I just got wind of two reviews from Cahiers du Cinema, a French publication that launched the French New Wave in the 60’s. They have some mighty words for Philippine Science (the international title of Pisay).
From an October 6 article, Safe and Sound —
Just seen: Philippine Science (or Pisay) by Auraeus Solito. J.S. mentions it briefly in the October issue of Cahiers. The director’s first film The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros was released in France, while his Tuli (circumcision) made a strong impression in Berlin. Here Solito recounts his days as a graduate student in 1986, at the country’s most prestigious scientific institution where only the nation’s best pupils can enter. Whether it’s a good film is up to the viewer. It’s certainly a dreamlike concoction, with its liberal switching between English and Tagalog, its borrowings from American college movies, the canvas of historic events, dashes of social criticism and extravagance, its seeming amateurism that gradually gives way to sophistication, and a constant, almost camp sense of humor (the hairstyles and costumes alone deserve a special salute). All of this finally brings us back on solid ground, on a promised and at the same time confusingly familiar land. Exotic and calming. If the air conditioning doesn’t insist too much and gives the flu a chance to dissipate, and if paradise keeps its doors open, then we will return here tomorrow.
From an October 7 article, The Filipino Angle —
Let’s pick up where we left off: Auraeus Solito’s Philippine Science, we wrote yesterday, is a beautiful film, simple and sophisticated, direct and campy, one that gets better and better as it goes along. From the evidence gathered, the praise is valid for Filipino cinema as a whole, which is undergoing something of a renaissance.
Filipino renaissance? Wow. Congratulations once again, Auraeus!