Tikoy wraps his bear arms around me and says, “You have to meet your younger double in
A blonde, bearded, definitely younger and slightly browner me shakes my hand. Khavn’s feature Squatterpunk, a slice-of-life in a
He and his family played host to me on my two subsequent trips to the
Khavn was a guest at the 2007 Brisbane International Film Festival. I was given the task of tour guide and PR manager, not to mention “Weng Weng Brocka” for a live soundtrack to Squatterpunk. Here’s the liner notes I wrote…
“Squatter” is the N-word of the Phippines, suggesting the poorest of its Third World inhabitants only one rung up from living in Manila’s garbage citadel of Tondo. Hardly a cause for Squatter Pride, but Filmless Films’ Khavn, the bleached enfant terrible of the new
Filmed in just one day, Squatterpunk follows an eight year old Slum King, a cocky would-be gangster with a Travis Bickle haircut, and his ratbag minions through one of the thousands of shanty towns that spring up between the cracks in the
Like watching infants at play at a car crash, it’s a mesmerizing, almost seamless collision of social realism and visual poetry. It’s a rush to the heart, too, fuelled by the mostly improvised punk score by Khavn’s outfit The Brockas. Performed live in Brisbane by Khavn and his motley crew of local misfits, the relentless clang-bang drowns the need for dialogue or background noise, leaving a stark impression without comment and, more significantly, without judgement.
A vivid and jarring collection of postcards of innocence at the brink of a short and possibly non-existent adolescence, of simple pleasures amidst appalling squalor, of human junk that society ignores in a country the rest of the world prefers to forget.
…........….....…..ALSO AT BIFF, DIREKT FROM THE
Playing drums to Filipino filmmaker Khavn’s mostly silent Squatterpunk in a rough-and-ready local version of Khavn’s punk-noise outfit The Brockas, somehow the audience didn’t realize that not only hadn’t we rehearsed, we’d never sat down together in the same room! So the entire 80 minute soundtrack we played was entirely improvised, and yet we got a standing ovation! Here’s a photo of Khavn and I from BIFF opening night:
Khavn ended up spending most of his