Serbis – the edgy drama.
For The Cannes International Film Festival competition on Sunday, May 18th
SERBIS (1h30) Directed by Brillante Mendoza
The title of the edgy drama by Mendoza, which in English means “service” refers to male prostitutes who ply their services to the gay cinema-going clients.
The movie only wrapped this month. Serbis barely made it to the Cannes. Mendoza shot the film in just 12 days and spent only a month in post-production. He sent a rough cut to the selection committee late last month. Still the film is powerful as The Masseur.
Maggie Lee in the Hollywood Reporter:
“Taking place mostly in a porno theater ironically, yet fittingly, named Family, Serbis is part homage to cinema, part intimate domestic drama that vividly details the tangled relations and all-too human frailties of an extended family running a theater in the provincial Philippines. Director Brillante Mendoza continues the neo-realist vein of Foster Child and Sling Shot in Serbis, but displays marked improvement – both the grunge aesthetic and film language now bear his personal handwriting. To this, he adds some bristling sexuality, both gay and straight.”
Howard Feinstein in Screen Daily:
“Since he shifted from production design to directing with The Masseur (2005), a static misfire about a gay massage parlor in the provinces of his native Philippines, Mendoza has made up for lost time by cranking out four films since (including one documentary), all low-budget, showing mastery in a variety of genres.”
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