Nick Deocampo, the pioneering Ilongo independent filmmaker made an informative and visually engaging documentary about the hispanic influence in Filipino cinema called “CINE>SINE”. He will present it in UP next week. This is one show history students should not miss. We are all fortunate that Nick continues to create these powerful learning materials to educate our people. I know for a fact that he’s very passionate about the history of our film making.
A few years ago, he made an interesting discovery in the US. He uncovered an old film made before the turn of the century. These early movies were the beginnings of our lifelong fascination with this form of entertainment. I think this discovery kick started Nick’s interest in the hispanic influences in our Filipino movies.
It was Deocampo who also pointed out hispanic influences in Brocka’s film’s. I saw a clip of him explaining how the master filmmaker made use of hispanic themes and imagery in his movies. If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t have noticed those details. He said, “Brocka’s film is very articulate in terms of visually enunciating the Spanish influences”.
The only other director that I know that have the depth of historical awareness is Raymond Red. His “Sakay”, is no doubt the greatest Filipino historical film ever made.This guy could’ve made great historical films if he got financial backing. After the success of “Anino” in Cannes he pursued making a film about one of the most controversial figures in Filipino historiography, the “MAKAPILI”, the group known for their collaboration with the Japs during the war. He later abandoned the project because no producer dared to gamble on his idea.
To all my readers and history buffs, please go see Deocampo’s documentary. I’m sure it will give you important insights on the historical influences in Filipino film before it got flooded with the hollywood style of movie making.
I highlighted the screening schedule in Nick’s invitation letter below.
On the occasion of the 115th year anniversary of the arrival of film in the Philippines (1897-2012), allow me to send you a personal invitation to watch my film, Cine: Spanish Influences on Early Cinema in the Philippines, about the beginnings of cinema in the Philippines. You may also want to invite your classes, friends, or send this invitation to your colleagues to watch my animated documentary on February 21, Tuesday, at the Cine Adarna, U.P. Film Institute, Magsaysay Ave., University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City. Screenings will be at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are priced at P60 only.
Based on my award-winning book, Cine: Spanish Influences on Early Cinema in the Philippines, the documentary in 3D animation traces the start of cinema in 1897 when two Spaniards showed the first moving pictures in Escolta, Manila. Against the backdrop of war and revolution, film developed to become the emerging Filipinos’ dominant form of public entertainment.
The film also discusses the Hispanic influences that continue to shape Filipino cinema as shown in the works featured in the documentary like those by Lino Brocka (Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang), Ishmael Bernal (Himala), and Eddie Romero (Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon?). It includes interviews with Dr. Bien Lumbera, Bambi Harper and Señor Guillermo Gomez-River.
Viewers will have knowledge of how cinema became the country’s national culture that subsequently helped transform Filipino society. CINE>SINE will surely enhance your students’ understanding of the origin of cinema in the Philippines. Please find more details about my documentary in the accompanying faculty study guide devised specially to help you in discussing the work in your class. (Please see attached files after this email.)
I really hope that this proposal will merit your kind attention and invite your students and colleagues to watch my documentary. I will conduct a 30-minute discussion at the end of each screening. I hope to see you at the screenings!
Center for New Cinema