Tag Archives: cannes film festival

‘Thank you all for embracing my kind of cinema’

26 May

First Pinoy Best Director in Cannes Dante Brillante Ma. Mendoza was presented at the awarding ceremony by Terry Gilliam, the director of The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Heath Ledger’s very last film.

dantemendoza

Mendoza’s acceptance speech goes:

“First of all I would like to thank the selection committee, who are responsible for bringing my films here for the past three years. And now with an award for Best Director, I would like to thank the Jury. And of course I’d like to thank my producer; thank you for the trust and faith in my films. I’d like to thank also a very committed staff and crew. I’d like to share this award with my daughter, Angelica, who has always been my number one critic and to an actor I really respect, Coco Martin. Thank you all for embracing my kind of cinema.”

I hope he had already called the scriptwriter Bing Lao and personally shared his glory with him.

Tarantino liked “Kinatay”

26 May

But while Hollywood movies are not much in abundance, the stars still come out, if somewhat fewer this year. Most of the American headliners (“Brad!” “Angelina!”) turned up at the premiere of “Inglourious Basterds.” They soon disappeared, but Mr. Tarantino was everywhere. He danced on the red carpet, chatted in English on French television and praised Mr. Mendoza’s “Kinatay.” Mr. Mendoza, a rising talent who was at Cannes last year with the rowdy “Serbis,” could use all the help he could get with this movie. A morality tale that he wields like a blunt instrument, “Kinatay” hinges on the inaction of a police-academy student while a prostitute is murdered and dismembered. The movie had its respectful fans, but many others fled the theater.

– Manohla Dargis for The New York Times

And I kinda know why he liked it.

A roaring rampage of revenge

A roaring rampage of revenge

Here’s the list of winners at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival

Palme d’Or (Golden Palm):
“The White Ribbon,” by Michael Haneke (Austria)

Grand Prix (runner up):
“A Prophet,” by Jacques Audiard (France)

Jury Prize:
“Fish Tank,” by Andrea Arnold (Britain) and
“Thirst,” By Park Chan-wook (South Korea)

Special Career Prize:
Alain Resnais, director of “Wild Grass”

Best Director:
Brillante Mendoza, “Kinatay” (The Philippines)

Best Actor:
Christoph Waltz, “Inglourious Basterds” (United States)

Best Actress:
Charlotte Gainsbourg, “Antichrist” (Denmark)

Best Screenplay:
Feng Mei, “Spring Fever” (China)

Camera d’Or (for debut film):
“Samson and Delilah,” by Warwick Thornton (Australia)

Best short film:
“Arena,” by Joao Salaviza (Portugal)

Short film special distinction:
“The Six Dollar Fifty Man” by Louis Sutherland and Mark Albiston

OMG!

25 May

Dante Brillante Ma. Mendoza, the controversial director of this year’s Cannes Film Festival entry, Kinatay, received the Best Director Award.  This is the first time that a Pinoy won Best Director in Cannes.

AFP Photo

AFP Photo

To me — a non-insider in the indie film circuit — it’s a very happy news.  I don’t know, however, why some Pinoys seem to hate Mendoza so much, they criticize him for the littlest things like changing his name from Dante to Brillante then later to Brillate Ma.  Stir.ph’s Edgar O. Cruz even insinuates that Mendoza has a “French Connection,” hence, his inclusion in Cannes for two years in a row (Mendoza has already denied this).  Some call his works, including last year’s Cannes entry Serbis “exploitation cinema” or a disservice to “what Lino Brocka stands for” due to its “lack of anti-dictatorship stand.”

Ano ba? Bitter?

Anyway, I hope that this award will open more distribution deals abroad for Pinoy filmmakers.  It is true that there are many talented Pinoy directors, writers, etc. in our country and a little funding and “kita” can go a long way.

My wish, though, is that screenwriters/writers get as much credit and exposure as the directors since a film’s worth all boils down to this: “Story is King.”

Do they stand a chance?

22 May

Moving on from the sicko-Hayden scandal, I’m quite excited about this Sunday’s awarding at the Cannes Film Festival.  Despite receiving really bad reviews from American critics, many think that Brillante Ma. Mendoza’s Kinatay might just win the prestigious Palme D’Or. Popular film critic Roger Ebert just named it “the worst movie in the history of Cannes.”

A scene from "Kinatay"

A scene from "Kinatay"

But, according to Kinatay hopefuls, this film could just be Cannes’s “dark horse.”

On the other hand, Raya Martin’s Independencia is getting fairly good reviews.  Screendaily.com wrote:

Raya Martin is only 24, but he is heavily, and admirably, committed to two overlapping projects: the appropriation of indigenous Filipino history after Spanish and American colonisation; and the laying bare of cinematic illusion.

CLICK HERE TO READ SCREENDAILY’S FULL REVIEW

The stranger (Alessandra de Rossi) in Independencia

The stranger (Alessandra de Rossi) in Independencia

This film, however, is not in the running for Palme D’Or.  It’s included instead in the Un Certain Regard category where young directors’ works are being featured.

Meanwhile, Manila is getting mixed reviews.  One film critic (Sorry, I forgot who) said that lead actor/producer Piolo Pascual’s presence failed to stand out in the film, and in one of the two segments, the dark skin make-up became quite distracting.  This critic, however, noticed that Piolo Pascual is a “hunk.”

Piolo Pascual in Manila

Piolo Pascual in Manila

On the other hand, Rosanna Roces, who plays Piolo’s mom in Raya Martin’s segment, was described as “a strong presence” in the movie.  Well, even in real life naman, Rosanna is one character that will surely stand out.

One review, however, notes that Manila will make viewers want to see the original films his movie plays homage to — Lino Brocka’s Jaguar and Ishmael Bernal’s Manila By Night.  I’m ashamed to admit that I’m one of those who haven’t seen these films yet.  I wish copies of these, plus this year’s Cannes participants, will be available soon.

Oo nga pala, I wonder what happened to the short film Sabongero.

Pinoys in Cannes

24 Apr

Just read from Variety.com that three Pinoy films have made it in the super prestigious Cannes Film Festival.  

Brillante Mendoza’s Kinatay will be competing against the films of Quentin Tarantino, Ang Lee, Pedro Almodovar, Jane Campion, and many other well-known directors for the much-coveted Palme D’Or award.  Adolf Alix’s and Raya Martin’s Manila, which by the way stars its producer Piolo Pascual, is in for exhibition.  And again, Raya Martin’s Independencia is included in the Un Certain Regard category (what is that, anyway?). 

independencia-raya-martin

I think Mendoza’s Kinatay, a film about the chop-chop cases here in the Philippines, is written by Sir Bing Lao.  They’re the same award-winning tandem who made Serbis, which also made it in Cannes last year.  I attended Sir Bing’s advanced scriptwriting workshop a couple of years back and I remember him sharing with the class that he was working on a script about chop-chop victims.  So I guess heto na ‘yun.  And it’s already in Cannes.  Ang galing di ba?