Concentrated Nonsense (cinema edition)

The Cinema of Manuel Conde
July 10, 2008, 2:30 pm
Filed under: philippine cinema

Something to look forward to…

“The Cinema of Manuel Conde” Book Launch

[Press Release]
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.

Links (with movie ads):
The Incomporable Manuel Conde
Manuel Conde’s Genghis Khan
Manuel Conde’s Juan Tamad
Manuel Conde’s Molave

Quest for a national film archive continues (by Clodualdo “Doy” Del Mundo Jr)
SOFIA (Society of Filipino Archivists for Film) on Facebook

6 Comments so far
Leave a comment

i saw this! i even touched it!
(well at least the draft copy)

Comment by Tengal

The Philippine Air force is planning to produce a movie entitled “Days of Infamy”depicting the lives and times of Filipino Pilots during the Pacific War who by their bravery and heroism flew against a more superior Japanese Air Forces during the Dec 10th and 12th , 1941 aerial battles over Camp Murphy and Batangas Airfield. It is also a story of the magnificent display of human courage in the defense of Bataan and Corregidor where both Filipinos and Americans fought valiantly to defend our Motherland against foreign invaders. The movie is based on a true story and real events in the early days of the war.

The PAF has been inviting movie producers and individuals to part-take in a joint production of this epic movie dedicated to the brave Filipinos and Americans whom we owe a lot for the liberty and freedom we all enjoy today.

Lt Manuel Conde is part of this movie were he flew and fought the Japanese planes during the early days of the war.

I you have some contact to the family or anyone who would like to invest in this project please inform them so.

Airofrce Historian

Comment by COLONEL Eduardo b Diano PAF

oh, i just known that you got a blog.
Hello, remember me? Graiwoot from Thailand
Nice to see u again : )

Comment by Graiwoot

Hello Colonel Diano: I’m very sorry but I don’t have the contact of the family of Manuel Conde.

Graiwoot: Hello, my friend! Of course I remember you. Nice to hear from you again. I hope that we can translate more of your writing on Thai cinema.

Comment by Alexis

Colonel Diano: I regret to inform you that Lt. Manuel Conde is just a namesake of Manuel Conde, the movie director who is being given honors for his outstanding contributions to Philippine Film. His real name is Manuel Urbano and according to my mother, he didn’t fly planes during the war. Manuel Urbano is my maternal grandfather. Thanks for this post Alexis. You rock!

Comment by Janice

Thank you Janice. Yes that info is unfortunately true. All the while we thought he was the pilot. I was able to contact and meet his son Mr Manuel Urbano Jr (Mr Sioly the Mongolian Barbeque)and we talked about this project. He is more than willing to help us get financers as he liked the story. We prepared a movie teaser:

Thanks again,
Col Eddie Diano PAF

Comment by Colonel Diano

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