Nothing is ever original anymore,” today’s moviegoer laments. We live in a time when every other high-profile film seems to be an unnecessary reboot, a tangential spin-off, or a set-up for a set-up for a cinematic universe. But once a year, the Cinema One Originals festival, now in its 12th edition, comes around to prove us wrong; there’s lots of originality just waiting to be seen.
The festival has built up a reputation for being the closest thing we have to an experimental film festival in the country. This is because the festival has proven its willingness to accommodate filmmakers who really want to push the boundaries of their craft. Here are just a few Cinema One entries that use unconventional techniques to show us things we’ve never seen before.
Bukas Na Lang Sapagkat Gabi Na
(Jet Leyco, 2013)
Lots of independent films go for unique visual styles. They play around with color, black-and-white, saturation, lighting, etc. to make us see the world in different ways. But Jet Leyco’s Best Film winner goes a step further from unique to unhinged by distorting visuals as you watch them — switching different colors on and off, drawing lines and shapes over characters while they’re talking, and a load of other strange choices. It’s hard to say what everything means, but for a film as bizarre and unsettling as this, the visuals only enhance the experience.