MANILA — Mike de Leon’s first feature film “Itim” has been selected for this year’s Cannes Classics, the special section at the annual Cannes Film Festival dedicated to restored classics, documentaries about cinema, tributes and masterclasses.
The good news was officially announced on Monday night (Philippine time), May 2, via the Festival de Cannes website.
This also marks the world premiere of the 2022 restored version of “Itim,” which joins this year’s list that includes Jean Eustache’s “The Mother and the Whore,” “The Last Waltz” by Martin Scorsese, “The Trial” by Orson Welles, two episodes of Ethan Hawke’s event series on Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman, among others.
Now on its 75th edition, the prestigious international film festival will take place from May 17 to May 28 at the scenic resort city of Cannes on the French Riviera.
“For personal reasons, this vindicates my long-held belief that you don’t have to do poverty to get noticed, unlike in Lino’s (Brocka) time. Especially if ‘Batch 81’ and ‘Kisapmata’ are released simultaneously with ‘Itim,’ e ‘di puwede pala,” De Leon told ABS-CBN News. The film is a ghost story that shows parallelisms in Catholic rites and occultism as it also explores father-and-son relationship.
De Leon finished “Itim” in 1976, a year after he produced Brocka’s “Maynila Sa Mga Kuko Ng Liwanag,” in which he was also cinematographer. Incidentally, “Maynila” was part of Cannes Classics in 2015. De Leon told ABS-CBN News he was also the cinematographer of “Itim” though uncredited, together with Rody Lacap and Ely Cruz. (T.V. de Jesus, abs-cbn)
CAPTION: Mona Lisa and Charo Santos play mother and daughter in Mike De Leon’s classic feature-length debut ‘Itim.’ Photo courtesy of Mike De Leon