Thursday, May 14, 2009


today, i received an email newsletter questioning the integrity of the cannes film festival and the works of celebrated filipino directors brillante mendoza and raya martin.

i always believed that film criticisms, no matter how bad, as long as it is focused on the artistry and merit of the finished film should always be welcomed; however, when someone dismisses a film without having seen it is something else.

the author of the newsletter accuses cannes of playing favorites. he asserts that the primary reason why filipino films are in competition this year is due to some underhanded manipulation by several french filmmakers. bullshit!

why can't just he be proud of mendoza and raya! personally, i don't like the films of mendoza. i thought his serbis sucked big time. but it is just me - others may find it actually good and i cannot accuse them of poor taste.

the writer's innuendos are downright cheap!

below is the text of his newsletter. grammatical errors are all his own. lol.

French connection
by: Edgar O. Cruz STIR Editor (Chief Agitator)14 May 2009 10:26 AM


Are the three Filipino-made films in the newly opened Cannes International Film Festival to be held in Cannes, France from May 13 to 24 a triumph for Pinoy movies? Perhaps to Pinoy moviemakers who are hanged up on the Gallic ambition. It looks to this writer as more like a French triumph than a Pinoy victory.

Brillante Mendoza and Raya Martin’s movies were highly expected to be accepted in the Cannes International Film Festival because of their so-called French connection. If not, why do you think STIR already buzzed the selection of Raya’s “Independencia” in the Un Certain Regard section and Brilliante’s “Kinatay (The Execution of P)” in In Competion sections three day before the selection was officially announced?

That’s because Cannes has a bias for French-produced and French-funded entries. It’s not a coincidence that Brillante and Raya had movies screened in Cannes last year and this year. Both were expected—even designed—to make it to Cannes because of their French connection. If British Academy of Film and Television Arts British determine the Academy of Motion Picture ARTS AND Sciences (Oscar) winners, the French connection determines Pinoy films to be selected in Cannes. There’s that inescapable association.

Raya’s closeness to Cannes is well known. He’s considered as its baby plus the fact he’s talented. He spent time in Cannes doing films. “Now Showing and “Indio Nacional” are clearly French-style movies. French Jeanne Lapoirie is “Independencia’s” director of photography (DoP). “Independencia” used the 120,000-euro (P7 million) grant from the French government called Fonds Sud Cinema.

Raya’s other new movie,“Maynila,” co-directed with Adolf Alix, Jr. is a reimaging of Lino Brocka’s “Maynila Sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag” and Ishmael Bernal’s “Manila By Night.” To screen out of competition, it stars and co-produced by Piolo Pascual.

Brilliante’s movie, on the other hand, was financied by French producer Didier Costet for his Swift Productions. “Tirador” and “Serbis,” his entry which made it to the In Competition section in last year’s Cannes are clearly French-inspired.

Yet two other Pinoy movies, Raymond Red’s “Himpapawid” and Bing Lao’s “Biyaheng Lupa (Solliloquy)” were left out. Why? Quite simply, both movies did not have French connection. Both are 100% Pinoy movies with an all Pinoy cast and crew. “Biyaheng Lupa’s” case was understandable as Quantum Films submitted a rough edited version.

You’d counter. Raymond won the Palm d’Or for his short film “Anino (Shadows).” Right! But what’s a five-minute movie to a full-length feature but a minor accomplishment? Do you know the joke about the jurors finding the floating shit in the movie very artistic that’s why it won?

Being selected in Cannes is a formula. Once a filmmaker masters the shock factor with a Frenchy presentation and with the right French connection, his movie/s can qualify to participate in its various sections, even proceed to win the Palm d’Dor!


Anonymous said...

Some sourgrapes must have paid this guy to write this...and I agree, his criticism wasn't based on merits of the films that either got in and didn't get it...ugh!


Anonymous said...

totally agree. guy's an idiot!

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