Controversial Provocative Film of LJ Reyes and Luis Alandy Soon A Russian Play
By Patricia Simone Dauz
The film was the subject of controversy because of the 10-minute uninterrupted sex scene between the lead stars, Reyes and Alandy. You can catch the award-winning film on January 18, 2016, at the UP Film Center.
“Fulfilling, kasi the product is something we really worked hard for,” said Kapuso actor Luis Alandy regarding the Karlovy Vary win. “Mahirap kasi yung rehearsals namin, so rewarding na mapanood siya nang buo, yung nagwo-work,”, Falcon added. Both actors confirmed that despite the realistic set, the film wasn’t shot out of town but just in a QC studio.
“We rehearsed everyday for a month,” explained Alandy. “Almost 15 rehearsals or more the whole day. Actually we worked for eight hours,” confirmed Falcon. The most talked-about sex scene was also done in one long take, so there was no room for any errors. The actors were in a lone setting which made the film a form of ‘theatrical cinema’ akin the style first popularized by American director Orson Welles.
“When I was asked earlier why I accepted the role even though it had a love scene, I answered that it would be stupid of me as an actor not to accept the role because of that,” said Alandy. “Inaabot kami ng madaling araw lalo na noong malapit nang mag-shoot,” clarified Falcon. Anthony is a stage actor and was a Gawad Urian best actor nominee for his first movie appearance Requiemel (2012).
“Each character was deceived. Parang…it’s hard to trust someone kahit kilala mo na at a certain level. If you don’t really get to know the person deep skin, mahirapna.” This was the message of the film for Alandy. “All the actors are all layered eh. You have to play this character then…parang three layers siya lahat halos,” answered Falcon when asked about the challenge in shooting the film.
“Doing the film in one take was the most challenging part in doing this film,” stressed Luis. It was his first time to have experienced this since he doesn’t done theater yet, which made this more difficult than his previous projects. “If we did good in the first part tapos sa bandang huli may lumaylay o may nagkamali.”
“All the actors auditioned for the roles. Even LJ. They’re all able and talented actors but making this film is no piece of cake. It was a long difficult, emotionally draining and often times frustrating process just to make them become the characters they were playing,” Lana explained his casting
decision. He further explained why he chose to evoke such a cinematic atmosphere regarding the armed rebels of Marag Valley (a vast forest land extending from the foot of Mt. Siamsanderie in Luna, Apayao to the Malababie Valley in Pamplona, Cagayan).The local unrest happened in the 90s.
“The story calls for it. It’s an intimate chamber drama. Imprisonment is one of the themes that I wanted to explore in Anino. The long take is designed to make the audience feel the relentless horror brought about by armed conflict. Even the long kilometric lines is an attempt on my part to imprison my actors’ performance, I wanted to see them struggling for words, almost breathless when they deliver their dialogues,” he elaborated.
A Stage Adaptation for the Film
“During the festival in Vladivostok I was approached by their regional theater director and asked me if I was interested to adapt and direct Anino for the Russian stage. Of course I said yes. I am now working on the English text to be translated in Russian afterwards,” explained Lana.
According to a critic and cinephile, the film might not get a commercial release because of censorship, especially it contains very sensitive
scenes. However, there will be special screening on January 18 (5pm and 7pm) at the UP Film Center. There will be a forum with the director after the screening. As for a local stage adaptation of the play, there has been no news yet.
In 2008, actors from the GMA Artist Center mounted a trilogy play entitled Kutsilyo, Pamaypay, at Yantok in cooperation with Tanghalang Pilipino. Early this year, LJ Reyes acted in a major role for the same theater company’s stage adaptation of Juego de Peligro. On the other hand, PETA also has a good working relationship with GMA Artist Center. Their hit musical, Rak of Aegis, featured Aicelle Santos, a Kapuso artist.
The film’s latest triumph was at the 13th Pacific Meridian Film Festival held at Vladivostok, Russia. It won four awards there including a Best Actress for Reyes, a Best Director for Lana, as well as two critics’ prizes. Its world premiere was at the prestigious Karlovy Vary festival last July, in the Independent section.