All the works of acclaimed Filipino filmmaker Mike De Leon will be screened at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York in November.
On its website, MoMA said the "Mike De Leon: Self-Portrait of a Filipino Filmmaker" retrospective, the first ever presented in North America, brings together all of his feature films and shorts as a writer and director from Nov. 1 to 30. It includes major works like:
- ITIM (The Rites of May) (1976), De Leon's debut occultist film whose restored version premiered at the Cannes Film Festival;
- Kisapmata (1981), an incest psychological horror inspired by Quijano de Manila (Nick Joaquin)'s "The House on Zapote Street" from his Reportage on Crime;
- AKΩ Batch ’81 (1982), which deals with fraternities and violent initiation rites;
- Sister Stella L. (1984), which revolves around an activist nun;
- Citizen Jake (2018), which stars a journalist whose family are composed of corrupt politicians.
MoMA said there will also be rare behind-the-scenes production footage from Maynila sa Kuko ng Liwanag, ITIM, and Kung Mangarap Ka't Magising, shown alongside the features themselves.
The De Leon retrospective also includes some of the few surviving classic melodramas, musicals, costume dramas, and noir films of the '30s to '60s from LVN Pictures, founded by De Leon’s grandmother Doña Sisang in 1938.
MoMA described De Leon as "one of Filipino cinema’s most fiercely political and dramatic storytellers in his own right."
"De Leon’s own films mix the genres of melodrama, crime, supernatural horror, slapstick comedy, and the musical with blisteringly critical stances toward his country’s history of corruption and cronyism, state-sponsored violence, feudalist exploitation, and populist machismo," the website said, while also noting "the festering legacies of the nation’s colonial past made even more purulent by the dictatorships of Ferdinand Marcos and Rodrigo Duterte."
Check out the full screening schedule here.