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How I Escape: Films

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Neal P. Corpus

Posted on August 13, 2020

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Header image from Copenhagen (2014)

The escape continues — here are five movie picks from five filmmakers to help you get away even for just two hours.

How I Escape is a series where creatives share the books, films and podcasts that, as the title suggests, help them escape and take a break from life. This month, we’re dipping into the transportive power of films.

Here, we’ve gathered five directors to share their favorite movies that have taken them on a journey under quarantine.

If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)

If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)

“I don’t like watching films. This is something that people find strange about me, a deep dark secret that i keep hidden until it's safe. When I do find a film that I love, it becomes a part of me, like growing a new limb in my body. It is both home and an escape at the same time.

One of these films is Barry Jenkins' If Beale Street Could Talk. It's devastating to watch, yet so beautiful at the same time.

From the opening sequence, the colors, the score and the opening line that stabbed me in the heart the moment I heard it, I knew this film would stay with me forever.” — Samantha Lee

Copenhagen (2014)

Copenhagen (2014)

“‘When the girl of your dreams is half your age, it's time to grow up.’

I saw this film a few weeks ago and it’s a really well-crafted film that made me a bit uncomfortable because of the film’s central topic.

The director and the actors, which includes Genthin Anthony (yes, that Renly Baratheon of GoT), sensitively handled a theme that could be toxic if not managed carefully.” — JP Habac

Ema (2019)

Ema (2019)

“Early in the lockdown, Pablo Larraín’s Ema came out on Mubi and I made a point to see it immediately. It’s some of his most visceral filmmaking, about a dancer who tears her own life apart to pull it back together.

Set in the bustling Chilean port city of Valparaíso, it’s a film where movement and touch and the rhythms of a city tell as much of the story as the entanglements Ema pulls the other characters into.

Ema feels like one massive, chaotic dance performance—partners change, people fall in and out of each other’s orbit—all of it painted in hyperbolic emotion.” — Apa Agbayani

Salvage (2015)

Salvage (2015)

“The first time I saw Sherad Anthony Sanchez's 2016 found footage horror film, I couldn't even describe the feeling it awakened in me.

If you have seen the likes of classic found footage films like The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity, and Rec, Salvage is arguably the best Philippine cinema has to offer in this subgenre.

But don't get too complacent, since Sherad is not the kind of filmmaker that will offer emotions our consciousness are already familiar with. He deconstructs form like a true master.

The horror of this film doesn't rely on jump scares and cheap gimmicks: it's subversive, haunting, and terrorizing — the kind that never lets go easily. You have been warned. It's available for IWantTV Premium users.”
Norvin Delos Santos

Set It Up (2018)

Set It Up (2018)

“Not gonna lie, I’m a sucker for rom-coms, and Set It Up was a refreshing return to form for the genre.

In a time of Netflix’s serial-pairing Twitter trends with budding ‘relevant’ actors, Set It Up relied on great chemistry, shared comedic trauma, and undeniable New York rites of passage (‘The best meal I've ever had was a five dollar pizza thrown up a fire escape.’)

Months into lockdown, there’s no sweeter escape than a dimly lit rooftop with a twinkly Manhattan view and a charming nemesis five feet away who may or may not be falling in love with you. Oh well, a boy can dream.”
Martin Diegor

Before you start binge-watching these films, make sure you've got some blue light protection — check out our list of  stylish (and protective!) glasses here.

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