MANILA -- After performing at the Jihlava International Documentary Festival in Czech Republic in the last week of October, The Brockas returned Friday at the International Silent Film Festival in Shangri-La Plaza.
The avant garde punk rock band whose core members are composed of filmmakers Khavn de la Cruz, Rox Lee and Lav Diaz provided the musical score for F.W. Murnau’s classic vampire film “Nosferatu: A Symphony Of Horror” which incidentally is celebrating its 100th year.
“Nosferatu” is the unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker’s novel “Dracula.” Despite the limitations of being a black and white silent film, it has been considered the most influential version that has set the standard in vampire films.
More intriguing was its lead, the reclusive German method actor Max Schreck. Playing Count Orlock, his portrayal was so realistic many even thought he’s a real vampire.
“Nosferatu” is among the classics that survived during the birth of German Expressionist Films. It ranked among the best together with Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis” and Robert Weine’s “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari”.
No Lav Diaz
However, due to previous commitments, Diaz wasn’t be able to join the group.
“Sayang nga. Matapos ang masigabong tugtugan namin sa Jihlava, Czechoslovakia kamakailan lang, at ito ngang nalalapit na anibersaryo ng Nosferatu, hindi ako makakasama kina Khavn at Roxlee -- ang banda kong Brockas ang maglalapat ng live music -- dahil may nauna na akong commitment na hindi ko na matakasan,” Diaz said.
He said the influence of Murnau and other German expressionist filmmakers in his aesthetics has been immense.
“Ang laki ng impluwensya. Ang kalayaan ng pag-iilaw ko sa cinema ko, kasama rito ang inspirasyon ng German expressionism.”
In lieu of his absence, The Brockas invited 13 guest musicians. Among them are the finest guitarists in the band scene like Blaster Silonga of IV of Spades and Junji Lerma of Four Corners MNL and Bras Pas Pas Pas.
Other members are Khavn’s daughter named 1 de la Cruz, son Katch23, Charlie Sage, Gabriel Ramos, Jay Gomez, comedian and media personality Jun Sabayton, Nozomi, Michael Vargas and Santie Navarro.
More silent films
It was followed by a 1919 French silent classic titled "La sultane de l'amour" (The Sultan of Love: A Thousand and One Nuits). Brass Pas Pas Pas Pas did the musical scoring.
On Saturday at 5 p.m., Instituto Cervantes de Manila in partnership with Embassy of Spain in the Philippines and in cooperation with Filmoteca española will present the 1926 Spanish silent film "Malvaloca."
It follows the story of Rosita who has had various love affairs. Eventually she falls madly in love with her last lover’s partner. The couple will then have to face the prejudice of the people who do not forget the girl’s past.
Indigenous rock band Talahib People's Music will do the live musical score.
At 8 p.m. on Saturday, The Japan Foundation, Manila, in partnership with Embassy of Japan in the Philipppines and in cooperation with Shochiku, will present the 1931 Yasujiro Ozu classic “The Lady and the Beard.”
The film follows Okajima, a conservative and self-conscious student who is unable to find work and love because of his magnificent beard. He saves a young girl from a gang of ruffians.
Folk musician Bullet Dumas will do the live scoring.
On the closing day, Sunday, November 27, films from Italy (“Nobody’s Children”) and the Philippines (“Alingasngas ng mga Kuliglig/ Dikit/ Ing Tianak”) will be shown. The festival opened on Thursday night, November 24, with “Piccadilly” from the United Kingdom.
All performances and screenings are free to the public.