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Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Monday, May 30, 2011
Sunday, May 29, 2011
"Miss Philippines" (1947)
Release Date: June 3-12, 1947/Dalisay Theater
Music Ariston Avelino
Story Eriberto A. Tablan
Director Gregorio Fernandez
Cast Jose Padilla, Jr., Norma Blancaflor, Lirio del Valle, Alfonso Carvajal, Jose Cris Soto, Lopita Tony Santos, Gregorio Fernandez, Engracio Ibarra
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Release Date: January 14- 31, 1947/Dalisay Theater
Music Constancio de Guzman
Director Paquito Bolero
Cast Carmen Rosales, Leopoldo Salcedo, Roberto Rosales, Luis Vizconde, Vicente Ocampo, Chipopoy, Cesar Gallardo, Totoy Torrente, Rogelio Nite, Pat Salvador
Friday, May 27, 2011
In 1981, the twelve members of the MPP (Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino) decided to honor the best films of 1970-79. As an initial step, each member listed down the ten films he considered as the top of the decade, using as basis the criteria formulated by the founding members in 1976. The individual lists were tallied, and the first ten films with the highest number of votes isolated. As a second step, and in order to insure the quality of the films that would be selected, a minimum of seven votes was required for any film to make it to the roll of honor, regardless of how many would get to the final list. A second ballot was taken, and seven films emerged as the critic’s choice for the Best Films of 1970-79.
1.Pagdating sa Dulo (1971)
A taxi dancer and taxi driver are fished out of poverty and anonymity by a commercial film director. The obsession with success forces them to affect images as movie stars, which suppress and eventually destroy them as persons and lovers.
2. Maynila sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag (1975)
Manila is portrayed as a web of exploitation and poverty that traps and devours a naïve probinsiyano, Julio Madiaga, who journeys into the city in search of a better life and a beloved who has become a Chinaman’s common-law wife. When they try to escape from the oppressive city, Julio and his beloved are destroyed.
3. Ganito Kami Noon… Paano Kayo Ngayon? (1976)
A picturesque character named Kulas wanders through the Philippine Revolution against Spain and the Philippine-American War, and wonders about the meaning of being Filipino in those critical decades of national self-definition.
4. Insiang (1976)
This crime of passion revolves around an innocent slum girl, Insiang, who, after being raped by her mother’s live-in lover, makes the lover fall in love with her, so that the mother would be forced to butcher the man in a gruesome fit of jealousy.
5. Itim (1976)
Using exquisite cinematography, this film depicts the mystery and horror of a dead woman’s possession of her younger sister, in order to reveal the circumstances of her death and avenge herself on her lover.
6. Nunal sa Tubig (1976)
Employing an experimental cinematic style, Bernal’s opus recreates the quality and pace of life of a village surrounded by sea, as it is caught in the eternal cycle of love and hate, of fertility and pollution, of birth and death.
7. Jaguar (1979)
A lowly security guard becomes a new personal bodyguard of his boss, and wants to think he is accepted by the latter as a friend. Later, however, he finds himself alone and abandoned, after he kills for his employer.
(Source: The Urian Anthology 1970-79)
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Phillip Salvador in "Jaguar"
(L-R)- Charito Solis, Dindo Fernando, Amy Austria
The anniversary dinner of May 1979 saw the election of Doy del Mundo as Chairman and Mario Bautista as Secretary. No new members were taken in, and Cristina Pantoja- Hidalgo went on an extended leave. The year 1979 saw several attacks on the Manunuris. The first pointed out that less and less Manunuris were reviewing films, so that only the more active ones got the brunt of the industry’s attack, and people mistook their opinions as opinions of the group.
Most of the Manunuris pleaded guilty to this accusation, and an attempt was made to “force” Manunuris to write reviews or articles, for a column in a weekly magazine. The attempt eventually failed: first, because Manunuris had other full-time jobs and reviewed only on the side, so that as the economic situation tightened, most of them had to devote more time to “making ends meet.” Second, there were less and less movies worth reviewing, and it seemed redundant and useless to keep hammering on the same faults in formula films whose producers really couldn’t care less about quality. Thirdly, many of the newspaper outlets no longer welcomed negative reviews of the films, which they advertised in their movie-ad sections.
The most severe attack on the Manunuris, however, came at the 1979 Awards night when Lino Brocka ascended the stage not to receive the directorial award for Jaguar, but to reject it. Reading from a prepared speech, he accused the group of prejudice, saying that “under the guise of impartiality they practice their prejudices anyway.” It is more difficult, he said, to combat prejudice than corruption. You can fight money with more money, but how can you, he asked, fight prejudice? He then refused all further awards and nominations from the Manunuris.
The magazine and newspaper articles that came out on Lino Brocka’s rejection of the Urian Awards for the next so many months did the Manunuri a lot of good. First, it made the MPP realize that the attack was partly due to the fact that most Manunuris were no longer writing, so that the opinions of the few Manunuris were taken to be the group stand on films reviewed. Second, far from degrading the group, Lino Brocka made the Manunuri a household word. The reviewers and their awards became the common topic of the man on the street, the housewives, the market vendors. Those who had never heard of the Manunuri before became acquainted with it, and public awareness and interest grew, not only among teachers and students seriously concerned about the art of filmmaking, but among the so-called “bakya” crowd.
List of Winners:
Best Picture- Jaguar
Best Director- Lino Brocka/ Jaguar
Best Actor- Dindo Fernando/ Ikaw at ang Gabi
Best Actress- Charito Solis/ Ina, Kapatid, Anak
Best Supporting Actor- Menggie Cobarrubias/ Jaguar
Best Supporting Actress- Amy Austria/ Jaguar
Best Screenplay- Jose F. Lacaba, Ricardo Lee/ Jaguar
Best Cinematography- Conrado Baltazar/ Jaguar
Best Production Design- Fiel Zabat/ High School Circa ‘65
Best Editing- Edgardo Vinarao/ High School Circa ‘65
Best Sound- Vic Macamay, Teddy Ramos, Rolly Ruta/ Bakit may Pag-ibig Pa? (Bernal episode)
Best Music- Ernani Cuenco/ Aliw-iw
Outstanding Achievement- Manuel Silos
"Ina, Kapatid, Anak" (1979)
"Ikaw at ang Gabi" (1979)
"High School, Circa 65" (1979)
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
"Pagputi ng Uwak, Pag-itim ng Tagak" (1978)
Nora Aunor and Christopher de Leon in ""Ikaw ay Akin."
(L-R)- Beth Bautista, Christopher de Leon, Conrado Baltazar, Gaudencio Barredo, Chanda Romero, Mel Chionglo
May 1, 1978 saw the election of Pio de Castro lll as Chairman and Mario Hernando as Secretary, and the entrance of U.P. English teacher Isagani Cruz, and film and theater reviewer Mario Bautista into the group. Isagani was recommended by Bien Lumbera who was the former’s professor when he was taking his master’s degree in the Ateneo. Mario Bautista was the “orphan” of "the group for he was the only one with no personal link with any other member prior to his entry. His reviews had been read by Bien Lumbera, Manny Pichel and Behn Cervantes.
It was in 1978 when the MPP reached out towards a larger audience. For one, that year’s Urian awards was televised, giving the Gawad Urian a greater impact on the public and introducing the Manunuris to a bigger audience. For another, it was the year when the Manunuris launched the Urian Film Festival. Co-sponsored by the Cultural Research Association of the Philippines, a group of teachers and scholars of Philippine culture, the festival aimed to show the possibilities of the Filipino film to students of the U.P. and the Ateneo (most of whom ignored the “bakya” Filipino film), and to convince them to support it. Before each screening of the eight Urian-Award-winning films, a Manunuri read a critique of the film explaining to the audience the merits of the film which made it win an Urian award. Eight award-winning films of the first two Urian years composed the line-up of the first Urian Film Festival, while the second film festival held in 1980 included some films nominated that year.
Aside from reaching out to a wider audience, the year saw the Manunuris deepening their film interest. .First, the group clarified that the reviews of each member depend chiefly on his background. One with a literary-philosophical approach would usually gloss over the technical aspects of a film to concentrate on its content and the performance of its cast, while one who is more technically-oriented would pay as much attention to the cinematography, editing, and sound mixing.
Nevertheless, the group became more and more conscious of the technical aspects of music and sound, because these two are traditionally the most ignored and therefore, the most backward, aspects in Filipino filmmaking. Second, to understand the philosophy and techniques of filmmaking in the country, the group instituted a series of lecture-discussions among its members. This enabled the more theoretically-based to have a greater knowledge of the technology of film, and the technically-oriented to think about the perspectives of film in this country. As an outcome of the discussions, the group saw the need to come out with “think” articles that would deal on the different aspects of filmmaking, especially since MPP film reviews already tended to attack the same faults of Filipino films over and over again.
(Source: The Urian Anthology 1970-79)
List of Winners:
Best Picture- Pagputi ng Uwak, Pag-itim ng Tagak
Best Director- Celso Ad. Castillo/ Pagputi ng Uwak…
Best Actor- Christopher de Leon/ Ikaw ay Akin
Best Actress- Beth Bautista/ Hindi sa Iyo ang Mundo, Baby Porcuna
Best Supporting Actor- Joonee Gamboa/ Pagputi ng Uwak…
Best Supporting Actress- Chanda Romero/ Boy Pana
Best Screenplay- Celso Ad. Castillo, Lando Jacob, Ishko Lopez, Ruben Nicdao/Pagputi na Uwak…
Best Cinematography- Conrado Baltazar/ Gumising Ka, Maruja
Best Production Design- Mel Chionglo/ Ikaw ay Akin
Best Editing- Albert Joseph/ Hindi sa Iyo ang Mundo, Baby Porcuna
Best Sound- Gaudencio Barredo/ Pagputi ng Uwak…
Best Music- The Vanishing Tribe/ Ikaw ay Akin
Outstanding Achievement- Manuel Conde
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
"Hubad na Bayani" (1977)
Daria Ramirez and Robert Arevalo in "Hubad na Bayani"
Daria Ramirez and Vic Vargas in "Sino'ng Kapiling, Sino'ng Kasiping"
(L-R)- Romeo Vitug, Rafael 'Bembol' Roco, Jr., Daria Ramirez, Armida Siguon-Reyna, Lito Legaspi, Robert Arevalo, Dez Bautista
Left- Daria Ramirez and Rafael 'Bembol' Roco, Jr./ Right- Ishmael Bernal
It was in 1977 that the Manunuris began assigning movies for viewing to each member, to make sure‘that the group would not miss any of the 150 or so films being produced every year. The critics watched on their own time and budget, and recommended for group viewing any film which had any merit at all. To systematize the listing of films the group felt had achievements in any artistic or technical aspect, the MPP began to come out with their quarterly list of citations.
The 1977 Urian Awards further established the reputation of the Manunuris as discoverers of new or ignored talents. Word spread around that “you don’t have to spend a cent for PR to win in the Urian” after Daria Ramirez (Sino’ng Kapiling, Sino’ng Kasiping) bested formidable co-nominee Vilma Santos (Burlesk Queen) for the best actress plum. The choice of Ramirez was not a popular one either, for her portrayal of a middle-class wife was devoid of the “pang-FAMAS” hysterics usually equated with good acting in Philippine movies.
The most significant event of 1977, however, was the debate on which criterion should take precedence in choosing the best film: cinematic style or filmic content? It had been decided before that if two films were equally well-made, the film with the more significant content would be chosen. But the application of the criterion became very difficult with the two films being deliberated on: Robert Arevalo’s Hubad na Bayani and Ishmael Bernal’s Dalawang Pugad, Isang Ibon.
Hubad is a truthful portrayal of the peasant uprisings of the 30’s, but it was marred by technical flaws. Dalawang Pugad, centering on the problem of infidelity, was narrower in scope but was just as truthful in its portrayal. Hubad had its good moments but was uneven as a whole, while Dalawang Pugad had a tighter orchestration of cinematic elements.
Which film should be given more weight? To an observer, the answer would have been obvious, but, taken in context, at the time when so many tired formula films on “the other woman” were being made, the achievement of Bernal’s film could not be underestimated.
The upshot was that Hubad won as best picture and Bernal was awarded best director for Dalawang Pugad. On this issue, the house was divided, so to speak, into the socially-oriented group which was for the advancement of socio-political relevance in film, and the “art-for-art’s sake” group.
List of Winners:
Best Picture- Hubad na Bayani
Best Director- Ishmael Bernal/ Dalawang Pugad, Isang Ibon
Best Actor- Rafael ‘Bembol’ Roco, Jr./ Sa Piling ng mga Sugapa
Best Actress- Daria Ramirez/ Sino’ng Kapiling, Sino'ng Kasiping
Best Supporting Actor- Lito Legaspi/ Sino’ng Kapiling
Best Supporting Actress- Armida Siguon Reyna/ Tahan na Empoy, Tahan
Best Screenplay- Teloy Cosme, Robert Ylagan/ Hubad na Bayani
Best Cinematography- Romeo Vitug/ Mga Bilanggong Birhen
Best Production Design- Dez bautista/ Hubad na Bayani
Best Editing- Ike Jarlego, Jr./ Kung Mangarap Ka’t Magising
Best Sound- Luis Reyes, Ramon Reyes/ Kung Mangarap Ka’t Magising
Best Music- Jun Latonio/ Kung Mangarap Ka’t Magising
Outstanding Achievement- Gerardo de Leon
Monday, May 23, 2011
"Ganito Kami Noon...Paano Kayo Ngayon?" (1976)
Actress Pilar Pilapil congratulates Direk Eddie Romero
L-R (Vic Silayan, Yvonne, Nora Aunor, Maya Valdez, Ruel Vernal)
Substance vs. Star:
The 1976 Gawad Urian was opened by Nestor Torre who stated in his speech that the Urian award was “unbuyable,” and did not respect the so-called “star” in its awards. As if to lend credibility to Torre’s claim, several choices of the Manunuris were in fact “unpopular.” Their selection of Vic Silayan as best actor for his role in Ligaw na Bulaklak, over Christopher de Leon (Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon?) “confused” the industry. Everyone felt sure that De Leon would bag the prize because he was a star, which Vic Silayan, though acknowledged -as a seasoned actor, was not. Futhermore, the nomination of Mona Lisa for principal rather than supporting actress, further emphasized the Manunuris’ maverick ways. It stressed the group’s convictions that it is the substance of a role that should determine a nomination, not one’s billing in movie-ads, or one’s status in the film industry.
The Manunuris further enhanced their image as “champions of the underdog” with the following selections: bomba star Yvonne, as best supporting actress (Ligaw na Bulaklak); stage actress Maya Valdez, as best supporting actress (Lunes, Martes. . .), and villain-type Ruel Vernal, as best supporting actor (lnsiang). The most significant choice, however, was Nora Aunor, who was voted best actress for her performance in "Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos" (directed by Mario O’Hara). The Manunuri can claim without blushing that the Urian made Nora Aunor and Nora Aunor made the Urian. Her winning emphasized the group’s complete disregard for stereotypes. Aunor’s image as “bakya” idol had typecast her as a non-actress, but this did not hinder the Manunuri’s collective judgment that she had the makings of a serious actress. With her triumph, the critics clarified their standard of performance and accidentally won over the obstinate movie scribes.
(Source: The Urian Anthology 1970-79)
List of Winners:
Best Picture- Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon
Best Director- Eddie Romero/ Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon
Best Actor- Vic Silayan/ Ligaw na Bulaklak
Best Actress- Nora Aunor/ Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos
Best Supporting Actor- Ruel Vernal/ Insiang
Best Supporting Actress- Maya Valdez/ Lunes, Martes, Miyerkules, … and Yvonne/ Ligaw na Bulaklak
Best Screenplay- Eddie Romero & Roy Iglesias/ Ganito Kami Noon…
Best Cinematography- Ely Cruz and Rody Lacap/ Itim
Best Production Design- Peque Gallaga, Laida Lim-Perez/ Ganito Kami Noon…
Best Editing- Ike Jarlego, Jr/ Itim
Best Sound- Luis Reyes, Ramon Reyes, Sebastian Sayson/ Itim
Best Music- Max Jocson/ Itim
Outstanding Achievement- Manuel de Leon