Archive for June 2014

MTV VMA Best Female Video Series: 1986   2 comments

1986

Hey everyone! We’re now on our third week of the MTV Best Female Video Series. The past two weeks we’ve been to the 200s and the 1990s, so it’s now time to jump back further and celebrate the 80s. This particular year that we’d be tackling for this week is a great one. As for one, it’s a line up with four black women in contention. Rarely does it happen especially in the current scheme of the VMAs. But more than that, this one has a really good set of nominated videos. So let’s get the ball rolling on the 1986 line up.

And we begin with Aretha looking every inch glam in Freeway of Love. The funniest and most noticeable thing in this video is that five seconds in, there’s already a shot of… you guessed it… a freeway! Talk about taking things literally. In here, Aretha is the life of the party as she switches back and forth from waiting for her car to arrive and performing in the body of a big crowd. Ir’s also one of the few black and white videos that has been nominated in the history of this category.

Oh God there’s a lot to say about this video. As for starters, there’s the fact that it was directed by Jean-Paule Goude. So that’s a plus already.  Then the amazing detail that Jones did not shoot any new material in this video and it was a rehash of some of her previous cut out appearances in her prior ones. That said, all it needed was one director that will handle this with his creative hands, and voila, Slave to the Rhythm was futuristic and trailblazing. Never mind the effects now, I’m certain it was impressive during the time of its release.

This one was interesting because of the fact that Bush refused to lip sync her song in the video. It was a full four minutes of heavy choreographed dance of her and dancer partner Michael Hervieu.It was continuously rolling and lifting and twisting of bodies which was done gracefully and precisely that it’s really impressive. For what it’s worth, I’m really not a big fan of the song, but the video caught my interest with it.

As a soundtrack to her movie Mad Max, it’s basically Tina wearing a chain mail gown as we shift back and forth to her singing in her fierce Tina style and clips from the movie. It wasn’t remarkable or groundbreaking per se especially for Tina’s standards, but you know Tina in her safest is still miles ahead than most during that time.

And then there’s Whitney. In How Will I Know, Houston showed her the other side of her in this glitzy colorful and fun music video which has walking to a room as she opened doors and move places. It was a playful Whitney and one that I think, during that time, was emulated by a lot of young girls. There was even a cameo from co-nominee Aretha in her nominated video above. It also doesn’t hurt that this is my favorite Whitney song from her whole discography so there’s that.

This is really a strong group, and I’d even dare say that it’s one of this category’s better line ups ever. That said, I continue to go back and forth with Grace Jones and Whitney Houston. Grace has the futuristic boundary pushing video, but Whitney brings in the fun in hers and this is her only Best Female Video nod throughout her career. I guess I can go back and forth with this on any other day, so for now, I’d go agree with MTV’s choice and pick Whit.

Personal pick: Whitney Houston, “How Will I Know
MTV VMA pick: Whitney Houston, “How Will I Know

Full Rankings:
01. Whitney Houston, “How Will I Know”
02. Grace Jones, “Slave to the Rhythm
03. Aretha Franklin, “Freeway of Love
04. Kate Bush, “Running Up That Hill
05. Tina Turner, “We Don’t Need Another Hero”

Now go on and vote in the poll below to reveal your choice!

As always, you can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

 

MTV VMA Best Female Video Series: 1997   2 comments

1997

It’s Thursday, and it meant only one thing: it’s time for our MTV Best Female Video Series. Last week, we began this list with the 2004 batch where in Britney Spears dominated the poll with Toxic. This week, we move farther to the 90s and tackle a batch of some notable 90s names, as we go on the 1997 nominees!

Giving some domestic realness vibes here, this video, which I’ve learned was an homage to The Color Purple, is as bubbly as one can get depicting Badu in a day of her life as a helper. She has been catching dogs, hanging clothes, and cleaning a barn on the duration of the whole video. What I find particularly striking about it though is the last act where she looks glorious in a green table cloth as she’s singing in front of a crowd. It’s basically a “reward” per se of her stressful day by ending every inch glamorous in the end.

Having Steve Poltz as your “guy” in the video certainly doesn’t hurt, and this song (which I find the best of the bunch) is one that goes hand in hand with the message of the video. The video’s strongest suit is when both Jewel and Steve can’t seem to find their way together, as the strum of the guitar continues to highlight the failed relationship of the two of them signifying that maybe it’s for the better that they really can’t reach each other.

If you’re gonna be known forever for a simple word, then might as well take it a notch and have something that you’ll be remembered greatly. That’s probably what Meredith Brooks has in mind as she will always be associated with the word bitch. That said, this song is far more memorable and stronger than its corresponding video. Sure it’s lovely to see the interpretation between the different things that surround Meredith in certain parts of it, but mostly it’s jsut hers floating of a flower background. Flower power? Who knows? I can’t tell.

Before Xtina went dark with Fighter or Kelly Clarkson as the bride in Behind Those Hazel Eyes, Paula Cole already used that same setting for her Grammy Record of the Year song Where Have All the Cowboys Gone? Whether it’s the autumn leaves on her feet or the American Horror Story-like flashbacks, this is an instance where the song is greatly helped by its video. Or mayeb I’m in the minority in that one since I’m not particularly fond of the song.

And then there’s Toni. Don’t you all miss the days when MTV is full of those pop divas whose music videos are melodramatic in nature? Sure there’s the Bonnie Tylers of the 80s, but one better not forget the video of Unbreak My Heart. Toni, in her x100 emotional self, reminisces the moments she has with Tyson Beckford after his accident. But then since it has to be dramatic, the moments she remembered were her shaving him, her playing Twister with him, and him doing yoga on the backyard. I really do miss this type of videos. Lol.

MTV that year went for Jewel, but I think I have to go with Erykah Badu on this one. I just love everything about the video. It’s short film realness, the film’s color and its attempt to tell a happy story.  It’s so feel good and fun, which I prefer from this batch.

Personal pick: Erykah Badu, “On & On
MTV VMA pick: Jewel, “You Were Meant for Me

Full Rankings:
1. Erykah Badu, “On & On
2. Paula Cole, “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?
3. Toni Braxton, “Un-break My Heart
4. Jewel, “You Were Meant for Me
5. Meredith Brooks, “Bitch

As for you, vote on the poll below to make your choice!

As always, you can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

37th Gawad Urian Winner Predictions   2 comments

The glory days of local Philippine awards night have been over, and right now, there are only two remaining interesting citation giving bodies: the Young Critics Circle and the Manunuri (and my own Titties awards of course lol). That said, the YCC already gave their citation last April while the Manunuri will be handling out their awards tomorrow. And in line with that, I’ll be going on a limb and try to predict who’ll end up with those huge silver trophies tomorrow in all 12 categories.

best pic

BEST PICTURE
Badil
Dukit
Ekstra
Ang Kuwento ni Mabuti
Norte Hangganan ng Kasaysayan

On the Job
Porno
Riddles of my Homecoming
Transit

With how huge Norte was last year, I think it will be an easy win for this Cannes Un Certain regard entry to receive the top prize for tomorrow’s ceremony. Besides, it’s not as if Lav Diaz has been over-rewarded here before (his films only won twice, for 2001’s Batang Westside and 2004’s Ebolusyon ng Isang Pamilyang Pilipino). To add more confidence in its side, it’s also the top nominated film for this year, and you’d notice the trend that it is indeed one of their most loved films this year. That said though, if they want to spread the wealth, I can see the other top nomination receiver, Dukit, getting the most coveted award instead.

Prediction: Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan
Alternate: Dukit

best directing

BEST DIRECTING
Whammy Alcazaren, “Islands
Adolf Alix Jr.. “Porno
Mes de Guzman, “Ang Kuwento ni Mabuti”
Lav Diaz, “Norte Hangganan ng Kasaysayan
Hannah Espia, “Transit
Peque Gallaga, Lore Reyes, “Sonata
Jeffrey Jeturian, “Ekstra
Armando Lao, “Dukit
Arnel Mardoquio, “Riddles of My Homecoming
Erik Matti, “On the Job
Chito Rono, “Badil
Alvin Yapan, “Mga Anino ng Kahapon

Choosing in a field of twelve is already a difficult task to do, though I guess I have to remove those previous winners already: Adolf Alix, Mes de Guzman, Lav Diaz, Peque Gallaga, Jeffrey Jeturian, Arnel Mardoquio, Chito Rono, and Alvin Yapan. Then you also have Urian winners Armando Lao and Whammy Alcazaren (despite in other categories). That leaves us with veteran director Erik Matti and Hannah Espia. I have a hunch that Espia has more chance in Editing for Transit (and I’m predicting her there), so I guess I’ll be going with Erik Matti. I mean he’s overdue for an Urian right? Plus, On the Job is a very flashy directorial work that I can see the Manunuri going for. If not him though, I expect a second win for Lav Diaz because really, it’s quite a shame that he has only won here only once yet.

Prediction: Erik Matti, “On the Job
Alternate: Lav Diaz, “Norte Hangganan ng Kasaysayan

best actor

BEST ACTOR
Mark Gil, “Philippino Story
Jhong Hilario, “Badil
Mimi Juareza, “Quick Change
Sid Lucero, “Norte Hangganan ng Kasaysayan
Alex Medina, “Babagwa
Ping Medina, “Transit
Joel Torre, “On the Job

Speaking of repeat winners, this surprisingly short line up (remember the 15 nominee group last year?) I think is between two past champs: 2001 champ for Batang Westside Joel Torre and 2010 champ for Muli, Sid Lucero. Lucero has the longer role and one that is very demanding as well that I won’t be surprised if the voters fall in love with such. That said, Torre’s 2013 is some sort of a career best comeback that let him lead not only one, but two brave performances of the last year (the other was for Borgy Torres’ Kabisera). Having that advantage would make me predict him for the win. Outside of those two though, I guess I’d go with Alex Medina as the other feasible winner. The Urian has a history of proclaiming the hot young handsome actor in this category (see Christopher de Leon in 1978, Philip Salvador in 1979, Richard Gomez in 1991, Aga Muhlach in 1995, Jason Abalos in 2007, Sid Lucero in 2010, Paulo Avelino in 2011, and Jericho Rosales last year) and Alex Medina fits that bill. But I’m still going with Joel Torre on this one.

Prediction: Joel Torre, “On the Job
Alternate: Sid Lucero, “Norte Hangganan ng Kasaysayan

best actress

BEST ACTRESS
Nora Aunor, “Ang Kuwento ni Mabuti
Angeli Bayani, “Norte Hangganan ng Kasaysayan
Rustica Carpio, “Ano Ang Kulay ng Mga Nakalimutang Pangarap?”
Eugene Domingo, “Instant Mommy
Cherie Gil, “Sonata
Agot Isidro, “Mga Anino ng Kahapon
Teri Malvar, “Ang Huling Chacha ni Anita
Vilma Santos, “Ekstra
Lorna Tolentino, “Burgos
Vivian Velez, “Bendor

Definitely the most talked about and interesting category of the night (I won’t even be surprised if this one is handed out after Best Picture because it’s the Philippines after all), but this one revives the Nora-Vilma rivalry in a big way. Currently though, Vilma is all time Urian champ here with 8 wins, but Nora is closely behind her with 7 wins. If Vilma wins, she’d inch farther with 9, but if Nora wins, they’d both be tied at 8. Do you think they’ll just give them a tie and call it a day? I think there’s a probable chance of that happening. After all, it will please everyone and the mileage will really be huge. And despite the two being nominated alongside with each other during the 80s and early 90s, this possibility is unprecedented yet. In the event that happens, everyone leaves happy. However, they can also do a cop out and instead reward the eight other women here. I think the biggest possible spoiler is Angeli  Bayani whose 2013 is definitely a career best for her. Making waves at almost all film festivals here, an Urian Best Actress is a nice cap off to her 2013 achievement. And that’s who I’m predicting to win here. If not her, then I expect Vilma to receive her ninth win here. Nora just had her spotlight last year, I’m sure they won’t hesitate shifting the momentum to Vilma this year.

Prediction: Angeli Bayani, “Norte Hangganan ng Kasaysayan
Alternate: Vilma Santos, “Ekstra

best supp actor

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Art Acuna, “Kabisera
Archie Alemania, “Norte Hangganan ng Kasaysayan
Carlo Aquino, “Porno
John Arcilla, “Metro Manila
Victor Basa, “Lauriana
Joey Marquez, “On the Job
Cesar Montano, “Ang Alamat ni China Doll”
Bor Ocampo, “Dukit
Junjun Quintana, “A Philippino Story
Yul Servo, “Porno

As for the supporting actors, unless Art Acuna pulls off a threepeat (which I doubt happens but I won’t be surprised if he actually does), I think it will be a battle of the two overdue Porno guys (that sounded wrong no? lol). Both Urian-less Yul Servo and Carlo Aquino are the ones I’m confident about in this category. Carlo Aquino is now on his sixth bid for a win while Yul Servo is on his fifth. You can really just toss a coin with this one, but I guess I’m going with the latter – no reasons why.

Prediction: Yul Servo, “Porno
Alternate: Carlo Aquino, “Porno

best supp actress

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Angel Aquino, “Porno
Angel Aquino, “Ang Huling Chacha ni Anita
Jasmine Curtis, “Transit
Ruby Ruiz, “Ekstra
Michelle Smith, “Angustia”
Raquel Villavicencio, “Dukit

Call it the “Johnny Delgado Rule”. When it comes to Urian, compete against yourself in one category and you’d end up winning the trophy. It was in 1980 when Johnny Delgado competed against himself for for Brutal and Kakabakaba Ka Ba? and he ended up with a Supporting Actor win for the latter. Then in 1986, Jaclyn Jose was nominated twice for Best Actress: Private Show and Takaw Tukso, also winning for the latter. Fast forward to last year in this same category where Alessandra de Rossi was nominated for both Mater Dolorosa and Santa Nina, and she finally clinched her first Urian for the former. As a matter of fact, this statistic is so strong that it only faltered once (Nora Aunor who was nominated for both Bulaklak sa City Jail and ‘Merika only to lose to a threepeat Vilma Santos win for Sister Stella L.) Why am I writing about this though? It’s because I think this rule will apply again to twice nominated Angel Aquino.  I had her both as a prediction and alternate and I’ll just wait which one sticks. Like de Rossi last year, Aquino hasn’t won an Urian yet, and I’m choosing Porno by a hair since they seem to like the overall film better and that it’s her flashier and more “physically demanding” work.

Prediction: Angel Aquino, “Porno
Alternate: Angel Aquino, “Ang Huling Chacha ni Anita

Now as for the rest of the categories…

SCREENPLAY:
Prediction:
Lav Diaz, Rody Vera,Norte Hangganan ng Kasaysayan
Alternate:
Michicko Yamamoto, Erik Matti,On the Job

PRODUCTION DESIGN:
Prediction: Adolf Alix, “Porno
Alternate: Richard Somes, “On the Job

CINEMATOGRAPHY:
Prediction: Rene Manda, “Norte Hangganan ng Kasaysayan
Alternate: Albert Banzon, “Porno

MUSIC:
Prediction: Gauss Obenza, “Riddles of my Homecoming
Alternate: Perry Dizon, “Norte Hangganan ng Kasaysayan

EDITING:
Prediction: Benjamin Tolentino, Hannah Espia, “Transit
Alternate: Jay Halili, “On the Job

SOUND:
Prediction: Armando Lao, “Dukit
Alternate: Arnel Barbarona, “Riddles of My Homecoming

DOCUMENTARY:
Prediction:
 Jazz in Love (Baby Ruth Villarama)
Alternate: Nanay Mameng (Adjani Arumpac)

SHORT FILM
Prediction: 
Onang (JE Tiglao)
Alternate: May Dinadala (Giancarlo Abrahan)

Let’s wait how these predictions will turn out tomorrow when the Manunuri holds the 37th Gawad Urian Awards to be hosted by Piolo Pascual and Bianca Gonzalez. The special will also be shown on Cinema One multiple times this month.

You can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

MTV VMA Best Female Video Series: 2004   2 comments

best female 04Hey everyone! So I have decided to start a new series here in my blog so that I can tackle something music related in the midst of all these monthly Oscar and Emmy predictions. And with that comes the introduction of the MTV VMA Best Female Video series. For 30 random weeks, I’ll be discussing the Best Female Video category of the MTV Video Music Awards, one year a week. I’ve chosen this because this sparks the most conversation among people of the online community. And of course there’s no better way to start this by going down memory lane exactly a decade ago and go with the 2004 nominees. Let’s begin!

Let’s begin with Alicia Keys. There’s no doubt that “If I Ain’t Got You” is one of her best songs in her whole discography, and the video ain’t shabby either. Set in winter New York makes the song’s melodrama more fitting when you juxtaposed Alicia playing the piano side by side with the flashback of Method Man (does he do method acting? Lol) and Alicia’s relationship. It’s a good video that highlights the song’s emotions further.

Then there’s Beyonce  in her fourth single off Dangerously in Love, “Naughty Girl”. Living up to the title of her song, Beyonce was flirty and every inch captivating in this homage to the early days of entertainment Studio 54 style. But whether it’s being partnered up with Usher during their dance sequence, dancing with big mirrors behind her, or just taking a bath off a human wine glass, Beyonce nailed this club girl entertainment flawlessly.

For Toxic, Britney Spears receives her fourth nod in this category. Throughout her career, Britney has played up her sexuality a lot of times whether playing as a school girl, dancing in nude colored leggings or frolicking with a yellow python. But Toxic catapulted her more at her prime of sexiness. Giving some Alias vibes in her red wig  catching men or pushing a cart as a flirty stewardess in her blue ensemble aren’t even the most memorable parts of this video. It’s Britney’s homage to Kate Bush as she’s sitting wearing nothing but diamonds that did this for well… everyone.

During her Stripped era, Xtina bid goodbye to the girl next door image and played up with her raunchy one instead. That’s why it’s such a breath of fresh air when she showed vulnerability every now and then. Such is the case for her The Voice Within music video. Shot in black and white on set of an empty theater and in just one long take, Xtina, clad in just a night gown and barefoot, went to a gamut of emotions for the whole five minutes of the song starting from a close up to that shot of her lying back in the end. Just when you thought she’d continue to top the extremes, she suddenly decides to tone it down.

And to cap it off, we have then MTV darling Jessica Simpson. There’s something so catchy with this video that I can’t actually pin down. Maybe it’s her doing domestic works like washing dishes or mopping when you know she can’t actually do that as per her reality show Newlyweds which has been premiering that time as well. Or just probably the image of a Barbie girl doing such. Simpson’s flirts to the cameras laughing and smiling and you find yourself sold.

MTV went with Beyonce that year giving her consecutive win in this category. However, I’m going with Britney on this one. I mean come on, Toxic is definitely upper three of Britney’s best and most iconic videos. She certainly deserved this win, and I’m certain the only reason she lost that year was because she was a no-show at the awards ceremony. Britney’s diamond encrusted body in Toxic slays the shit out of this line-up.

Personal pick: Britney Spears, “Toxic
MTV VMA pick: Beyonce, “Naughty Girl

Full rankings:
01. Britney Spears, “Toxic”
02. Beyonce, “Naughty Girl
03. Christina Aguilera, “The Voice Within
04. Jessica Simpson, “With You
05. Alicia Keys, “If I Ain’t Got You

Now go on and vote on the poll below to make your choice!

As always, you can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

87th Oscars Predictions: June Edition   8 comments

Hi everyone! After skipping the May batch (I don’t know the ideal time to post them since I waited for Cannes first), here’s the comeback of my monthly Oscar predictions. We’re nearing halfway already, and thanks to Cannes (and some more stuff), I’ve updated my predictions now with little write up on all contenders. Here’s my June batch of Oscar predictions:

best picture director lead actor lead actress supporting actor supporting actress

 

As always, you can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl