THREE GODLESS YEARS
Mario O’Hara, 1976
We’re not paid yet
Direk is award winning, in a way. He has done a lot of award-worthy but boredom-fest films. One time, he made a super-mega star studded collaboration with a popular but questionable actor who also happened to be his producer. To make the story short, it was universally panned , and actor-producer vowed never to put his hands on producing films again. Months passed, while shooting his teleserye - a group of production crew approached him. They said they were the same crew who worked on the film that he just recently produced. It turned out they were not paid for the services they rendered before. That wasn’t the actor-producer’s fault, but he reached for his wallet , anyway, and gave the poor crew their “late salaries”
Pure as white
Casting non-actors is not easy. But if you are gunning for ultra-realism – get the real ones! If you need someone to portray a lawyer, get a lawyer, if your story is about children metal divers, go to Baseco, and get em boys, if you need a real Aeta, get a real one, and so on…
This independent production is different. They used their non-actors day-in and day-out – but they just paid them ONE HUNDRED PESOS for a round-o-clock work!
It’s a brilliant idea to get realistic “actors” But using them on film, means they have to work for you. You’re hiring them in a way. So…how about paying them at least not less than 100 pesos on a day’s work? Fair? Pure as white!
Sinekwabumveyla ang direktorya na umoorder lamang ng foodang pag ang mga aktor-aktorang sikatuna village ang uma-arrive? Pagkachapter 10 ng mga wiz-name na aktoraytild na nagpakapagoda coldwave lotion sa pagiispluk ng mga lines sa magnetic tape, eh vasta vasta na lamang alamang na lamang pinaflychinabel? Wititit jumasu, wititit palafok – pero na-overheard from the grapevine na jumorder ng jitzabels!!! Como Como jikatjikatan navotas ang mga umapir, jubastra ng adung – pero pag wiz naman knowsline na jurtistabel, wah sila kerlalu! IMBEY!!!
Know that this name is rather a “homage” than a “satire” of Filipino filmmaker Brillante “Dante” Mendoza. Im a fan of course, but not actually a blind follower. I cant just be a fan, and remain standing with hand-painted streamers, and stickers. I dont think he is the greatest filmmaker around. I dont discredit his achievements and successes. I am proud just like the others that he represented this poor little country to the world bringing home both laurels and stained shirts. If I go on and on, I’ll be giving away a lot of clues about myself. That’s no fun anymore.
But Redundante Mendoza is not about Mendoza. It’s about ME
This is MY page. This is about everything I want to share.
The monicker “Redundante Mendoza” was actually coined by a cinephile named Manuel “Manny” Pangaruy, whom I met in the cyberspace 10 years ago, or so. We were both members of this little film group, and we shared a lot of things in common, we also had our little debates and disagreements back then. Nothing personal, but mostly about films and other trivialities.
When I started writing movie scripts, Manny’s one of the first who offered support, encouragement, and advice. When films come counting, Manny is also one of the critics who unabashedly gave his words on them - good or bad. When finally my first ever directorial film came in, Manny didnt just “dont like it” - he even subliminally called me “Redundante Mendoza” as an allusion to being a poor mimic of Mendoza’s cinematic style. One critic even called my film, a bad version of a great American filmmaker’s most popular multi-narrative style.
Believe me when I say, it didnt a bit hurt my ego, or make me feel low. I guess when your first film comes out, you desire everyone’s opinion - cheers or jeers.
BUT…before I was a filmmaker, I have been a film critic in my own right, too. I used to join online film discussions, trolled a little, bashed, and have been bashed in many instances. I was having a party when internet was wild and about.
It’s totally different, my case. I was a film critic first, before I became a writer, or a director. I had my share of rants and chants about films I have seen. So, in any case, in different streams, on different planes - I understand both sensibilities. Making me less sensitive now, as compared before.
The question - why “hide” under an assumed name? Many reasons, I supposed. Valid and vain. For one, once you post something, may it be brilliant or stupid, they are there, in the name of cache and “reposts”, posted for posterity. It happened to me more than once, I said something - a lot of things, really - then people all over came reacting and quoting me - on their BLOG, those fockers! I dont even crave for fame, not much of course with notoriety. In the light of things, If I could not control my “condescension” sometimes, then maybe I could protect naman my real name, at least. Madaya? Gumaya ka, letse! Hahaha!
You see, Im a crook. a damn good crook. And when I see another one, I will call it, name it, rub it in, - as I wasnt just born yesterday. Whatever!
Adrian Mendizabal is a good friend of mine, I guess. I would bash him every now and then. But he is too smart to know, that that isnt the “whole” me, and way beyond my real person. I am just enjoying the kicks of making fun of smart people like him. On the internet. In person, Im usually nice and polite.
And Noel Vera. Noel. Noel. Noel. He knows. He knows Im his number one fan. But that was during the “noelmoviereviews” days pa. Im not much a fan of anyone anymore these days, but just like the case with Dante Mendoza - the respect, the admiration remains, and will not change. The wiser and funnier me nowadays makes me just call on people when they say or do something that can be debated upon, or be made fun with, or pick “fights” on. THIS IS A TERRIBLE TIME. We live in a miserable world where people “all be damned” do whatever to keep their heads above the water. So if you’re not going to at least make people smile, laugh, or roll on the floor and laugh like a hyena - this world will rot with the intelligent people. The funny ones will just simply die without notifying anyone.
You see, Im my own psychologist too. I usually do a reverse for the sake of my own mental health. I am a serious person. I am quite an unhappy person. But the bad economy has nothing to do with that. Im terribly, helplessly sad because of my horrendous grammar, poor writing skills, and limited vocabulary - in both languanges, mind you! You say, why would that make me desperate. There even many a people suffering from illiteracy, you should be content.
You see Im a philosopher too. I want to define life, the world, and other people’s meanings of it. What the hell else can you do with an arts degree if all you wanted is to become a writer - someone who is deft with words. No, Im just being trivial. Yes, Im just being honest.