Poldo, a lowly security in a publishing firm, dreams to be rich. He becomes the personal bodyguard to his employer’s son, Sonny, when he impresses the latter with his courage and skills during a quarrel where Poldo defended Sonny. Poldo gets a taste of his boss’ carefree and extravagant lifestyle and thinks that he accepts him as a friend. In one of the nightclubs they frequent, Sonny is smitten by dancer Cristy and aggressively pursues her despite a warning from San Pedro, the movie director with whom Cristy has an affair. When they chance upon each other, Sonny and San Pedro fight. Poldo comes to his boss’ rescue and guns down San Pedro. In subsequent circumstances, Poldo would soon arrive at a bitter realization. As he could not see in Sonny the benefactor that he pictured him to be, Poldo finds himself alone, abandoned and betrayed. Continue reading Lino Brocka – Jaguar (1979)
After spending the last 30 years in prison, Horacia is immediately released when someone else confessed to the crime. Still overwhelmed by her new freedom, she comes to the painful realization that her aristocratic former lover had set her up. As kidnappings targeting the wealthy begin to proliferate, Horacia sees the opportunity to plot her revenge. Continue reading Lav Diaz – Ang babaeng humayo aka The Woman Who Left (2016)
made with uncompromising and austere seriousness, Lav Diaz’s “Evolution of a Filipino Family” patiently and methodically observes the collapse and hopeful revival of a poor farming clan, meant to symbolize a nation’s history spanning 1971 to 1987. Ten-hour running time, radically slow pace and hyperminimalist mise en scene will excite international cinephiles at the most daring fests and showcases, which are the only conceivable venues outside of homevid. Continue reading Lav Diaz – Ebolusyon ng isang pamilyang Pilipino AKA Evolution of a Filipino Family (2004)
What makes Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos (Three Years without God), about the Japanese Occupation of the Philippines during World War II, such a great film? O’Hara’s style is thrillingly simple: each scene begins and ends like any other scene in a well-shaped drama. But there’s a quiet undercurrent that builds, sequence upon sequence, with the smoothness and power of a rising tsunami, until it pulls your feet out from under you, breaking high over your head, overwhelming you. Continue reading Mario O’Hara – Tatlong taong walang Diyos aka Three Godless Years (1976)
Himala is a landmark 1982 film directed by Ishmael Bernal. It tells the story of a young woman in a small town in the Philippines who claims to have seen an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary and suddenly begins to exhibit healing powers. More than a movie about faith-healing, the film is an excellent commentary on Third World poverty and backward and contradictory rural customs. The lead role is superbly played by one of the country’s premier dramatic actresses, Nora Aunor. Continue reading Ishmael Bernal – Himala aka Miracle (1982)
Brothers Ellis (Christopher De Leon) and Loren (Philip Salvador) battle it out in a sibling rivalry of biblical proportions in this award-winning retelling of the Old Testament story. Controlling matriarch Señora Pina (Mona Lisa) blames eldest son Loren for her husband’s death and showers all her love on the younger Ellis. Tensions between the warring brothers increase as they grow into adulthood, culminating in a bloody confrontation.
Continue reading Lino Brocka – Cain at Abel (1982)
Kakabakaba Ka Ba? (lit. Does Your Heart Beat Faster?) is a 1980 musical-romantic comedy film produced by LVN Pictures (in its last offering) in 1980, with Mike De Leon as director.
The film revolves on two couples who found themselves in conflict with the foreign commercial giants that control the Philippine economy, the Japanese and the Chinese. Moreover, it involved the Catholic Church which has a stranglehold on the Philippine society itself. The film reflects on the Philippine economy and society being primarily controlled by other forces for their own benefits and become instruments in performing illegal activities. Actors Christopher de Leon, Sandy Andolong, Jay Ilagan and Charo Santos starred as main cast in the film, while Johnny Delgado and APO Hiking Society’s Boboy Garovillo portrayed as main villains. Continue reading Mike De Leon – Kakabakaba ka ba? AKA Will Your Heart Beat Faster? (1980)