Author Archives: Lewis

We’ve Been Busy…

by Lewis Manalo

We appreciate all of you who’ve followed Split Edit in the past, and we just wanted to let you know that we haven’t been lazy with writing articles. We’ve just been busy with other things.

One of these things is the Slice Girls: Fight Test, a sample scene that we shot for the development for Slice Girls, a horror-action film about a handful of teenage girls who have to fight off an undead ninja attack.

We wanted to explore the possibilities of the style we intend to use for the fight scenes, looking for ways in which choreography can entertain as it tells our story and depicts our characters.

The fighting here will be used in the scene that introduces the main characters.

Thanks for watching, and please share our Fight Test with your friends.  For more info, check

Maria Alegre
Jessica Frey

Tony Nigro

Director & Choreographer
Lewis Manalo

DVD: Busby Berkeley 9-Film Collection

by Lewis Manalo

I admit it. I like musicals. I like the singing and the dancing. The sugary feel-good-or-die attitude.

I especially like the chorus girls, and no one does chorus girls better than Busby Berkeley. Adopting the formulas of Broadway for the silver screen, Berkeley’s editing techniques were also innovative for his time. This collection, which includes classics like Gold Diggers of 1933 and 42nd Street, has more kicking legs than you can handle.

And yes, dressing in nothing but money will get my attention.

Fil-Am Cinema Moments

by Lewis Manalo

It’s Filipino-America History Month! Seriously!

To celebrate this month of Fil-Am appreciation, we offer you three great Fil-Am movie moments.

1. In the classic bar scene from Out for Justice, skip to 4:20, and see Dan Inosanto in a bad hairpiece.

2. In case you didn’t get the Special Edition DVD of Step Up 2: the Streets, here’s ABDC Season 1 winners JabbaWockeeZ in a deleted scene:

3. And of course, RUFIOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!


The Social Network: As Unoriginal As Its Poster?

by Lewis Manalo

David Fincher’s new film The Social Network, about the founding of Facebook, comes out next month, and it looks….really lame. Aside from the bizzare trailer that opens with an odd rendition of Radiohead’s “Creep” and a voyeuristic montage of random personal photos, somebody in marketing isn’t helping the movie look very original by rocking out with a one sheet that’s clearly a copy of the Criterion cover image of The Man Who Fell to Earth.

Who the heck wants to see a serious movie about Facebook anyway?

RIP: Patricia Neal

Gort! Klaatu barada nikto!

A Documentary That Kicks Ass

by Lewis Manalo

Ruel Antipuesto’s documentary Eskrimadors screens this weekend in Queens, NY at the Bayanihan Filipino Community Center. Featuring interviews with some of most eminent grandmasters of Filipino Martial Arts, Eskrimadors will make you think twice about messin’ with a flip (aka, Funny Little Island Person).

Already available on DVD, this is more than just a History Channel special. Many of Cebu’s greatest teachers are featured here, in interviews and swinging sticks. Action fans will not want to miss it.

DVD: Vincere

by Lewis Manalo

Who knew that Mussolini was a bad guy? Okay, we knew Fascists are generally unpleasant, but, geez, a secret first wife?

A visually-arresting and operatic biopic, Vincere depicts the life of Ida Dalser, Benito Mussolini’s baby momma who he done wrong. A contender for the Palme d’Or at the 2009 Cannes Film Festial, Vincere makes Justin Rego on the The Bachelorette look like the ideal boyfriend.

DVD: Creation

by Lewis Manalo

I’m really more of a neo-Lamarckist, but Creation, starring Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly as Charles and Emma Darwin looks really cool in a nerdy kind of way. And it proves that evolutionary theory is sexier than Creationism.

Reality and Restrepo

by Lewis Manalo

The war in Afghanistan has become highly politicized, but soldiers rarely take part in that discussion. Our intention was to capture the experience of combat, boredom and fear through the eyes of the soldiers themselves. Their lives were our lives: we did not sit down with their families, we did not interview Afghans, we did not explore geopolitical debates. Soldiers are living and fighting and dying at remote outposts in Afghanistan in conditions that few Americans back home can imagine. Their experiences are important to understand, regardless of one’s political beliefs. Beliefs are a way to avoid looking at reality. This is reality.
Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger

In documentary we deal with the actual, and in one sense with the real. But the really real, if I may use that phrase, is something deeper than that. The only reality which counts in the end is the interpretation which is profound
John Grierson

It’s a fact of documentaries that audiences often have trouble separating a film’s subject from the film itself. If the subject is an attention-worthy topic such as poverty or political unrest, the film can bring useful attention to that subject, but very often the film won’t be judged on its own merits. Instead, the film will be judged by the opinions the audience has of its subject. The clearest example of this is in Michael Moore Hates America, when Moore’s fans admit that they’ll support what the filmmaker has to say despite ethically questionable editing decisions. With Restrepo, pretending to take the political issues away from their subject, Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington have produced a rambling and unfocused documentary that patronizes its audience with political beliefs that it assumes its viewers already have.

Restrepo follows an infantry unit of the 173rd Airborne throughout their deployment to the Korengal Valley in Eastern Afghanistan. There’s lots of shooting, there’s lots of fatigue, and there’s some death. There’s no political discussion or context for any of the footage. The reasons for the war are never addressed. The result is a lot of action that’s completely devoid of motivation. We watch the spectacle of killing and dying with a voyeuristic eye. Continue reading

DVD: Squatterpunk

by Lewis Manalo

Yet another “Not a Film” by Filipino indie auteur Khavn hits American shores. A feature that made the rounds through a ton of international film festivals last year, Splatterpunk follows an eight-year-old wannabe gangster through the slums of Manila. There’s no dialog, just some titlecards and some relentless punk rock.

Poetic social realism? Fun? Exploitation? Annoying? This is one you’ll either love or hate, so you’ll have to see if for yourself.