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Born in 1960 in San Fernando, Mendoza shot his first feature, The Masseur (Masahista), on digital video in 2005 at the age of 45. Since then, the former production designer has seemingly made up for lost time, having directed six more features that have earned him international acclaim for his urgent, unflinching depictions of life at the edges of Filipino society. Last year, Mendoza’s latest film, Serbis (2008), became only the third Filipino film ever to screen in competition at Cannes.

The Archive is thrilled to host Mendoza in person at the Billy Wilder Theater for a two-day retrospective of the director’s provocative, unsettling work.

*IN PERSON: Brillante Mendoza (Jan. 23 and Jan. 24).

Friday, January 23rd at 7:30 p.m.

SERBIS (Service)
Philippines/France, 2008
DIR: Brillante Mendoza. CAST: Gina Pareño, Jaclyn Jose, Kristoffer King, Coco Martin, Julio Diaz.
Director Brillante Mendoza’s latest feature is a family drama set against the backdrop of an adult theater. When a porn patriarch finds himself on trial for bigamy, his son (Dan Alvaro) agrees to testify on his behalf, against the wishes of his aggrieved mother (Pareño). Meanwhile, the rest of the clan must contend with the legacies of adultery: unexpected pregnancy, and possibly, incest. 35mm, in Filipino and Tagalog w/ English subtitles, 90 min.

SLINGSHOT (Tirador) Philippines, 2007
DIR: Brillante Mendoza. CAST: Coco Martin, Nathan Lopez, Kristoffer King, Jiro Manio, Jaclyn Jose.
A nighttime police raid on a Manila tenement kick-starts this sprawling tale of desperation and ambition, criminality and faith. Slum residents steal and sell whatever they can get their hands on to buy dentures or baby food, while political candidates alternately bribe and abuse the poor to buy votes. Mendoza used hidden cameras to capture performers at Catholic feasts and political rallies for the ultimate cinema verité. DigiBeta, in Filipino and Tagalog w/ English subtitles, 86 min.

*IN PERSON: Brillante Mendoza.

Saturday, January 24th at 7:30 p.m.

THE MASSEUR (Masahista)
Philippines, 2005
DIR: Brillante Mendoza. CAST: Coco Martin, Alan Paule, Jaclyn Jose, Katherine Luna, Paolo Rivero.
Country boy Iliac (Martin) is torn between conflicting roles as a prostitute at a massage parlor that caters to gay clients, submissive boyfriend to a sexually domineering waitress and dutiful son to the family he left behind. Mendoza's directorial debut took the Golden Leopard at the 2005 Locarno International Film Festival. 35mm, in Filipino and Tagalog w/ English subtitles, 80 min.

Philippines, 2007
DIR: Brillante Mendoza. CAST: Cherry Pie Picache, Eugene Domingo, Jiro Manio, Alwyn Uytingco, Dan Alvaro.
Thelma Manlangqui (Picache) has given her heart and home to dozens of Manila's orphans, many bound for adoption abroad. Now she must escort her latest charge, John-John (Kier Segundo), to a posh hotel to meet the American couple who will take him from her. Mendoza's meditation on motherhood flows with a relaxed sense of artistic confidence toward its sudden, emotionally charged finale. 35mm, in Tagalog, English and Visayan w/ English subtitles, 98 min.

*IN PERSON: Brillante Mendoza.



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