“Why do you need Steadicam‾ The shakier your shots are, the better!” Films about filmmaking are usually a bust, but this lacerating satire is a real exception. Hotshot young writer-director Rainer is setting up his “realist” masterpiece-to-be about Mila, a slum-dwelling woman who sells her young daughter into prostitution. His producer Bingbong is already refusing his more extravagant demands (multiple cameras, storyboards) and they’re only just beginning the difficult process of casting the lead role—a process which takes them to stars like Eugene Domingo, Cherry Pie Picache and Mercedes Cabral, each of whom has her own ideas on how the part should be played to guarantee the festival prizes which will surely roll in.
Witty writing, spirited performances from both the leads and the guest stars, and a barrage of jokes about prize-winning Pinoy movies add up to a splendid po-mo entertainment. The septic tank of the title, incidentally, doesn’t appear until the very end, symbolizing the horrors filmmakers must endure to persuade international juries and critics that they’re truly down with the downtrodden masses. So don’t rush off when the credits start to roll, or you’ll miss it. –VIFF
The festival will reflect the rise and rise of China.
New work by Denis Côté, Rodrigo Plá, So Yong Kim, Thomas Heise, Heinz Emigholz, Philip Scheffner and more.