MANILA, Philippines—International film icon, Christopher Doyle, is welcomed back in Manila by avant-garde filmmaker-musician-poet-short story writer Khavn de la Cruz for a local indie film project.
“Doyle did an ocular for my 37th feature, ‘Pusong Wazak (Ruined Heart), which will be shot on September 21 this year. He also attended the launch of my recent book of poetry, ‘Shockbox’ at UP Bahay Kalinaw two days ago,” Dela Cruz told INQUIRER.net on Saturday morning.
In Dela Cruz’s latest Facebook photo entry, the Australian cinematographer is shown with Dela Cruz and couple of friends, having a good time in Sarah’s bar and restaurant, a favourite hangout of writers and filmmakers in UP Diliman.
Dela Cruz said he also treated Doyle at a bar in Cubao Shoe Expo. Apparently, no one took notice of the acclaimed Australian cinematographer.
Doyle has been known as favorite cinematographer of Hong Kong filmmaker Wong Kar Wai. Those collaborations produced “Happy Together,” “Chungking Express,” “Days of Being Wild,” “In The Mood for Love” and “2046”. He has also worked with Zhang Yimou for “Hero” and with M. Night Shamalan for “Lady In The Water.”
Doyle spent a lot of time in the Philippines in the 1990s during the shoot of “Days Of Being Wild.”
De la Cruz is considered the father of Philippine digital moviemaking. His masterpiece, “Mondomanila: Or How I Fixed My Hair After A Rather Long Journey” is a moving critique of poverty porn, a rather trite subject in Philippine alternative filmmaking industry that De La Cruz successfully re-imagined.
Though based on the underground award-winning novel of the same title by iconoclast-gigolo novelist Norman Wilwayco, “Mondomanila” is already considered a classic avant-garde film ahead of its time. The late Roger Ebert was said to have seen it but was so overwhelmed and suddenly “at-a-loss for the most concise words” to write a review.
De la Cruz is also known as the founder-band leader of The Brockas, which, in some circles, is credited as the originator of Pinoy Rock, long before Juan Dela Cruz was paired with the title. Music chroniclers, however, are still debating if Khavn inspired the name Juan dela Cruz.
De la Cruz’s films have made the rounds of international film festivals like Fribourg, Copenhagen, Vladivostok, Berlin, Cameroon, Rotterdam and Johannesburg, among others. If he’s not competing, De La Cruz sits as jury member of those festivals.
“Shockbox” is Dela Cruz’s third book of poetry. His previous collections are the best-selling “Lines on the Sole” and “Ultraviolins” whose copies are now as rare as the DVD releases of his movies.