Welcome back to Now Playing, a weekly recommendation of what to watch in Bay Area theaters. Our film critic Michael Fox graciously points you in the right direction.
June 9 - July 3
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco
Tickets $8-10, free for YBCA members
A pioneering and devoted champion of new films from the Philippines, Yerba Buena Center For the Arts curator Joel Shepard is singlehandedly raising that country's movie profile in the Bay Area. Not all by himself, actually, as he enlisted savvy insider Philbert Ortiz Dy to help choose the films in this year's survey. The series kicks off Thursday and Sunday (June 9 and 12) with a revival of the late, great Lino Brocka's blistering 1976 melodrama, Insiang, Like most of Brocka's movies, it depicts a culture of betrayal and amorality informed by the corrupt priorities of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos. Prime Cruz's up-to-the-minute Sleepless (June 11 and 23) offers a more contemporary perspective by insinuating us into the miserable yet colorful life of a young call-center drone. One of the many reasons why Filipino cinema is so compelling is because it is steeped in realism -- neorealism, poetic realism, and historical realism.