Review: ‘Lumpia’

Taking low-budget to new heights, "Lumpia" is a youth project that got delightfully out of hand. Shot on vid over a period of six years, genre-spoofing pic is riddled with discontinuities that only add to the fun. Pic should click with ethnic-minded fests, and should be shown in high-school media classes across the continent.

Taking low-budget to new heights, “Lumpia” is a youth project that got delightfully out of hand. Shot on vid in South-of-Frisco Daly City over a period of six years, genre-spoofing pic is riddled with discontinuities — the thesps keep gaining and losing height and weight — that only add to the fun. Leroid David’s deft cartoon panels frame the action and set the tone for Patricio Ginelsa’s street-level affectionate look at kid culture among Filipino immigrants. Pic should click with ethnic-minded fests, and should be shown in high-school media classes across the continent.

Rambling plot centers on conflict between established immigrants, entrenched with straight-outta-Compton attitude, and more naive islanders fresh off the boat. Newly named James (Francis Custodio) and his nerdy crew are always in danger from big cheese Tyrone (Edward Baon), but all James wants to do is get with cute Kelly (Elizabeth Mendoza) — slow R&B tune plays whenever she appears. The FOBs have a protector — the Silent Avenger (mustachioed Carlos Baon, brother of the guy who plays the villain) — who knocks out adversaries with the titular snack, aka, deep-fried egg rolls.

Lumpia

Production

A Kid Heroes (Los Angeles) production, in association with Xylophone Films. Produced by Darriel Ginelsa, Patricio Ginelsa Jr. Co-producer, A.J. Calomay. Directed, written by Patricio Ginelsa Jr.

Crew

Camera (color, BetaSP), Ginelsa, Darriel Ginelsa; editor, A.J. Calomay; music, Windward Way, Elson Trinidad; cartooning, Leroid David. Reviewed at Hawaii Film Festival (The Filipino Experience), Nov. 1, 2003. Running time: 80 MIN.

With

Carlos Baon, Francisco Custodio, Edward Baon, Elizabeth Mendoza, Dennis Custodio, Carlo Ricafort, Richard Cabatic, Roy Pimintel, Brian Lucas, Philip Sison, Paloma Belara. Narrator: Joy Bisco. (Tagalog and English dialogue)
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