Saturday, May 16, 2009

Let us now praise Brillante Mendoza

“Mendoza, who makes a film a year, reminds us of Cassavetes.” -- Thierry Frémaux, executive director of the Cannes Film Festival official selection, talking about Brillante Mendoza in the NYTimes, here.

John Cassavetes, from the Criterion Collection introduction to five of his films:

“John Cassavetes has been called a genius, a visionary, and the father of independent film. But such rhetoric threatens to obscure the humanism and generosity of his art... Populated by beatniks, hippies, businessmen, actors, housewives, strippers, club owners, gangsters, and children, [his] films are beautiful, emotional testaments to compassion. Cassavetes has often been called an actor’s director, but this body of work--even greater than the sum of its extraordinarily significant parts--reveals him to be an audience’s director.”

The 2009 official selection below. Which should tell you, given those heavyweight names (Almodovar! Ang Lee! Von Trier! Campion! Bellocchio! Tarantino! RESNAIS!) what an achievement it is for Mendoza--and Filipino filmmaking--to duke it out in the world's biggest film festival--for the second year in a row (last year's Serbis, this year's Kinatay).

Los Abrazos Rotos (Broken Embraces) by Pedro Almodovar (Spain)
Fish Tank by Andrea Arnold (Britain)
Un Prophete (A Prophet) by Jacques Audiard (France)
Vincere (To Conquer) by Marco Bellocchio (Italy)
Bright Star by Jane Campion (New Zealand)
Map of the Sounds of Tokyo by Isabel Coixet (Spain)
A l'Origine (In the Beginning) by Xavier Giannoli (France)
Das Weisse Band (The White Ribbon) by Michael Haneke (Germany)
Taking Woodstock by Ang Lee (Taiwan-United States)
Looking for Eric by Ken Loach (Britain)
Spring Fever by Lou Ye (China)
Kinatay by Brillante Mendoza (Philippines)
Soudain le Vide (Enter the Void) by Gaspar Noe (France)
Bak-Jwi (Thirst) by Park Chan-wook (South Korea)
Les Herbes Folles (Wild Grasses) by Alain Resnais (France)
The Time That Remains by Elia Suleiman (Palestinian)
Inglourious Basterds by Quentin Tarantino (United States)
Vengeance by Johnnie To (Hong Kong)
Visages (Face) by Tsai Ming-Liang (Malaysia)
Antichrist by Lars von Trier (Denmark)

The UK Telegraph calls Serbis “terrific.” Agree, disagree, why?


Mr. Scheez said...

Wala pa ako nakikitang ground breaking filipino films in the past years. Except sa mga films ni Raya Martin and Lav Diaz.

Sorry ha, pero I think kaya sya nakakasali sa Cannes, pati na rin si Lino Brocka, eh kasi backed sila ng isang French firm/production.

thebaklareview said...

what this means is that brillante mendoza is now the representative auteur of our country, in much the same way as those other names are. there may be better films and better directors from all over the world (i didn't like serbis), but creating a recognizable brand is not easy. this is indeed an achievement for him and philippine cinema.

Anonymous said...

meron mga brillante mendoza haters na namumuo sa pilipinas. last year pa sila nagsimula. si mr scheez, isa na siya. o baka siya ung masipag magunderestimate kay dante at serbis dati pa.

at ang nakakapagtataka, habang linulubog nila si dante, inaakyat naman nila si raya sa pedestal. o di ba? ang linaw kung sino-sino tong dante haters!

ito lang ang masasabi ko: inggit lang kayo kay dante. yung raya nyo, di pa rin siya nakapasok sa main competition ngaung taon! instead ang kinatay ang nakapasok. isang malaking sampal yan sa inyo. hahhaha

Anonymous said...

Nakakagulat naman ang mga comments dito. ang liit liit na nga ng film industry ng pinas may conflicts pa. suportahan na lang kasi natin

gibbs cadiz said...

MR. SCHEEZ, no need to say sorry, that's your opinion. though i don't necessarily agree with you. :)

ey-men, TBR! you should know. :)

ANONYMOUS and ANONYMOUS, am sure raya and dante themselves wouldn't like being pitted against each other while they're in cannes, representing one and the same country. magsuportahan na lang tayo. :)

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