Friday, August 24, 2012

Ike Jarlego, Jr. (May 3, 1944 - August 24, 2012)

Mario O'Hara once called Ike Jarlego, Jr. one of Philippine cinema's best editors, easily making him in my book one of the world's finest. He began his career cutting the most famous work of the most notable filmmaker of the '70s and '80s Golden Age of Philippine cinema: Lino Brocka's Maynila sa Mga Kuko Liwanag (Manila in the Claws of Neon, 1975). He went on from there: O'Hara's Mortal (1975) and Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos (Three Years Without God, 1976); Mike de Leon's Itim (Rites of May, 1975) and Kakabakaba Ka Ba? (Are You Worried?, 1980); Ishmael Bernal's Aliw (Pleasure, 1979), Himala (Miracle, 1982), Working Girls (1984) and Working Girls 2 (1987); Butch Perez's Haplos (Caress, 1982), and Balweg (1986); Maryo J. Delos Reyes' Bagets (1984). 

Jarlego was born into a moviemaking family--his father Enrique Jarlego, Sr. was an editor who worked for Vincente Salumbides (Ibong Adarna (Adarna Bird, 1941) and Lamberto Avellana (Huk sa Bagong Pamumuhay (Communists in a New Life, 1953); five of his brothers (he had thirteen siblings) also became editors, most notably his brother Efren (Mario O'Hara's other best Filipino editor, who also worked on Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos and then went on to do Kastilyong Buhangin (Castle of Sand, 1980), Condemned (1984), Bagong Hari (The New King, 1986); Laurice Guillen's Salome (1981) and Init sa Magdamag (Midnight Passion, 1983); Lino Brocka (Hot Property, 1983)). 

It was while Jarlego Sr. was working for Avellana that Jarlego Jr. got his big break--Ike was a little boy playing on the LVN Studios compound when Avellana asked him to appear in Pag-asa (Hope, 1951), running  towards a gate and yelling "shoeshine!" He had a small subsequent career as child actor before turning editor later in life. 

At his very best Jarlego managed to translate the editing styles of some of the greatest Filipino filmmakers to the big screen: the precise cutting of Itim, the stream-of-consciousness flow of Mortal, the witty brevity of Kakakbakaba Ka Ba?--none of these would have been possible without Jarlego's skill on the Moviola and Steenbeck machine.

He debuted as a director in 1992 with Andres Manambit; his direction of Lualhati Bautista's script for Nena (1995) was lean, intense, noirish--a no-nonsense, totally unpretentious means of realizing Bautista's allegory on female empowerment. The film along with Mario O'Hara's Bulaklak sa City Jail (Flowers of the City Jail, 1985) was easily one of the most effective interpretations of Bautista on the big screen--both succeeding, notably, without resorting to direct adaptation of some of her more famous literary works.

(Some information in this post taken from the CCP Encyclopedia)

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