Friday, October 9, 2015

FLOTSAM film: 1 Surf Town, 8 Love Stories, 10 Songs

Flotsam, director Jay Abello's newest film, encompasses sweeping visual style and simple but heartwarming narrative shot entirely  in the scenic backdrop of La Union province in the Philippines. The film brings us to an excursion of coincidence, uncertainty and emotional roller coaster.

The Director
Emilio “Jay” Abello IV’s active involvement in the Negros theatre scene led him to work as Assistant Director, Cinematographer, Screenplay Writer, and Director in films. Best known for his full-featured documentary Pureza (2012), a full-feature documentary on the sugar industry of Negros and his Cinema One Originals full-length feature film Red (2014), headlined by actor Jericho Rosales. His other works include Cinemalaya finalists Ligaw Liham (2007), Namets (2008), to name a few.

Flotsam is the first film I shot and directed myself. It was one of those materials that I wanted to hold really close to my chest and be hands-on from writing to shooting all the way to the very end. I wanted to hold the camera all the time, even all the handheld, even the water scenes, I wanted to shoot everything. It was the only way I knew how,” narrates the director on his personal blog.

FLOTSAM (Film Presscon) 

Filmmaker and writer Jay Abello establishes himself as one of the most exciting and distinctive directors around. His new film contains sweeping visual style, while the dialogues deliver a jolt to your consciousness. While most of its mainstream counterparts would go for just gloss and shine, Abello gunned for simple and heartwarming attack.

FLOTSAM film (Song #1) | Solenn Heusaff 

With charm, wit, and clever twists, not to mention a terrific pair of leads, Flotsam is this year’s maindie love anthology—8 (interweaving) love stories, offering something relatable for everyone.

A film named after a quaint artist beach hotel in San Juan, La Union, the story unfolds when a work-obsessed overachiever Kai (Solenn Heussaff) arrives in an Elysian Surf Town to run away from a volatile relationship. Kai hides at Flotsam where she meets Tisoy (Rocco Nacino), a very mysterious local bartender who became her summer fling and perfect antidote to restiveness. It contains about a dozen more characters who are in love – that’s however an approximate figure because some of them fall out of love while others double up or change partners. Each interleaving with the other in a grid of foreshadowing and disquiet.

The poetic keynote to the film comes from one of the child actors’ examination about that ‘goddamn love’ the adults are talking about, to which Tisoy explained, “Ang love, walang libro diyan… Kailangan subukan.”

FLOTSAM film (Song #2) | Cast singing 

Scenic View & Music
Right from the opening credits, Flotsam endears itself with scenic views of La Union – the northern sun, beach, waves, magnificent falls, and of course, chicks in bikinis! The intrepid traveler cum film buffs are granted much more to explore.

The film also gathers around live music, originally written for the film by Eraserheads guitarist, Surfernando Marcus Adoro, and Flotsam Folk Yeah! Family Band, Mia Sebastian & Kiddo Cosio. The songs were not only sung live, but also recorded real-time in true jamming sessions to reflect the real musicality of the place.

Flotsam (Movie Trailer)


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