Making Mendoza, Diaz more audience-friendly

MORE AUDIENCE-FRIENDLY – Yes, that’s the well meaning suggestion of showbiz people who admire the country’s two international directors: Brillante Mendoza and Lav Diaz.

Sure, they win awards abroad, Cannes, Berlin, and Venice in particular, but their films are hardly seen by the Filipino audience.

Which is a pity as movies are meant to be watched by many people – not limited to film buffs, cineastes, and critics.

TOO HIGH, TOO LONG – Mendoza’s films have regular running time (one hour or so, but not more than two hours), but perhaps he’s style is too high. Or his subjects too profound.

But then, good news is Mendoza’s joined TV5 and is expected, hopefully to tackle more popular and topical themes in his monthly specials and mini-series.

Diaz’s movies are simply too long, from at least four hours to as long as 12 or 13 hours. Let’s admit, the ordinary moviegoer can only stay in the theater for at most three hours. And that’s already too long. One hour and half, plus 10 or 20 minutes more, is the ideal running time.

Early in his career, Lav directed for Regal Films. They lasted less than two hours. The likes of “Burger Boys,” “Kriminal ng Barrio Concepcion,” and “Hesus Rebolusyonaryo.” Fine films all. Why can’t he do it now?

Or perhaps, ABS-CBN could give Lav a mini-series… with the backing of his “Babeng Humayo,” Charo Santos. And the support of John Lloyd Cruz and Piolo Pascual, his fans and believers.

DOORS OPENED – Look, the likes of Lino Brocka, Ishmael Bernal, Mike de Leon, and much earlier Gerry de Leon, Bert Avellana, and Manuel Conde, opened the doors to international filmfests for Brillante Mendoza and Lav Diaz.

Yet their “short” films were appreciated and patronized by the public.

Think of Brocka’s “Insiang” and “Bona,” Bernal’s “Himala,” Mike’s “Kisap-mata” and “Batch ’81,” Avellana’s “Anak Dalita,” Conde’s “Genghis Kahn,” and Gerry’s “Ifugao” and “48 Oras.”

How about it, Brillante and Lav?