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KAZAKHSTAN | 1989

REVENGE

MEST

Director: Ermek Shinarbaev

WRITTEN BY: Anatoli Kim

EDITING: Polina Stein

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Sergei Kosmanev

PRODUCER: Habibur Rahman Khan

MUSICAL DIRECTOR: Vladislav Shute

STARRING: Alexandre Pan (Sungu, the poet), Oleg Li (King-Monk), Valentin Te (Novice), Lubove Germanova (Elza), Rasim Jakibaev (Tsai)

COUNTRY OF PRODUCTION: Kazakhstan

LANGUAGE: Russian with French and English subtitles

COLOR INFO: Color

RUNNING TIME: 96 minutes

PRODUCTION COMPANY: Kazakhfilm Studios

SET DESIGNER: Elena Eliseeva

PRODUCER: Habibur Rahman Khan

Restored in 2010 by Cineteca di Bologna/L'Immagine Ritrovata laboratory, in association with The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project, the Kazakhfilm Studio, the State Archive of the Republic of Kazakhstan and Ermek Shinarbaev. Restoration funded by Armani, Cartier, Qatar Airways and Qatar Museum Authority. 

In a rage, a teacher murders a boy. Another boy is bred, for one sole purpose: to avenge his brother’s death. Kazakh master Ermek Shinarbaev’s close collaboration with the Korean-Russian writer Anatoli Kim yielded three great films, the most remarkable of which is this beautiful, profoundly unsettling film. A true odyssey, geographically and psychologically. One of the greatest films to emerge from the Kazakh New Wave, and one of the toughest.
(Kent Jones, May 2010)

 

In the beginning of the 40s, hundreds of thousands of Koreans that had lived in the Russian Far East since the XIX century were forcibly displaced overnight according to Stalin’s orders. They were regarded as traitors and public enemies. Women, children, old people, were sent away with no explanation. The Korean diaspora, with a population of over a million, has been a forbidden topic for many years. Revenge is the first film telling the story of their tragedy.
(Ermek Shinarbaev, May 2010)


NOTES ON THE RESTORATION:

The restoration of Revenge, used the original camera negative, the sound negative and a positive print provided by the Kazakhfilm Studio and held at the State Archive of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Special thanks to director Ermek Shinarbaev for actively participating in the restoration.

Image: © Courtesy of Kazakhfilm Studio


MAURITANIA | 1970

SOLEIL Ô

OH, SUN!

Director: Med Hondo

WRITTEN BY: Med Hondo

EDITING: Michèle Masnier, Clément Menuet

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: François Catonné, Jean-Claude Rahaga

STARRING: Robert Liensol, Théo Légitimus, Gabriel Glissand, Mabousso Lô, Alfred Anou, Les Black Echos, Ambroise M’Bia, Akonio Dolo

COUNTRY OF PRODUCTION: Mauritania

LANGUAGE: French with English subtitles

COLOR INFO: Black and White

RUNNING TIME: 98 minutes

PRODUCTION COMPANY: Grey Films, Shango Films

SET DESIGNER: Med Hondo

Restored by Cineteca di Bologna at L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory in collaboration with Med Hondo. Restoration funded by the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation and The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project.

This restoration is part of the African Film Heritage Project, an initiative created by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project, the Pan African Federation of Filmmakers and UNESCO – in collaboration with Cineteca di Bologna – to help locate, restore, and disseminate African cinema.
 

I identify with Med Hondo in terms of anger and I share his obsession with history and self-reliance.
--Haile Gerima


When I wrote my script I did not have an audience in mind, I was living in France and experiencing what being a minority felt like. I had to yell and free myself. Writing the script of Soleil Ô was an authentic act of rage and liberation.

Once the script was ready, I gathered a crew of technicians and a team of African actors. Then I went to see some film processing companies and told them “Here I am, I don’t have a penny in my pocket but I want to make a film, let me have some raw film, I will reimburse you on an installment plan, and if I fail to do so you can put me in jail.” They agreed. The film cost $ 30,000 and it took almost two years to shoot because my actors were not always available.

There are different perceptions of an image. Soleil Ô is crystal clear and is neither intellectual nor sophisticated. It has often happened that those who understood it best were illiterate. When it was shown in Algeria, because the audience was completely able to identify with the film, the proletarians explained it to the intellectuals.

My main character could be a garbage collector, a student, or a teacher. His status does not prevent him from being affected in the same manner by the general conditions of history within a racist society. To be a Black expatriate is an identity. Soleil Ô derives from the African oral tradition. It depicts a unique reality. There is no dichotomy between style and content; here it is the content which imposes a style. I wanted to describe several people through one person instead of using a group of people. In my country, when people talk about a specific issue, they may digress and come back to their initial topic. Black cultures have a syntax which has nothing to do with Cartesian logic or that of other civilizations.
-- Med Hondo


NOTES ON THE RESTORATION:

The restoration of Soleil Ô was made possible through the use of a 16mm reversal print, and 16mm and 35mm dupe negatives deposited by Med Hondo at Ciné-Archives, the audiovisual archive of the French Communist Party, in Paris.

The reversal print was scanned at 4K and digital restoration eliminated dirt, scratches and mold. Despite excellent photographic quality overall, a few sequences appear slightly out-of-focus; this is true to the original cinematography.

A vintage 35mm print preserved at the Harvard Film Archive was used as a reference. Color grading was supervised by cinematographer François Catonné.

The original 16mm magnetic tracks were used for the audio restoration. After digitization, the soundtrack was cleaned and background noise reduction eliminated all noticeable wear marks; particular attention was devoted to the specific dynamics and features of the original soundtrack, namely percussion and chants. Reel 4 as well as the main and end titles were missing, so these were restored using the original 35mm soundtrack. The latter was also used to replace the 16mm mag tracks in the parts where the mix differed slightly from the vintage 35mm print.


MEXICO | 1934

DOS MONJES

TWO MONKS

Director: Juan Bustillo Oro

WRITTEN BY: Juan Bustillo Oro, José Manuel Cordero

EDITING: Juan Bustillo Oro

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Agustín Jiménez

PRODUCER: José San Vicente, Manuel San Vicente

MUSICAL DIRECTOR: Max Urban

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Mariano Rodríguez, Granada, Carlos Toussaint

STARRING: Víctor Urruchúa, Carlos Villatoro, Beltrán de Heredia, Emma Roldán, Magda Haller

COUNTRY OF PRODUCTION: Mexico

LANGUAGE: Spanish with English subtitles

COLOR INFO: Black and White

RUNNING TIME: 85 minutes

PRODUCTION COMPANY: Proa Films

PRODUCER: José San Vicente, Manuel San Vicente

Restored by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project at L’immagine Ritrovata laboratory in collaboration with Filmoteca de la UNAM and Cinémathèque française. Restoration funded by the Material World Charitable Foundation.

 

 

 


MEXICO | 1953

ÉL

Director: Luis Buñuel

WRITTEN BY: Luis Buñuel, Luis Alcoriza

EDITING: Carlos Savage

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Gabriel Figueroa

ADAPTED BY: Luis Buñuel, Luis Alcoriza

PRODUCER: Óscar Dancigers

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Edward Fitzgerald

STARRING: Arturo de Córdova, Delia Garcés, Aurora Walker, Carlos Martínez Baena, Manuel Dondé, Rafael Banquell, Fernando Casanova, Luis Beristáin

COUNTRY OF PRODUCTION: Mexico

LANGUAGE: Spanish with English subtitles

COLOR INFO: Black and White

RUNNING TIME: 82 minutes

PRODUCER: Óscar Dancigers

Restored by The Film Foundation's World Cinema Project, Les Films du Camélia and Cineteca di Bologna at L'Immagine Ritrovata Laboratory, with the support of OCS and in association with Películas y Videos Internacionales. 

Special thanks to Guillermo del Toro.

Funding provided by the Material World Foundation.


NOTES ON THE RESTORATION:

The 4K restoration used the dupe positive preserved by Películas y Videos Internacionales at the Filmoteca de la UNAM, where the scan was performed. Color grading was supervised by Gabriel Figueroa Flores. 


MEXICO | 1946

ENAMORADA

Director: Emilio Fernández

WRITTEN BY: Iñigo de Martino, Emilio Fernández

EDITING: Gloria Schoemann

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Gabriel Figueroa

PRODUCER: Benito Alazraki Franco

MUSICAL DIRECTOR: Eduardo Hernández Moncada

SOUND: José B. Carles

ART DIRECTOR: Manuel Parra

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Manuel Fontanals

STARRING: María Félix, Pedro Armendáriz, Fernando Fernández

COUNTRY OF PRODUCTION: Mexico

LANGUAGE: Spanish with English subtitles

COLOR INFO: Black and White

RUNNING TIME: 99 minutes

PRODUCTION COMPANY: Panamerican Films, S.A.

SET DESIGNER: Manuel Parra

PRODUCER: Benito Alazraki Franco

Restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive and The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project in collaboration with Fundacion Televisa AC and Filmoteca de la UNAM. Restoration funded by the Material World Charitable Foundation.


NOTES ON THE RESTORATION:

The 4K restoration of ENAMORADA utilized the original 35mm nitrate picture and track negatives stored by Televisa at Filmoteca de la UNAM in Mexico City. A 35mm nitrate print, provided by Filmoteca de la UNAM, was also used as a secondary element. 4K scanning and restoration was completed by Roundabout Entertainment and the audio restoration was completed by Audio Mechanics.


MEXICO | 1934

FANTASMA DEL CONVENTO, EL

Director: Fernando de Fuentes

WRITTEN BY: Jorge Bezet, Fernando de Fuentes, Juan Bustillo Oro

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Ross Fisher

PRODUCER: Jorge Bezet

STARRING: Enrique del Campo, Marte Roel, Carlos Villatoro, Paco Martínez, Victorio Blanco

COUNTRY OF PRODUCTION: Mexico

LANGUAGE: Spanish with English subtitles

COLOR INFO: Black and White

RUNNING TIME: 85 minutes

PRODUCER: Jorge Bezet

Restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive and The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project, with funding provided by the George Lucas Family Foundation. 


NOTES ON THE RESTORATION:

Preserved from the 35mm nitrate picture and track negatives and a 16mm acetate composite dupe negative. Laboratory services by Fotokem, Roundabout Entertainment, Inc., Audio Mechanics, DJ Audio, Inc., Titrafilm Paris. Special thanks to Viviana Garcia Besne, Permanencia Voluntaria; Albino Álvarez Gómez, Filmoteca de la UNAM.


MEXICO | 1950

LOS OLVIDADOS

Director: Luis Buñuel

WRITTEN BY: Luis Buñuel, Luis Alcorira

EDITING: Carlos Savage

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Gabriel Figueroa

PRODUCER: Óscar Dancigers, Sergio Kogan, Jaime A. Menasce

MUSICAL DIRECTOR: Rodolfo Halffter

STARRING: Estela Inda, Miguel Inclán, Alfonso Mejía, Roberto Cobo, Alma Delia Fuentes

COUNTRY OF PRODUCTION: Mexico

LANGUAGE: Spanish with English subtitles

COLOR INFO: B&W

RUNNING TIME: 80 minutes

PRODUCER: Óscar Dancigers, Sergio Kogan, Jaime A. Menasce

Restored by The Film Foundation's World Cinema Project in collaboration with Fundacion Televisa, Televisa, Cineteca Nacional Mexico, and Filmoteca de la UNAM. 

Restoration funding provided by The Material World Foundation.
 


NOTES ON THE RESTORATION:

LOS OLVIDADOS was restored in 4K from the camera and soundtrack nitrate negatives preserved at Filmoteca de la UNAM. The film reels were scanned at UNAM laboratory and the soundtrack was digitized by Cineteca Nacional de México.

Special thanks to Gabriel Figueroa Flores for his supervision of the grading process.

The restoration work was carried out by L'Immagine Ritrovata in 2019.


MEXICO | 1936

REDES

Director: Fred Zinnemann, Emilio Gómez Muriel

WRITTEN BY: Agustín Velázquez Chávez, Paul Strand

EDITING: Emilio Gómez Muriel, Gunther von Fritsch

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Paul Strand

ADAPTED BY: Emilio Gómez Muriel, Fred Zinnemann and Henwar Rodakiewicz

MUSICAL DIRECTOR: Silvestre Revueltas

SOUND: Roberto, Joselito Rodriguez

FROM: Cinemateca de la UNAM, Mexico

STARRING: Silvio Hernández (Miro), David Valle González (Monopolist), Rafael Hinojosa (Politician), Antonio Lara (El Zurdo), Miguel Figueroa and native fishermen

COUNTRY OF PRODUCTION: Mexico

LANGUAGE: Spanish with French and English subtitles

COLOR INFO: Black and White

RUNNING TIME: 61 minutes

PRODUCTION COMPANY: Secretaría de Educación Pública

Restored in 2009 by Cineteca di Bologna/L'Immagine Ritrovata laboratory, in association with The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project and Filmoteca de la UNAM. Restoration funded by Armani, Cartier, Qatar Airways and Qatar Museum Authority. 

The film – the first (and last) of its kind – was expected to play a small part in the Government’s plan to educate millions of illiterate citizens throughout the enormous country and bring them out of their isolation. […] The picture was to be made for the Federal Department of Fine Arts, headed by composer Carlos Chávez. The producer would be Paul Strand. […] We had recruited practically all ‘actors’ from among the local fishermen, who needed to do no more than be themselves. They were splendid and loyal friends, and working with them was a joy. In addition to acting, they carried all the equipment, rowed the boats and did a multitude of other jobs, earning more money than ever before – forty-five cents per day, per man – and enjoying themselves hugely. […] I’m told that some years later the Nazis found the negative in Paris and burned it. A few prints still exist. –Fred Zinnemann


NOTES ON THE RESTORATION:

The restoration of Redes used the best surviving materials, namely a 35mm safety duplicate negative and a positive print preserved at the Filmoteca de la UNAM in Mexico. The digital restoration produced a new 35mm internegative.

Image: © Courtesy of Filmoteca de la UNAM


MOROCCO | 1978

ALYAM, ALYAM

Director: Ahmed El Maanouni

WRITTEN BY: Ahmed El Maanouni

EDITING: Martine Chicot

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Ahmed El Maanouni

MUSICAL DIRECTOR: Nass el Ghiwane

SOUND: Ricardo Castro

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Rabii Films

STARRING: Toualàa villagers (Oulad Ziane) in the Casablanca region, and in particular: Abdelwahad and his family, Tobi, Afandi Redouane and Ben Brahim

COUNTRY OF PRODUCTION: Morocco

LANGUAGE: Arabic, French with English subtitles

COLOR INFO: B&W

RUNNING TIME: 90 minutes

Restored by Cineteca di Bologna/L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory, in association with Ahmed El Maanouni.  Restoration funded by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project. 

Alyam, Alyam is a film about shattered dreams and the circumstances leading up to that point; about the shaking of the traditional social structure; about the strength born of desperation and the unrelenting dissipation of lost generations. This is stressed from the first notes of the opening music, by the strangely empty building frame that is slowly filled with people, by the village space, by the silence of the wandering woman who smokes, until the last shot of the film, when a crowd appears from behind a deserted hill. The dreams of a society growing smaller, unable to hold on to the resources that could help it survive, are mirrored by the mother’s helpless prayer, “I need your shadow, I need your light, I need your face.”

I simply wanted to show the farmers’ faces, to honor their sounds and their images, their silences and their words, and that’s why I chose not to interfere and to opt for deliberately restrained composition, movement and mise-enscène. I tried to minimize the camera’s ability to distort, make a point, or discriminate. I wanted each aspect to be presented equally. I did not look for spectacular beauty, but made an effort to let the imagery of the rural world speak through abstraction and silence.

Almost 40 years later, when I watch Alyam, Alyam again, I am still comfortable with my aesthetic choices and my intuitions, but I cannot avoid noticing how, from beginning to end – from the opening shots with the blood shed by the camels, to the crowd of peasants appearing from behind the hills – it all seemed to presage the current tragedy experienced by the thousands whose broken dreams lie at the bottom of the Mediterranean, on which the voice of Nass El Ghiwane’s Larbi Batma seems to strangely resonate: “Alyam, Alyam, oh, those were the days! Why are you crossed? Who changed your course? You were once sweet like milk, now you’re bitter. I love all men as if they were my brothers. My brothers have crushed me. I will silence my pain and let my love be loud.”

- Ahmed El Maanouni


NOTES ON THE RESTORATION:

The restoration of Alyam, Alyam used the 16mm A/B rolls original camera and sound negatives preserved at Eclair Laboratories, where the 4K scan was performed. Restoration - carried out at Cineteca di Bologna/L’Immagine Ritrovata - succeeded in stabilizing the image and bringing the original chromatic qualities to light. Director Ahmed El Maanouni supervised the color grading process and approved the final restoration.


MOROCCO | 1981

TRANCES

EL HAL

Director: Ahmed El Maanouni

WRITTEN BY: Ahmed El Maanouni

EDITING: Jean-Claude Bonfanti

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Ahmed El Maanouni

PRODUCER: Izza Génini

MUSICAL DIRECTOR: Nass El Ghiwane

STARRING: Nass El Ghiwane

COUNTRY OF PRODUCTION: Morocco

LANGUAGE: Arabic

COLOR INFO: Color

RUNNING TIME: 87 minutes

PRODUCTION COMPANY: OHRA/SOGEAV

PRODUCER: Izza Génini

Restored in 2007 by Cineteca di Bologna/L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory, in association with The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project, Ahmed El-Maanouni, and Izza Genini. Restoration funded by Armani, Cartier, Qatar Airways and Qatar Museum Authority. 

“It was in 1981 while I was editing a film, The King of Comedy. We worked at night so no one would call us on the telephone and I would have television on, and one channel in New York at the time, around 2 or 3 in the morning, was showing a film called Transes. It repeated all night and it repeated many nights. And it had commercials in it, but it didn’t matter. So I became passionate about this music that I heard and I saw also the way the film was made, the concert that was photographed and the effect of the music on the audience at the concert. I tracked down the music and eventually it became my inspiration for many of the designs and construction of my film The Last Temptation of Christ. […] And I think the group was singing damnation: their people, their beliefs, their sufferings and their prayers all came through their singing. And I think the film is beautifully made by Ahmed El Maanouni; it’s been an obsession of mine since 1981 and that is why we are inaugurating the Foundation with Trances.” –Martin Scorsese, May 2007


NOTES ON THE RESTORATION:

Notes on the restoration
The restoration of Transes used the original 16mm camera and sound negative provided by producer Izza Génini. The camera negative was restored both photochemically and digitally and blown-up to 35mm format. The sound negative was restored to Dolby SR and digital.

Image: © Courtesy of OHRA-Izza Génini


PHILIPPINES | 1976

INSIANG

Director: Lino Brocka

WRITTEN BY: Mario O’Hara and Lamberto Antonio

EDITING: Augusto Salvado

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Conrado Baltazar

PRODUCER: Miguel De Leon Severino

MUSICAL DIRECTOR: Max Jocson

SOUND: Luis Reyes, Ramon Reyes

STARRING: Hilda Koronel, Mona Lisa, Ruel Vernal, Rez Cortez, Marlon Ramirez

COUNTRY OF PRODUCTION: Philippines

LANGUAGE: Tagalog with French and English subtitles

COLOR INFO: Color

RUNNING TIME: 124 minutes

PRODUCER: Miguel De Leon Severino

Restored by Cineteca di Bologna/ L’Immagine Ritrovata. Restoration funded by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project and the Film Development Council of the Philippines.

I’m so pleased that Insiang, the second of the great Lino Brocka’s films that we’ve managed to restore, has been selected for this year’s Cannes Classics: back in 1976, this extraordinary family melodrama was the first picture from the Philippines ever selected for Cannes. Brocka was like a force of nature in world cinema, and Insiang was among his greatest achievements.  - Martin Scorsese, May 2015

Insiang is, first and foremost a character analysis: a young woman raised in a miserable neighborhood. I need this character to recreate the ‘violence’ stemming from urban overpopulation, to show the annihilation of a human being, the loss of human dignity caused by the physical and social environment and to stress the need for changes to these life conditions […] My characters always react through fighting. I have conceived Insiang like an immoral story: two women share the same man, the daughter avenges herself and, in the end, she reveals herself: she had conspired to kill her mother’s lover without having ever loved him, so that the murder was, in fact, unnecessary. Censorship refused this ending.”   - Lino Brocka

In 1977 I was in Sydney for the film festival. Before going home, I zigzagged my way back through Jakarta, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong-Kong, Manila and Seoul, to discover a new filmmaker and an unknown film: Insiang by Lino Brocka. When Insiang was released on December 17, 1976, it did not do well, and led to the collapse of CineManila, the company founded by Brocka in 1974 after the extraordinary success of Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang. The shooting of Insiang began on December 1 and lasted 11 days. Knowing these dates is important as they reveal the extreme urgency he felt, and his unique, authentic desire to make this film. Insiang also presents an unusual, brilliant mise-en-scène which shows the characters being torn apart by passion, by a sort of ardent energy. I am very pleased that, two years after Manila in the Claws of Light, Cannes Classics is showcasing another restoration of a Brocka film. I still remember the excitement, along rue Antibes, surrounding the screening of Insiang at the Quinzaine de Réalisateurs, in 1978. That was a very fulfilling and emotional experience, and I’m sure the same will be true today.  -  Pierre Rissient


NOTES ON THE RESTORATION:

The restoration of Insiang was made possible through the use of the original camera and sound negatives deposited at LTC laboratories by producer Ruby Tiong Tan. 

The negative was wet-scanned at 4K resolution and digital restoration was very time-consuming. Some portions of the film, where the negative was intercut to the internegative were extremely damaged and two shots were replaced by use of a 35mm positive print preserved at the BFI National Archive.

Despite an overall acceptable state of preservation, the original optical sound negative presented critical recording issues. The sound restoration required considerable effort to try and solve or minimize the severe metallic hiss and distortions. Several acquisition methods were tested, leaving, however, very little room for improvement.


PHILIPPINES | 1975

Manila in the Claws of Light

MAYNILA SA MGA KUKO NG LIWANAG

Director: Lino Brocka

EDITING: Edgardo Jarlego, Ike Jarlego

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Miguel De Leon

ADAPTED BY: Edgardo Reyes

PRODUCER: Miguel De Leon, Severino Manotok

MUSICAL DIRECTOR: Max Jocson

SOUND: Luis Reyes, Ramon Reyes

ART DIRECTOR: Miguel De Leon

STARRING: Bembel Roco, Hilda Koronel, Rafael Roco Jr., Lou Salbador Jr., Tommy Abuel, Jojo Abella, Juling Badabaldo

COUNTRY OF PRODUCTION: Philippines

LANGUAGE: Tagalog with French and English subtitles

COLOR INFO: Color

RUNNING TIME: 124’

PRODUCER: Miguel De Leon, Severino Manotok

Restored in 2013 by the Film Development Council of the Philippines and Cineteca di Bologna/L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory, in association with The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project , LVN, Cinema Artists Philippines and Mike De Leon. Restoration funded by Doha Film Institute.

There are undoubtedly a few people left who still remember that day in Cannes 1978 when rumors started circulating about a small, low budget film from the Philippines. A ‘dirty’ film, as some claimed, once more proving Lu Xun correct when he observed that while some art might originate in the sewer, it can be so full of passion that it goes as deep as tragedy.

And perhaps even further, because Lino was one of the most physical filmmakers that cinema has ever had. A true fireball, he moved insatiably from one set to rehearsals of Larawan in Fort Santiago where he directed a very dedicated group of actors, then on to a TV set where he would shoot a TV show in addition to a film as good as A Streetcar Named Desire.

He possessed a remarkable vitality that was expressed fully in the large demonstrations he organized against Marcos’ regime. With the money he made with his commercial films he bought some sophisticated sound equipment that allowed him to cover the entire Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, Manila’s massive north to south transportation corridor. Lino knew all the arteries of this swarming city, and he penetrated them just as he penetrated the veins of the outcasts in his films. Sometimes a vein would crack open and bleed. And that blood oozed on the screen with Insiang, Jaguar, Bona, Bayanko, all of which were shown in Cannes. And then, just like that, he died, in a stupid, easily avoidable car accident.

I remember a dinner, five weeks after Marcos’ fall, when Lino had realized that the Aquino regime would lead nowhere. He was no longer the same, nor were his films. He even lost his ability to joyfully seize the moment, which he was able to spread around among his friends.

Still, when you watch Manila, you’ll be burned by a flame that never goes out.

-Pierre Rissient, May 2013

 

A film director can survive in a museum, on a field or in the jungle – first, second or third world. In the third-world jungle he will be judged by his ability to survive, by the way he insists on making committed films and on believing in the power of cinema, even if no one ever asked him to do so. The rest stands on its own two feet. The aesthetics is a consequence.

A third-world filmmaker necessarily has to reinvent his own brand new cinema, squeezed by the rule of immediate profit (tougher in cinema than anywhere else), and the risk of a brutal clash with power. These are the directors who affect us deeply. Satyajit Ray in the 50’s, Ousmane Sembène in the 60’s, Lino Brocka at the end of the 60’s, and again Lino Brocka at the end of the ‘70s and today. [...]

Ultra-fast, fiercely vital, unclassifiable, this little man exists right in the heart of his country. He knows and experiences all the contradictions of Filipino culture and cinema. Brocka is not a solitary hero, he is a public figure; though marginal, exposed, and slandered, he is protected by his fame abroad. He has some key traits in common with Pasolini: a respect for “lower” culture, a feeling for the beauty of the body, a willingness to dissect the social links that the bodies represent.

Brocka loves flinging his characters into the traps of mise en scène, he never turns away when they are overwhelmed by emotion, and once they are cornered, neither can we.

-Serge Daney, 1981


NOTES ON THE RESTORATION:

The restoration of Maynila: sa mga kuko ng liwanag was made possible through the use of the original camera and sound negatives deposited by Pierre Rissient, on behalf of Lino Brocka, at the BFI National Archive in the early 1980s. The state of conservation of the negatives was critical.

The negative was wet-scanned at 4K resolution. The digital restoration process required considerable effort due to the great number of issues affecting the negative: tears, scratches, warping, visible marks and halos.

Color decay was also a significant problem. The film’s cinematographer, Mike De Leon, attentively guided the grading phase and validated a positive print for reference.

Image: © Courtesy of Film Development Council of the Philippines


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