Friday, November 20, 2009

WELCOME TO MONDOMANILA ] O kung paano ginawa ni Khavn dela Cruz ang pelikula...

ALBERT-BANZONColorful characters abound in Mondomanila. One of them, the Tour Guide, is played by Pango, "tagapaghanda ng audience."

...halaw sa nobela ni Norman Wilwayco matapos ang mahaba-habang paglalakbay.

You've been wanting to do Mondo for years di ba? How many years?
Yup. Late 2002, early 2003.
2003: One aborted pre-production. one aborted production (one shooting day).
2004: Shortfilm starring Marvin (Agustin).
2006: Made Squatterpunk which is somewhat connected to Mondo.
2008: Finished Bangungot na Bangag, a Mondo psycho-delic relative, also starring Tony de Guzman (the nove;s lead character) played by three actors.

This comes from Norman Wilwayco's Palanca-winning novel which you also published. What attracted you most to the novel?
I see the novel as the postmodern version of Edgar Reyes' Sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag.
I've been wanting to do a film about Manila, inspired by Bernal's Manila By Night and Brocka's Manila in the Claws.
And the novel impressed me as a perfect vehicle.

jeromeClockwise from topmost left: Mutya, "unanong best friend ni Tony. Tanggero ng Tropang Praning. Magbabalut. Rockstar;" Rodney Aquino as Iskong Bugaw; Alex Tiglao as Sgt. Pepper; Tony Hunt as Third-World-hating pedophile Whiteboy.

You wrote the script based on the novel? What changes have you made? And did you have to consult Norman about the changes?
A lot of changes. Iwa (Norman) and i wrote the screenplay (that eventually got another Palanca) based on his novel. It features the main arc of the novel, starring the most important characters, set mainly in the slums, happening in a span of a few nights instead of a biopic.

Tell us about the film. A synopsis, if you will. And your treatment.
I have always wanted to explore Manila and its humanity. Not just its people, majority of whom are mired in poverty, but the whole rationale behind the irrational lives these people experience everyday.
There is the kind of human drama that extends beyond tragedy and plants its feet firmly in the territories of madness. In my film Mondomanila, I strived to present the truth as gleaned from the cracks in the celluloid curtain. But the “truth,” it is not "out there," as pundits from the outer realm put it, but in one’s own backyard.
And backyards can shock, specially if one doesn't go out much. I believe that Mondomanila offers one of the most horrifying backyards in the tradition of films made by one of the foremost Filipino directors, the late Lino Brocka. If Brocka's films a decade ago talked about the wounds of Manila, I would like to believe that Mondomanila belongs to new breed of storytelling that makes one feel as if one has actually touched that wound, a close-up view of all that gangrene and pus.
Mondomanila takes place in the slums and is inhabited by the denizens of the underworld (the crippled pimp, the lonely housewife, the neighborhood gay and his macho father, the prostitutes, the smalltime politician, the Yankee pedophile).
Mondomanila, however, is not about a celebration of self-destruction. Far from it. Decadence, after all, is the language of the privileged. Decadence is that which escapes from the clutches of bourgeois order. But what if there is no order at all? In Mondomanila, there are no happy endings and Death awaits in ambush at every corner. However, in my film, Tragedy lies not at the end but is a given situation. It is, I believe, not the usual "story that needs to be told" but is, in all accounts, simply a backyard full of lovable fuckers.

TIMOTHY-MABALOT-AS-TONY-DECinemalaya Best Actor 2009 Timothy Mabalot plays Tony de Guzman, the foulmouthed lead character.

You were thinking about several other actors before finally deciding on Timothy. Bakit siya?
Dati, twentysomething ang gusto kong actor na gumanap kay Tony. Napagdesisyunan ko na gusto ko ng kinse anyos. Isa si timothy sa nag-audition. Hindi ko napanood ang twoearly films niya sa Cinemalaya. Namangha lang ako sa intensity niya. Huling-huli niya ang pagkatao ni Tony na may ticking timebomb sa loob ng dibdib.

Saan at pano mo nahanap si Palito and in what state?
Through (writer) Totel de Jesus. Ginawan niya ng feature for S magazine yata. Wanted to do a docu on him after I found out. Nagkita kami sa McDo malapit sa PAGCOR dahil nagtatambol siya roon.

jerome2Clockwise from top left: Palito as Pablong Shoeshine; Stefan Punongbayan as Naty; Ding and Jelai as Kambal P.; Whitney Tyson as Lovely Paybsiks.

And Whitney Tyson?
Sa audition. she fits the role like a chopped foot.

There is singing?

Kelan showing?
Next year. Baka summer. Baka first sem.

Stills by Buccino De Ocampo & Allan Balberona

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