October 12, 2019
Anyone’s film IQ on Japanese filmmaking goes as far as the beloved Akira Kurosawa as the ideal peg for all Asian filmmakers dreaming to become a world-class artist of the first order.
This holds true to our homegrown filmmakers who have yet to make a dent in making themselves visible in the coveted marquee of Hollywood.
But on record, National Artist for Film director Lino Brocka almost stepped on the door of Hollywood to direct a film with 100 percent American actors through the encouragement of his producer friend and Academy Award-winner David Puttnam.
This did not see the light of day, as Lino insisted on casting at least one local talent in the person of Hilda Koronel, but Puttnam did not buy it. Talk conflict of principles.
Not so long ago, a maverick director who directed for Regal Films was touted to have his state-of-the art horror genre distributed in America. The ambition went pfffttt and the film was released straight to video instead.
News of co-production ventures of this sort aimed at virtually directing films for Hollywood or via the much-coveted Foreign Language Category at the Oscars more than excites local film enthusiasts like us.
One at hand is produced by the tandem of Cannes Best Director Brillante Mendoza under his Centerstage Productions and Sinag Maynila International Film Festival prime mover Wilson Tieng.
The film project in-progress is geared for distribution in the global and American market and hopefully to vie in the future for the Oscars.
The film is billed “Kintsugi” (a Japanese word for “may lamat”) and directed by another maverick and acclaimed director Lawrence Fajardo.
It goes without saying Fajardo is being mentored by director Brillante himself who is now in the official electoral body of the annual Oscars Awards along with director Lav Diaz.
Said film explores the labyrinthine relationship between a Filipino and a Japanese woman set against the dark milieu of their respective countries.
This is the second time for Fajardo to shoot a film in Japan with Filipino and Japanese lead characters in it. The first one was “Imbisibol” which was acclaimed locally and overseas.
The female lead of his second Japanese-themed film “Kintsugi” is Hiro Nishiuchi, former Miss Universe Japan First Runner-Up and on her second year now as Department of Tourism Ambassadress for Fun Philippines.
Talking with said talent who is a model and a serious stage and film actor back home, Caveat found out she is more than cognizant of the craft of guts-out acting like the palm of her hand.
Hiro can rattle off influential gurus of Method Acting from the heart. Her sensitivity reminds me of the Chinese actress Gong Li who made it in Hollywood via her acclaimed film “Raise the Red Lantern.”
It is an understatement to say this rare bird from the proverbial Land of the Rising Sun bears close watching.
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GUESS WHO? The bitter star (BS) stabbed in a manner of speaking about some co-actors who went on a junket by tweeting they were in fact all freeloaders.
Clue: BS fell out of grace from the bureaucracy of her own making.
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