Little Lessons from the School of Inattention

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Mondomanila (Khavn dela Cruz, 2010)

The film will probably draw comparisons with the films of John Waters, for its unabashed obnoxiousness, and Alejandro Jodorowsky, for its unabashed strangeness. However, the film is a strange creature altogether, more venomous than any of Waters’ trash and more useful than any of Jodorowsky’s excesses. Khavn dela Cruz finds a gem underneath all the feces, cockroaches, freaks and trash that occupy his beloved alternate Manila, which doesn’t seem as alternate if you really think about it. This is probably the pinnacle of dela Cruz’s streak of rule-breaking films. It is surprisingly sleek (compared to all of dela Cruz’s previous works), weirdly elegant, and nobly shocking. (12/4/10)

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