On referencing cinema, plus remembering Dolphy

Ricky Torre
Ronnie Quizon on the transitions in cinema and in his family

TRANSITION. Quizon as a lost cameraman in "Rekorder." Production still from the film's Facebook page.

MANILA, Philippines – In the tradition of film as its own subject, this year’s Cinemalaya is, among other things, a celebration of both the medium of cinema and especially its community.

For one, Mikhail Red’s “Rekorder,” reviewed here on Rappler, is a dazzling, sprawling showcase of references to the techniques of cinema, alongside Jeffrey Jeturian’s back story on bit players, “Ekstra.” Despite its dark tale of a film pirate’s descent into a madness partly of his own making, “Rekorder” also upholds the cinematic tradition that its director and lead actor carry on from their families.

Red is charting his distinct path in the field of independent cinema wherein his father, Raymond Red, is a widely celebrated pioneer. And actor-director Ronnie Quizon, the anti-hero in “Rekorder,” is continuing the Quizon family’s track record in cinema begun by the late King of Comedy.

Yet “Rekorder” also underscores the poignant transitions in our moviemaking, as these affect the industry’s oft-neglected technicians. Ronnie says of his character that “he had to be a film pirate because he wasn’t getting enough jobs as a cameraman.”

Amid this personal decline, the film medium itself was developing on a different, purely technical level. For Ronnie, this movie “showcases the [progress] of filmmaking from analog to digital, film to DVD – it’s all there.”

In all, “Rekorder” is a “homage not just to cinema but to the people in cinema.”

Much like the Reds, the Quizons know this environment by heart. Vandolph and Boy2 are into production, says Ronnie. “Boy2 has a production outfit, and then Epy, Eric and I – so it’s probably the five of us who are into this [line of work]. Even Zia in the recording industry is doing stuff that’s unbelievable.”

Rappler also asked Ronnie his family’s plans in July, the 10th being Dolphy’s first death anniversary and the 25th his birth anniversary. For Ronnie, this commemoration will be mostly civic-oriented.

“We’ll just have a simple mass for the family at Heritage Park, with my dad. On July 21, we have ‘Botak at Kadla ni Pidol’ [at the Quirino Grandstand]. It’s a fund-raising fun run and the proceeds will go to the kids. On his birthday,  there will be a small get-together at Museo Pambata where his statue is. Much of what we do is to raise funds for the Dolphy Aid para sa Pinoy Foundation, donate money to Red Cross to buy new refrigerators for the blood samples, also a classroom to a school in Tondo where my dad grew up. It’s just a way to continue what my dad was doing, helping other people.”

Indeed many in his own sector affirm this facet of Dolphy. – Rappler.com

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