John Sayles' AMIGO and A Moment in the Sun out at last.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Quick Sidenote: PIRANHA 3D is a fish of a different color.

So we've gotten a lot of questions about whether John had any involvement in Piranha 3D.  Here's John's response!

"Same fish, different filmmakers. Haven’t even seen a screenplay for PIRANHA 3D, and didn’t get even ‘story by’ credit so I imagine it’s a totally new deal. I didn’t have anything to do with PIRANHA II, the SPAWNING that James Cameron directed, either. Since the original PIRANHA was a spin-off of JAWS, maybe this new one is a spin-off of JAWS III. Or maybe TENTACLES. Or maybe ORCA II. Or maybe MOBY DICK--"

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Amigo Site at TIFF

Official Description

An American invasion of a foreign country. A battle for hearts and minds. A pacification programme to quell an insurgency. Guerrilla warfare. Firefights. Sound familiar? Well, yes and no. Über-indie American filmmaker John Sayles winds the clock back to 1900 and the US occupation of the Philippines in his brave new film, Amigo. Sayles finds many parallels behind this little-remembered event in history and current events in Iraq and Afghanistan. As always, this most singular of directors provides a clear, lucid and dramatically compelling portrait and analysis of American colonization and the latent imperialism behind some of its wars. The film revolves around the occupation by a squad of U.S. soldiers of a small, rural village. Headed by a respected elder, whom the Yankees refer to as “Amigo,” the villagers are forced to deal with this foreign presence as rules are set, curfews introduced and small attempts at democracy initiated. But the most significant tension in the film lies in the village’s relationship with a rebel group leading the resistance to the occupation. Amigo’s brother is the rebel leader, and his son runs off to join them, so he constantly finds himself torn between balancing what is right for the village and what this means to his family. The joys of the film are many. Determined to remain true to historic recreation, the film has the ring of authenticity. But Sayles also excels in giving complexity to the human dilemmas that form the core of the narrative. As Amigo struggles to make certain decisions, the US lieutenant in charge of the village has to deal with the insensitive arrogance of his commanding officer. While the junior officer tries to win hearts and minds, his superior prefers the heavy hand of threat and torture. As the film moves towards its climax, all the various strands of the story converge to provide a unique and telling culmination. Thoughtful and provocative, John Sayles is still the conscience of American cinema. 

Piers Handling

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Are we in Mexico?

No, we are in Divisoria!
Like in the best mercados in Mexico, in Divisoria, Manila, you can buy anything.
Like angel wings. Where did you think they came from? And fake leis and masks and shields and helmets for a Moro Moro play. All under one roof.  Made right in front of you, hecho a mano.
It was Fiona Malca who brought me to Divisoria. Here she is with two boys from the stall carrying the baskets she bought for a Rosh Hashanah surprise. Nothing you can't get in Divisoria, for any occasion.
Including rambutan.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Yours truly in person August 20 SM MOA

In case you are in Manila and you feel like taking the tre to SM Mall of Asia,
I am speaking at Cinexpo, about film distribution. This is a subject about which I remain hopeful, though not certain. Check out
I am speaking at 2pm.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

AMIGO at Toronto Film Festival DATES!

AMIGO at TIFF World Premieres


First, two professional screenings to which the public is not invited:
Press &Industry 1 SCOTIABANK THEATRE 11 09/12/10 07:00 PM
Press & Industry 2 SCOTIABANK THEATRE 10 09/14/10 09:30 AM
Press see the film before it is presented to the public, to give the press time to do interviews with the cast and crew before the official premiere. "Industry" means film distribution companies, BUYERS, and we hope a lot of them will come to watch AMIGO.

We hope to be showing this movie to Filipinos all around the world, di ba?
 Then the three public screenings to which every Pinoy in greater Toronto should rush and get tickets.
Public 1 ISABEL BADER THEATRE 09/14/10 10:30 PM
Public 2 RYERSON 09/15/10 03:00 PM

We're not sure yet which screening will get more press, but at these first two John Sayles and I will certainly be in attendance to introduce the film. With JOEL TORRE! You will see Chris Cooper and Garret Dillahunt on at least one of those days, and I hear rumors about , D.J. Qualls, Yul Vazquez, Brian Lee Franklin, and Dane DeHaan coming too.


 TIFF Bell Lightbox 1 09/19/10 03:00 PM
If you are too late to get a ticket for 9/14 or 9/15 then you have one more chance, Sunday afternoon, 9/19. We'll be gone by then, heading off to the San Sebastian International Film Festival, Spain.
More details about both festivals as I get them.

Learn about getting your tickets here:

P.S. All Boholanos living outside Bohol! Don't be surprised if you hear from Mayor Jun Evasco of Maribojoc. I had dinner with him last night at MR on the pier in Tagbilaran (along with Cooper REsabal, Melaney Clarin of Clarin Ancestral Home, and the Mayor's son Bagani). he Mayor is going online to turn out the Bohol community far and wide for AMIGO which is SHOT ENTIRELY ON LOCATION IN BOHOL.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Back in Bohol

I did my best to complete the deals with Kodak Philippines, SQ Film Labs, and Road Runner for the film phase, and then I flew back to Bohol. It's wonderful to be here. Cooper and I had a sleepover with Dieter and Bee my first night back. Then back to Talisay Beach house where Sophia and Vincent and Tessie welcomed me like family. Look our big girl! She is inches taller and has a full head of hair and she talks so much more than she used to, even some words of English.
We miss you, Clarissa.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Shopping in Quiapo

Quiapo! If you like an open market, and I sure do, Quiapo is the place. John and I were here a few years ago with Joel Torre for about 5 minutes before a crowd gathered around their hero and we had to rush out to safety!
Ermie Concepcion who played Dolores in AMIGO wore her bandana disguise and we shopped anonymously. Rubber slippers, red eggs, and the anting-anting magic charms lady. So much fun to have friends here who can take me around. And Ermie can haggle!