‘Gensan Punch’ and ‘Resbak’: One-two punch from prolific Brillante Ma Mendoza (Conclusion) | Inquirer Entertainment

‘Gensan Punch’ and ‘Resbak’: One-two punch from prolific Brillante Ma Mendoza (Conclusion)

The Cannes-winning director on his frustrations, finding fulfillment and his reunion project with Coco Martin
By: - Entertainment Editor
/ 12:15 AM October 09, 2021

Brillante Ma Mendoza

Aside from their riveting tales of a boxer struggling to realize his dream despite disability or a petty thief completing a task under duress, director Brillante Ma Mendoza’s Busan fest entry “Gensan Punch” and Tokyo fest entry “Resbak” are made more compelling by the lead actors who breathe palpable life into beleaguered protagonists.

Vince Rillon, the boyish lead actor of “Resbak,” was already learning the thespic ropes around the time “Captive,” the filmmaker’s Isabelle Huppert starrer, was released in 2012. “Kasabayan s’ya ni Coco (Martin)—and Vince was very young at the time,” Brillante recalled. “But Coco took his job seriously. Now it’s Vince’s turn [to prove his worth].”


For his part, Shogen, the Japanese lead star of “Gensan Punch,” first modeled in Paris, London and Milan while backpacking around the world after finishing college. In 2004, he returned to Japan to pursue a career in acting (“Bloody Snake Under the Sun,” “Sexual Drive”).


Shogen in “Gensan Punch”

Meanwhile, Brillante’s most successful protégé, Coco Martin, is retracing his indie roots by way of his upcoming reunion project with the celebrated filmmaker.

Here’s Part 2 of our exclusive interview with Brillante:

You’re already a Cannes-winning director, while Coco is now “Ang Probinsyano’s” director, producer and lead star. How was it reuniting with Coco? Were there changes in your dynamics as director-actor 16 years after working together in “Masahista”?

Not really (laughs). People get shocked when they see how we work on a set because they don’t know how deep our friendship is—hindi talaga kami natinag ng panahon. So, when we started shooting our film, which doesn’t have a title yet, Coco and I talked.

He said, “You’re the director here, ha? I’m just an actor.” And the people who knew us way back when would tell you that nothing has changed—parang walang nangyari in those 15-16 years. He shows me the same respect.

In a nutshell, what is your movie with Coco about?

It’s also based on a true story—about a policeman who runs amok. Nag-amok s’ya at pinagbabaril n’ya ang mga kasamahan n’yang pulis.


What are your frustrations as a filmmaker? And what fulfillment do you get out of it?

Perhaps frustration isn’t the right word anymore—naiintindihan ko na rin kasi ang dating source of frustration ko. I used to say, “Why aren’t Filipino moviegoers watching my films, even if I promote them well? Why don’t they understand them?” But I’ve already made my peace about that and have had a lot of realizations ever since … kaya hindi na ako nafu-frustrate.

First of all, our country isn’t really all that exposed to filmmaking as a craft, so why blame the audience for not knowing better? So, here’s what I do: I don’t just show my films in commercial venues, I also try to seek my audience. I teach film appreciation, screen my movies to students, explain to them tirelessly—from north to south, hanggang sa pinakadulo ng Mindanao—and I’ve been doing this for 10 years now.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

As for the fulfillment I get, I realize that I get it when people understand what my movies are saying … kapag naiintindihan ako or niyayakap ng mga estudyante who appreciate them. That’s priceless for me.

Alam mo, useless kasi ‘yan if you say you’re making a film “for the country” or “I’m doing this because I want change,” but nobody watches your films or hindi naman naiintindihan ng mga manonood ang pelikula mo. Hindi ba parang ikaw lang ‘yun? Na parang wala ka ring ginawa? Gumawa ka ng paraan na hindi ka lang uupo at panonoorin mong mag-isa ang pelikula mo. Na hindi lang ikaw at ang mga kaibigan mo ang manonood n’yan, at kayu-kayo lang ang nagkakaintindihan. If you really want change, you have to reach out [to your audience]!

TAGS: Ang Probinsyano, brillante ma. mendoza, Coco Martin

© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.