This is what I get for watching the filmfest during “experimental” day. Todo Todo Teros is by no means a horrible movie, it just lacks a lot of things, not the least of which is focus. Like many experimental films, it assaults you with a visual and aural overkill that doesn’t serve to elucidate the goings on in the movie but merely to inform you that yes, this is experimental, and we are trying all sorts of shit here.
It’s good in that it makes you think, and at the end of the movie you will feel a little better after piecing in certain parts of the puzzle that director John Torres presents to the viewer, but it’s still not enough. There is no character that the audience can really attach itself to, and so they’re lost in a sea of people they’ll hardly recognize by the end of the movie. One might argue for open ended movies, and refusing to spoonfeed audiences, but the sheer number of questions I had at the end of the film made me feel like the filmmaker was just being lazy. Who’s the guy who went to Berlin? Did he die, or was he captured? What was he supposed to do there in the first place? And what does the Russian chick in Germany have to do with anything. Sure, a lot of my questions were answered after reading reviews and blurbs, but if a movie can’t communicate these things on its own then it’s failed in its purpose.
the film is a surreal take on Manila and how artists can subvert a culture by the mere act of creating works that empower and transform.
The description above comes from the movie’s blurb in the Singapore International Film Festival. Throughout the movie the idea that artists are treated as terrorists because they subvert culture is alluded to but never crytallized. How exactly are they doing this? I dunno, maybe I’m just stupid, but I didn’t feel like clapping at the end of the film.
The one cool thing about the movie was in the opening scene, there was a T-shirt on display that said “This is what a destabilizer looks like”. I found that funny as hell, and I’m gonna stencil that onto a T-shirt soon.
photo is of director John Torres