Sunday, May 01, 2011

Jeonju Film Festival features Kidlat Tahimik

Heads up, Kidlat Tahimik is enjoying a career retrospective of his films at the 2011 Jeonju International Film Festival. 

An excerpt from the writeup:

For the past 11 years, JIFF has gone through retrospectives of master directors such as Chantal Akerman, Hsiaohsien Hou, Glauber Rocha, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Rainer Werner Maria Fassbinder, Shinji Somai, Ritwik Ghatak, Peter Watkins, Béla Tarr, Jerzy Skolimowski, Pedro Costa, showing their works that have left important marks in the history of film. JIFF2011, in celebrating its 12th edition, has chosen Kidlat Tahimik, the godfather of Filippino independent cinema, who has continuously explored the Third World issues such as post-colonialism in a provocative and experimental manner for three decades.

I do have my own selfish reasons for promoting this: a book on Kidlat has been published in time for the retro, and features an article I wrote on the filmmaker. A brief excerpt:

Kidlat Tahimik's name in Tagalog means "Quiet Lightning"-- a paradoxical moniker which, when one looks at his films, turns out to be entirely appropriate. He's a termite craftsman tucked away in his own little corner of the world fashioning handmade films, but fashioning them his way, on his terms; he's an independent filmmaker who takes on big topics such as neocolonialism and cultural identity but without the kind of white-hot anger that, say, the late Lino Brocka (possibly the country's best-known director) wielded when dealing with the social issues of his day. He is physically small with a modest build who managed to marry a strikingly beautiful German woman; when you talk to him he has this affable modesty that gives little to no hint of the kind of confidence and drive that produces several feature films and a number of works in progress in both film and video without any studio support (but with plenty of help from friends and family).


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