Music & Culture
Music & Culture

12th International Silent Film Festival Manila: an Exciting Visual and Auditory Experience!

12th International Silent Film Festival Manila: an Exciting Visual and Auditory Experience!


Mynila Team August 16, 2018 Music & Culture

If you are in for an exciting visual and auditory experience in Metro Manila you should not miss the 12th International Silent Film Festival: eight silent films from around the world live-scored by Filipino musicians!

The festival will run from August 30 to September 2 at Sm Megamall and the entrance is free!

Let’s take a look at the schedule of screenings:

  • August 30, 8 pm
  • Rapsodia Satanica (Satanic Rhapsody) – Italy

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An ageing Italian aristocrat, Dame Alba d’ Oltrevita, willing to find a second youth, discovers a particular and special solution for her beauty problems: a pact with the devil. However, as for Faust, also for Dame Alba things don’t go as expected…

Rapsodia Satanica is the most important of those stylish melodramas made in Italy in the early silent days that gave prestige to the unique style of Italy’s film productions. It is considered a 360 degrees artwork for its literary inspirations (mainly decadent movement), its Liberty scenery and indoor settings as well as for the skilled performance of Lyda Borelli, star of the Italian silent cinema. Directed by Nino Oxilia

Accompanying Musician: MilesExperience

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MilesExperience is a local band that started out as a blues band in 2011, with nothing but making music on their minds. Wishing to find and better express themselves through their music, though, they revamped their image in 2014 into something unique, something barely heard of in the local music scene, something they felt was their own.

  • August 31, 7 pm
  • This is Not A Lost Film – Philippines

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Featuring “The Lost Film Triology” which is composed of “FILIPINIANA”, “ASWANG (1933)” and “JUAN TAMAD GOES TO THE MOON (1898)”; and an excerpt from “NITRATE: To the Ghosts of the 75 Lost Philippine Silent Films (1912-1933).” Directed by Khavn 

Accompanying Musician: Khavn & the Kontra-Kino Orchestra

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Khavn is a composer, pianist, singer, and songwriter who has made 23 albums.
He holds the world record for the longest-ever solo piano concert without breaks for the 13-hour live score of his 13-hour film “Simulacrum Tremendum” in the Rotterdam International Film Festival 2016. He recently won the 2018 Famas for Best Original Song and the 2018 Gawad Urian for Best Music for his soundtrack to “Balangiga: Howling Wilderness”. His other bands include The Brockas, Fando & Lis, and Vigo.

The Kontra-Kino Orchestra was formed in 2016, as a 33-piece improvisation ensemble conducted by Khavn to create an album of imaginary soundtracks. In 2017, they performed at the Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen.

  • 9 pm
  • La Passion de Jeanne D’Arc – France

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The story of the trial of Joan of Arc in 1431 where she was accused of heresy by ecclesiastical judges determined to make her disclaim her visions, which ended with her being burned at stake. Directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer

Accompanying Musician: Dingdong Fiel playing alongside Andrew Constantino (Clarinet) and Kyongmin Nam (Cello).

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Pianist, Composer, Conductor, Musical Director and Vocalist – Dingdong Fiel earned his Bachelor of Music Degree from the UST conservatory of music in 2007 and was the recipient of the RECTOR’S AWARD FOR ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE having obtained the HIGHEST ACADEMIC AVERAGE, as well as the BENAVIDES AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT. Immediately after graduation, He was awarded a full scholarship grant for post graduate studies at the FRANZ LISZT Hochschule Fur Musik in Germany.

He has garnered a total of 5 first Prizes from various piano competitions and as a result launched his career as a classical pianist concertizing around the world.

  • September 1, 4 pm 
  • Das Cabinet des Dr.Caligari (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari) – Germany

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Dubbed as “the first true horror film”, Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari tells of a mad doctor who is being suspected of sending a reawakened corpse on a killing spree. It is later revealed that he is the director of an asylum for the insane, where our protagonist finds out that the doctor has obsessions far darker and more sinister than he had imagined.

Das Cabinet is considered the quintessential work of German expressionist cinema and favors a fantastical and graphic visual style instead of a naturalistic one. The sets feature structures and landscapes that lean and twist in unusual angles with sharp-pointed forms bathed in striking contrasts of shadows and light. The film also helped introduce techniques such as the twist ending and the unreliable narrator to the language of narrative film. Directed by Robert Wiene

Accompanying Musician: Kontra-GaPi

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Founded by Prof. Edru Abraham of the College of Arts and Letters, University of the Philippines – Diliman, Kontemporaryong Gamelan Pilipino draws inspiration from this ancient and profound source nurtured and sustained by the depth, wealth and cultural diversity of the Philippines and her Asian roots. Widely identified by its acronym Kontra-GaPi, the group strives to express music and kindred arts from indigenous well-springs, reaping from the people and giving back to them in new form “as magical as the moonlight and constantly changing as water”.

  • 6 pm 
  • A Straightforward Boy – Japan

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Bunkichi kidnaps a boy Tetsubo with an appetite for sweets. Unable to keep him under control, the kidnapper returns him to his boss, who refuses to take him back. He tries to dump him on his playmates, but he incites them to demand toys and other goodies from him.
The original theatrical release of Tokkan Kozo was 38 minutes long, but it was presumably lost. A 9.5 mm version which was sold as a format for home viewing was discovered in 1988 but this was incomplete due to degradation of the film reel. The version found in 1988 was 14 minutes long, and it was shown at the 2015 edition of the International Silent Film Festival in Manila. Screening this year is a most complete and intact 9.5 mm Pathé baby version that was discovered just three years ago, which is 19 minutes long. Directed by Yasujiro OZU (小津安二郎)

The Filipino Benshi (Silent Film Narrator): Tito Genova Valiente

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Tito Genova Valiente is a public anthropologist, a film critic and film educator. He had his post-graduate studies in the field of Anthropology in Japan. He developed a course on Japanese Cinema in the Japanese Studies Program of the Ateneo de Manila University and has taught courses on Japanese Film, Culture, Literature and Philippine-Japan Relations. He is a member of the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino, the oldest and the most prestigious film critics circle in the country, where he once served as its Chair.

Accompanying Musician: Tanikala Tribe

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To provide the music for the benshi and the silent film, Tokkan Kozo, is a band from Naga City, in Bikol. They call themselves the Tanikala Tribe (literally “Chain Tribe”) and have been around for more than two decades, having started in 1994. The name could refer to their music, which they describe as Contemporary Pop Folk/Ethnic Sound, a combination of strains and influences they see as uniting their differences as musicians and as Bikolanos and Filipinos. Even with that distinct sound, the group does not stay away from upbeat music, ballad and novelties. Their aim is “to spread love of all kind – love of Nature, love of country and love of countrymen, and love for all humankind.”

  • 8 pm
  • Our Hospitality – U.S.A.

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After her husband John McKay is killed in an ongoing feud with the Canfield family, a woman takes her baby boy Willie to her sister’s house in New York hoping he will never know of the feud with the Canfields. Twenty years later, Willie is a grown man and he receives a letter saying he has inherited his father’s estate and must travel to his family home to take possession. On the train, there he meets a beautiful young woman and falls in love with her. She invites him to dinner but he realizes too late that she is the only daughter of patriarch Joseph Canfield with whom his family has been engaged in a long violent feud. He accepts her invitation and quickly realizes that the Canfield men won’t harm him while he’s in their home. His plan to stay there as a permanent guest is short-lived and the Canfields are soon after him. Directed by Buster Keaton and John G. Blystone

Accompanying Musician: Brass Munkeys

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Known for their lively and bold performances on stage, the band has established a loyal following since its inception in 2002. “Our music has been classified as blues, jump swing, even boogie,” shares the group’s drummer and band leader, Jayman Alviar.
Jump swing also called, retro swing, refers to the hyper-intense dance style featuring hopping and kicking. It is an up-tempo combination of rock, blues and swing.
The group cites musical influences such as Latin, jazz and swing music from the 30’s to the 50’s, before evolving into their more adventurous repertoire of original compositions and fun covers of Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennet, Bobby Darin, the Brian Setzer Orchestra, Harry Connick, Jr., and the Royal Crown Review, to name a few.

  • September 2, 5 pm
  • Frivolinas – Spain

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A slight plot, about a widower who loves nightlife and a comedian who falls in love with the old man’s daughter, is the excuse to film musical and dance shows featured at a very popular Madrid theater in the 1920s. Directed by Arturo Carballo.

Accompanying Musician: Tapati

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Tapati is a collaboration of artists embracing influences of rock, reggae, blues, jazz, pop, folk and Philippine Neo-ethnic tribal music. Led by Tapati, a performing artists and singer-songwriter herself, the group brings in the finest leading contemporary world music artists showing an alternative perspective of the Philippine Culture.

  • 7.30 pm 
  • Die kleine Veronika – Austria

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“Die kleine Veronika” tells the story of Tyrolean mountain girl, Veronika, who travels to Vienna to visit her aunt, only to find out that the city experience she has been dreaming of is not all the fun and glamourous life she had previously imagined. Directed by Robert Land.

Rediscovered and restored by the Austrian Film Archive, the film is prized for scenes that show the Tyrolean mountains and the still-famous Vienna Prater amusement park in the 1920s.

Accompanying Musician: Joee & I

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Joee & I is an avant-pop electronica solo project of Joee Mejias, a musician and a multimedia artist from Manila. Armed with a laptop, kalimba, bells and shakers, and a melodica, she churns out melodies that sing in complex contrapuntal arrangements. Everything one would expect from this electronic act is here—looping riffs, unexpected twists and vocals that stroke, smash, stomp, scream and kiss. She has performed in Southeast Asia, Japan, Canada, and around the Philippines, sharing her unique brand of electronic music infused with flavourful instruments she’s picked up along her musical journey. She is currently touring her debut album entitled “To The End Of The World” released last year in a collaborative multimedia concert of the same title.