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Friday, January 15, 2010

“FOUR-PLAYING” PARISUKAT: WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?

By Paul Umali

Jonison Fontanos, the young director of the upcoming indie Parisukat, entertained some very serious second thoughts about pursuing the shoot of his provocative crime-of-passion project. Inspired by the true-to-life murder of a gay friend, Joni could not simply ignore the unusual circumstances that surrounded the pre-production and shoot of the film. At one point, film equipments, one by one, started to collapse and give in. In yet another instance, members of the production staff were disrupted by eerie sounds apparently emanating from a corner of the old house - uninhabited for decades now - where they shot the movie.


"Instinctively, my sixth sense told me that, maybe, I had crossed lines. I'm not sure, though, if that's an accurate interpretation. In any case, we had to regroup and make adjustments," Jonison recalls.

In no time at all, he decided to tweak, he immediately decided to tweak some crucial scenes in the script. He added that the crux of the story - raging emotions by a major gay character that led to misery and crime - remained intact.

The turn of events augured well for a happy ending for the production because as more pages of script were added, so were the truly interesting characters in the storyline. That also meant that another round of talent searches had to be conducted. The result is a mix of Fil-foreigner young hunks with bikini pageant-greatness potential and first-time actors with a lot of alluring schoolboy appeal. Now, whether these impressions had crossed over successfully to silver screen dimensions is something everyone will have to see on the movie's world premiere, with cast members, led by the much-desired Toffee Calma, coming to town in full force, on February 17, 2010.

According to those who have seen the raw cut, Parisukat is a film many times its size. They say that the way edgy suspenseful moments blended with flaming gaiety in the film will surely hook the viewer till its conclusion. Direk Joni, who also wrote the script, says he did away with tired metaphors and symbolisms and, in turn, created bold and direct-to-the-point dialogues and scenes that should challenge one's usual movie-viewing experience. He credits his actors for appreciating the essential requirements of the story by showing full cooperation, especially during sensual scenes.

While viewers will surely be talking about lead actor Jeff Tatsuro's nudity and various perversions of the characters, the predominantly-male cast assures that the public will never ever forget how they will be entertained full time and big time by this first truly daring indie movie of 2010 from Ignatius Films.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Chasing Lady Luck: Parisukat’s Charlon Suerte in Focus

by: Cesario Minor, Jr.

Blame colonial overload if up to now, the mestizo look still prevails as our social standard of beauty and with this domination subsists the investment of virtues and class. Sure, we have Nora Aunor, a morena, for a superstar and a host of fair-skinned contravidas who give Philippine cinema and television audiences some hypertension pangs, but the Spanish and American descendants and, of late, the racial hyphenates (Fil-Aussie, Nippo-Brasileiro, ad infinitum) remain entitled to the notions of “mukhang mabait” and “mukhang mayaman.”

Case in point: Charlon Suerte. This eighteen-year-old native of Southern Tagalog is admittedly good-natured, but he easily dismisses the preconception that he is rich. With excellent mestizo genes to thank his Capampangan mother and Lagunense father for, Charlon confesses that economic lack significantly fuels him to try it out in the big city. The escalating tuition fee in the University of the Philippines (where his elder sister studies and where his running-valedictorian brother is gearing for) prompted him, despite high academic standing, to enroll in a computer college with tuition fee afforded via scholarship grant. To cover other expenses, he worked part-time for a multinational food corporation and presently models on the ramp for local clothing companies. Then, the casting call for an independent film beckoned so he auditioned and luckily passed. “It’s a minor role, yes,” muses Parisukat director Jonison Fontanos, “but it’s an excellent springboard. Some of the big names in showbiz started out small,” ends Joni, whose debut film Hugot earned well enough to fund the homoerotic thriller that stars sexy stud Toffee Calma.

Charlon capitalizes on his mestizo features to break through an industry already awash with fair-complexioned wannabes to fifteen minutes of fame, but it will be a disservice to forget that he also banks on his talents in acting and singing and, as naming schemes would have it, “suerte.” He hopes that all of these rolled into the hotstuff that he is will help him finally bid goodbye to his rural hardships that seem drawn straight of One Hundred Years of Solitude’s pages: having to fetch water from the well (that, gratefully, built his muscles) and having to reach his forest home through the country staple kuliglig. He hopes, too, of being able to pursue his dream of putting up a pastry shop where acoustic nights, literary events and film screenings—his artistic inclinations—may be staged on a regular basis. Let us see if our starry-eyed mestizo promdi talent lives up to the fullest meaning of his Hispanic surname.

Parisukat will have its commercial run starting February 17, 2010 in selected theaters nationwide.

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