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At the Museum of Modern Art, legendary Filipino filmmaker Mike De Leon gets an up-close look

Recently, Santos-Concio appeared in Lav Diaz’s Golden Lion winner The Woman Left . But her work with De Leon, in which she tends to play seemingly vulnerable women with amazing reserves of power, remains her signature role. “I think she’s one of the greatest unsung actresses,” Siegel said.

“Their collaboration was successful because I thought they were both intellectuals,” Sandoval said. “As an actress, Charo brings a certain intellectual quality to the characters. And she’s not exaggerating in her performances—they’re always women who have a certain innerness to them. As a producer, she also knows that she The performance is part of Mike’s vision.”

In addition to the traditional director-muse dynamic, Santos-Concio said she felt empowered in De Leon’s performance . “We didn’t label each other ‘you’re the director, I’m the actor’. We were two people working together. People respected his work a lot, respected his talent – that’s what he gave me as well.

“He’d say, ‘I only work with smart people,'” Santos-Concio continued, laughing. “‘You’re not a robot here. ‘ So our conversation was very engaged. Sometimes he consults me about something and I give my opinion. During the editing process, he would sometimes make two versions, and I would be there and he would ask me, ‘Charo, which is smoother? This sequence precedes this sequence? Or the other way around? ‘”

The MoMA retrospective comes at a time when Filipino cinema is once again making a presence on the world stage – whether through Oscar buzz Dolly De Leon ( Unrelated) in Triangle of Sorrows or be well-received by a new generation of young filmmakers like Sandoval. In the past, some critics believed that the Philippines Movies win big at international film festivals, like Amy Qin in The New York Times in 2016 , “The Philippines is widely seen as a desolate, poor, slum, corruption and drug land. Mike De Leon’s films have always avoided such portrayals.

“The Museum of Modern Art, as one of the most prestigious museums in the world, is essentially an arbiter of taste, It’s considered great art,” Sandoval said. “It’s kind of like a MoMA endorsement, saying that Mike De Leon belongs to the pantheon of world film directors. Especially since most of his work is in ’70s and ‘s, which suggests Filipino cinema – as we know it of third world cinema – not just all social realism. “



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