

Sheldon: Okay.

Francesca: Don't I have a choice?

Sheldon: No, you don't. Because I had a dream last night and in my dream, you needed a leg and everyone in the dream was trying to give you that leg but I really wanted you to have mine. In my dream, you picked my leg. You made me so happy. It was the best dream in the history of dreams.

Spike Jonze's I'm Here (2010) is a 30-minute short about the love story between two robots- the timid Sheldon (Andrew Garfield) who works in a library and the cool, free-spirited Francesca (Sienna Guillory). Set in a universe where humans and robots coexist, I'm Here is a bittersweet testimony of how love works within the fragility of life; in a world where everything is bound to be broken. It is a tender portrayal of sacrifice and boundless courage for love despite impossible circumstances. For in the end, love is what you take home with you.

The song There Are many Of Us by Aska Matsumiya just perfectly captures the sweet melancholic essence of the film, along with a very delectable sountrack which includes artists like Sleigh Bells, Gui Boratto, Christopher Owens, and The Lost Trees.

I love short films because they are short. Downside is, they're very hard to find since most of them rarely makes the mainstream media. I am glad I stumbled upon this one. Heart-breaking, and hopeful, I'm Here is a neat slice of love captured in film. It's the best robot love story ever... :)




1.3.11

and the Oscar goes to...


The time to give out naked golden statues to writers, directors, and actors of the outstanding films of the past year has finally arrived. And much to everyone's surprise, Tom Hooper's The King's Speech bagged the award for Best Picture. It's quite unexpected but this particular film is as potent as it is passive. It might look boring to some eyes, but its strength greatly stands on brilliant acting. And what an ensemble to make up this film with the triumvirate of Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, and Helena Bonham-Carter.

The King's Speech is an autobiographical account of King George VII (who struggles with a speech disorder brought by trauma he acquired from childhood) and his relationship with his speech therapist, Lionel Logue. With the support of his wife, the king braves the paramount responsibility of leading his country that sits at the dawn of World War II. The King's Speech garnered a 95% rating from Rotten Tomatoes.

I stayed up all night watching the Red Carpet coverage till the end of the main ceremony. It was too darn long, but watching an Oscar awards night has always been fun. It's my goal to watch all nominated films (I failed as usual) and it's thrilling to know who gets what. By the way, what are your thoughts about this years Oscars? Well for me, it's really entertaining in general except for the hosts maybe. I love James Franco's performance in 127 Hours but he sucks at hosting (the drag costume was pathetic), and Anne Hathaway didn't help either. If it weren't for the comical presenters (The old man with a cane was epic!), the night would've been dull.

The opening of the night was really entertaining as it featured a video clip presented mostly in an Inception parody. I was laughing my ass off watching this clip. Best Oscar opening ever!



The event also showcased auto-tuned scenes from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Pt. 1, Toy Story 3, The Social Network, and Eclipse. My favorite was Tiny Ball of Light by Ron and Hermione, and He Doesn't Own A Shirt by Bella, Edward, and Jacob. :P



One aspect of the Oscars I always look forward to is the stage, and I am pretty impressed with what they've done this year. I'm not sure if they used tons of LCD screens but I think they opted to use 3D projectors like the ones in this year's Grammys. It's visually stimulating and elegant. I liked the way they included tribute to iconic movies in the presentation process. I got excited when I saw a significantly enlarged Heart of the Ocean gracefully sinking down the sea with the Titanic theme in the background. The Lord of the Rings tribute was simply arresting especially with Cate Blanchett presenting the award.

Here is the complete list winners.

THE KINGS SPEECH
Best Picture

Best Actor - Colin Firth. I was silently hoping that Jesse Eisenberg would win, but it's a long shot, especially if against a veteran and brilliant actor like Colin Firth.

Best Director - Tom Hooper. I was rooting for Darren Aronofsky. But what the hell! I love this film too.

Best Original Screenplay - David Seidler. Chris Nolan should've won this award. His story is the most original and way out of the box. No. Nolan doesn't have a box.


INCEPTION
Best Cinematography - Wally Pfister

Best Visual Effects - Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley & Peter Bebb

Best Sound Mixing - Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo & Ed Novick

Best Sound Editing - Richard King


THE SOCIAL NETWORK
Best Adapted Screenplay - Aaron Sorkin

Best Original Score - Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. What happened to Hans Zimmer people?!

Best Film Editing - Angus Wall & Kirk Baxter


THE FIGHTER
I am discouraged to watch this because of the boxing thing. But I think I should see this.

Best Supporting Actress - Melissa Leo

Best Supporting Actor - Christian Bale


TOY STORY 3
Best Animated Feature Film. Very well deserved. I was fighting off tears watching this. I think it's the most moving animated film I've seen. The melancholic aspect of this movie is reminiscent to that of Up (2009). Great job, Pixar!

Best Original Song - We Belong Together - Music and Lyrics by Randy Newman. This was a very surprising outcome. I was almost sure that 'I See The Light' from Tangled would win. Anyway, I was looking forward to see Chuck sing and he didn't disappoint. He's a really good singer but I'm not digging the hairstyle though. He looks weird without his curly hair. Actually, the hair reminded me of Simon! Another highlight of the event for me, was when Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine, performed 'I Will Rise' from 127 Hours, instead of Dido. Her song 'Cosmic Love' made her a breakthrough artist and I just love her eccentric personality and haunting voice. She should hang out with Imogen Heap. :P


ALICE IN WONDERLAND.
I hate this movie. Helena Bonham-Cater is the main reason why I decided to watch this movie. Off with his head!!! Haha!

Best Art Direction - Robert Stromberg (Production Design), Karen O'Hara (Set Decoration)

Best Costume Design - Colleen Atwood


BLACK SWAN
Best Actress - Natalie Portman. An obvious winner, but I am quite surprised that this film only won a single award.


THE WOLFMAN
Best Makeup - Rick Baker & Dave Elsey. Poor, Harry Potter. The end has come yet still no Oscar for you.


IN A BETTER WORLD (Denmark)
Best Foreign Language Film. I was rooting for Biutiful. But I'd like to see this one.


INSIDE JOB
Best Documentary Feature. Too bad Banksy didn't win. I was hoping that if he did, he would accept the award personally, sleeked-up with his mask and all. Hehe. I guess Inside Job is more controversial and impactful.


GOD OF LOVE.
I love shorts, because they're short. Downside is, they're very hard to find.

Best Short Film (Live Action) - Luke Matheny.


STRANGERS NO MORE
Best Documentary (Short Subject)


THE LOST THING
Best Short Film (Animated) - Shaun Tan & Andrew Ruhemann


Truly, it was another great year in film. I'm really hoping for better films this 2011 especially with Norwegian Wood, Restless, and Deathly Hallows, Part 2 in line :)



27.2.11

DLSU Lady Spikers reclaim UAAP title


La Salle capped a dominating season with a 25-18, 25-17, 28-26 victory over University of Santo Tomas Saturday to win the UAAP Women’s Volleyball championship at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan. It was payback time for the Lady Spikers as they lost to this same team in the finals a year ago.

Despite the Tigresses holding fort to a 24-19 lead in the 3rd set, the Lady Spikers showed poise down the stretch to hammer out this come-from-behind win. Captain Cha Cruz, who was named the Finals MVP, collected 14 hits, including four blocks, while Michelle Gumabao and season MVP Jacq Alarca combined for 25 markers.

Though they are officially 16-1 in season 73, the Lady Spikers are technically undefeated as their lone setback was a forfeiture due to an eligibility infraction.
“Hindi namin inisip na may talo kami. Inisip namin na 17-0 kami, talagang pinaghirapan ng mga bata ang championship na ito,” said a jubilant coach Ramil de Jesus, who has guided La Salle to all of its 6 UAAP championships including a 3-peat from 2003 to 2005.

Maika Ortiz had nine hits while Maru Banaticla added eight markers for Tigresses.

An outside hit by Abigail MaraƱo allowed UST to move closer in extending the game to a 4th set. But the Lady Spikers did not wilt under pressure as they mounted a rally to regain the upperhand 25-24. The Tigresses were able to tie the count twice, the last was at 26-26, after Ortiz scored a running spike. However, Gumabao scored a kill, while Cruz scored a hit which UST setter Rhea Dimaculangan failed to dig in which sealed the win, and the championship for La Salle.

Aside from the MVP plum, Alarca was also adjudged Best Spiker and Best Server. The other awardees from La Salle are Mika Esperanza (Rookie of the Year) and Michelle Gumabao (Best Blocker).





22.2.11

million steps


He was walking away, confused legs in ambivalent motion and aiming towards the horizon that led directly opposite the love his heart harbored for many years. He was moving away from her in small steps, heart taking giant leaps backward with every beat, ever wondering what could've been, what was lost. He raised the white flag in his fight against change, finally opening his eyes from a perfectly conjured illusion, so real and so true. He was breaking away from a dream that had become his world while battling the rush of pain hoping to stay awake.

He looked at the golden skies ahead, bathed by the last light of the day. He watched as the high winds shape and mold the clouds that eventually grew dark, disintegrating against the black space of night as the sun hid behind the hills and around to the other side of the world. He imagined the remains of his emotions ebbing away from him and back. He imagined his love retreating like how the somber light of the sunset crept back from the dusk. It was almost unfathomable how it once effortlessly covered the stretched boundaries of the heavens and that within a blink of an eye be reduced into a simple sad reminder that everything ends, that everything fades; leaving in its tracks an expanse of empty nothingness, so wide that not even a conscious happy thought could wade.

He walked on and stared at the sharp silhouettes of power lines blunting in the daylight's demise. For a moment, it was completely dark. He stopped in his tracks and closed his eyes from everything. He fully sensed the cold wind rushing against his face, whispering turbulent sounds in his ears, egging him to go back. But he wouldn't. He waited for something to disturb the monotonous hum of unknown possibilities he was in.

Where to go?

When he opened his eyes, bokeh lights hovered ahead, slowly shrinking, sharpening as his pupils adjust to the dark environment. Stars revealed themselves from above, like sprinkles of hope he could not taste--destinies etched criss-crossing in the face of the universe, bridges of chance for hearts to love, and to be broken, and to heal and to love again. But he couldn't see it that way for he still had to take a million steps away from a love that was great and was true and ten steps more from the loneliness he would carry in his journey through and around that wide expanse of nothingness to the other side where abstract dreams and solid reality collide under a shining new sun...



20.2.11

another 'little miss sunshine'


Elissa Down's The Black Balloon (2009) is a heart-warming and tender portrayal of a family struggling to deal with autism. The story centers on Thomas and his relationship with his autistic brother, Charlie. Thomas embarks in an emotional journey when he meets, Jacky, while dealing with the pent up frustrations toward his brother and the crisis his family is going through.

If you're a fan of Little Miss Sunshine (2006) and the very recent The Kids Are All Right (2010), you'll have no problem liking this one. I think it's a little more melancholic than the two, but the core essence is pretty much the same. The witty blend of comedy and drama will take you in an emotional roller coaster, and leaves you with that familiar fuzzy warm feeling in the end.

Can't Unsee: The large eyes and hairstyle of Jacky, Thomas' girlfriend in the film, remind me of Amanda Seyfried. Hehe! Anyway, The Black Balloon received a 90% rating from Rotten Tomatoes.



18.2.11

hell week's finest


As promised the Hollywood Week Group Round had lived to its expectations- Full of drama and unexpected cuts. And just like that, the journey ends for some of my early favorites which includes Paris Tassin, Emily Ann Reed, Adrienne Beasley, Janelle Arthur, Rob Bolin, and Chelsea Oaks.

Some stars fall down, but some just keep on shining brightly.

THIA MEGIA, 15. I luuuurrve her. Period.

LAUREN ALAINA, 15. Her powerful voice and how she plays with it is just truly engaging. She sounds like Kelly Clarkson or perhaps Adele. Definitely a front-runner.

As grueling as the Hell Week can be, it's also my favorite part of the competition for it showcases stunning solo performances and puts a spotlight on promising talents that weren't featured on the previous episodes.

ASHTON JONES, 24. The song choice is pretty generic but her voice stood on it's on. Very powerful.

KENDRA CHANTELLE, 22. There is a jazzy tone in her voice that is just lovely to listen to.

SOPHIA SHORAI, 28. Her voice and hair remind me of Haley from Paramore! :P

JACOB LUSK, 23. He has great vocal range and technique. My only concern is his facial expressions. They're very distracting.

Another cool thing about the solo performances is that the contestants are given the opportunity to play their instruments, and clearly those who have this kind of talent have the edge among the lot. It's really amazing to see them within their elements, rendering their artistry to be significantly exponentiated.

JULIE ZORILLA, 20. A beautiful girl that plays the piano. I've seen her before--The perfect girl in my dreams. :)

CALEB HAWLEY, 25. Another guy with a guitar and messy hair. It's the first time I really saw him perform and I say he's a natural artist. I'm putting a tab on this one.

COLTON DIXON, 19. Hmm. Let's see... He plays the keys, with popular-sounding voice (in the tune of David Cook's What About Now?), young, and not bad to look at. Stardom is written all over this guy.

BRETT LOEWENSTERN, 16. He just keep on proving that he belongs in this competition. I love the tone of his singing voice.

ROBBIE ROSEN, 16. This guy is bursting with soul and seeing him perform within his element, well, it's just stellar. I love his rendition of my all-time favorite song Gravity by Sara Bareilles.

CASEY ABRAMS, 19. I think anyone who can make playing the baho de arco cool is an automatic standout. I love this guy!

JOHN WAYNE SCHULZ, 23. His unassuming behavior and country voice makes him very likable. He gave a passive performance that was calming and very easy to listen to. Kind of reminds me that good music comes from a place of truth--no need for runs or complicated shifts in notes. Two thumbs up for his song choice, the classic Landslide by Fleetwood Mac.

Next week the remaining contestants will proceed on a special round. They will take on the songs by The Beatles. Eventually, cuts will be made and the Top 24 will finally be revealed...




16.2.11

tree hill superheroes


Behold! The Kick Ass-inspired superheroes of Tree Hill have come to protect innocent people from bullies and evil stuck-up bitches!

Alias: B-DAZZLE
Real Identity: Brooke Davis-Baker, Fashion Designer and Housewife
Supersowers: Well known for her home-made liquid smoke...and she owns a French-speaking fighting car.

Alias: SHUTTERBUG
Real Identity: Quinn Scott, Photographer
Superpowers: She blinds villains with the flash of her camera and collects their photos as trophies. Don't mess with her.

Alias: BABY MAMA (She hates it. Prefers MasterMind)
Real Identity: Haley James-Scott, Housewife, Musician, and Record Label Manager.
Superpowers: Super smart and knows everything- a power that she acquired from an asteroid that fell from the sky (well, that's just according to B-Dazzle). She uses her unborn child as a shield.

This is what happens when you're watching too much Kick Ass and you're bored out of your skull. Very fun episode this week :P





14.2.11

dante once wrote...


"Remember tonight, for it is the beginning of always. A promise. Like a reward for persisting through life so long alone. A belief in each other and the possibility of love. A decision to ignore, simply rise above the pain of the past. A covenant, which at once binds two souls and yet severs prior ties. A celebration of the chance taken and the challenge that lies ahead. For two will always be stronger than one, like a team braced against the tempest civil world. And love will always be the guiding force in our lives. For tonight is mere formality; only an announcement to the world of feelings long held. Promises made long ago in the sacred spaces of our hearts..."






10.2.11

hollywood week: sudden death


It's the Hell Week once again on Idol, and so far my favorites proved their talents could really take the pressure as they performed brilliantly through this week's sudden death round...well, except for some, sadly :(

SARAH SELLERS, 28. The performance was not featured but her audition with Adele's song is still stuck in my ears.

STEVE BEGHUN, 27. The singing accountant's rendition of Michael Buble's Haven't Met You Yet was just plain weak. It's a happy song and his voice didn't get that through.

NICK FINK, 19. I heard promising potential in his voice with that smooth Michael Buble tone in his audition, but his song choice in this crucial round failed to showcase it. After the verdict, he practically begged the judges a second chance- a sight quite uncomfortable to see.

Almost half of the 300+ got cut from this round but, there is a couple of aspirants that really stepped up from their performances on their initial auditions.

ROBBIE ROSEN, 16. I can't believe I overlooked this one.

HOLLIE CAVANAGH, 17. I remember her first audition. She was so nervous and was all over the place. But this time, her voice just soared with confidence. I have my eyes and ears on this one.

Hollywood Week continues next week with the dreaded Group Round!