Since last year, Adolf Alix Jr. has been talking with Piolo
Pascual about an indie film that would pay tribute to two of the most
influential directors in the Philippine movie industry: Lino Brocka and Ishmael
Bernal. The matinee idol liked the indie film so much
that he chose not only to star in Manila but also serve as a co-producer.
The script is co-written
by Adolf and Ramon Sarmiento.
PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) interviewed Adolf regarding this
twin-bill indie film that will be shot on 16mm black-and-white film before
being transferred to 35mm. Titled Manila, this two-part movie is divided
into a Day episode (which is loosely based on Bernal's 1980 film Manila By
Night) and a Night episode (inspired by Brocka's 1979 film Jaguar).
Why did you choose to do Lino Brocka's Jaguar and Ishmael Bernal's Manila
"Raya and I feel that the themes of both films are still
relevant," explains Adolf. "Both films also speak of how cruel the city can be
to people...its also about men trying to belong and reconcile with their past."
In the Day segment, Piolo portrays the role of William, a drug addict
who tries to rebuild his sense of self and reconnect with the people around
him. Piolo's character is named William in honor of William Martinez who played
the lead role in Manila By Night. The Day segment also stars Jodi Sta
Maria and Rosanna Roces who is tapped to play the role of Piolo's mother.
Isn't Piolo afraid of playing a drug addict in this segment?
Adolf says, "I think Piolo is ready to do such roles. It's
exciting for his craft. A good actor will always be ready to sink his teeth
into exciting roles. With him being one of the best actors of his generation,
it will be interesting [to see] how he will do it."
How is it like working with the matinee idol?
"He is very professional. He
listens and knows what he is doing."
Will Direk Adolf modify his directorial style for this movie or will he
be emulating the style of Lino Brocka? "I'll be shooting it based on the
demands of the material. I wanted a gritty feel for the film," he says.
For the Night segment, Piolo portrays the role of Philip, who works as a
bodyguard for a mayor's son. The bodyguard believes that his boss considers him
as part of the family but after a shooting incident, he realizes his real worth
to his boss. As he struggles to hide, he is slowly consumed by the claws of
darkness lurking the city.
Piolo's character is named after action star Phillip Salvador who starred in Jaguar,
the Brocka masterpiece that was the first Filipino film included in the main
competition in the Cannes International Film Festival.
The matinee idol acts opposite Alessandra de Rossi in the Night episode, which
also stars Jay Manalo, Anita Linda, and Jiro Manio.
Adolf reveals why he chose
Alex for this part. "When I co-wrote Munting Tinig, I've seen how good
Alex is as an actress . I have always wanted to work with her, now as a director
and when we were casting for the role, Alessandra perfectly fits the role."
Manila is scheduled for release within the year.