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How do You Draw Love in the Middle of War?


Despite being an animated film, this story written by Sunao Katabuchi-Chie Uratani, which is based on the manga titled—‘In This Corner of the World’ by Fumiyo Kōno definitely provides its audience the kind of drama set in the 1930s-1940s wartime in Hiroshima and Kure in Japan, roughly 10 years before and after the horrific atomic bombing.

In this Corner of the World

In the film, a young woman named Suzu, innocent and is fond of drawing; she lived in a seaside town called Eba in Hiroshima City. At 18 years of age she married Shūsaku, an earnest and quiet man; who worked as a judicial officer at the military court in Kure.

Suzu opted to live with Shūsaku in Kure City. Her husband lived with his family located on a hillside in the suburbs of Kure, with a view of the Japanese Naval Fleet in the harbor, including the largest battleships, Yamato and Musashi. Suzu enjoys touching nature and viewing warships moving on the sea with her niece, Harumi.

One day, a navy sailor named Tetsu comes to see Suzu. He was her childhood friend, now assigned to the Japanese cruiser Aoba stationed in Kure. During the night, Shūsaku allowed Tetsu and Suzu to be alone with each other; thinking that it might be the last time for the two to see each other for war is on. Little did he know that Suzu and Tetsu loved each other and professed their feelings toward each other. They copulated that night as well.

In the springtime, Shūsaku is drafted by the Navy and temporarily quartered with troops in Otake City, 40 miles away from Kure.

As mentioned in the film’s logline—‘torn apart by war’—the relationship between Shūsaku and Suzu were also falling apart. It even got worst when the U.S. army began its air raids on the Japanese mainland, in Kure. In July, urban areas of Kure are firebombed and mostly burnt down. Suzu is nearly killed by a U.S. low-level strafing run, but saved by Shūsaku. But the inevitable tragedy happened—Suzu lost her brother Yōichi, her niece Harumi, and her right arm—the one she used to draw the things she sees and imagine. She suffered in depression, and planned to return to the relative safety of her hometown (Eba) in Hiroshima City in time for the local summer festival on August 6. But on the morning of that day, a huge and marvelous cloud was rolling up over the mountain from the direction of Hiroshima City. The atomic bombing horribly destroyed countless humans and buildings in Hiroshima City.

It distraught Suzu. Probably, anyone who find himself or herself in a similar situation as Suzu—one will definitely be in a nervous breakdown.

Watching the film will also open the viewers’ eyes on the perils of war. One can ask: ‘How do You Draw Love in the Middle of War?’

After the war, Shūsaku found a new job and began a new life with Suzu, again. The latter regained her motivation to get through life and still draw love for herself and others.

Directed by Sunao Katabuchi, featuring character designs by Hidenori Matsubara and music by Kotringo—it vividly captured the episodes and background of the story are based on facts and real incidents—the lost townscape of pre-war Hiroshima, the damaged Hiroshima due to the atomic bombing; accurately supported by old photos, documents, and the memories of living people.

Suzu’s battled the horrors of war and her depression, which the moviegoers can surely empathized with.

Now showing in theaters, catch it soon.

In 2016, The film won in the following awards—Hiroshima Peace Film Award (3rd Hiroshima International Film Festival) and Best Film (38th Yokohama Film Festival).

BG Showbiz Plus: The First-Ever Magazine for Indie Films


Despite the challenges that any film producer are facing so as magazine publishers—another brace soul dared to venture into something unknown to her like producing films and that is Baby Go, who recently launched a new entertainment magazine named BG Showbiz Plus, held at Marco Polo Ortigas, Manila on June 6.

BG Showbiz Plus

This was taken prior to the launch of the magazine. Photograph taken by Jude Cartalaba.

Being known as the ‘Queen of Indie Films’, Go, a businesswoman and a philanthropist along with her editorial team—Maridol Ranoa-Bismark of Woman Today as the magazine’s editor-in-chief and Robert Requintina as associate editor; together they formed this quarterly showbiz magazine that will cater to the thriving independent filmmaking industry.

The Editorial Team

The key people in the magazine. (L-R) Requintina, Go (in red), Jean Go-Marasigan (in green), and Bismark (beside Marasigan). Photograph taken by Jude Cartalaba.

Two of the entertainment writers like—Pilar Mateo and Danny Vibas are joining the magazine as columnists; while Jean Go-Marasigan is the VP of the said magazine. Its maiden issue is soon to be out next month in magazine and newsstands as well as in leading bookstores nationwide.

To know more about the magazine, visit its facebook page.

The magazine is another venture of Ms. Go and its part of its proceeds will go to PC Goodheart Foundation International, Inc.

Apart from this venture, the film productions that Go has produced made abuzz like ‘Laut’ that made Barbie Forteza won as Best Actress at the 36th Fantasporto International Film Festival in Portugal and Best Supporting Actress for Ana Capri in ASEAN International Film Festival and Awards (AIFFA) 2017, respectively. ‘Area’, on the other hand gave two awards for Ai-Ai delas Alas as Best Actress and Louie Ignacio as Best Director at AIFFA as well.

Matteo Guidicelli supports Sun Life’s Vlog on Investing


On May 17, athlete-singer-actor Matteo Guidicelli, in cooperation with Sun Life Asset Management Company, Inc. (SLAMCI), launched a series of vlogs (video blogs) at B Hotel in Quezon City. The vlogs aim to teach Filipinos about how investing can help make their #lifegoals come true.

Matteo Guidicelli

Matteo Guidicelli for Sun Life Asset Management Company, Inc.’s (SLAMCI) #MakeitMutual campaign. Photograph taken by Jude Cartalaba.

To be financially free, it starts with a detailed plan and the willingness to commit to such plan. Though the vlogs, dubbed as ‘Make It Mutual’ with topics that are relevant to personal finance, such as growing one’s money, beating inflation and investing regularly—are geared to empowering Filipinos to be wise in managing and growing their finances.

The vlogs were created for the viewer to easily relate these to real life situations, the modules shall be demonstrated in themes familiar to them, like travel, fashion, and fitness, among others. All videos will be shared via social media to make it readily accessible.

This is not the first time that Guiicelli did a financial literacy campaign for SLAMCI.  It was in November 2015 when he also supported SLAMCI’s campaign against investment scams and was dubbed as ‘Slam the Scam’. He was glad to be part of it in helping people from getting victimized by scammers like the pyramid scams.

And being a policy holder of Sun Life, it has opened him to be wiser with his finances and where to invest his earnings. He said that with the insurance advisors he has now, “They give me insights on what to invest in and what not to invest in.”

Apart from the insurance policy he insured himself with, he also got Sun Life’s Prosperity Card, which was launched August last year. The card is an investment worth Php5,000, which may be invested in any of the peso-denominated mutual funds managed by SLAMCI under its Sun Life Prosperity Funds. The first-of-its-kind in the market, it has revolutionized mutual funds investing in the country.

“With the prosperity card, it earned me six percent (6%), It is a good start for high school students to start with or the millennial these days to start investing via this card.”

In Cebu, last year, he also opened his restaurant business called Trattoria da Gianni, which is located in Banilad, Cebu City.

The ‘Make It Mutual’ campaign is just the first of Sun Life’s series of financial literacy initiatives this year. According to Sun Life Chief Marketing Officer Mylene Lopa, more will be launched in the coming days as Sun Life rolls out its Financial Independence Month campaign in June.