LOVE IS A DOG FROM HELL (2021)
Berlin Critics' Week, Tallinn Black Nights++
"Love Is A Dog From Hell" is a deeply personal journey, born from my own experiences and encounters with the Orpheus myth. It all began during a turbulent period in my late twenties, following the end of a significant relationship. To cope with the emotional turmoil, I turned to literature, stumbling upon Dino Buzzati's surreal adaptation of the Orpheus myth in a dusty second-hand bookstore in Cubao. This rediscovery led me to reexamine the myth in a new light.
I found that Orpheus' descent into the underworld to retrieve his beloved Eurydice resonated with my own journey through heartache and despair. We both embarked on a nocturnal expedition, haunted by the absence of someone dear to us. Just as Orpheus failed to bring Eurydice back from the dead, I realized that I had to resurrect myself and move forward.
Set against the backdrop of 1990s Mondomanila, this Pinoy rock opera serves as a vehicle to retell the myth while shedding light on the absurdities of Filipino life. However, beyond the grotesque and satirical elements lies a core message of introspection and transformation.
The title, borrowed from Charles Bukowski's 1977 poetry book, reflects the boundless inventiveness and oddity that define the film. It is shot on a diverse array of 23 cameras, including Super-8.
Manila, often dubbed a gateway to Hell, serves as the perfect backdrop, revealing the city's hunger, drugs, violence, and poverty. Orphea's relentless journey into the apocalyptic underworld, set to nine Rilke-inspired songs, prompts us to question whether her wandering Euridiko still requires love.
"Love Is A Dog From Hell" is an invitation to delve into the depths of one's personal underworld, to embrace life beyond the pain and chaos. It's a celebration of the transformative power of art, a journey through the absurd and grotesque, and a reminder that even in the darkest moments, we can find the strength to carry on.