A drama that follows the travails of the Pineda family in the Filipino city of Angeles. Bigamy, unwanted pregnancy, possible incest and bothersome skin irritations are all part of their ... See full summary »

Director:

(as Brillante Ma. Mendoza)

Writers:

(story), (story) | 1 more credit »

On Disc

at Amazon

9 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Kinatay (2009)
Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A young man tries to make some money so he can marry his girlfriend. He takes a job for $2,000 and then soon realizes that this job involves killing a woman.

Director: Brillante Mendoza
Stars: Coco Martin, Maria Isabel Lopez, Julio Diaz
Lola I (2009)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Two elderly women bear the consequences of a crime involving their respective grandsons. One is the victim, the other is the suspect. Both weak and poor, they laboriously solicit money in ... See full summary »

Director: Brillante Mendoza
Stars: Anita Linda, Rustica Carpio, Tanya Gomez
The Masseur (2005)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Director: Brillante Mendoza
Stars: Coco Martin, Jaclyn Jose, Allan Paule
Tirador (2007)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Director: Brillante Mendoza
Stars: Jiro Manio, Coco Martin, Kristoffer King
Thy Womb (2012)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An infertile midwife and her husband find a surrogate mother so that they can have a child.

Director: Brillante Mendoza
Stars: Nora Aunor, Bembol Roco, Lovi Poe
Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Hsiao-Kang, now working as a pornographic actor, meets Shiang-chyi once again. Meanwhile, the city of Taipei faces a water shortage that makes the sales of watermelons skyrocket.

Director: Ming-liang Tsai
Stars: Kang-sheng Lee, Shiang-chyi Chen, Yi-Ching Lu
Taklub (2015)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

After the Supertyphoon Haiyan, which changed the city of Tacloban in the Philippines into its horrendous state, the lives of Bebeth, Larry and Erwin intertwine. The survivors are left to ... See full summary »

Director: Brillante Mendoza
Stars: Nora Aunor, Julio Diaz, Aaron Rivera
Síndrome (2004)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.2/10 X  

The main character of the movie "Sindrome", whose name is Victor, got some bad news from his doctor. He was just told that he has a brain's cancer. And that he left to live for a few months... See full summary »

Director: Liberto Rabal
Stars: Javier Albalá, Adriana Davidova, William Miller
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Story of a friendship between an eccentric journalist and a daredevil barnstorming pilot.

Director: Douglas Sirk
Stars: Rock Hudson, Robert Stack, Dorothy Malone
Mariquina (2014)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Unlike the former Philippine First Lady, Imelda is indifferent towards shoes. To her, they are fraught with the bittersweet nostalgia of childhood, one that was marred by a difficult ... See full summary »

Director: Milo Sogueco
Stars: Mylene Dizon, Ricky Davao, Bing Pimentel
Insiang (1976)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The first Filipino film to show at the Cannes Film Festival is set in the slums of Manila. A beautiful girl gets raped by her mother's lover, and then learns how to exact revenge.

Director: Lino Brocka
Stars: Hilda Koronel, Mona Lisa, Ruel Vernal
Death Drive (2014)
Action | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Death Drive tells the story of a young man, who after emerging from a pool of water scrambles to piece together the previous night before embarking on a series of psychedelic adventures that reveal his darkest internal instinct.

Director: L.E. Salas
Stars: Max Cameron, Shane Frost, Owen Hawk
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gina Pareño ...
...
Julio Diaz ...
Lando
...
Alan
...
Ronald (as Kristofer King)
Dan Alvaro ...
Jerome
...
Merly
Roxanne Jordan ...
Jewel
...
Atty. Quintana (as Dido Dela Paz)
Buddy Caramat ...
Tonette (as Buddy Salvador Caramat)
Bobby Jerome Go ...
Jonas
Jemmalyn Galicia ...
Susan
Julia Taylor ...
Cross Dresser
Nico Taverna ...
Santy
Aaron Rivera ...
Ricky (as Aaron Christian Rivera)
Edit

Storyline

A drama that follows the travails of the Pineda family in the Filipino city of Angeles. Bigamy, unwanted pregnancy, possible incest and bothersome skin irritations are all part of their daily challenges, but the real "star" of the show is an enormous, dilapidated movie theater that doubles as family business and living space. At one time a prestige establishment, the theater now runs porn double bills and serves as a meeting ground for hustlers of every conceivable persuasion. The film captures the sordid, fetid atmosphere, interweaving various family subplots with the comings and goings of customers, thieves and even a runaway goat while enveloping the viewer in a maelstrom of sound, noise and continuous motion. Written by Regent Releasing

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's the family business. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content, nudity and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Language:

|

Release Date:

25 June 2008 (Philippines)  »

Also Known As:

Service  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$12,824 (USA) (30 January 2009)

Gross:

$64,407 (USA) (12 June 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Awards: Best Director Award (Brillante Mendoza) and Best Actress Award (Gina Pareño) at the Vladivostok International Film Festival (2008). See more »

Connections

References Salat sa ligaya (2004) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Life in a "Family" theater.
24 September 2008 | by (Berkeley, California) – See all my reviews

A dilapidated Filipino movie theater is the star of this film, but it's not a dark, haunted place like the cinema of Tsai Ming-liang's austere Goodbye, Dragon Inn. Located in the city of Angeles in the Philippines, this one, only partly ironically called "Family," is active, in fact overactive, and holes in walls leave it open to invasions from goats and its lower floor is exposed to the noises of a busy street crammed with pedestrians, motorcycles, cars, and trucks at all hours.

Serbis shows heterosexual porn movies all day long while numerous gay hustlers ply their trade for the pleasure of older gay men, performing fellatio or having it performed on them in the seats and in the back of the big auditorium. "Serbis" means "service" and is the rallying cry of the gay rent boys. The theater is run by the Pineda family, who come and go, they live upstairs, they run a fast food restaurant on the ground floor, and they deal with such personal problems as bigamy, unwanted pregnancy, possible incest, and a boil on an attractive young male bum. This film, which includes clips of the porno, live sex involving the family and the in-house prostitutes, is Mendoza's seventh feature film and was an official selection of the 2008 Festival de Cannes.

Events happen on a "Wednesday (the day for the novena to the Mother of Perpetual Help) in October (month-long feast of Our Lady of the Rosary)"--I'm quoting from the distributor's material. The rather regal Nanay Flor (Gina Pareno) has filed a bigamy case against her estranged husband Tatay Edwinand goes to court to see the years-long case finally decided. Alan (Coco Martin) is a young man upstairs who paints busty nudes on the wall; he's the one who has a boil on his bum. He has sex with his girlfriend Merly (Mercedes Cabral) and has just learned to his dismay that she is pregnant. Nayda (Jacky Jose), who mans the theater while Nanay For is at court, is married but drawn to her cousin Ronald, who is also in the building. She sees to having the right movie posters up, and argues with her husband, Lando, on the phone, because Mr. El Lobo, the soft drink distributor, has to be paid. Lando (Julio Diaz) mans the little restaurant, not always successfully; a young man cheats him out of 30 pesos and he can't get it back. There is another brother, Ronald (Kristopher King). There's also a little bespectacled schoolboy, Jonas, who's good in math. The things he sees! Nanay Flor says that they had three theaters, but have had to close the other two because they weren't making money, and this one is failing.

Nanay Flor loses the case, and to her disappointment her youngest son, Jerome (Dan Alvaro) testifies against her. She is further distressed to learn that the film rentals are going up. Serbis is replete with actual details of this kind, and even shows Alan delivering reels to a bus and picking up the new ones for the week.

Excitement happens when a purse-snatcher tries to take refuge in the theater but customers, the family, and cops all chase him. The lights go on exposing the many "serbis" boys 'in flagrante.' When the thief is caught the lights go down, the film resumes, and the "serbis" boys are back to work. At another point a small white goat has escaped into the theater and appears just below the screen. Another chase. To recover from her horrible day, Nanay Flor takes a bath in the shoddy bathroom (the Gent's is flooded), grooms herself and dresses in black, and goes down to the ticket window facing out, ready for anything.

After symbolically popping his boil, Alan has impulsively packed a bag and run away. way.

Carlo Tabije and Benjamin Padero deserve notice for their set designs (the field in which Mendoza got his start); Odyssey Flores' cinematography is rough at times, but effective. The processing gives the images too edgy a look at times. The lighting isn't bad, but there is way too much street noise, and those who argue the whole production is exploitive and crude aren't far off the mark, but the depiction of a family isn't without interest, though this has none of the poetry and mood of other films about the devolution of a place.

This is as if a Third World 'telenovela,' with X-rated sex added, was all crammed into a single comprehensive 90-minute episode. It's an impressive achievement, but a little bit indigestible. Mendoza's earlier film 'Foster Child' received an ovation at the previous Cannes festival. He has produced something sui generis this time and it would appear that there is life in the Filipino film industry.


26 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?