Wednesday, August 30, 2006
I received a text this afternoon that Elmo Redrico, or Ka Elmo, as he was called by his friends, passed away. Everything is still in flux: the text was received at the remove of who knows how many branchings of an original text (SMS) flurry. The text, received at 2 in the afternoon, said he died at "2pm," so whether he died at 2AM in the morning, or yesterday afternoon is still unclear. No mention of how he died, although I know he was on a regular regimen of heart medicine. Didn't show it though: Ka Elmo was a spry old fuck. Smoked, drank, on the perpetual lookout for a buffet table. Used to be among first to show up at the Furball Christmas parties at the 18th street compound. Drove Mads nuts. More information should be percolating through soon. In the meantime, this.
The still is from Local Unit, my 8-minute segment in Imahe Nasyon (Image Nation), an omnibus digital feature produced by Jon and Carol Red for Viva Films. Should be coming out in a month or so. (I think Ka Elmo was in a couple of the other segments as well.) His character is a black-market brain merchant/surgeon. I was a bit startled by this frame, grabbed from a shot in the video: he actually looks handsome. Good bones under the crumpling of age. I never noticed. I suppose his perpetual clowning obscured that from me. Now I regret I never got to show him the final edit. He was good in it too: looked wily and tired, like an old dog, hints of madness at the edges. A good actor, under all the shtick.
A real pity, as his tireless appearances in independent shorts seemed about to pay off in his breaking through to becoming a recognized character actor in the Filipino mainstream. He played a cop in the cult juggernaut "Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Olivero." He has parts in some 3 other features still in production. He was so transparently pleased to be able to say "I can't go tomorrow...I have dubbing..," so glad to be in the loop and working.