Service

  • 94'
  • Philippines
  • 2008
The old cinema in the centre of Manila is called Family. It becomes clear soon after the beginning of this film just how ironic that is. Maybe the cinema was once a beautiful entertainment centre for the whole family, but that must have been a long time ago. Now the building is in decay in every respect and most visitors don't come primarily for the films. Even if they venture into the auditorium, they don't look at the screen. The auditorium is the domain of male prostitutes and they openly serbis (service) their customers there.
The real story of the film is, however, set in the lobbies and offices - offices that have really been turned into living rooms. It's the story of the Pineda family, which really is a family, that bravely tries to keep things going. It focuses on the divorced mother Nayda, a beautiful role by Jaclyn Jose. It's a characteristic of new Filipino cinema that major roles are being written for the great actresses of the former generation. Together with her sons, daughter, nephews and other relatives, Nayda runs the cinema. The film follows the secret and less secret activities of the relatives in a lively and authentic way, while in the background the big city is permanently audible.
Alongside Jaclyn Jose is another major player and that is the building itself, of which the director exploited all possible nooks and crannies. (GjZ)

Director
Brillante Mendoza
Countries of production
Philippines, France
Production Year
2008
Festival Edition
IFFR 2009
Length
94'
Medium
35mm
Original title
Serbis
Language
Tagalog
Producers
Ferdinand Lapuz, Didier Costet
Production Companies
Centerstage Productions, Swift Productions
Sales
Fortissimo Films
Screenplay
Armando Lao, Boots Agbayani Pasto
Cinematography
Odyssey Flores
Editor
Claire Villa-Real
Production Design
Harley Alcasid, Deans Habal
Sound Design
Emmanuel Nolet Clemente
Music
Gian Gianan
Cast
Gina o Dan Pareño, Dan Alvaro
Local Distributor
Paradiso Filmed Entertainment