Ken Rudolph, a highly experienced film critic and member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences since 1975, watched Mel Chionglo’s Twilight Dancers last September 11 in the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival. And he has this to say:
I had my doubts whether to spend an early morning with straight Filipino macho dancers dancing and selling themselves in gay clubs. I’d seen at least 3 of the previous versions of this film; and only the first, by a different director, was actually special. However the films have held my interest in the past, so I gave this one a try. I’m sorry I did. There was nothing original in this story of a young guy who, along with his older, over-the-hill mentor in the twilight of his dancer-prostitute career, got involved with a ruthless lady “business woman”, whose business was drugs and corruption. The previous macho dancer film was about AIDS; but this one was all about political corruption. Unlike the previous films, it looked terrible: shot with inferior digital camerawork. And even the macho dancing was perfunctory and only used as throwaway sequences to separate the story sections. Apparently the film has been rated X by the Manila authorities, which means it is banned for everyone. Why is a good question. Maybe because it steps on crooked local politician’s toes; certainly not for any sexual titillation.
I say, not a good sign. See the film critic’s journal of the movies he watched in the festival.
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