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Man’s Cry (1990) by RJ Leyran

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How appropriate would it be for a music video of a garage/punk song

Rumor has it that ‘Riddle: Shout of Man’ (original title: Bugtong: Ang sigaw ng lalake) was recovered from a dumpster of a commercial film studio, a commentary on Filipino macho culture at the screen, in the form of a collage of printed films of footage found deteriorated. It was a product of Christoph Janetzko’s last film workshop, which focused on experiments with optical printers, held in 1990, and one of the few surviving works from the brief film career of the now deceased Ramon ‘RJ’ Leyran. .

Essentially a collage of action/exploitation films from the 70s and 80s, some of them by Lino Brocka if I’m not mistaken, the film comments on exactly how men are presented in these genres of films, unlike women. Almost all of them adopt a mustache and hold different types of guns while killing each other, and the women, on the other hand, look scared and tortured and before they end up dying. Just before the end, however, a number of films featuring women who also hold guns are shown on screen, in a vague commentary that seems to assert both that machismo is not just for men and that at least partial equality has finally appeared in cinema, with women no longer just victims.

The images are juxtaposed with abstract images of splashes of color, for lack of a better term, which combined with the fast pace, noisy music, repeating scenes and zooming in on certain particular sequences create a really tense atmosphere, it works pretty good for the short film in terms of entertainment.

The rather experimental approach sees “Riddle: Shout of Man” as a film that appeals to very few people, also because the whole audiovisual approach could easily be called boring. At the same time, however, as it unfolded before my eyes, I couldn’t help but think how fitting it would be for a music video of a garage/punk song.