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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

KIDLAT TAHIMIK'S "MABABANGONG BANGUNGOT (PERFUMED NIGHTMARE) /1978

I always include Mababangong Bangungot ["Perfumed Nightmare"] (1977) in one of my top ten list when ask what my top 10 Tagalog movies are. Kidlat Tahimik (Eric de Guia in real life), a prolific filmmaker, writer and actor whose films are commonly associated with the Third Cinema movement through their critiques of neocolonialism, directed this classic masterpiece. His other works include; Turumba (1981); Sinong lumikha ng yoyo? Sinong lumikha ng moon buggy? (1982); Why is Yellow Middle of Rainbow? (1994); Japanese Summers of a Filipino Fundoshi (1996).



There’s nothing even remotely nightmarish about Perfumed Nightmare. It’s as enchanting and poignant experience, a totally original seriocomic creation with an infectious and exuberant energy. The film is a semi-autobiographical fable by a young Filipino about his awakening to, and reaction against, American Cultural Colonialism. Born in 1942 during the Occupation, Kidlat spent “the next 33 typhoon seasons in a cocoon of American dreams.” This, then, is his perfumed nightmare: the lotusland of American technological promise. In his primitive village he worships the heroism of the Machine, the sleek beauty of rockets, the efficiency of industrialism. He’s the president of his village’s Werner Von Braun fan club. He longs to visit Cape Caneveral, to experience those shimmering images he knows from movies, from soldiers, from The Voice of America.

This film, winner of the International Critics Award of the Berlin Film Festival and a Blue Ribbon at the American Film Festival, is a dazzling testament to the liberty of the imagination. With his very first film, Kidlat Tahimik has introduced a classic.
(Gene Youngblood, L.A. FILMEX PROGRAM)

Here's the movie's opening part ---


1 comment:

TheCoolCanadian said...

PERFUMED NIGHTMARE was bought was Francis Ford Coppola under his Zoetrope Studio. It was shown allover the world after that.

Though very crude and low tech, the idea is big, refreshing. This is where the appeal of this film lies. An idea can shine even if the facilities available is outmoded.

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