An unbelievable beauty, I remember her best for the times she didn't speak--as the dead Ophelia in Laurence Olivier's Hamlet (1948), the mute Indian girl in Powell and Pressburger's Black Narcissus (1947), the enigmatic lure in David Lean's Great Expectations (1946), the slave smiling shyly at Kirk Douglas in Spartacus (1960).
That said, my last memory of her wasn't so much her face as it was her voice--aged and cracked, yet full of of great warmth and spirit, the voice of elderly Sophie Hatter in Hayao Miyazaki's Howl's Moving Castle (2004).
So long, Ms. Jean, glad to have seen--and listened to--you.
Answering a question from a previous discussion, this is what I found in the Plaridel Journal, published by the University of the Philippines Department of Mass Communications. The Journal's introduction mentions the number of 35 mm films commercially released each year:
2001 = 103
2002 = 94
2003 = 80
2004 = 55
2005 = 50
2006 = 49
2007 = 39
2008 = 36
Which doesn't look good. But add to this a separate count of the digital films given a full theatrical release:
2004 = 1
2005 = 5
2006 = 12
2007 = 40
2008 = 47
I can see some questions need to be asked: how much money did these digital productions make? Not sure; but if the number of productions is increasing and not decreasing, someone must think there is money to be made out there. Either that, or someone must think our filmmakers need an outlet, to say what's on their minds, and that this endeavor is important enough to keep pouring money in.
Which makes this welcome news:
Cinemalaya 2010: A battle between veteran, new directors?
MANILA, Philippines - Former Cultural Center of the Philippines president Nestor Jardin delivered his opening remarks at the launch of the 6th Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival Wednesday noon at the CCP Main Theater lobby with intriguing lines.
He said: “...the Open Category for established film directors was introduced to bring complication to the festival.”
Jardin wasn't speaking in limbo but on concrete terms.
It wasn't of course the complication of doomsayers, but the more enlightened vision of an artist and a technocrat.
The Open Category is an initial venture of the festival to feature works by Filipino directors, who, according to Cinemalaya Foundation Board of Director Laurice Guillen, have directed at least 3 full-length feature films that have been released commercially.
According to the CCP Public Relations Office, big name and established directors will add luster to this year's Cinemalaya.
From out of the 20 or so entries, only 5 got to the final round namely "Ang Paglilitis ni Bonifacio” by Mario O'Hara, “Isang Pirasong Buhay” by Mark Meily, “Pink Halu-Halo” by Joselito Altarejos, “Sigaw” by Joel Lamangan and “Two Funerals” by Gil Portes.
Meanwhile, the annual Full Length Category carries relatively young and independently spirited filmmakers.
Ten entries from out of 198 aspirants qualified officially to the contest. They are Gutierrez Mangansakan II's “Limbunan,” Sheron Dayoc's “Halaw,” “Arnel Mardoquio's “Sheika,” Dan Villegas and Paul Sta. Ana's “Mayohan,” Kim Homer C. Garcia's “Magkakapatid,” Danny Añonuevo's “Rekrut,” Francis Xavier Pasion's “Sampaguita,” Art Katipunan's “Si Techie, Si Tekboy at si JuanaB,” Dennis N. Marasigan's “Siya ang Mayor Ko” and Ian-Dean S. Lorenos' “The Leaving.”
Speaking on empirical sense, O'Hara said indie filmmaking isn't a new idea to the local film industry.
“Panahon pa ni Lino Brocka sa kanyang 'Insiang,' indie film na 'yon dahil maliit lang ang budget. Twelves days lang ang shooting days no'n. 'Yong pitu-pito ni Mother Lily (Monteverde, producer of Regal Entertainment), indie din 'yon. Ngayon, sa project na ito, ang mahalaga ay substance at performance.” (In Lino Brocka's day his Insiang was an indie film that had a low budget. It was shot in twelve days. Mother Lily's pitu-pito were indies too. Now, with this project, what's important is substance and performance)
Lamangan, meantime, is very optimistic he can pull off a film that can conform to an indie filmmaking budget.
“Susubukan natin at alam ko na may magagawa tayo,” (We'll try it and I know we can do something) he said.
Portes is very certain he can do a full-length feature in the indie spirit by meticulously seeing through the script before the cameras roll.
He reminded the young indie filmmakers though to refrain from being too “ideal,” if not being unrealistic, about the handling of the material at hand.
This was how he contextualized it: “Halimbawa, ang isang bagong direktor, ayaw niyang mapuputulan ang kanyang mahabang mga eksena kahit wala nang sense.” (For example, a new director, he doesn't want his scenes cut even if they don't make any sense)
On the other hand, from among the new set of directors, the tension between them and the old timers isn't a problem.
“Wala namang magiging conflict dahil may respeto naman kami sa kanila. 'Yon lang, sa casting, 'yong ibang artista, nasa veteran directors at sa amin din kaya nagkaka-conflict sa schedule,” (There isn't going to be any conflict because we respect them. But for the casting, we may want the same artists, so there could be a problem with schedules) exclaimed Añonuevo.
Or what CCP PR head Irene Rada had said: “Marami ring matutunan ang mga bagong direktor sa mga beterano and vice versa.” (The new directors can learn something from the veterans, and vice versa) -Boy Villasanta, abs-cbnNEWS.comas of 01/21/2010 12:25 PM