Richard Quan considers it such a rewarding and fruitful experience to have worked with the famed Mike de Leon in the director’s comeback movie “Citizen Jake.”
Said film, which stars newsman Atom Araullo in the lead, had an invitational premiere on March 9 at the UP Film Center, which drew a full house.
In Roving Eye’s interview with Richard, he admitted he didn’t know much about Mike de Leon’s background at the star and had no idea what to expect on the set with him.
“I knew he’s a special director—a very good director. I’ve only watch one of his films, ‘Kisapmata’ about incest, and that movie has stayed with me since. But that was it really.”
Just like his co-actors in Citizen Jake, Richard had to undergo auditions to be cast, and in fact didn’t get the role he wanted. He quickly said it wasn’t because of his acting skills though but a mix up in schedules. Nevertheless, he was happy to land the role of Enchong, the trusted bodyguard-cum-hitman of Senator Jacobo Herrera (played by Teroy Guzman).
With nothing but praises for de Leon, Richard said, “This is the first time I worked with a director who, after subjecting his cast to grueling rehearsals for two hours, asked us if we were comfortable with the scene. He gives his actors space and he makes sure they’re comfortable so they can act well.”
He added that Direk Mike is a “very cool director.” Contrary to rumors that he has tantrums, not once did he see the director’s temper flare.
As for the movie as a whole, Richard said Citizen Jake should be an eye opener for the youth regarding the past and a good reminder to older generations not to forget its lessons.
In the movie’s notes, Citizen Jake is described as “a drama about the personal saga of a Filipino and his struggles with the contradictions within his own social class and the demands of a dysfunctional political family in a Third World nation.”
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“Bomba,” a film by Ralston Jover, won four awards in the recently concluded Sinag Maynila Film Festival, including Best Director and top acting awards for Allen Dizon and Angelie Nicholle Sanoy.
Winning the awards for Best Picture, Best Screenplay Award, Best Editing and the Box-Office Award was “Tale of the Lost Boys,” a film of Joselito “Jay” Altarejos, who is known for his pink-themed movies. Altajeros previously helmed the movies “Ang Lalaki sa Parola,” “Ang Lihim ni Antonio,” and “Kasal.”
While happy for the winners, it is a sad fact that very few people came to watch the Sinag Maynila entries, with rows and rows of empty seats even for these two top-notch productions.
Roving Eye only has sympathies for the directors and actors who joined the festival because they hardly made any money at the box office.
Solar Entertainment’s Wilson Tieng who co-found the festival with Director Brillante Mendoza should make an extra effort to market the festival more vigorously next year to attract audiences to the cinema. It is after all Sinag Maynila’s fourth year as a festival and it’s about time everyone’s efforts are recognized and rewarded.