Thursday, June 28, 2012

June Screenings

June had been a great month for viewing movies and mini series. That's thanks to both HBO and Star Movies Asia! It was fun having to anticipate costume dramas, historical fiction, and book adaptations. I would love more of these kind: Game of Thrones Season Two, The Pillars of the Earth, Black Death, and Treasure Island (2012).

The highlight was The Pillars of the Earth, which I finished last night. Game of Thrones was badass, at least Jaqen H'ghar was! But it's not finished so, back to Pillars...

THE CAST: Ian McShane, Rufus Sewell!, Matthew McFadyen!,
Eddie Redmayne, Hayley Atwell, Donald Sutherland

The Pillars of the Earth was adapted from a historical novel by Ken Follett. It's set in the middle of the 12th century, primarily during the Anarchy, when a succession crisis led to a civil war in England. The novel focuses on the building of a cathedral during this time of turmoil. The story was remarkably good as was the set. But undoubtedly the best part of that series was the cast and their respective characters. I couldn't take my eyes off them. A lot are familiar, regulars in the genre, while some are up-and-coming. What this really means is that, I have new favorites. ;)

From those four films I've mentioned, I can name several actors who appear in two:

1) Sean Bean. They say Sean Bean is a spoiler. He's in GoT and Black Death. Dies in both, among others.

2) Carice van Houten. She plays Melisandre, a priestess, in GoT. And like Sean Bean, she also appears in Black Death as Langiva the necromancer/witch, though I don't really know for sure. Typecasting?

3) Eddie Redmayne has one of the most interesting faces, and striking as a redhead. He's lead in both Pillars and Black Death. This June also saw the release of Les Miserables' first trailer where he plays Marius.

4) The great Donald Sutherland was in both Pillars and Treasure Island.

Alison Pill as Princess Maud
Other actors who are making names are:

Hayley Atwell (love interest of Capt. America, long lost sister of Julia Ormond) who played Aliana in Pillars;

Sam Claflin (Aliana's brother in Pillars) who I recently saw in United (2011) as Duncan Edwards, one of Manchester United's Busby Babes who died in a plane crash. How was he as Snow White's prince in Snow White & the Huntsman?

I've always loved Alison Pill. I think of her as a no-nonsense actress. She played an impressively strong Princess Maud in Pillars.

Douglas Booth, as 15-year old Eustace in Pillars, appearing briefly. Now this one I don't know anything about aside from the fact that he'll be the new Romeo of Hailee Steinfeld's Juliet, and Noah's son Shem.

P.S. Elijah Wood was so bad as Ben Gunn in Treasure Island I felt awkward every time he came on screen. :(

P.P.S. William Hamleigh of Pillars

Don't be fooled. David Oakes plays dark characters. source

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Davao and High-rises

By 2016, the current tallest buildings of Davao City, namely, Landco, Pryce Tower and Marco Polo, will be surpassed by these and more:

Davao's skyline will change extensively. These are some of the proposed/undergoing construction buildings I have gathered:
  1. Aeon Towers, beside Abreeza Ayala Business Park
  2. Avida Towers (2 towers) along C.M. Recto (Claveria) St.
  3. Abreeza Residences (within Abreeza Ayala Business Park)
  4. Abreeza Place Towers (4 towers within Abreeza Ayala Business Park)
  5. Prime Residences, J.P. Laurel Ave. (currently no updates)
  6. Ecoland Condo Tower
  7. Camella Northpoint bldg. 4
  8. Ateneo Community Center
  9. Linville Residences (2 towers) at Ma-a
  1. SM Lanang Premier
  2. Park Inn by Radisson Hotel (SM Lanang)
  3. Kukun Hotel (within Abreeza Ayala Business Park)
  4. Gaisano Mall recently finished its expansion project
  5. S&R Member Shopping (beside NCCC Mall)
  6. Palmetto Place (Condos, Ma-a)
  7. JTC Tower Hotel (J.P. Laurel Ave., in front of Carmelite Monastery)
And there might be more!

Because of these developments, the city is busy with preparations. I've also seen ongoing road widening in Matina, Mintal and Sasa.

But are we ready for all these? I really, really hope so. In the end, I would like Davao to maintain its province-ness. In my dreams, the city would be highly urbanized, but very close to abundant nature, advanced, but still laid-back, content, and simple.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Screenplay Collection

Have you ever had that feeling when you find a book and think it was fate brought you together? I was at Booksale last Wednesday just to pass the time and found three amazing books: one about photographer Alfred Stieglitz and his painter wife Georgia O'Keeffe, an encyclopedia of watercolor painting techniques, and a book called Great Graphic Design on a Budget. But I couldn't afford any of those at the time and so headed over to the fiction section. And there it was. The moment I laid my eyes (and hand) on that second title from the far left column, I thought 'it's my book!'. That's what I love about second-hand book shops. You'll never know what easter eggs are hidden. I just found the screenplay of one of my all-time favorite movies: The History Boys!

screenplay books
Clockwise from top left: The Mommy Market, Nil by Mouth (Gary Oldman),
My Own Private Idaho & Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (Gus Van Sant),
The History Boys (Alan Bennett) and Three Screenplays (Ed Burns)

naked by mike leighIt's starting to look like a collection. That one with the Korean characters is the screenplay for The Mommy Market starring Anna Chlumsky. It came with the VHS tape my father bought in the 90s. This group though is missing my other favorite by writer/director Mike Leigh (right). My friend, who shares this admiration, is its current keeper.

Don't be put off by its title, the movie Naked is heavy and intense, but nonetheless first-rate especially the script and acting. I am in awe of movies that leave you questioning and speechless.

Finally, and as the 'History Teachers' would suggest, I'm ending this post with a 'gobbet.'

"The best moments in reading are when you come across something -- a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things -- which you had thought special and particular to you. Now here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out and taken yours."

~ Hector (The History Boys)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Our Lady of Lourdes, Bangkal

Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Bangkal
The pointed arch. I remember this from the Pillars of the Earth episode we watched last night.

Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Bangkal

Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Bangkal

Our Lady of Lourdes Church @ Bangkal, Davao City