Mario O’Hara

Mario O’Hara – Bakit Bughaw ang Langit? AKA Why is the Sky Blue? (1981)

Quote:
The situation is ordinary enough: a woman (Nora Aunor) falls in love with a man (Dennis Roldan). To say that she “loves” him, however, is an oversimplication, because he is a retardate. What she feels is a mixture of pity, sympathy, maternal love, and -of course sexual love for him. On the other hand, though a mere child as far as his brain is concerned, he is physically grown-up, as portrayed in a clever drunken scene where he mimics raping the mistress of a neighbor. There’s no doubt about it: Mario O’Hara is a major director. In Bakit Bughaw ang Langit?, he tackles the same basic situation Lino Brocka deals with in Bona. In the comparison Brocka suffers. Where Bona fails, Bakit Bughaw ang Langit? succeeds.
– Isagani Cruz, Movie Times Read More »

Mario O’Hara – Bulaklak sa City Jail AKA Flowers of the City Jail (1984)

Quote:
Bulaklak sa City Jail–1984 Metro Manila Film Festival’s grand slam winner–is a tale of female empowerment in a patriarchal society, an exercise in observation of its female characters struggling to survive in the cruel society and a revelation of the many injustices, gendered or not, that Filipinos encounter in their lifetime. Read More »

Mario O’Hara – Pangarap ng puso AKA Demons (Censored version) (2000)

Tony Rayns, Time Out Film Guide wrote:
One-time Lino Brocka protégé O’Hara is not shy of traditional melodrama, still the lifeblood of most Filipino cinema, but Demons fits no established genre template. Part social history, part ghost horror story, part romance, part quasi-Marxist parable, it has no obvious antecedent except parts of Night of the Hunter. Set on Negros Island, the action spans nearly 20 years in the lives of Nena (De Leon), daughter of a fish-farmer, and Jose (Alano), the son of casual labourers. As they move through puberty and try to bridge the class gap, the island is riven by terrorist actions and military reprisals (echoing assassinations and political turmoil in faraway Manila), giving new meaning to the local mythology of jungle demons. O’Hara balances the narrative between drama and elegy, between occasionally shocking images and the poetry of Amado Hernandez and Florentino Collantes. Often wonderful. Read More »

Mario O’Hara – Tatlong taong walang Diyos aka Three Godless Years (1976)

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Quote:
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. Read More »