I just got a text message from film director Elwood Perez, who wishes it known that news of his death have been greatly exaggerated. In a newspaper today, he is referred to as “the late Elwood Perez.” I think the author may have confused him with his close friend and colleague Joey Gosiengfiao, who died last year. Perez and Gosiengfiao are the campmeisters of 1970s Filipino cinema.
What’s interesting is that Elwood has been having visitations from dead people for over a year. In April last year, Zed and I ran into him at the mall, and he told us that various dead persons, including Rolando Tinio and some entertainment reporters, had been appearing in his dreams. And then last Saturday I got this text message from Elwood (the longest SMS I’ve ever received):
“Include this in your prayers: That spirits of the dead stay away from me. If a few nights ago, Joey Gosiengfiao told me in my dreams that he still ought to direct, how can you explain that I woke up this morning realizing that the person who paid me a visit last night was food critic Doreen Fernandez, who knew me but was never close to me. There must have been a connection: Last night I was profuse with praise for the orphaned hostâ€”a Perez, but Tito’s first cousin, not mineâ€”for the sumptuous dinner that was served rather late, after a late evening mass for her late father and brother who died years ago before her mother, two sisters and only niece perished in a fire that gutted their house. Needless to say I overstuffed myself with big helpings of roast, stuffed turkey, wild rice risotto, vegan spaghetti, melt-in-your-mouth lengua in cream sauce, praline and chocolate cake and Godiva chocolate cookies and red wine. I went to bed bundat na bundat.”
And now he’s referred to in the papers as “The Late”. Spooky.
My diagnosis: If you’re a filmmaker and you stop making movies, your life turns into a horror movie. Aiiiieeeee.