Jay Altarejos says his indie film Laruang Lalake "is about the making of a gay film," not about gay issues per se


"It does not tackle issues on homosexuals and homosexuality," says director Jay Altarejos about his latest indie film Laruang Lalake. This film stars Mon Confiado (left) as a producer and Arjay Carreon as an ambitious actor from the province.


Muling magpapamalas ng panibagong atake sa kanyang paggawa ng pelikula si Jay Altarejos via Laruang Lalake. Siya rin ang director ng mga controversial and critically-acclaimed gay-themed films na Ang Lalake sa Parola at Ang Lihim ni Antonio.



Ayon sa blog site ni Lex Bonife na Lexuality: "Laruang Lalake is a realist film that portrays the people within the gay film industry and their personal stories—from the naughty to the gritty, from the horny to the hopeful.

"Created by Joselito Altarejos with the script from Lex Bonife, the film weaves the short journey of an ambitious probinsiyano actor, Samuel (Arjay Carreon), an idealistic film staff (Mark Fabillar) who is secretly in love with an actor and a filmmaker on the brink of bankruptcy (Richard Quan).

"The film also features the daring Marco Morales, as a comeback actor willing to do everything to [make] a name for himself.

"As the camera grinds between naked bodies in homoerotic play, it’s all in a day’s work for everyone in an industry operating in a society that is yet to accept the Filipino gay man."

Ayon nga kay Direk Jay, iba ang tema ng Laruang Lalake sa mga nagawa na niyang gay-themed films tulad nga ng Ang Lalake sa Parola at Ang Lihim ni Antonio. Isama na rin diyan ang iba pa niyang ginawa tulad ng Ang Laro sa Buhay ni Juan, Kambyo at Little Boy... Big Boy.

"Laruang Lalake might seem like a gay film, but after watching it, one will realize that it is about the making of a gay film. It does not tackle issues on homosexuals and homosexuality.

"It only shows how an independent gay film is made. How different characters are motivated by economics in doing the film Laruang Lalake," paliwanag ni Direk Jay.

Hindi rin nga alam ni Direk Jay kung magiging kasing-kontrobersyal ito tulad ng mga nagawa na niyang mga pelikula.

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"I don’t know if it will create as much stir or controversy as Antonio or Parola. Iba kasi ang mga iyon as compared dito sa Laruang Lalake.

"But since it’s based on Lex Bonife’s observation and research, meron sigurong mga elements sa movie that people will find controversial. Let’s just wait and see for their reactions. Ayoko naman silang pangunahan, di ba?" ngiti pa niya.

Usually ay mga baguhang artista ang nakakatrabaho ni Direk Jay sa kanyang mga pelikula. Tulad nga ni Harry Laurel sa Parola at Kenjie Garcia sa Antonio. Dito sa Laruang Lalake ay dalawang baguhan ang nakatrabaho niya. Sina Arjay Carreon at Mark Fabillar.

"I like working with new actors. Nandoon pa kasi yung raw talent nila na gusto mong i-mold. Lalo na sa mga tulad ng mga pelikulang ganito.

"In fairness, my actors in Laruang Lalake are competent. Arjay Carreon fits the innocent newbie. Swak sa kanya yung binigay na role. As well as Mark Fabillar who showed sincerity in his role as the production assistant. Both of them photograph really well. Maganda ang mga rehistro nila sa screen.

"I’m also picky in working with other actors. Pinipili ko yung alam kong madali kong makakatrabaho and could deliver their respective roles well. Like sina Richard Quan and Mon Confiado. Ever-reliable ang dalawang yan. They play the director and producer respectively.

"Dexter Doria is also great to work with. She makes a cameo in the film as a member of the MTRCB.

"And it’s my first time to work with Marco Morales. He’s okay as the experienced bold actor. Walang inhibitions sa katawan niya."

Gusto nga ni Direk Jay na makagawa naman siya ng isang movie na walang gay characters involved. Tulad na lang ng kanyang ginawang pelikula for the Cinemalaya film festival na Pink Halo-Halo.

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"Pink Halo-Halo is not a gay film. It is about a child who loses his soldier-father due to the conflict in Mindanao. My next two projects are not going to be gay-themed. One is about children and the other one is about an old couple.

"I want to do a variety of films and work with different actors naman na nasa mainstream. I sure would like to work with Sid Lucero and Coco Martin. For me, sila ang mahuhusay na actors ngayon who are doing indie films."

Natuwa naman si Direk Jay nang mabigyan ng parangal sa Festival del Mar in Mallorca at sa Festival de la Luna in Valencia, na parehong sa Spain, ang kanyang pelikulang Ang Lihim ni Antonio (Antonio’s Secret).

"Antonio won two Best Picture awards from both festivals and Kenjie Garcia won two Best Actor awards naman. One in Festival del Sol in Gran Canaria, Spain, and the other one in Festival del Mar in Mallorca.

"I am very proud of this film at ipinaglaban ko talaga ito. I know that one day it will make a difference. Mapapansin din siya, kung hindi dito, sa ibang bansa, which came true."

Nanghihinayang nga si Direk Jay dahil mas napansin pa nga ang pelikula niyang iyon ng ibang film festivals, samantalang dito ay hindi pinansin ng award-giving bodies ang kanyang pelikula.

"Shamaine Centenera-Buencamio was overlooked in this film. She was really good in Antonio. Baka kasi gay film siya at daring masyado kaya siguro di na nila na-appreciate ang efforts.

"But, if reviewers and award-giving bodies would really like to help the industry, they should watch all films. Kahit ano pa mang genre or theme yun. At ako, wala rin naman akong problema sa mga pumupuna sa mga pelikula ko. Kaparte kasi sila sa proseso ng paggawa ng pelikula.

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"But nonetheless, Ang Lihim ni Antonio was also well-received in Italy and New York. As a matter of fact, it will be one of the films to be shown in a retrospective of Filipino films in Bologna, Italy, next year.

"I will still make movies na may ganitong mga tema. Lalo na at much appreciated ito abroad. Gumagawa ako ng pelikula hindi para sa mga awards o festivals but I make films because I have a story to tell. And, I will tell my story the way I want it. Punahin man o purihin pagkatapos."


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