Filmmaker Erik Matti has plenty to say about the way things are done in the Philippines, particularly when power whether in religion or politics gets involved. Many of those things are rather negative, perhaps exemplified in his movie “On the Job” for Star Cinema back in 2013. If the premise of convicts being given temporary freedom by powerful figures in return for contract work as hit-men was not cynical enough, Matti’s new subjects in the sequel “On the Job: The Missing 8” might even be worse, to the point that he could describe the upcoming film as his “angriest work” yet. He is not angry about its release prospects, though.
According to Inquirer.net, Erik Matti is actually very happy with the various venues his sequel film “On the Job: The Missing 8” is getting into, well before any of those dates actually come. This past Tuesday, August 31, Matti commented on Instagram that he is looking forward to the movie premiering not just on the Venice International Film Festival Friday next week, September 10, but also on the Asian iteration of cable channel HBO, two Sundays from now on September 12. The latter release will see the 208-minute feature will be edited into six episodes and screened as a miniseries.
“Showing both the film and series in Venice and [HBO] respectively give us so much pride not just for me as a filmmaker but as a Filipino director part of the larger Filipino cinema community in the Philippines,” says Matti, who wrote his caption to a photo of himself brandishing his knuckle-tattoos spelling out the Filipino slur “T#NGINA!” similar to the character portrayed by Gerald Anderson in the 2013 movie. The director expressed surprise that “The Missing 8” managed to land great premiere deals to be showcased outside of closed movie theaters, seeing it as indicator of foreign respect and appreciation for the Philippine moviemakers.
“On the Job: The Missing 8” follows a daily newspaper reporter (played by John Arcilla) who stumbles into some hot and dangerous news that may have something to do with the disappearance of some of his press colleagues. He realizes the peril he is in when Roman (Dennis Trillo), a convicted prisoner, is sicced on him. This is the only Filipino entry to the 2021 Venice Film Festival, and Erik Matti is inviting those who can to catch it in Italy, or in HBO Asia.
Image from The Hollywood Reporter