This Month, Catch 'Cinq et la Peau', a French Film Shot Entirely in Manila
Later this month, the QCinema International Film Festival will run in select theaters across Metro Manila, screening a new crop of local films for its main event, the Circle Competition. Also, true its traditions, this year's QCinema will also be bringing in an array of international through its other categories.
One of those categories is TF1 French Classics, co-presented by TF1 Studio. This year, Filipino cinephiles can get a taste of three works from the French New Wave: Diabolique, And God Created Woman, and Cinq et la Peau (Five and the Skin).
Diabolique by Henri-Georges Clouzot is widely considered to be one of the greatest films of the 50s, and tells the story of a loathed school principal whose wife and mistress conspire to murder him. The two successfully carry out their plan, but things take a turn for the worse when his corpse mysteriously disappears. Diabolique won the Best Foreign Film Award at the 1956 Edgar Allan Poe Awards and the Best Foreign Language Film at the 1955 New York Film Critics Circle Awards.
And God Created Woman by Roger Vadim is a classic and part of a wave of French films that were said to have pushed the boundaries of sexuality in American cinema. The film is also considered to have launched its star, Brigitte Bardot, into the spotlight of American pop culture, as she played the role of a seductive young woman who teases her husband, his brother, and a Riviera millionaire.
Lastly, and perhaps most interestingly, there's Pierre Rissient's Cinq et la Peau, or Five and the Skin, a French-Filipino production shot entirely in Manila with Filipinos, including Gloria Diaz and Bembol Roco, as part of the cast.
It tells the story of a French writer who returns to Manila for no reason. Here, he wanders in search of the city's past, but also for the meaning of his existence.
It should be interesting to see this particular film, not only for the picture it paints of Manila in the 80s, but for what it shows of how the Philippines and Filipinos were viewed by the other cultures at the time.
Pierre Rissient was an influential filmmaker in Cannes and brought many unknown directors to the international limelight including Filipino filmmaker Lino Brocka. He played a significant role in bringing Philippine cinema to the French Riviera.
The QCinema International Film Festival runs from October 21 to October 30 in select theaters across Metro Manila. For more information and screening schedules, stay tuned to the official QCinema Facebook page.