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

Monday, November 28, 2011

AMIGO at the Smithsonian

Okay, it was ages ago, but at the kind invitation of our friend Konrad Ng, Director of the Pacific Asian Program of the Smithsonian, we went down to DC to show AMIGO.
 Here we are at a terrific Mexican restaurant called Oyamel with, from the right, Konrad, John and me, Robert Perkinson, and our pal Catherine Park, all the way from LA. That's Robert's book and his other project is campaigning to locate the President Obama Library in Hawaii. Seems like a good idea to me.

We never got any state money for any of our films, but I am considering this trip paid for by the government. They covered our train ride from Poughkeepsie and two nights in the lovely Washington Plaza Hotel, built in  1962 and kept amazingly intact.

Our room was tiny but the price was right and the atmosphere in the lobby and bar was international.
Nicole joined us and we visited Occupy Wall St. Washington.
They had a library

and a very tidy campsite. We dropped off some used towels and floor mats to make life there more comfortable. I can mother this movement and I am proud of how it has captured the conversation in this country and around the world.
Through AMIGO we continue to meet smart, young Filipinos (and some great older ones! like Sonny Izon with whom we had a nice but hurried dinner during the show-both interrupted by power failure at the theater in the Museum of the American Indian). Teddy Gonzalves is a professor in American Studies, which discipline is now including Empire Studies.
Here is Teddy's lovely wife, Charita.
John makes anyone look small.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I've been away

Did you miss me? I have actually had some time off-and I'll be doing more of that, just watch me-but we haven't stopped promoting AMIGO and MOMENT IN THE SUN.

I'm going to work backwards, and take you to the most recent stop on our American Lakbay/Tour: The Sixth Annual Sanibel Writers Workshop. John was the keynote speaker and also read from the Tampa chapter to a warm crowd of about 300. Speaking of warm, thank you to Tom De Marchi for the invitation-once accepted, we cooked up a mini-tour of Florida and Louisiana, follow us along. For more about the conference,  go to 
Here's Tom with John. Florida Gulf Coast University is very lucky to have teachers as enthusiastic as Tom and his wife Karen Tolchin. Their students had to buy John's book!
Here are some getting autographs.
Here is the view, through the screen of our 2nd floor lanai, of the beach on Sanibel Island.

We fled New York after 9.5 inches of snow and 4 days without power. We deserve a view of the Gulf.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

AMIGO has a billboard on 5th Avenue

Last Thursday Consul General Mario de Leon hosted a forum with us and UniPro a great group of young Filipino professionals.
(Does anybody have photos from this event?)
We showed the AMIGO trailer and John answered  really good questions about AMIGO and the history between the U.S and the Philippines. The site was the Philippines Center at its posh address, 5th Avenue between 45th and 46th.
When Ms. Elena Maningat of the Consul asked if perhaps they could move the monitor to the window and show the trailer in a loop to passersby, I gasped and said YES.
Can you see the bus passing by, in the reflection? Tricky photos to take and we have U.S. Background Soldier Kenny Guay to thank for these. Just as Ms. Maningat reported to me yesterday, lots of people are stopping by to check out the trailer, the poster, and a card listing the show times at AMC Empire 25 where we open this Friday August 19.

Go see for yourself.
Thank you, NY Consulate. Your support means a lot to us.

Monday, August 15, 2011

That's the way it's supposed to be

Here's an anecdote from Dylan Marchetti, head of VAriance Films which is doing such a good job releasing AMIGO in the U.S.

"The night security guard in our office stopped me and asked me if we were doing Amigo.  He said he'd seen the ads popping up on TFC and his grandmother said she wanted the family to go on opening weekend."

Monday, August 8, 2011

One month later...

Time passes!
It's been a month since my last post, urging you to see AMIGO in the Philippines.  We did just fine there, stayed in the theaters for 10 days, against TRANSFORMERS, and started a positive buzz for the provincial and scholastic release of the film in the upcoming month.

WE ARE ABOUT TO OPEN IN THE US! I think we have a really good strategy, opening August 19 in cities with large Filipino populations, and expanding during the following weeks to more cities where lots of Filipinos live. Our outreach to the FilAm community has been so rewarding, resulting in more openings than we had originally planned, and- thanks so many times to Dylan Marchetti and his team at Variance Films- we are in all the right theaters. We'll be playing in mainstream theaters in cities like Milpitas and Tukwila and also in art cinemas, where we hope the non-FilAm Sayles fans will find us easily.

NEW YORK AMC Empire 25! Little AMIGO in a great 42nd St theater. How cool is that? Come for the 7pm show on August 19 and 20 and you'll see John Sayles answering questions at the end of the show.

Here's the line-up for August 19 openings around the country. Spread the word to your friends and family.

19-Aug        New York, NY    AMC Empire 25
19-Aug        Los Angeles, CA    Laemmle's Monica 4
19-Aug         Los Angeles, CA (Cerritos)    Edwards Cerritos Stadium 10
19-Aug        Los Angeles, CA (West Covina)    AMC Puente Hills 20
19-Aug        San Diego, CA    UA Horton Plaza 14
19-Aug        Tukwila, WA (Seattle)    AMC Southcenter 16
19-Aug        San Jose, CA (Milpitas)    Century 20 Great Mall 20 + XD
19-Aug        Stockton, CA    Regal Stockton City Center Stadium 16
19-Aug        San Fran (Daly City)    UA Stonestown Twin
19-Aug        San Fran (Union City)    Cinemark Union Landing 25 + XD

26-Sep        San Jose, CA (Santa Clara)    AMC Mercardo 20
26-Aug        Honolulu, HI    Regal Dole Cannery
26-Aug        Guam    Micronesia Mall 10

2-Sep        Virginia Beach, VA (Norfolk)    AMC Lynnhaven 18
2-Sep         DC    West End Cinema
2-Sep        DC (Gaithesburg, MD)    AMC Rio 18
2-Sep        Las Vegas, NV    Regal Village Square 18
2-Sep        Seattle, WA    Northwest Film Forum
2-Sep        Portland, OR    Hollywood Theater
8-Sep         Albuquerque, NM    Guild Cinema
16-Sep         Dallas, TX    Texas Theater
16-Sep         Minneapolis, MN    St. Anthony Main Theater
Chicago, IL    Gene Siskel Film Center
23-Sep        Denver, CO    Denver FilmCenter/Colfax

If you don't see your city here and you think you can help us bring out an audience for AMIGO, go onto our website and let us know.

Friday, July 8, 2011

This is it.

This is your moment, like voting for the candidate you really want to win. Go tonight to a theater near you to see AMIGO. Small movies don't stand a chance if YOU don't support them. Don't wait till your whole crowd wants to go. Be the first.
This movie will not be out on DVD for at least two years.
See it now.

06 July 2011
Selected Theaters
Selected Theaters
Ayala Cinemas

SM Cinemas
SM North Edsa*

Gateway Cinemas*
Ayala Cinemas
Glorietta 4**

SM Cinemas
SM Megamall*

Robinsons' Cinemas
Robinsons' Galleria*

SM Cinemas
SM Manila*

Robinson's Cinemas
Robinson's Ermita*

SM Cinema
SM Mall of Asia**

SM Bacoor*

SM Cebu**

SM Davao*
* Only Spanish and Cantonese dialogues have English subtitles
** All non-English dialogues (Filipino, Spanish, Cantonese) have English subtitles

Monday, July 4, 2011

Good Bye, Manila

On our last day Joel and John and I visit Bee and the Rottweiler at the Veterinary Hospital in Mandaluyong.  We were hoping to see Bee at Fully Booked and the AMIGO premiere, but flooding stranded her in the hospital (Manila, get it together!) and she needed to be with Leo.
Good bye, Bee. See you next time. Good luck, Leo.
Goodbye, the Pasig River. Be cleaner next time?
Goodbye, Joel. See you in New YOrk. Goodbye Tess and Sharon. Thanks for taking care of us.

Goodbye Bobby and Olivia. Thanks for making us part of your family.

AMIGO Premiers in Manila

Trinoma Mall, opposite SM North EDSA. Origin8 has organized a very nice reception around the beautiful show of Gino Gonzales' costumes for AMIGO.
Here is Joel doing an interview-one of many since we had a lot of press there-in front of a selection of the costumes. Each was "hero" costume, worn by one of the principles, and each came with a caption that named the actor and described the character. Very elegant and subtle, very Gino. Of course he and Grace weren't able to attend the opening of the exhibition because they had been up all night setting it up! Gino is designing the TV series "Amara" with Rodell Cruz as Production Designer. Thank you for a beautiful job, Gino.

Re-enactors from Buhay na  Kasaysayan attended in force and their presence added to the festive atmosphere. Everybody wanted a picture with them. Including Beth Day Romulo. Learn more about this wonderful group at
We were happy to see Beth and our hostess Olivia Romulo and our pal Salito Malca from HIT Productions, here in the pink.
HIT is a top-notch sound studio and I know Salito and his business partner Dennis Cham are thrilled with the new sound mix on AMIGO.
Lots of last minute drama as Katski Flores from Origin8 flew in from Hong Kong with the newly subtitled print, just in time for DP Lee Meily to check it out projected in the cinema. LOUD AC, but Lee had the projectionist boost the sound, and we had no complaints. Whew!
 Yours truly looking hefty with Loy Arcenas, director of NINO (featuring Arthur Acuña). Loy is a good friend of my NY pal Jean Passanate and I hope she sees this photo!
Here are some new friends. From the right Fiona Malca looking glamourous in her new scarf from Legazpi Market, Ray Potter and his wife Joy Yamamoto whom we met at Fully Booked reading, Mrs. Isabel Caro Wilson, ex-Ambassador from the Philippines to Spain, and our new Consul General from the US in Manila, Michael Schimmel. I have already hit up Michael for help expediting Joel Torre's visa for his trip to the US in August. Thank you in advance, Con Gen Schimmel.
Two stars meet at last.
It was wonderful to see so many of the AMIGO cast and crew here. You  know who you are.
To the rest of you, we missed you. I hope you will rush to see AMIGO in the theaters when it opens July 6. For ongoing listings of the theaters where it is playing, go to
AMIGO is small but important, TRANSFORMERS is big. Go see AMIGO first.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Back to Business in Manila

First, an hour delay before we arrive in driving rain. Thank you Dayno Dinopol for picking us up, and to Joel for doing the TV interview without us.
We have moved to Maritina's comfortable, convenient apartment in Makati and the arms of her welcoming family. Quick change from our beach clothes, and up to a lovely dinner party at Roberto and Olivia Romulo's. Here is John with our friend Beth Day Romulo.
Two writers. See if you can find Beth's book Inside the Palace for a bird's eye view.
 John reads at Fully Booked, Bonifacio High Street. It's a great bookstore, absolutely to the standard of the best of the US bookstores. They have ordered a 400 copies, so buy one!
 Here is actress Ermie Concepcion, displaying the product.
John read with a mic from a space in the center of the store. I enjoyed watching shoppers be pulled in by the reading (Diosdado, the principle Filipino character in A MOMENT IN THE SUN) and by the brilliance of his answers in the Q & A. They stayed to buy books.
At Maritina's we are conveniently located near Glorietta 5. Sarah Green's (okay, Terry Malick's) TREE OF LIFE is playing in the cinema there. Crazy poster with a little bit of everything. It succeeded I guess, because the theater was packed. John and I enjoyed the movie-and most of the Filipino audience stayed to the end, a little baffled you could tell, by a movie far artier than what usually plays in the mall.
Manila is not all work of course. Raymond Lee from Origin8 takes me to BBFH. Six hands on me at once, pedi, mani, hot oil hair treatment. I felt like Dorothy-in 1978.
John does most of the work and never gets a pedicure.
Here he is with Boy Abunda, recording Bottomline.Boy Abunda is not shy and John rose to the questions. I think you will be able to catch it on YouTube.

Post interview dinner at JT's Original Manukan Grill, with Lee Meily and Uly. We have some good friends in Manila.

Farewell Bohol

First stop, drop off the dogs. Julius is the guy who carts our stuff up the hill. Thank you, Julius.

How could I have fogotten to take a photo of us with Jun Evasco, Mayor of Maribojoc? We stopped by City Hall to leave posters of AMIGO, with our thanks. No photo of the Mayor, but here is the beautiful poster from the Philippines campaign, from a photo by Mary Cybulski.
Our next stop is Talisay Beach, to visit the Budlong Family that took such good care of us during the AMIGO edit.  Dieter with Vincent, Cooper, Tessie, Sophia, and John.
 We are sorry to have missed our landlord Sir Ben Udtohan. This is his groovy mah jong club, finished since we were at Talisay Beach earlier this year.
 I plan to invite myself to spend the night, next time. And to lose about 20 lbs. before I do!
 There's our girl Sophia with her pal from next door, Inday. We miss you all.
 I guess it's not so surprising to see a tricycle called AMIGO, but I am feeling sentimental
Farewell lunch at Ati-Atihan with Cooper.
When will we be back?

We slip away to Bohol

 Leaving Manila in the rain
Arriving in Bohol in the mist. Remember that strange weather we saw from the patio of Stone House? June is monsoon season and this is Tropical Storm Falcon. It will not go away.
 We stop at the wet market in Manga to buy a "unicorn fish" to grill at Dieter and Bee's.
 Cross my beautiful Abatan River, as we did every day on our way to the Baryo set.
 And up the hill to Dieter and Bee's house overlooking Maribojoc Bay.

 Lots of new improvements for those of you who have been lucky enough to make the trip up the hill. This house is handmade by the best pandays.

 New stairs. Eggs are good luck and you see eggshells decorating the bushes at the entrance of many houses.
A new dog house, but none of the dogs will go in it.
John and I sleep on the porch and watch fireflies gather in the eaves.
We say goodbye at the airport to Bee who is going to Manila with the Rottweiler who needs a hip replacement. Good luck! We'll miss you.
Because Dieter and John and I are off to Cabilao- TS Falcon be damned!

Dieter is smiling but he is also holding on to the little box holding the new addition, Chihuahua Coco. None of us has seen the passage so rough as today in the storm.
Bamboo Reef Resort is as pretty as I remember it. Junelle is in charge of the decor.

The waterfront cottage has been converted to an open cabana. We spend most of our time here since the breeze (wind, really, this is a tropical storm) keeps the mosquitoes from biting, and there is no snorkelling on this trip.
On the ritual visit to CROWN weavers to buy my very own bayong (woven shopping bag, for those of you who have missed the other trips) we get happily lost and I see parts of the island I missed before.
 Strangely human trees
and a quaint welcome from another time. It's the day before fiesta (San Juan) and there are lots of people willing to show us the way home.
 We load on the sheltered side of the island and for the first time we go around the back of the island, to avoid the worst of the waves.
Sasha and John stay cool
and I get wet. This is the first time we have left Cabilao without some idea of when we'll be back.