Recovering decaying 35mm footage, from under the bed of 1980s starlet Liz Alindogan, John Torres discovered it was from an unfinished film by Celso Advento Castillo, one of the Philippines' geniuses of 1970s and 80s genre cinema. Shot on the same island and at the same time as Oliver Stone's Platoon, it coincided with the People Power Revolution as Marcos was being thrown out of the country. A film of epic mystery, and erudite self-consciousness emerges from a waking dream.

Torres' feat is that he playfully weaponsies the decaying reels representing the personal trauma of Liz Alindogan, "into a multi-layered exposé of the oppression that exists both at the filmmaking set and in the country under the Marcos regime." —Oggs Cruz, Rappler

"Transforming documentary and fiction with wild freedom. Torres confirms that celluloid continues to be a living matter, redeemable when it was believed doomed, salvageable when it was considered lost, impeller of the most innovative creation when it was supposed to be obsolete." — Javier H. Estrada, Filmadrid


John Torres

John Torres is an independent filmmaker, musician and writer. He has made more than a dozen short films and five features, including Todo Todo Teros (2006), Years When I Was a Child Outside (2008), and Lukas the Strange (2013). His work fictionalizes and reworks personal and found documentations of love, family relations and memory in relation to current events, hearsay, myth and folklore. His latest work, People Power Bombshell: The Diary of Vietnam Rose (2016), is a film composed of decaying 35mm footage of an unfinished film from the 80s, mixed with new footage and sound interviews of the original cast, edited to sound like dialogue in a documentary that tells of their whole ordeal of making a film at the hands of a prominent Filipino director. John teaches part-time at the Ateneo de Manila University. He conducts filmmaking workshops and co-organizes artist talks and screenings in Los Otros, a Manila-based space, film lab, and platform committed to the intersections of film and art, with a focus on process over product. He is currently in the studio to record new material for his band Taggu nDios.

Filmography

People Power Bombshell: The Diary of Vietnam Rose (2016), Lukas the Strange (Lukas nino, 2013), Mapang-akit (2011), Muse (2011), Silent Film (2011), Refrains Happen Like Revolutions in a Song (Ang ninanais, 2010), We Don't Care About Democracy. This Is What We Want: Love, Hope and Its Many Faces (Wala kaming pakialam sa demokrasya. Ang gusto namin: pag-ibig, pag-asa at ang kamukha nito, 2010), Very Specific Things at Night (2009), Hai, They Recycle Heartbreaks in Tokyo so Nothing’s Wasted (2009), Years When I Was a Child Outside (Taon noong ako’y anak sa labas, 2008), Voice, Tilted Screens and Extended Scenes of Loneliness (2007), The Night When Father Told Me He Had a Child Outside (Gabi noong sinabi ng ama kong may anak siya sa labas, 2006), Salat (2005), How I Can Court You Without Holding You (Kung paano kita liligawan nang di kumakapit sa iyo, 2005), Tawidgutom (2005), Tawidgutom (2004), Salat (2004)

John Torres’ People Power Bombshell: The Diary of Vietnam Rose was screened in BFMAF 2017