Monday, October 11, 2010
Z-Man on Senses of Cinema!
My more or less comprehensive article on Rico Ilarde (I hadn't been able to catch Villa Estrella (2009) at the time of this writing, unfortunately) is on Senses of Cinema:
Z Man, or: how do you solve a problem like Rico Ilarde (A horror filmmaker? An indie artist? Pinoy?)?
Rico Ilarde is that strange, strange creature, the filmmaker that flits in and out of both independent and mainstream studio system with apparent ease. He is not your classic idea of the “indie” or “art-house” filmmaker—when critics or journalists write about him, he’s usually characterized as a “horror / fantasy” director, with elements borrowed from the martial arts / action genre.
He has worked as an independent filmmaker in one sense—he has directed at least three features (his first, and his two latest) without the resources of a mainstream Filipino film studio behind him. One is tempted to ask, is Ilarde a true Filipino independent filmmaker—meaning, I suppose, do his films embody the spirit of Filipino independent filmmaking? Are his films Filipino in the first place? Art, perhaps? What is an independent film, a Filipino film, an art film, and how do we distinguish from the various categories involved?