Friday, September 18, 2009

A conversation with Brillante Mendoza, part 1

THE Brillante Mendoza visited the office two weeks ago (pre-Venice Film Festival) to screen his contentious film Kinatay for editors and employees, and afterwards, to answer questions from those of us who were eager to discuss the film, talk about movies and basically just inhale the oxygen around the 2009 Cannes Film Festival Best Director. Bayani San Diego has the report today in Inquirer Entertainment on some of the questions we were able to throw at Mr. Mendoza, who remains a strikingly soft-spoken, unassuming fellow despite his celebrated stature in contemporary world cinema. I was able to record the interview on high-definition video, and it makes for a fascinating peek into the mind and aesthetics of a visionary filmmaker who's rewriting the rules in his dogged, against-the-grain way. Part 1 consists of two clips, both under 10 minutes (YouTube limitation). Part 2, also two clips, will follow. An excerpt from the interview:

How long was the script of “Kinatay”?
20 pages, with 43 sequences. A regular script would have about 100 sequences. But since my French producer (Didier Costet) knew how I worked, he wasn’t bothered by the slim script. (Lead actor and co-producer) Coco Martin initially thought “nothing was happening” in the script.

Before the start of the shoot, I didn’t know yet how I would orchestrate everything. Basta everything was in my mind.

What was clear to me was that I wanted the viewers to feel disturbed, afraid and unsafe after watching the movie.

Why was that your goal?
Because that’s reality. We just refuse to see it. We’re too blinded by a false sense of security.

PLUS: Reviews of Kinatay--theater director Nonon Padilla's here (published in Adobo Magazine), online film critic Oggs Cruz's here.

1 comment:

The English Ocean said...

I initially did not like Kinatay. I actually shared Coco Martin's initial reaction to the script. While watching, I was thinking: "puhleazzee, bigyan nyo naman ako ng kahit konting istorya kasi more than one hour na akong nakaupo dito!" But after reading Nonon Padilla's review, I began to understand some of the film's motives and imageries. I don't know if this is a case of the review better than the film but I was able to match the director's vision with the film's visualities. Belatedly though. Yan palagay ko ang silbi ng kritisismo sa pag-unawa sa sining.

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