Thursday, May 25

Les fantômes d'Escolta

In case you're interested, there's going to be a documentary on Philippine Cinema made by the French showing on TV5 Monde (please check your local cable listings.) It's supposed to air this at 16h57 (or 4:57pm, whatever) and part of the Cannes 2006 specials.

From what I can gather, the piece deals with stuff we already know: that Pinoy cinema is dead, killed by exorbitant taxes and old habits. It traces the rise and fall of the film industry in the Philippines. At the start of the 80s, studios in Manila and Cebu produced as many as 200 films annually, but today they make less than 50. The film industry in the Philippines was once one of the more prolific in the world, next only to Hollywood and Bollywood.

But the rise of piracy and DVDs only seemed to announce the end. And with the death of the country's most celebrated actor Fernando Poe, Jr. in December 2004, Renaud Fessaguet examines the state of film in the archipelago. Is it dying or dead? The crisis continues, but on the other hand, it seems to permit the inclusion of new talents, independent productions and daring new stories.

Now, you will have to excuse my really rusty French. I might have misunderstood the entire thing so in case I got things wrong, I'm posting the forwarded information about the documentary below:
"Les fantômes d'Escolta" – Réalisateur : Renaud Fessaguet - 2005 – 52 min (France)

Le cinéma philippin se meurt, écrasé par des taxes exorbitantes, de trop vieilles habitudes et un enfermement provincial devenu fatal.

Jusqu'au début des années 80 pourtant, les studios de Manille et de Cebu produisaient plus de 200 films par an, aujourd'hui ils en sortent moins de 50. L'industrie cinématographique de l'archipel était l'une des plus prolifiques du monde, après la Californie et Bollywood.

Puis vinrent le piratage et le DVD, implacables virus qui en annonçaient la fin. A l'occasion de la disparition du plus célèbre des acteurs philippins, Ferdinand Poe Jr., en décembre 2004, Renaud Fessaguet se penche sur le cinéma de l'archipel. Moribond, mort ? La crise traversée semble au contraire permettre l'éclosion de nouveaux talents, de producteurs indépendants et de scénarios audacieux.

Le 24 mai 2006 à 16h57 sur TV5 Monde.

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