fame is an aphrodisiac, this married former reality show contestant has made
the most of his third place finish. He
has had much less success monetizing his fifteen minutes, but to be fair, he
has been rather busy juggling all his action on the side. Karma will do as it does in Erik Matti’s very
adult drama Rigodon (trailer here), which screens
tonight during the eagerly awaited 2013 edition of the New York Asian Film Festival.
the American-born Riki Torres appreciates voluptuous women. He is married to the wildly insecure Regina
(Reg) and picks up the rebounding professional Sarah Dilag in a club. Torres plays it cool though, manipulating
Dilag into making all the first moves.
Their illicit affair quickly gets hot and heavy, but his acting career
remains as cool as Vanilla Ice. Deeply
in debt to loan sharks, Torres promises his wife a big break is just around the
corner. Yet, despite his love for their
young daughter Pammy, he allows his domestic life to crater. Meanwhile, his
secret life with Dilag becomes more demanding.
the Philippines, Rigodon was hailed
as the return of the erotic drama. You might be surprised to hear they ever
went away, even in the predominantly Catholic country (which brought the world Hubad a few years ago). Regardless, Rigodon holds up its end with some of the frankest sex scenes
viewers will see while still feeling confident they are in a festival-worthy
vibe of detached foreboding and Ricardo Buhay III’s sensitively framed
cinematography largely offset the film’s potential sensationalism. The primary cast also manages to make the
characters convincingly flawed but messily human. Obviously the camera loves one-time rock drummer
Yan Concepcion, but she is also quite impressive portraying Dilag’s evolution
from innocence to obsession. Likewise,
Max Eigenmann’s work as the wronged wife is quite powerful. Even John James Uy taps into something
tragically human and almost sympathetic in the caddish Torres.
Taking its title from a traditional dance, Rigodon is a stylish but mostly
restrained examination of infidelity that saves all the melodrama for the final
ten minutes. If Michael Mann were to
remake an Adrian Lynne film in Manila it might look a lot like this. There is a great deal of honesty in the film
and also quite a bit of nudity. Recommended
for adult adults, Rigodon screens with
Matti’s creepy little short, Vesusius
(which kind of-sort of suggests you had better pay attention to what the Church
has to say about apparitions), later tonight (6/29) at the Walter Reade Theater,
as part of the 2013 NYAFF’s special focus, Manila
Chronicles: The New Filipino Cinema.
Labels: Filipino Cinema, Infidelity movies, NYAFF '13, Yam Concepcion