My Eiga Sai Week

Since the board exams were done, and I barely have anything to do (aside from blogging, of course) so I go to film festivals. Films are free. Films are really good. In my opinion, the quality of the movies in film festivals are better than those in the mainstream cinema. Not that there is something wrong with mainstream, I just find these ones more relevant to me.

And have I mentioned it was FREE? Best part of it, of course!

Every July, Shangri-la Mall offers Eiga Sai to the public. Eiga Sai, which means film festival in Japanese, is one of the most anticipated film festivals (I think I have used this term quite a lot already) in the Philippines. It commemorates the Philippine-Japanese friendship ties, and a celebration of the Japanese art of filming.

There is something to the Japanese cinema that really captures me. I have been an avid patron of the Land of the Rising Sun and all of its aspects ever since I was a kid (except for the fact that they abused the Filipinos in World War II.) I love their culture and way of life. Their films are no diversion, and is a direct translation of the Japanese that I have always loved. I must have been a Japanese in my past life.

Personal trivia break: My ultimate culinary dream is to eat ramen in a lantern-adorned street stall with falling Sakura as a backdrop.

Now that was one lengthy rationale why I would watch Eiga Sai by default. So with my love for films and anything Japan-made, I trooped outside and I was lucky enough to catch three films, given the amount of audience that lined up for the films.

Villon’s Wife

This is a story of a woman who tries to be loyal to her popular writer, yet promiscuous and misbehaving, husband. Set in 1946, wherein the stereotypes of gender are still a major idealism, one sees the incredible and undying fidelity of a woman. I really find this film empowering and demeaning (in the sense of reflection of the gender stereotype ideal) at the same time.

Your Friend

Friends are forever. This is the ideology that this film teaches. Take on Emi and Yuka, unlikely to be friends, but they became friends anyway. Together they face the everyday dilemma of a handicapped student (you need to find out, I’m not spoiling, teehee!) I think I can’t go any further, lest I spoil. I’ll tell though that they have a comforting soundtrack and is a really feel-good, gonna-make-you-a-crybaby movie.


Departures is the featured film for this year’s Eiga Sai. This movie won the 81st Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2009 and a couple more locally in Japan. A different view on death was shown when the cellist Daigo Kobayashi lost his job, went back to his hometown, and took a whole new career as an encoffiner. With alternating comedy and drama, acclaimed director Yojiro Takita browses on the Japanese view of the dead.

I was really lucky that I caught a special screening yesterday, and it was well worth it lining up for two and a half hours for a ticket!


Worry not, kids! Even if Eiga Sai just ended showing in Shang today, you can still catch these wonderful movies (aside from downloading them) at Gaisano Grand Citimall Davao, Ayala Center Cebu, and UP Film Institute in these corresponding dates!

All films will be shown with English subtitles. Admission is free.

Gaisano Grand Citimall Davao

22 July 2011
4:00pm – Your Friend
6:30pm – Departures

23 July 2011
11:00am – One Million Yen Girl
1:30pm – The Chef of South Polar
4:00pm – The Summit: A Chronicle of Stones
7:00pm – Climber’s High

24 July 2011
11:00am – Yunagi City, Sakura Country
1:30pm – Summer Days with Coo
4:30pm – Feel the Wind
7:15pm – Villon’s Wife

Ayala Center Cinema 4 Cebu

02 August 2011
7:00pm – The Chef of South Polar

03 August 2011
7:00pm – Climber’s High

04 August 2011
7:00pm – Yunagi City, Sakura Country

05 August 2011
7:00pm – Villon’s Wife

06 August 2011
1:30pm – The Summit: A Chronicle of Stones
4:30pm – Summer Days with Coo
7:30pm – One Million Yen Girl

07 August 2011
1:30pm – Your Friend
4:30pm – Summer Days with Coo
7:30pm – Feel the Wind

UP Film Insitute

17 August 2011
12:30pm – Summer Days with Coo
3:00pm – One Million Yen Girl
5:30pm – Yunagi City, Sakura Country
7:30pm – Villon’s Wife

18 August 2011
12:30pm – Your Friend
3:00pm – Feel the Wind
5:15pm – Yunagi City, Sakura Country
7:30pm – Climber’s High

19 August 2011
12:30pm – Climber’s High
3:00pm – The Summit: A Chronicle of Stones
5:30pm – Villon’s Wife
7:30pm – The Chef of South Polar

20 August 2011
12:30pm – Summer Days with Coo
3:00pm – Feel the Wind
5:10pm – The Summit: A Chronicle of Stones
7:30pm – The Chef of South Polar

For synopsis of films, please click here.


I’m really eyeing to watch all those that I still haven’t in UP Film Institute. Say hi when we meet!


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