After recovering form the measles, I hit the cinema and was lucky enough to catch one little gem at the 10-day Quezon City Film Festival—Mihk Vergara’s Patintero: Ang Alamat ni Meng Patalo. It came highly recommended by Quark Henares.
Shifty Alvarez is the new kid on the block—he hasn’t made friends yet, he’s on the small side and he wears a red visor backwards so he’s a prime candidate for getting picked on. In the middle of bullying incident, he meets Meng, a feisty young girl who settles personal scores over games of patintero.
While my companion felt a bit restless during the film, I enjoyed it thoroughly. It celebrates childhood, underdogs and wonderful misfits, and it puts the spotlight on a classic Filipino street game which I haven’t seen kids play in a long time. The last game I saw kids play, it looked like Counter Strike.
Patintero also has great closing credits and great music by Jazz Nicolas and Mikey Amistoso.
I got to catch The Walk, which is currently on its third week. It tells the story of unicyclist, juggler, street performer and high wire walker Philippe Petit, who had a big dream to walk the void between New York’s Twin Towers. It is directed by Robert Zemeckis best known for the Back to the Future trilogy.
The film chronicles Petit’s (Joseph Gordon Levitt) journey from being a young man fascinated by the circus. He stopped at nothing to learn and master the tricks of the trade. Petit then meets Rudy Omankowsky (Ben Kingsley) who comes from a Czech Circus family and develops a bond with him. His “Papa Rudy” takes him from tying taut ropes around trees to rigging complicated cables around buildings (architectu-ral masterpieces included). Beyond the technical, Rudy also teaches him and how to walk a wire with focus, grace and showmanship.
Of course Petit cannot achieve his New York dream alone and relies on the help of both his French compatriots and new New York friends to take on different roles in what he calls his “coup.”
On one hand, The Walk is about dreams, persistence and support, on the other, it is a tender love letter to The Twin Towers, it is a reminder as well of how different the world was not too long ago.
The Quezon City filmfest will run until October 31. The Walk is still running at the IMAX.