Images from the set of Raya Martin’s Independencia, Monday December 15. Shooting day number 8 of a 15 day straight shooting schedule. While I preserved the color of the images I took, the film is being shot in black and white.
Independencia is the second part of a trilogy that began with Maicling Pelicula Nang Ysang Indio Nacional (O Ang Mahabang Kalungkutan ng Katagalugan) (A Short Film About the Indio Nacional (Or the Prolonged Sorrow of the Filipinos, 2005) and takes place during major periods of struggle in Philippine history. It continues the aesthetic design for the trilogy started by Indio Nacional, which is for each film to mimmick the cinematic style of the era and culture it depicts. For Indio Nacional which took place at the end of the Spanish occupation of the Philippines, that meant shooting in the vain of the silent-film, with a static camera, intertitles, and simple animation, for Independencia, set during the American occupation, it means shooting entirely in a studio, utilizing artificial backdrops, and applying heavy make-up on the actors. Seen in the images above is one of painted backdrops for the film. There are between fifteen and twenty of them in all.
Cinematographer for the film, being shot on black and white 35mm stock, is Jeanne Lapoire, who has worked with the likes of Francos Ozon, André Téchiné and Pedro Costa (for the Straub film), among others. Her full credits can be viewed here.
The actors in the images above are Sid Lucero and Alessandra De Rossi.
[Update April 26, 2009: Lav Diaz was no longer the final editor of the film. The credit belongs to Jay Halili]
* outtake after the cut
The Philippines Free Press, the oldest weekly in the country (first going to print in 1908), is receiving a facelift. Erwin Romulo, mentioned here earlier for the interesting things he did with Rogue magazine (before his departure at the end of its first year), has come on board, teaming with, among others, copy editor Ricky Torre and literary editor Sarge Lacuesta to create an impressive nucleus. In just two issues he has brought in a fresh roster of contributors that includes Lourd De Veyra, Tad Ermitano, Luis Katigback, Yvette Tan, Armi Millare (of Up Dharma Down), Gang Badoy, Philbert Dy and myself; a base that will surely expand with each new week.
The above issue is his second as Associate Editor, the second one I’ve written for, and features a newly revamped cover design courtesy of photographer Juan Caguicla. It hits stands today (try National Bookstore, Filbars and Mag:net shops), and costs only 50 pesos. Pick up this issue. If you like what you read, keep in mind that there’s a new one every Monday.
Bontoc Eulogy by Marlon Fuentes, 8pm Thursday @ Dec 11 at Fully Booked Fort Bonifacio
Bontoc Eulogy / Marlon Fuentes / 1995 / 57:00 / 16mm, archival footage / screening from DVD
With a mixture of anger and tenderness, Bontoc Eulogy narrates the fate of Markod, one among over a thousand ‘Filipino savages’ exhibited in the St. Louis World Fair of 1904. A feat of borrowing and appropriation (Edison films, Burton Holmes travel footage), a sincere and moving faux documentary, and a meditation on the nature of images, memory, identity, and cinema. Easily one of the best and most intelligent Filipino films in the last 20 years.
* Screening with permission from the director.
The first in a series of films I’ll be programming and presenting in Fully Booked Fort Bonifacio’s U-View Cinema, Thursday nights at 8pm. Do come. Admission is free.
1904 World’s Fair: The Filipino Experience (Jose D. Fermin, UP Press, 2004)
Bonus: so alone, all bound together
Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao defeated Oscar De la Hoya with ease yesterday. A few months ago Maggie Costello wrote an entry on the song Pancho Villa by Sun Kill Moon, which speaks of three great boxers who met tragic, abrupt ends: Salvador Sanchez (died in a car accident), Pancho Villa (died of blood poisoning after a tooth extraction), and Benny Paret (put into a coma in a fight with Emile Griffith, died a few days after). Pancho Villa was the ring pseudonym of another great Filipino fighter, Francisco Guilledo. Recommended reading.