One of the most exciting local movies for the year is Jerrold Tarrog’s Bliss, a psychological thriller starring Iza Calzado. Why is it exciting? First, it’s directed by Tarrog, the guy behind the sleeper hit Heneral Luna. Second, Calzado won the Best Performer award at the 2017 Osaka Film Festival. However, we won’t be able to see it, as the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) gave it an X rating. It means it’s not allowed for public viewing.
According to MTRCB, the film got an X rating because of prolonged frontal nudity, excessive violence, and masturbation. MTRCB chief Rachel Arenas said that two out of the three board members who reviewed the movie gave the rating, while the other gave it R-18.
Calzado reacted to the rating, saying, “I saw [Fifty Shades of Grey] here. Why was it shown? It tackles only love and S&M (sadomasochism). Our film, I would like to think, tackles more than that, and it tackles abuse in society. Not just being an artista (actor), it’s supposed to wake you up [to] what people go through, the cycle of abuse that people go through in their lives.”
Bliss follows Calzado as a 30-something actress who strives to produce her own film for the industry to take her seriously. The film delves into the unknowns between reality and dreams.
The film’s producers said that they are going to submit an appeal for a second review. Arenas said that they are open to reviewing it if they receive a formal appeal.
It is slated for a May 10 theatrical release, but it looks like it will be postponed following the X rating.
However, the producers, composed of TBA, Artikulo Uno, and Quantum Films, are holding a free screening of Bliss on April 3 at the University of the Philippines Cine Adarna. Registration starts at 5PM, and the screening starts at 6.30PM. It is free seating, and is on a first come, first served basis.
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