Raymond Red pays tribute to silent films
WE met up with Raymond Red to discuss his upcoming feature film, “Kamera Obskura,” for Cinemalaya’s Directors’ Showcase in July. He was with Fil-Am actor, Abe Pagtama (“The Debut,” “The Flip Side”), who plays a mysterious camera keeper in the movie. Also in the cast is Pen Medina.
Red’s latest film vivifies the phenomenon of the camera obscura, wherein light enters a dark room to produce an inverted image from the outside. He explains, “The way we perceive things can be misleading. For example, what if a person escapes prison 20 years after he’s sent there? When he goes back to reality, meron nang LRT, MRT and the Internet. How would you react? It’s a metaphor for the way we perceive reality—and society itself.”
The Cannes-winning director of “Anino” conceptualized “Kamera” as a short film in the ’80s—but he decided to pitch his pet project as a full-length feature at the 2005 Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum.
Red shares, “I lived and dreamed about this movie—and I even had nightmares about it! This is my tribute to the Filipino silent film. Its concept has been with me since I shot my first short, ‘Ang Magpakailanman,’ in 1983. At the time, I struggled with the visual design due to budget limitations. With advanced technology, I’m about to complete a 30-year journey!”
Pagtama only has praises for Raymond, “I’m glad he gave me this role. On the set, he allows his actors to share our thoughts. It’s a healthy collaboration!”
Why did Raymond join Cinemalaya? He replies, “Cinemalaya has excited me from the start! One of its major achievements is that it has developed an audience for indie films. It’s very significant, compared to what we had in the early ’80s, when we had to screen our Super 8 and 16mm films around the country. I want my movies to tap into this new audience.”
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