Friday, June 19, 2015

John Torres given shelter in Bangkok

One of the more interesting filmmakers to emerge from the Philippines New Wave, John Torres mixes searing self-confessionals and personal memories with the tumultuous history of his country.

Next weekend, Bangkok movie lovers get a chance to see all his films in a two-day event, A Child Outside: Retrospective to John Torres, put on by Filmvirus, which previously brought another Filipino indie stalwart, Lav Diaz, to Bangkok.

With support from the Japan Foundation, the retrospective will present Torres’ short films and all his features on June 27 and 28 at the Reading Room on Silom Soi 19.

Up first will be a selection of shorts, made from 2004 to 2011, and his two 2008 autobiographical features, Todo Todo Teros, which blended found footage and home-video clips, and won several awards, and Years When I was a Child Outside, which won an award at the Bangkok International Film Festival in 2008.

I think Todo Todo Teros will bring back bittersweet memories for the Filmvirus crowd, because the cast includes Diaz with film critic Alexis Tioseco, who died about a month after he visited Bangkok in August 2009.

Back to the Torres line-up, June 28 has his two dramatic features, 2010’s Refrains Happen Like Revolutions in a Song, about a young woman who takes on different roles as she travels from village to village. I like how the title is a play on a 1987 Filipino film, Revolutions Happen Like Refrains in a Song, by Nick Deocampo. There's also 2013’s Lukas the Strange, a coming-of-age yarn about an awkward teenager coming to grips with his manhood just as a film crew comes to his village.

And Torres himself will close off the event with a talk.

Shows start at 1pm. The venue is a fourth-floor walk-up in a shophouse on Silom Soi 19, opposite Silom Center. Recent Filmvirus events there have been packed to the rafters, so be sure to arrive early to ensure you'll have a seat.

For further details, check the Facebook events page.

(Cross-published in The Nation)

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