After bagging accolades for the 2019 film “Lingua Franca,” filmmaker Isabel Sandoval has a new project—and folks are thinking that it might be a Nick Joaquin adaptation.
Two years ago, the “Lingua Franca” director made waves after becoming the first trans woman of color to direct and star in a film screening at the Venice Film Festival. “Lingua Franca” centered on a Filipina trans caregiver—played by Sandoval herself—for an elderly Russian woman.
According to recent Variety reports, Sandoval has signed with American organization Creative Arts Agency for two projects. The first is the one-hour drama “Vespertine,” while the next is “Tropical Gothic,” billed as a 16th-century colonial drama set in the Philippines with hints of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” and Jane Campion’s “The Piano.”
‘Lingua Franca’ filmmaker Isabel Sandoval signs w/CAA. Her next feature, “Tropical Gothic, will be a "16th-century colonial drama set in the Philippines, with themes in the vein of Alfred Hitchcock’s 'Vertigo' and Jane Campion’s 'The Piano.'"
h/t @CAPEUSA https://t.co/Qx4ZrkXeCF
— Nancy Wang Yuen (@nancywyuen) February 18, 2021
Now, everyone who’s taken a Philippine lit class might’ve just done a double take. “Tropical Gothic”? Like Nick Joaquin’s “Tropical Gothic”? The 1972 Nick Joaquin work of the same name is a collection of reprinted stories that includes “Summer Solstice,” “Candido’s Apocalypse,” “Doña Jeronima” and more. Except for the likes of “Doña Jeronima”’s 17th century setting, most of these stories don’t quite fit the bill of Sandoval’s own “Tropical Gothic” description. According to an interview with Sandoval, her film will not be an adaptation per se, but something inspired by the sensibilities of Joaquin.
Whether or not it’s a full-fledged adaptation, a film with subtle hint-hint-nudge-nudge to Nick Joaquin’s work, or even completely unrelated to it, the film still deserves all the hype. It is Isabel Sandoval’s next project, after all.
While we wait, check out the “Lingua Franca” trailer here.
Still from “Lingua Franca”