Wednesday, September 2, 2009

In memoriam: Alexis A. Tioseco

Tragic news today as I peered into my Facebook page and saw the writing on the wall: Filipino film critic, journalist and scholar Alexis A. Tioseco and his girlfriend, Slovenian journalist and film festival programmer Nika Bohinc, were fatally shot (cache) on Tuesday night in a robbery at their home in Quezon City.

Both were young but had already done a great deal for cinema and would have certainly done much, much more -- perhaps even instituted big changes -- but the world is robbed of that.

Alexis and Nika were in Bangkok at the end of July for the Lav Diaz retrospective. Just in the short time I got to spend hanging out with Alexis, I learned a lot of about cinema and how to view it, and the business and politics of the independent film scene.

Alexis was one of the founding programmers of the S-Express program series of Southeast Asian and Asian films that travels to film festivals in the region and around the world. I missed seeing his latest S-Express Philippines package at the recent 13th Thai Short Film & Video Festival. It is scheduled to show again at the upcoming Singapore Short Film Festival and Asian Film Symposium. Update: The screening in Singapore, which Alexis was to attend, will be dedicated to him, as will the upcoming screening of Raya Martin's Independencia in Toronto. I expect similar tributes to follow at other film festivals.

He had a blog, Concentrated Nonsense, but will perhaps be best remembered for starting Criticine, the online magazine devoted to serious discussion of Southeast Asian films, with articles and interviews with such directors as Pen-ek Ratanaruang, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Uruphong Raksasad and Sasithorn Ariyavicha as well as the editors of Bioscope and film critic Kong Rithdee.

More heartfelt and better-written tributes are sure to come in the next few days, but for now, here's one from the Critic After Dark, Noel Vera.

Update: Screen Daily has the reaction from the region's film community and Rogue magazine has a tribute.

Update 2
: A YouTube clip of Alexis in Bangkok. It's embedded below.

Update 3: Oggs Cruz has a tribute.

Update 4: The Auteurs links to a piece by Jason Sanders in Filmmaker magazine.

Update 5: A news report (video) by GMA.

Update 6: A second tribute at The Auteurs.

Update 7: Limitless Cinema's tribute, solidifying the Bangkok connection.

Update 8: The Hollywood Reporter files a report.

Update 9: A condolences book is being prepared in Thailand.

Update 10: A report from the Philippine Entertainment Portal (cache).

Update 11: Tilman Baumgaertel at the Southeast Asian Film Studies Institute writes about Alexis' and Nika's contributions to Filipino and the region's cinema.

Update 12: Bangkok Post obituary by Kong Rithdee (cache).

Update 13: An appeal for coverage of the murder and a call for justice.

Update 14: Coverage of the story from Canada.

Update 15: Memorial ceremony and cremation held in Quezon City (cache).

Update 16: For Nika, For Alexis by Adrian Martin. Also Raymond Phathanavirangoon (and here), Kim Voynar and Glenn Kenny. And ... For Alexis by Apichatpong Weerasethakul.

Update 17: nikalexis at YouTube. Plus tributes from the Inquirer here, here, here and here.

Goodbye Alexis and Nika. Rest in peace.

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