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‘Area’ captures lives of aging prostitutes


TOO REAL – At the “Area” presscon, the trailer was shown, very realistic, one could almost smell and feel the place, a seedy prostitution den in Angeles, Pampanga. Director Louie Ignacio disclosed his instruction was to keep the place as it was…dirty, unkempt, smelly.

In such a house aging prostitutes ply their trade. Ai-Ai de las Alas topbills “Area,” with Sue Prado, Sarah Brakenshiel, Tabs Sumulong, and Ireen Carvantes (earlier known as Raja Montero) portray sisters in the flesh trade.

Also starring are Allen Dizon as the prostitution den manager and Sancho de las Alas as the pimp.

Well, it was a real house of prostitution. In fact, one time the shoot had to stop as in room real sex was taking place. Apparently the “players” didn’t realize the shoot of “Area” was taking place.

Louie was aiming for “cinema verite,” but then not that truthful. Too real for comfort.

A LA BROCKA AND BERNAL – Direk Louie said he missed realistic films of Lino Brocka and Ishmael Bernal. He has sen how Brocka captured life as it was in “Insiang” and “Bona.” And Bernal in “Pagdating sa Dulo” and “City After Dark.”

Well, in “Area” he might have topped Brocka and Bernal, capturing not only place but also characters as well.

Ai-Ai isn’t the actress but the pathetic prostitute, from facial expression, body movement. Just like Allen, not the sex symbol, but the overweight unfeeling den manager.

The rest of the cast did just as well. Even Sancho who is a neophyte.

“Area” was graded A by the Cinema Evaluation Board.

URIAN AWARDEES – Ai-Ai said it was an honor to work with Urian awardees Allen Dizon and Sue Prado. Ai-Ai hasher share of acting awards, but to date Urian has eluded her.

“Area” might just give Ai-Ai that elusive Urian award. But even if she does not, Ai-Ai’s happy with the good reviews the film is getting, including one from an international filmfest.

“Area” is produced by Baby Go, who may well be called “indie queen” for bankrolling all those small germs…even if they do not make money. Enough that those films merit here are abroad.