january 23-30, 2002
greenbelt cinema 1, makati city metro manila, philippines www.mov.moviespage.com
be filmless is to be free from the shackles of the old brain.
be filmless is to be fearless of fear itself and all its ghosts.
be filmless is to be unaffected by the conspiracy of initials.
be filmless is to realize your rainbow, even if you’re blind.
be filmless is to be happy because you already saw the ending.
be filmless is to feel truth in fakery, love in hate.
be filmless is to not give up till the book says “end”.
be filmless is to nevermind the neverwheres that negate us.
be filmless is to be different from everyone else, like everyone else.
be filmless is to believe in the sound and the image, and live it.
be filmless is to go beyond yourself to reach your innermost well.
be filmless is to nurture amidst murders.
be filmless is to not serve the money king and lose your soul.
be filmless is to express your heart whether in a jar or in the cosmos.
Khavn Dela Cruz
digital video revolution is upon us. It is impacting the film world as you
read this, from George
Lucas' continuing Star Wars saga to Lars
Von Trier's "Dogma 95" to your parents re-editing the
family home movies on their new PC. No, it's not a fad. It's the
beginning of what many hope is the fruition of our dreams about technology
and human communication.
the first time ever, filmmakers can completely own and control the means of
production and postproduction. The digital medium is opening up a whole new
arena of opportunity, not only for those who have no access to professional,
"accepted" filmmaking techniques and equipment or those who simply
cannot afford to shoot 35mm- but for those who shun the mainstream, who are
unimpressed with budgets that are spent on special effects to the detriment
of character, story and cinematic integrity. For artists who simply want to
express a story, a point of view. Even for artists who simply want to create
(If you look at "indie" film of the past 15 years you see a lot of "one hit wonders" and missed opportunities. Directors who hit with a small art house film that move on to a big budget flop and then either poof- disappear or meander through a few uninspired B-films and poof-disppear. The problem is the focus of many of the "indie" institutions and festivals is distribution and selling. With that mentality it is very hard to grow as a filmmaker. Hence the cookie-cutter "indie film" which, unfortunately, can be demographed on its "frat-appeal.")
With total artistic control we are truly "independent", a word that is more often than not, hijacked and warped for instant "street credibility" and artsy "clout."
I make no excuses. My films are risky, experimental and convince many who see them that it is possible to make a film that they dream of making without mortgaging the soul and the house. We receive tons of emails in regard to filmmaking advice and tips. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that after Frisk I would become a sort of digital video guru or revolutionary spokesperson. But I usually do advise people not to make films if they want to get rich quick. Don't let anyone tell you how to shoot your movie. If you have a good story and the talent you can't go wrong etc.
Action Cinema is a practice created to allow actors and technicians high freedom and
deep responsibility to create memorable cinema. It is a dynamic jazz
ensemble of actors, camera, sound, directors, and editors that creates and
interprets together, seeking the unexpected, the extraordinary, the miracles
only a well-prepared combo can play.
Create a situation, define and develop a character.
Combine the two and watch them collide, attract, and repel. Build drama from
this dynamic, closer to the way life happens to us and we happen back to it.
Grow a narrative with the story spine hidden,
accreting like a coral reef from within and according to its own inner
Reject the 'film as short story' dictum promoted by
Hollywood and the film schools. Smash the iron ball and chain of excessive
plot. Create a poetic cinema based not on writing but on observing. Mistrust
your ideas and trust your experiences. Discover, don't prescribe.
Build a cinema not of auteurs but of interpreters.
Film is not a director's medium. The magicians who bottle the genie are the
actors. The magician who lets the genie out of the bottle is the editor.
In acting - situations, rich discords, conflict,
laughter, human dilemma, emotion.
In editing - a scavenger hunt for the miraculous.
Fear is the last barrier. Our path is towards our
This is my Direct Action Manifesto, written 10 years
before the days of Dogma. Then, as now, I ask myself where ideas, stories,
and movies come from. We don't know and yet we know. One way or the other,
they just 'occur' to us. We look around us in the world. Something strikes a
note. Then another and another and then there is a chord. And the chords and
notes combine to make a pattern, which becomes a structure. And that
structure works itself out and is called a poem, a song, a screenplay, a
novel, a painting.
We don't create what we know, although if the
creation is going to be any good, we have to start with that. Young creators
are constantly making the mistake of starting with ideas of exterior to
their knowing. In this kind of creation, if it's a movie, the movie becomes
a movie about other movies, and the context is usually derivative and only
occasionally interesting. The trick is to capture what we come to know as we
work, dredging it up out of those mysterious swamps we usually traverse only
Good creation always comes from the creator's
particular viewpoint, urgent hunch, or unexpected surmise, moving back and
forth from inside urge to outside perception, and the end result is personal
- a fingerprint - a unique, idiosyncratic statement peculiar to the
creator's mind only. And this seemingly tiny peculiarity is the thing that
singles out the great from the mediocre, the unique from the commonplace.
I believe that everyone's uniqueness, if wholly
expressed, will have genius in it. My job as a filmmaker is to gather up the
uniqueness of each person involved in the production and fashion it into a
creation. I try to make that creation as much a reflection of my vision and
taste as I can, taking into account all the critical input I can handle
without losing sight of my own intentions.
Film is a great, unique gathering device, an apple
barrel that holds all kind of delicious fruit. It is unique in that its
gathering mechanism is random, eclectic, non-linear, intuitive, and wild,
accepting of any and all input with much greater range than in theatre. In
the production phase of cinema, there is almost nothing irrelevant. Anything
might be used later in the cinema magician's laboratory: the editing studio.
As the early Russians pointed out, context is everything and the assembly of
contexts a sort of infinite grab-baggery from the cosmos.
In my Direct Action lab the story which occurs to
me, coming from God knows where, is only a starting point, a road map, a
pithy suggestion of a juicy outcome. If I were writing a novel, I'd write
it, edit it, worry it to death, and it would come from inside me, onto the
page, and into your minds through the medium of language.
But if it's a film, I have many more tricks up my
sleeve, many more arrows in my quiver to employ, a totally different set of
possibilities to explore, wider and more fertile collaborations to manage.
My idea is: the more open my process in the beginning, the more options I
will have for form, structure, and content in the end.
don't write scripts. Most of the time. SIGNAL 7 and HEAT AND SUNLIGHT didn't
have scripts. STROKE, HUSHED, SINGING, and SCHEME, the new 9@NIGHT features,
don't have scripts. They have what I call scenarios: descriptions of a film
idea, scene order, character suggestions. Rehearsals consist of improvising
the character's back story at great length, taking as much time as possible
to give actors on-location experience (as opposed to intellectualized ideas)
of their characters. The ideal is to do all of this out in the world in
front of cameras. Then one day the back story ends and the film begins.
Nothing changes, but now we're making the movie. I have set the actors,
cameras, art directors and other creators free into their cinematic world. I
am still a sort of puppeteer, yes, but a puppeteer who wants to set the
Wants to, but never quite does.
is a collective of film directors founded in Copenhagen in spring 1995.
Slogans of individualism and
freedom created works for a while, but no changes. The wave was up for
grabs, like the directors themselves. The wave was never stronger than the
men behind it. The anti-bourgeois cinema itself became bourgeois, because
the foundations upon which its theories were based was the bourgeois
perception of art. The auteur concept was bourgeois romanticism from the
very start and thereby ... false!
To DOGME 95 cinema is not
the vow of chastity
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