Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Adoi, May 26, 2009

Cannes is barely a month away but the Philippine advertising industry is already celebrating with a major triumph.

Reason: one of Manila’s favourite production designers just bagged a plum award at last Sunday’s Cannes’ gala closing ceremonies.

Brillante Mendoza, whom the local advertising world knew as Dante Mendoza, was fielding a film for the second straight year. His movie “Serbis,” a local word ‘ingloriously’ bastardized to mean sexual favor, shot entirely in a rundown moviehouse, was the country’s first full-length film accepted in the festival’s main competition.

While his 2008 debut drew mixed reviews, he came back with a vengeance this time. He won the award world cinema heavyweights wanted most – Best Director. Quentin Tarantino (“Pulp Fiction”), Ang Lee (“Brokeback Mountain”) Jane Campion (“The Piano”), Ken Loach (The Wind That Shakes The Barley), Pedro Almodovar (“Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown”) among others competed and basked in the usual Cannes red carpet.

Mendoza’s “Kinatay”, literally meaning butchered, is a story of a neophyte policeman who got entangled in a web of a grisly crime on his wedding day. Throughout the 24-hour personality-changing journey, Peping, the lead character and his gang, kidnap, rape, murder and dispose of chopped parts of a woman’s body.

The blood and graphic gore of the movie, according to Mendoza, was purposely made to disturb and bring home the harsh truths that these things happen in real life.