RIGODON (Philippines, 2012)
International Premiere
91 minutes, DCP, in Tagalog with English subtitles
Directed by: Erik Matti
Starring: Yam Concepcion, John James Uy, Max Eigenmann

This is the year of the NYAFF sex movie! Seriously, we’ve never shown this much skin before. And at the top of the sex film heap is this realistically-observed and appropriately raunchy love triangle film, named after for an ultra-formal, super-traditional Filipino dance. We’ve all seen love triangle movies before but there’s something about RIGODON’s sharply-observed characters brought down by the crushing weight of their obligations and their desperation to be happy by doing anything but leading the life they’re living that feels more authentic and true than most.

Riki is a reality show contestant who came in fourth on Starfactor. He never turned his TV fame into a career and now he’s a male model on late-night “As Seen on TV” ads. Then he crosses paths with Sarah. She’s sexy, young, suffering from a bad breakup, and browbeaten by a domineering father. As she moves out of her dad’s house she tries to spread her wings and awkwardly attempts to seduce Riki. He’s looking for some release since his debts are mounting and he can’t seem to make his wife, Regine, happy anymore. She’s the mother of his child and has been banging her head against a homemade cupcake business for two years but no matter how hard she works it just won’t get off the ground. Depressed by his life that’s barely kept aloft by extreme debt, Riki finally surrenders to Sarah, but doesn’t tell her about his family. What happens next is a spiral down into lies and hot sex.

Played with enormous sensitivity by rock drummer Yam Concepcion, Sarah is just a woman who wants to find someone to fall in love with and it’s her bad luck she’s chosen a two-time loser like Riki. He, on the other hand, is one of life’s also-rans, the guys who never get the raise, who never get the big break, who never come up trumps. And Regine would be so happy to settle for less, but she wants to prove herself to Riki that she’s willing to drive herself crazy in the process. The three of them are recipes for disaster, and RIGODON is the great big catastrophe cake they all make together. Featuring several shot-in-one-take extremely steamy and awkwardly realistic sex scenes, what lingers afterwards isn’t the skin, but the feeling that sometimes nice people wind up in insane situations, mostly because of sex.

Preceded by Erik Matti’s short horror film VESUVIUS (2012, 9 minutes) – Erik Matt’s intense short horror film is a surreal explosion of mondo religiosity as a lonely young man is visited by what may or may not be the shimmering soul of the Virgin Mary.

Part of Manila Chronicles: the New Filipino Cinema

Saturday July 29, 10:00PM Walter Reade Theater Buy Tickets