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Featured Articles

A TRIBUTE TO GERARDO DE LEON, FOR THE CENTENNIAL OF HIS BIRTH (1913- 1981)

Aditya Monday September 29, 2014
This year, thanks to SOFIA (Society of Filipino Archivists for Film) - mainly inspired and run by scholars like Cesar Hernando and Teddy Co, or Dr. Nicanor Tiongson and Dr. Bienvenido Lumbera (who are not members) - and to NCCA (National Council for Culture and the Arts), a homage is being paid to one of the greatest directors of Filipino classic cinema, Gerardo de Leon (better known as Gerry de Leon, or Manong to his family and friends). SOFIA has been organizing almost every month a screening of what's left of Gerry's work at the Cultural Centre of the Philippines (CCP). These screenings amount mostly to bad video copies or DVDs without subtitles, as is too often the case in the Philippines. So, with a one year long celebration (G.de Leon was born on 12 September 1913), a tribute is finally paid to a "direk' who some historians and film buffs  consider to be the John Ford, or the Raoul Walsh of the Philippines.
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IMELDA MARCOS AND HER CINEMATIC DREAMS

Aditya Sunday September 28, 2014
 When it comes to evoking the figure of "Madame" Imelda Marcos, especially in the West, all the wildest fantasies pop up. And it's not about politics and her "dictatorial" ruling, but all about her "follies", and more precisely about her mythical 3000 pairs of shoes, her countless handbags, and even her mink fur coats, which were exhibited in Malacañang Palace after the fall of Ferdinand Marcos (I was there in 1986). Thereafter, it was a "mis en scène" in numerous plays and musicals, like the recent Here Lies Love by David Byrne on Broadway and London. Among the many films on or about her, The Red Shoes, directed by Raul Jorolan (2010, with Marvin Agustin), featured actress Tessie Tomas as a spiritualist. And the same Tessie impersonated Imelda in a show at the Manila Film Centre. More seriously, there was a very interesting documentary on Imelda by Ramona Diaz (2003), which infuriated “Madame”, who tried in vain to stop it from being screened.
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Samir Farid – The Years Mellow You

Aditya Monday August 11, 2014
“Anyone has the right to like or dislike a film. What, then, is the difference between a common viewer’s reaction and the reaction of a critic?” asked Egypt’s most distinguished film critic and historian, Samir Farid, honoree of the Aruna Vasudev Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Writing on Cinema.  Farid was speaking at the 12th Osian’s-Cinefan Festival of Asian and Arab Cinema which conferred the award on him at the recently concluded festival in New Delhi. He suggested the answer himself. “A critic is a professional. Perhaps he can provide the key to a work of art that others cannot.” He went on to enunciate the methods and principles he has adopted and practised in his copious body of writing.
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The Iranian New Wave Rolls On

Aditya Saturday August 9, 2014
When Dariush Mehrjui’s The Orange Suit was screened at the 12th Osian’s-Cinefan Film Festival, the audience erupted in joy and gave the director a prolonged applause. The film’s subject – filth and trash dotting the streets and countryside in Iran - seemed to have elicited an immediate response in India. In an interview with this writer, Mehrjui said he was saddened and angered by the rubbish he saw all around him. “With all the rubbish being dumped in the beautiful forests of northern Iran, I found the stench so strong I couldn’t breathe.” But the mess, he says, is not just physical, not just a degradation of nature, of the environment and of earth’s beauty. It is as much a mental clutter. “By cleaning your surroundings, you are supporting a change in you.” Students in northern Iran have taken up the cause and picked up the broom.
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Mario O'Hara, A Complete Artist and An Outsider

Aditya Friday July 20, 2012
 Born on April 20, 1946, in Zamboanga (Mindanao), one of the many children of Jaime O'Hara, the son of an Irish-American Thomasite, and a Filipina with Spanish blood, Mario Herrero O'Hara perfectly reflects the "melting pot" of the Philippines modern history. Actually he was about the only one in his family to refuse to take an American passport, which already says enough about his character. One of the most outstanding personalities of Filipino cinema and stage, Mario O'Hara, passed away from leukemia at the San Juan de Dios hospital (Manila) on June 26, 2012, at only 66. He was cremated, and the wake took place at Magallanes church, in Manila.
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A New Aspect of Philippine Indie Cinema

Aditya Thursday March 1, 2012
 As indie film festivals are sprouting across the country, Cinema Rehiyon 4 (cinemarehiyon.com) took place in Bacolod, capital of the Negros Island in Visayas from 8 to 11 February 2012, under the funny title of "Bacollywood". It was held in Davao last year. With the sponsorship by the NCCA (the National Commission for Culture and the Arts)1, admission to the screenings was free. Although its opening was a bit marred by a strong earthquake that shook Negros the day before, the festival ran normally at the Robinson's mall in Bacolod during the four days. Most of the directors and actors were also in attendance to meet the local audience.
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A Conversation with Simin

Aditya Thursday March 1, 2012
Perhaps Iran’s most famous actress and also a longstanding member of NETPAC, Fatemeh (Simin) Motamed Arya recently received the Prix Henri-Langlois 2012Cinémas du Monded'ici & d'ailleurs (Cinemas of the World) for an actress at the Vincennes International Festival in France. Named in honour of the co-founder of the Cinémathèque Française and the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF), the awards are presented annually to personalities who greatly influence the art of cinema.
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Film Reviews: Brides of Sulu and The Dawning Sky

Aditya Tuesday August 30, 2011
It was the fifth time that the International Silent Film Festival (the only regular one of its kind in South-East Asia) took place at the Shangri-La Plaza, in Mandaluyong, Metro Manila (August 26 to 28, 2011), but it was only the first time that a Silent Filipino film was shown, as the opening film. And it was an intriguing one, indeed
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The Death of an Artist: Tareque Masud

Aditya Wednesday August 17, 2011
With the tragic death of Tareque Masud in a car crash near Dhaka on 13 August, Bangladesh has lost her tallest filmmaker, and the film world an artist of refinement and compassion, qualities so transparent in his cinema. Author of several documentaries and two feature films, Masud proved his mettle on the world stage with his first feature, The Clay Bird (Matir Moina, 2002), produced by his American-born wife Catherine.. The film garnered three international awards, including the International Critics Prize in Cannes for “its authentic, moving and delicate portrayal of a country struggling for its democratic rights.”
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Film Review

Aditya Monday August 15, 2011
The world famous Japanese director Akira Kurosawa (1910-1988) has been the object of many books and documentaries (mainly for TV), but this latest one, Kurosawa la Voie (Kurosawa's Way), produced by Michiko Yoshitake and directed by Catherine Cadou, is a bit different. Catherine Cadou is well known in the film world for being a top French translator in Japanese, for numerous interviews and also subtitles for dozens of classic and contemporary Japanese movies, especially those by A.K.
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Obituary

Jocelyne Saab (30th Apr, 1948 - 7th Jan. 2019) Jocelyne Jocelyne Saab, widely considered one of the most important contemporary Arab filmmakers, passed away after a brave and difficult battle with cancer on 7 January. Although death had long been hovering, many of us in contact only through texting or phoning, were taken by surprise, as the usual season's greetings had been exchanged with no hint that this beloved member of our film community would leave us within a week. Read More...