Filed under: philippine cinema
Something to look forward to…
“The Cinema of Manuel Conde” Book Launch
The book “The Cinema of Manuel Conde” written by Nicanor G. Tiongson and designed by Cesar Hernando will be launched on July 16, Wednesday at 3:30pm at the Little Theater of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) as a special feature of the Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival. The launching is part of “Juan Tamad Goes Indie,” a tribute to a great filmmaker and artist Manuel Conde which includes an exhibit on Manuel Conde and the screening of six of his surviving films, the famous “Genghis Khan” at 6:15 pm right after the book launch.
The hardbound coffeetable book shows why Conde is one of Philippine cinema’s great directors, whose significance has been overlooked, popular both here and abroad. Most of his films were full of social insights and commentary that are still relevant today.
The book measures 8 ½” x 11” and has 280 pages of more than 300 rare photographs and images in duotone and color. Book launching price is P800 only.
The project is the first of the 12-part Filipino Film Directors Series supported in part by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), in cooperation with Tribung Pilipino Cultural Foundation and published by the University of Santo Tomas Publishing House.
The Conde book traces the artist’s life and works as a film director, writer, actor, and producer, through the 40 films he created from 1940 to 1974. It depicts his humble beginnings in Daet, Camarines Norte, his apprenticeship in Filippine Films, and his first directorial stint in LVN Pictures (1940-1942).
It chronicles the first golden age in Conde’s career (1946-1952), when he established his own MC Productions and came out with “Si Juan Tamad,” “Si Juan Daldal (Anak ni Juan Tamad),” “Prinsipe Paris,” “Siete Infantes de Lara,” “Sigfredo,” and most of all, “Genghis Khan,” the first Filipino film to compete in an international film festival, in this case the Venice Film Festival in 1952.
It discusses the popular films Conde did for LVN after his return from Europe (1953-1958), like the Nida Blanca-Nestor de Villa starrers, “Ang Ibong Adarna,” “Ikaw Kasi!,” “Bahala Na,” and “Tingnan Natin,” as well as MC Productions’ “Krus na Kawayan.”
It highlights Conde’s second golden age (1959-1963) when he produced, directed and starred in his most significant productions, namely, “Molave,” and the three Juan Tamad classics: “Juan Tamad Goes to Congress,” “Juan Tamad Goes to Society,” and “Si Juan Tamad at si Juan Masipag sa Pulitikang Walang Hanggan.”
Finally, it describes the last years (1964-1985) when Conde did the first episode of the unreleased “Tadhana” and the Juan Tamad productions on television, and later ventured into politics and treasure-hunting.
In ending, the book assesses Conde’s contributions to Filipino national cinema through films that embodied Filipino cultural history, depicted and critiqued local customs and traditions, foregrounded and examined contemporary political and social issues, employed but innovated on the commercial genres of his time, and opened Filipino cinema to the world.
It is nothing less than a national travesty that of the 40 films of Manuel Conde copies of only 8 are known to exist today. Until found – if ever found – what remains to know those lost by? For some, articles describing them, production photos, or their scripts (if among those preserved lovingly by the Conde family), and movie ads– saved by collectors from oblivion, once teasing audiences into watch a film, now teasing us of what we are deprived of, what we no longer can see.
– Quest for a national film archive continues (by Clodualdo “Doy” Del Mundo Jr)
– SOFIA (Society of Filipino Archivists for Film) on Facebook
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