If you haven't heard about it, you're not alone. There has been little in the way of advertising or marketing for this event (which was precluded by a 2-day conference in UP last thursday and friday), which is so sad considering how great it is. If you get to go make sure to take your time to walk through the exhibit in the main lobby of the museum. It's great.
Scheduled to be screened that morning was Kidlat Tahimik's Mababangong Bangungot (or Perfumed Nightmare). While waiting for his son, Kidlat de Guia, to arrive and straighten out the technicals, Kidlat (the elder) spoke to the small audience about the film, sharing some small details of his past (president of the UP student council, MBA from Wharton, living in an artists commune in Germany), and about the film and how it got made (the sound was done completely in post-production, asking anyone on the street to dub voices for the film). I asked him about how he met Werner Herzog and what influence Herzog had on him and his work. Kidlat didn't respond to the question of influence in an aesthetic sense, but more of the impression that Herzog made on him in relation to building an audience.
There were a number of student filmmakers living in the artists commune where he stayed, and he would do odd things for them such as drive them around, carry things, etc, until one student filmmaker asked him to play a part in his film. Kidlat agreed and went to class with that student. The regular teacher of that class was absent, and it just so happened that Werner Herzog served as the substitute, and it was there that he and Kidlat met. They kept in touch a little, and when Kidlat had the idea to make Perfumed Nightmare, he approached Herzog and asked if he could tell him of the synopsis (synopsis only, as the film was shot without a script). Herzog, ever the busy man, said in a burly deep german voice "Kidlot, I am a fery busy man. But I haf to screen my film for a community. The drife will be 400km each way, and I am going alone. Iv you like, you can ride with me in volkswagon, and tell me all about your feelm on thee way there and back." Kidlat did.
The film was screened to an audience of about 40 or so people. On the drive back, Kidlat asked Werner, "Verner, you are driving 800km to show your film, and only 40 people have shown up to watch it. Are you dissapointed?". "Kidlot", Werner replied, "I am not dissapointed. Vee must learn to cultivate our audience. To teach zee people to appreciate feelm. Vee must start somewhere." "Wow", Kidlat said, recounting the moment. "This was Werner Herzog, and he drove 800km, 400 going, 400 back, to show his film to a small community of 40 people. That really stayed with me.. The idea of starting small and cultivating an audience."
Later in the day they showed a few very interesting films by Auraeus Solito, Suring at Kuk-ok, Upo, and Sumbang. Though our audience was only 10-12 deep, a very interesting discussion of the work and of the Pala'wan ensued, lasting a good 40 or so minutes. I'm looking forward to seeing more of Auraeus' films.
The point of all this? Aside from sharing it with all of you, it's to encourage you all to go! It is at the Metropolitan Museum on Roxas Boulevard (next to Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas). Entrance is 30 pesos for students, 50 for non-students. While you've missed some very interesting films, there are still quite a lot more to watch. You should all go!
The schedule is kind of erratic, but chances are even if there are changes you are still going to get to see quality work. This is the schedule for the next few days as I have it (feel free to correct me should it have changed):
July 3, Saturday - 2:00 - 5:00pm Film: Abong (Small Home) by Koji Imaizumi
July 5, Monday - 2:00 - 5:00pm Film: Batang West Side by Lav Diaz
* film is 5 hours. I am not sure if the screening time will be extended or if the film will be screen partially, and continued at another time.
July 6, Tuesday - 2:00 - 5:00pm Films: Angel Shaw retrospective
July 7, Wednesday - 2:00 - 5:00pm Film: Damortis by Briccio Santos
July 8, Thursday - 2:00 - 5:00pm Films: Yellow Film, Yoyo, and Orbit 50 by Kidlat Tahimik