Red-hot movies on Vivamax

Jon Red, who is arguably almost as prestigious a filmmaker as his Cannes Film Festival-winning older brother Raymond Red, occasionally makes movies for Vivamax. The younger Red has also won awards from international film festivals but nothing yet from Cannes. Vivamax began streaming his movie titled Stag, yesterday, 5 April.

Some may not be aware yet that years before Brilliante Mendoza won the Palme d’Or (Golden Palm) award in 2009 at the Cannes for his movie Kinatay, Raymond Red won it for his short film Anino, top-billed by Eddie Garcia. This was in 2000.

Stag is Jon Red’s third movie with Vivamax since 2020, beginning with Adarna Gang in 2022, followed by Boso 2 the following year. In 2005, he directed Boso for Viva Digital, starrg Jeffrey Quizon. Boso 2 is not a sequel, though it’s also about a voyeur.

With a cast of 25, Stag isn’t a miniscule film. It top-bills Gold Aceron, Denise Esteban, Arah Alonzo and Aerol Carmelo, with support from Jaime Fabregas, Alan Paule and Yda Manzano. 

The story features two stag parties, one of which has Aceron’s character getting lost in a mysterious house of bacchanalia and debauchery. Red is known for films diluted in myths, and the stag does appear in forest mythology. Aceron’s character is also named Gold in the script written by Red himself, as the filmmaker does in most of his films. Aceron seems to have become Red’s favorite actor in his sex-loaded films despite the young man’s boyish asexual look. Aceron readily executes nude sex scenes.

Watching a Jon Red film for Vivamax is actually like viewing a Raymond Red creative output. The older Red is the director of photography. The Cannes winner seems to be so busy with other creative concerns to conceptualize and direct a full-length film these days.

In case you don’t know yet, Jon is the father of acclaimed female filmmaker Rae Red who directed Janine Gutierrez in Babae at Baril, which won for her several best actress trophies in 2019. On the other hand, award-winning filmmaker Mikhail Red (Birdshot, Deleter), still in his 20s, is the son of Raymond Red.

The involvement of acclaimed Filipino filmmakers in Vivamax outputs has been lending the company some prestige. National Artist for Film and Broadcast Arts Ricky Lee has been writing scripts for Vivamax films helmed by Mac Alejandre.

Jerry Lopez Sineneng of GMA-7 has made a Vivamax film written by Lee, with Alejandre as creative producer. Dennis Marasigan, the artistic director of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, has helmed one film for Vivamax and is involved as creative producer in Vivamax movies of Jeffrey Hidalgo, the singer-actor now also directing movies.

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Seasoned singer Randy Santiago wants people to see him differently in his upcoming concert EYE CON: The Club Experience, in which he might end up NOT performing any of his hits in the past. Instead, he will do songs associated with the bars, disco houses and music lounges from at least the ’90s to the present. And nowadays, those entertainment stops go by a different name: clubs.

Moreover, in the concert to be held on 12 April at the Plenary Hall of the Philippine International Convention Center, Santiago said at the media huddle for the show that he is determined not to hog the limelight all the time, so the spotlight could be trained mostly on the others. After all, he has almost a dozen featured and guest performers lined up.

His co-headliners are Pops Fernandez, Nina, Gino Padilla, Juan Miguel Salvador, Rachel Alejandro and the Six-Part Invention band, whose frontman, Rey Cantong, is the concert’s musical director. 

Seemingly acting as the show’s line producer, Santiago invited to perform in EYE CON some champions in ABS-CBN singing competition shows or segments, namely: JM Yosures, Khimo, Lyka Estrella, JM dela Cerna, Marielle Montellano and Jezza Quiogue. They are joined by the independently managed singer-actor LA Santos and the hip-hop all-girl group Calista.

Said Santiago about singing champs participation in EYE CON: “Kung do’n sa mga (If in those) contests na pinanalunan nila (they won in), mga birit na ballad ang binanatan nila (they performed ballad with high notes) I told them that the show will present them differently: dance songs na pang-club ang ipe-perform nila. Hindi sila tatayo lang at bibirit (They won’t just stand and hit the high notes). They will have to showcase their talents as dancers.”

At the noontime media huddle held at 77 Scout Limbaga resto in QC very recently, the singer also known as Mr. Shades emphasized that the humongous PICC Plenary Hall would be made to look like and feel like a dance club. This made the show’s overall director, the young Jay Klio Bermudez, quip during the huddle: “Pagpasok n’yo pa lang, madarama n’yo na agad si Randy Santiago kahit wala pa siya sa stage! (You will already feel his presence even if he’s not on stage yet).”

At the time of the huddle, Bermudez was still persuading Santiago to perform at least one of his hit songs. Santiago casually responded: “Well, let’s see!”

For tickets, log on to Ticketworld.