I still can’t get over the ingenuity of this film’s title—The Eternity Between Seconds. It’s like an abstract idea that the title is able to deem imaginable and somewhat tangible. After watching it, that’s what the film actually does. It also has my favorite trailer among all the Cine Filipino Film Festival entries this year which perfectly encapsulates the film’s essence which is about the moments "in between" serendipitous encounters that can change your lives forever. In Between was the original title, and thank God they thought of this one instead. But enough about the title, now let’s talk about the festival's big winner, which includes the plum prize "Best Film" in its many awards.
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The film is set entirely inside Incheon, Korea’s fabulous airport which holds the record for being the Best Airport Worldwide for 11 consecutive years. Shooting inside such an architectural wonder already makes the film a must-watch. Rommel Sales’s cinematography fully utilizes the location’s beauty yet still maintaining the film’s smallness in its core, truly deserving of the Best Cinematography trophy. +4
In a nutshell, the film feels like a hybrid of Before Sunrise, The Terminal, and Lost In Translation. Though talky films like these are now a dime a dozen—especially in the independent film world 'cause of the budget-friendliness of these types—this film
still offers its own distinct charm to the audience. It may or may not speak to you, coz we all have our own unique sensibilities, but its certainly spoke to me. +3
Being another talky film, the content and temperament of the dialogue are essential. I also personally appreciated how in this film, the dialogues are not overwritten. Meaning, punchlines are tempered with most of them being just about mundane occurrences yet still pushing the story forward and even defining the characters further. In this regard, I believe the script was sublime. +4
For a film about time, the editing is paced just flawlessly with each emotional beat that each scene is trying to convey, coming across perfectly clear. The best editing award it garnered speaks for itself. +3
TJ Trinidad as Andres is painted as a complexly jaded character at first. This is such an irony 'cause in the film, he is a famous self help author on a book tour in Korea. But towards the end, you’ll realize that he’s no different from normal married men encountering the usual marital problems. TJ plays the character as effortlessly and as organically as it gets. +3
Yeng Constantino as Sam is the seemingly non-caring millennial who has no idea of what she wants in life except be a smart ass. Towards the end, you’ll realize that she is just like any other human being finding a sense of belongingness. For a sophomore film, Yeng breezes through her portrayal with utmost ease. Though she still has so much room to grow especially in some of the more intense emotional sequences, the rest of her portrayal was stellar. +3
TJ and Yeng have so much palpable onscreen chemistry even though this film is not really a love story. Or is it, really? It’s the type of material where the characters’ interactions are intrinsic to this kind of film’s effectiveness and they actually pulled it off quite well. I may have wanted to see more tension though, but it could have been the director’s choice to keep things seemingly distant and veer away from the more expected, so I respect that decision. +2
But, that spa scene though. No words were exchanged, just water splashes, which will give you all the feelz. You’ll get what I mean when you get to catch it. +3
Two words: ‘Fleeting constant.' Ugh. I died. And the use of these words in the film is just as poetic as it is bittersweet. +3
Again, I cannot say this enough, but the title is just genius and actually perfect for what the film wants to say. +5
Earning a total of 33 points, which is worth so much more than 33 seconds of eternity that this film will make you experience, this is one of the highest scores I’ve ever given a film. A great sophomore and comeback film of sorts for Alec Figuracion who also bagged the Best Director award at this year’s Cine Filipino Film Festival. I have to admit, I am exactly the target audience for The Eternity Between Seconds 'cause I immensely enjoyed every second of it. Don’t take my word for it and see it for yourself and I hope I won’t spoil your enjoyment of it with the things I’ve revealed, even if this film is not the kind that relies on twists. More than the plot and its characters, it’s really the sentiment that it will leave lingering in your soul, that sets this film apart from the rest.
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Photos courtesy of The Eternity Between Seconds