Highlights among the more than 100 films and videos from 25 Pacific Rim countries are reviewed here:
The Perfumed Nightmare
The Philippines Airs today at 11 p.m. on KCET
Part travelogue, part ethnographic documentary, part fantasy and part autobiography, Philippine filmmaker Kidlat Tahimik's 1981 "The Perfumed Nightmare" is a work of folk art rich in wit and imagination. Tahimik, a cheerful man with a Dutch boy haircut, lives in a village of 600 people and has declared himself the president of the local Wernher Von Braun Fan Club. He drives a whimsically decorated "jeepney" and dreams of going to America to become an astronaut. Tahimik doesn't get to go to the moon, but he does get to go to Bavaria. His journey becomes a satire on the evils of colonialism, and he begins to question the entire notion of progress. Made with the advice and encouragement of Werner Herzog, "The Perfumed Nightmare" emerges as a surrealist allegory that is so crammed with provocative references and juxtapositions that it doubtlessly yields new meanings with each viewing.