Genghis Khan | Asian Restored Classics 2017

Genghis Khan

Synopsis

Genghis Khan follows the eponymous leader of the Mongols in his adolescence, when he was known as Temujin, and the adventures that led to him ascending the throne. His humour and intelligence sees him emerging victorious against his opponents, winning the Man of Men contest, restoring his demolished hometown, and even winning the heart of the enemy commander’s daughter.

About the director

Manuel Conde is known as one of the Philippines’ most original filmmakers who straddled both the mainstream and independent film worlds. Kidlat Tahimik, the acknowledged father of Filipino independent filmmaking, once said Conde should be called the ‘grandfather’ of Philippine independent filmmaking.

Conde imbued local cinema with a distinct cultural history of its own through films that translated the age-old stories told by Filipinos from generation to generation over the last one hundred years onto the silver screen. Conde directed and/or produced three of the most famous romances in Philippine lowland culture: Siete Infantes de Lara, Ibong Adarna, and Prinsipe Tenoso.

Through the more than 40 films he created from 1940 to 1963, Conde contributed to the indigenisation of the cinema. He revitalised folk culture with current issues, fresh themes and new techniques by depicting and critiquing Filipino customs, values and traditions according to the needs of the present. He also employed and innovated the traditional cinematic genres of his time, introducing local Filipino cinema to the world. He was known for being strict and demanding on set, but his efforts paid off and most of his 15 films were blockbusters.

Conde died at age 69 in 1985. He was posthumously declared a National Artist in 2009 and officially conferred the title in 2016.


Sources:
National Commission for Culture and the Arts, The Philippines
Bayani San Diego Jr. (Inquirer.Net)
Cultural Center of the Philippines

 

 

Film and Restoration

Genghis Khan was shot on a shoe-string budget, but was noted for its creativity and technical achievements when it premiered at the Venice International Film Festival in 1952. Conde famously transformed the hills of Angono, Rizal into the Gobi Desert and ingeniously used trolleys as dollies and truck headlights as lighting. Although Manuel Conde produced, directed, and starred in the film, the opening credits listed Salvador Lou – a famous basketball player and actor at the time – as the director of the film, so as to attract more attention to the film.

The film was restored by the Film Development Council of the Philippines and the Venice Film Festival. A historic turn-over of the negatives to the Philippine government was made in Manila in the presence of President Benigno S. Aquino III. The restored version was screened at the 80th anniversary of the Venice International Film Festival’s Classics section in 2012, 50 years after its premiere at the same festival.

The 2K digital restoration of Genghis Khan (1950) is based primarily on the print preserved at the Archivio Storico delle Arti Contemporanee of La Biennale di Venezia. Additional elements found in the British Film Institute, the Cinematheque Francaise, and the Cineteca di Bologna were used for comparison during the restoration. After scanning, the images were digitally stabilised and cleaned, removing all wear marks. The soundtrack was also digitally restored with the background noise reduced, eliminating wear, pops, and hisses. The English track overlay over the original Tagalog track from the international version of the film was retained.


Source: Bayani San Diego Jr. (Inquirer.Net)

Principal Credit

Director: Manuel Conde
Editors: Fred Buensuceso, Ray Heinz
Screenwriters: Manuel Conde, Carlos V. Francisco
Cinematographer: Emmanuel Rojas
Starring: Manuel Conde, Elvira Reyes, Inday Jalandoni, Jose Villafranca
Music: Juan Solos Jr.
Production Company: MC Productions
Print Source: Film Development Council of the Philippines
Film Laboratory: L’immagine Ritrovata
Special Thanks: Dominic Bekaert, National Film Archive of the Philippines

Screening Details

Date:  10 Sep 2017, Sunday
Time: 5.30pm
Venue: NMS Gallery Theatre
Runtime: 88 min
Language: Tagalog (With English Subtitles)
Rating: PG (Battle scenes)

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