Tuesday, May 26, 2009

To put it in perspective...

Partial list of directors who have won the Grand Prix du cinéma de creation (Best Director Award) at the Cannes Film Festival
René Clément (1946 and 1949)
Luis Buñuel (1951)
Jules Dassin (1955)
Robert Bresson (1957 and 1983)
Ingmar Bergman (1958)
François Truffaut (1959)
John Boorman (1970 and 1998)
Costa Gavras (1975)
Ettore Scola (1976)
Nagisa Oshima (1978)
Terrence Malick (1979)
Werner Herzog (1982)
Andrei Tarkovsky (1983)
Bertrand Tavernier (1984)
André Téchiné (1985)
Martin Scorsese (1986)
Wim Wenders (1987)
Emir Kusturica (1989)
Joel Coen (with Ethan Coen, non-credited; 1991, 1996 and 2001)
Robert Altman (1992)
Mike Leigh (1993)
Wong Kar-Wai (1997)
Pedro Almodóvar (1999)
Edward Yang (2000)
David Lynch (2001)
Paul Thomas Anderson (2002)
Gus Van Sant (2003)
Michael Haneke (2005)
Alejandro González Iñárritu (2006)
Julian Schnabel (2007)
Nuri Bilge Ceylan (2008)

The 2009 winner
Brillante Mendoza

Whether you like his films or not (I didn't like Serbis, I've a feeling I won't like Kinatay, too) is not the point. Mr. Mendoza's Cannes victory is far bigger now than anyone's particular opinion of his work--Roger Ebert's even. (Memo to kvetchers: Kinatay is not “officially the worst film in the festival,” unless you count Mr. Ebert as your “official” tastemaker and sole arbiter of quality in films, in which case you must consider yourself deprived and should go out and read/watch more.) Catapulting as it does--and as never before--Filipino filmmaking to global consciousness, Mr. Brillante's remarkable feat should be an occasion for unapologetic national pride. He's in the history books now. Give him his due, pray that he will become even better, and let's prod our other filmmakers to build on the achievement he has blazed with as much fearlessness and singular vision--critics be damned. Congratulations, Mr. Mendoza!

[Photo: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP]


Dennis N. Marasigan said...


very well said! i haven't seen all of dante's films but it's immaterial at this point. what matters is that his victory in cannes is a victory for philippine cinema and filipino filmmakers as well.


how is it a victory for philippine cinema aber? am not being nega but really a good film is a good film. pag napanood niyo kaya ito would you still be as proud? yun lang. lets wait til we'v seen it.

gibbs cadiz said...

thanks, DENNIS, my point exactly. :)

hey JEROME, an example to illustrate what i'm trying to say: when antonioni's l'avventura premiered in cannes, it was also booed by critics and audiences and declared practically unwatchable. now it's recognized as a canonical piece of cinema. am not saying that dante mendoza's films are in the league of antonioni, or that it would grow to that stature in time. am only saying that, irrespective of the reactions to kinatay (which may, given the history of film and film appreciation, change over time), dante's unprecedented victory as the first pinoy director to be formally recognized with a trophy in the cannes main competition deserves to be celebrated. the scale of that achievement can stand independent of our own individual opinion of the quality of his films. sure, let's wait to see the film--but whether it's good or not according to our own idiosyncratic judgment isn't really what am driving at. i may not like it, but i can still feel good for dante, and for the thriving, roiling slice of national cinema he has brought to the world's attention. yun lang. :)

Jake said...

i'm 101% sure na maraming pinoy na nagtaas or nakataas pa rin ang kilay when they heard the news about dante's best director award. what's new with pinoys?

sasabog na ang baga ni charice pempengco kaka-kanta dito sa america pero hidni pa rin sya matanggap na karamihang pinoy.

ilan pa bang belt ang dapat makuha ni manny pacquiao para maging proud ang lahat ng pinoy sa achievements nya?

mga pinoy na utak talangka. kaya ang pilipinas ay pababa ng pababa.

yun lang :)

congrats dante by the way!

Jason Grimes said...

like you, I am not really a fan of his films (don't like serbis), but this is also something that we can be proud of.

drei said...

I like his treatment of the mood and visuals in Kaleldo, and I really liked the parallelisms in both Kaleldo and Masahista, though I never really find his story telling appealing.

Ung Tirador gusto kong panoorin, I'm interested to see our own version daw of City of God. Maybe I should start watching the rest of his movies. Ang galing kalevel na nya si Inarritu and Lynch!

Anonymous said...

I hope this gives momentum to independent films. Im not really familiar with the mechanics of the independent film industry (more familiar with theater). Pero disheartening na very few ang nanunuod. I remember watching 100 pero 30 lang kami. The same with Jay. Hope this provides momentum to the industry and cull enough support from viewers

erasmusa said...

agree with you 100%, gibbs. dante tells stories not many people dare to tell. at marami pa siyang pelikulang gagawin. hope this helps drum up more interest in indie films.

r-yo said...

pinoy cineates have long been lamenting the sad state of philippine filmmaking, and have been pointing at Cannes as the biggest proof that we will never be at par with the world's best. now someone has hurdled the test. ano na naman ang hirit natin ngayon? na mas magaling tayo kesa dun sa jury? i salute you, gibbs. I know you will surely have your say (competently, i should say)on dante's art, but you choose to be proud of his achievement. ganun naman kasi talaga dapat.

gibbs cadiz said...

JAKE, haha, this is funny but true: "sasabog na ang baga ni charice pempengco kaka-kanta dito sa america pero hidni pa rin sya matanggap na karamihang pinoy."

eh-men, JASON! :)

DREI, i liked masahista! at imagine, kasama na niya sa exclusive club na yan sina tarkovsky! :)

ANONYMOUS, dadami pa yan. sana nga this should serve as a big push. :)

ABBY, though i hope other directors would veer away from his genre and try out other stuff, otherwise lahat na yan cinema of abjection/misery na naman. :)

R-YO, hehe, mukhang me pinanggagalingang konting inis at pagkayamot yang comment mo a--at dapat din lang naman. :)

beektur said...

ehem...as someone who never believed in competitions of any kind, I extend warm congratulations to brilliante mendoza and wish that he can harness this fame to influence somehow the direction of philippine cinema -- if he doesn't exert such influence yet. having said that, i will reserve all other thoughts later lest they be perceived as nothing more than pagtatalangka.

Anonymous said...

i think it is amazing that films (aside from the annoying studio love-team films) are still being made in this country given the very limited budget and support. kudos to the directors and producers who continue to show their creative abilities dispite all the difficulties.

reyjr said...

Proud of Brilliante Mendoza! Go Pinoy!

merman said...

as a Filipino, i am very proud of what Brillante has accomplished. unfortunately, I haven't had the chance to watch any of his movies although people say that they're good. Maybe because most of his movies have not been shown in more locations and for a longer time.

the good thing here is that I am looking forward to watching his movies whether in DVD or in the theaters.

i completely agree with you gibbs.

by the way, i have watched Ded na si Lolo at SM last night after watching its pirated version days ago.

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