musings

CITIZEN JAKE

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watched CITIZEN JAKE last weekend march 10 at its world premiere in the UP film institute (formerly film center which we still fondly call it). it was a very strong piece of work and timely for this generation. mike de leon hasnt made a film in 18 years but clearly he hasnt lost his magic touch. the little touches of breaking the narrative with inserts of bts footage reminds you of bayaning third world.

atom araullo was awesome as the titular character and i was pleasantly surprised by max collins’s performance. luis alandy’s jonie was the ER we all wanted to have and even richard quan’s take on the henchman, enchong, was chilling i was afraid to approach him after the premiere coz he might pull out his gun on me. lol.

maybe i havent been clear but, yes, atom araullo is gorgeous on-screen and in person. probably not ok to drool on his coat but it’s hard to stop oneself. charot.

the film also brings in mike’s long-time collaborator, cesar hernando, the production designer for his previous movies, and who just retired from teaching at the up college of fine arts. he was our mentor and friend in university, he often brought us along to film festivals and continued to nurture our love and passion for filmmaking and we owe much to this awesome guy.

rounding out the stellar staff are colleagues from our FA organization, UP CINEMA AS ART MOVEMENT (UPCAM): editor tom estrera iii, who was chairman before me, and noel pascual our lib-sci member who eventually went to write for graphic novels like patay kung patay and now co-writer with mike de leon for citizen jake.

didnt have a photo but dix buhay is cinematographer i normally get to work with in commercials (and also dop for erik matti’s honor thy father and pepe diokno’s dinner for three) and martin mayuga, bianca balbuena’s little me, played line producer for mike de leon in this film.

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art & design, filmmaking, laundry therapy, movies, musings

i cam i saw i cam

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cesar hernando, production designer for most of mike de leon’s films (batch ’81, kisapmata), sent us invitations to revisit the college of fine arts at university of the philippines and celebrate our organization’s 16th year anniversary last saturday, 25th of october 2014. that org is CAM, Cinema as Art Movement. generally a group of film enthusiasts from fine arts who love to watch and dissect films, the org evolved to encouraging students to work on their own cinematic masterpieces and involving more to see cinema beyond entertainment. the broadness and loftiness of the concept that embodies the org’s name may lead to its own downfall but the org strived to meet each generation of members’ goals for the sake of cinema. and art. 16 years later and even 10 years since my batch has graduated, the argument on what the org really should be remain diverse; its implied goal elusive.

CAM’s pioneering members include esquire magazine’s editor-in-chief erwin romulo, photographers gary buenavista, richard de guzman, j lucas reyes, film cinematographer eli balce, and graphic artist tom estrera iii. some of the org’s advisers and supporters are cannes winner raymond red, cinematographers larry manda and dindo martinez, and independent filmmaker mes de guzman.

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long ago its membership was exclusively fine arts students until the group, under my leadership in 2002, opened to accept students from other colleges in UP. we enjoyed a strong physical presence in the fine arts halls that year, aided by a healthy number of members, and even went as far as leveling up the org’s indie video film festival, inyorai, to become an intercollegiate event and saw entries coming in from ateneo, la salle, and PLM. towards the 2nd half of the year, we planned to hold workshops on various aspects of production with the hope that members and students would have the necessary know-how to produce their own works. a school year is too short and we were only able to hold 2 workshops and it was like starting from scratch the year after. such is life for a school organization.

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photo of past and present chairheads of CAM

that saturday we did find ourselves again in the hallowed halls of hogwarths, communing with ghosts from the past and stray cats of the present. i was late coming into the program so i had no idea what was being discussed earlier. i had to introduce myself to the kids.

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so it is with a reassured heart that we leave an impression with the young ones to continue what he had hoped to accomplish back in the day. however, i do fear (i believe) the key to success for this so-called movement lies with the alumni. and maybe even outsiders who can pursue that grand idea and move the call forward. this movement can no longer be contained in a college organization whose lifespan is limited to periods the length of a school semester before restarting its programs or do an overhaul with every new enrollment of students. maybe it’s time we pick up the camera again, this time armed with real world know-how and connections beyond the world of the academe.

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class picture! i love you new cam members but i dont know all your names. on the front row are alumni from left: jopay cuntapay, peta stage writer and actress anj herjuela, tv commercial director mike talampas, esquire editor-in-chief erwin romulo, prof cesar hernando, myself, bates ad agency acd jhem manalang, prof ruben de jesus, comic book illustrator aj bernardo, graphic artist tom estrera iii, gma agency hotshot jimi diga, comic book writer and editor noel pascual, and chorva.

*special thanks to anj for sharing the last three photos in this article. for more information on Cinema as Art Movement, check out the group’s facebook page.

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musings

triptych: jhem

here is another short film we worked on for a class project back in 2002. we were tasked to group in teams of 5 (me with mike talampas and marco dela torre, from the salamin group, plus jm epilepsia and dennis domingo). the plan was to create a triptych of sorts with jm, mike and myself directing 1 episode each. marco scores the whole thing, dennis writes the screenplay, mike handles the camerawork and i edit everything. i have yet to upload the first two shorts but here’s the 3rd part, which i directed and edited. i was heavily influenced by lynch’s mulholland drive here. mind you, this was produced in 2002, and some sets we shared with the other shorts in this triptych. it was fun producing this but please dont take us seriously. hehehe

triptych: jhem stars ezer marin and reena david, two of ateneo’s best student actors and bestfriends of my cousin tootsie. most of our actors in triptych turn out to be ateneans. this short used to be titled jake but rockstar god and bestie jhem claims this is his story. ergo the change of name

🙂 cheers!

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