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Directed by Brillante Mendoza

Philippines, 2008

Cornerhouse, 8 October 2011


This fecund film teems at the seams, jam-packed with life and incident.

It vibes earthy but could only have been set in a city.  A building houses a porn cinema which doubles as a rendezvous for gay patrons and the young men who service them.  The cinema and the large, extended Phillippine family who own and run it somehow manage to coexist side by side.  Adventures of various kinds are captured by Brillante Mendoza’s ubiquitous camera, a creature hungry to live, eager to register experience.  Most action takes place in and around the building: a jeopardy-strewn island in the city, a perilous oasis.

Service is a very interesting film, similar in style to the work of Robert Altman.  Many and various characters, no single narrative strand.  It is one of several Brillante Mendoza films showing as part of Asia Triennial Manchester 11, the full film programme of which can be seen here.