The society of respected film critics that hands out the annual Gawad Urian in cinematic excellence

Filmography

  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 842.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 589.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 589.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_many_to_one::init() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::init(&$view, $options) in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_many_to_one.inc on line 104.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_term_node_tid::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/modules/taxonomy/views_handler_filter_term_node_tid.inc on line 303.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_style_default.inc on line 25.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 135.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 135.
  • strict warning: Non-static method Pagination::getInstance() should not be called statically in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/pagination/pagination.module on line 278.
  • strict warning: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/pagination/pagination.module on line 278.
  • strict warning: Non-static method Pagination::getInstance() should not be called statically in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/pagination/pagination.module on line 355.
  • strict warning: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/pagination/pagination.module on line 355.
  • strict warning: Non-static method Pagination::getInstance() should not be called statically in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/pagination/pagination.module on line 278.
  • strict warning: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/pagination/pagination.module on line 278.
  • strict warning: Non-static method Pagination::getInstance() should not be called statically in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/pagination/pagination.module on line 355.
  • strict warning: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/pagination/pagination.module on line 355.
  • strict warning: Non-static method Pagination::getInstance() should not be called statically in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/pagination/pagination.module on line 278.
  • strict warning: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/pagination/pagination.module on line 278.
  • strict warning: Non-static method Pagination::getInstance() should not be called statically in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/pagination/pagination.module on line 355.
  • strict warning: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/pagination/pagination.module on line 355.
  • strict warning: Non-static method Pagination::getInstance() should not be called statically in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/pagination/pagination.module on line 278.
  • strict warning: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/pagination/pagination.module on line 278.
  • strict warning: Non-static method Pagination::getInstance() should not be called statically in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/pagination/pagination.module on line 355.
  • strict warning: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/pagination/pagination.module on line 355.
  • strict warning: Non-static method Pagination::getInstance() should not be called statically in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/pagination/pagination.module on line 278.
  • strict warning: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/pagination/pagination.module on line 278.
  • strict warning: Non-static method Pagination::getInstance() should not be called statically in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/pagination/pagination.module on line 355.
  • strict warning: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/pagination/pagination.module on line 355.
  • strict warning: Non-static method Pagination::getInstance() should not be called statically in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/pagination/pagination.module on line 278.
  • strict warning: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/pagination/pagination.module on line 278.
  • strict warning: Non-static method Pagination::getInstance() should not be called statically in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/pagination/pagination.module on line 355.
  • strict warning: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/pagination/pagination.module on line 355.
  • strict warning: Non-static method Pagination::getInstance() should not be called statically in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/pagination/pagination.module on line 278.
  • strict warning: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/pagination/pagination.module on line 278.
  • strict warning: Non-static method Pagination::getInstance() should not be called statically in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/pagination/pagination.module on line 355.
  • strict warning: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/pagination/pagination.module on line 355.
  • strict warning: Non-static method Pagination::getInstance() should not be called statically in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/pagination/pagination.module on line 278.
  • strict warning: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/pagination/pagination.module on line 278.
  • strict warning: Non-static method Pagination::getInstance() should not be called statically in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/pagination/pagination.module on line 355.
  • strict warning: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/pagination/pagination.module on line 355.
  • strict warning: Non-static method Pagination::getInstance() should not be called statically in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/pagination/pagination.module on line 278.
  • strict warning: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/pagination/pagination.module on line 278.
  • strict warning: Non-static method Pagination::getInstance() should not be called statically in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/pagination/pagination.module on line 355.
  • strict warning: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/pagination/pagination.module on line 355.
  • strict warning: Non-static method Pagination::getInstance() should not be called statically in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/pagination/pagination.module on line 278.
  • strict warning: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/pagination/pagination.module on line 278.
  • strict warning: Non-static method Pagination::getInstance() should not be called statically in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/pagination/pagination.module on line 355.
  • strict warning: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/pagination/pagination.module on line 355.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 842.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/manunuri/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 842.

Ang Damgo ni Elueteria

Virtuosity in peripatetic filmmaking

By Butch Francisco

The vernacular word tuhog has various meanings. Primarily it means to string together—as in string sampaguita blossoms into a lei. In the culinary world, it means to skewer—as in skewering chunks of meat for barbecue purposes. This must have been what gave the word a salacious definition in Tagalog. In less polite language, this is what we say when a Lothario begins squiring two or more siblings or related individuals (“tinuhog ang magkapatid”).

That is the title of the 2000 Gawad Urian best picture winner, now adjudged by the Manunuri as one of the best of the decade. Tuhog is the story of two women—mother and daughter, actually—who both become wives to the head of the family, a man who shows no compunction deviating from social norms by committing incest.

The One Long Shot Hits the Target

By Gigi Javier Alfonso

To be or not to be a mail-order-bride is the decision to be made by Eluteria nicknamed Terya in a film titled Ang Damgo ni Elueteria directed by Remton Siega Zuasola. The film shows a usual situation that many impoverished young Filipinas face when they think of helping out their families better their lives. Working abroad is the primary option. Marrying a foreigner is another option, more especially for those who are not trained for a particular marketable skill or not educated in formal schooling and faced with the lack of opportunity of employment in their remote towns. Leaving the town, your family for better fortune is totally acceptable and perceived to be necessary. And the right to be mobile is a basic right. But why is this an issue up till now. If there are no other options open, if poverty and lack of education are the reasons for leaving then it takes away choices to make… because there is no choice but to leave. Read more

Amigo

Fil-Am war remembered

By Lito B. Zulueta

The new feature film by renowned American independent filmmaker John Sayles brings back the “forgotten” Philippine-American War at the turn of the 20th century, depicting it as the seed of the disastrous US imperialist ventures in Vietnam and Iraq. Filmed entirely in the Philippines with a cast and crew of Americans and Filipinos, and with its polyglot dialogue in English, Tagalog, Spanish, Chinese and Latin, Amigo is set in Luzon in 1900. It opens with an inscription of how the Americans, in prosecuting their war against Spain in Cuba, chose to extend it to another Spanish colony, the Philippines, “half a world away.” “They chose to stay (there in the Philippines),” the inscription laconically adds.

Revisiting an Old War

By Dr. Bienvenido Lumbera

The first Filipino film in contemporary times that grappled with the complex subject of Filipino-American War was Eddie Romero’s Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon? It was Romero’s comebacking movie after having spent time in Hollywood doing B-movies. In it he showed how a young man matured into a self-conscious Filipino during the resistance against Americans at the turn of the century. Romero’s was an ambitious project coming as it did in the first years of Martial Law, a Metro Manila Film Festival offering. It seemed to set a trend for meaningful films based on history. The trend did not happen, but starred a versatile star-to-be in the young Christopher de Leon.Read more

Lola

Lola: An Ode to Women and to Life

By Gigi Javier Alfonso

Lola is an outstanding film by Briliante Mendoza with screenplay by Linda Casimiro. It captures the beat of a neighborhood in the Philippines, a common place, with its share of grime and crime. It is also about a resilient, strong, tenacious, giving, and loving people. Lola is a film that wants to be honest. From natural everyday dialogue, actors sans makeup, almost untouched production design and un-manicured cinematography. These decisions are decided by a masterful director.Read more

Kinatay

Kinatay: Tungo sa Nakasisindak na Pagkaaba

Ni Benilda S. Santos

Higit sa pelikulang kapit-sa-patalim o pelikula ng krimen at karahasan, ang Kinatay ni Brillante Ma. Mendoza ay tumitistis sa kalagayan ng pagkaaba, ng pagiging mababa pa sa inaasahan ng taong nahulog sa posisyong kahindik-hindik. Bunga nito, lumabo ang kanyang dating pagkakilala sa sarili at sa kapwa. Nahintakutan siya. Nasindak nang gayon na lamang, at kasabay nito, nalusaw rin ang kahulugan, kahalagahan, at katatagan ng buhay.

Kinatay: Sa dambana ng Kinatay
Ni Roland Tolentino

HINDI ko gustong naririnig ang direktor at manunulat na tinatalakay ang kanilang obra. Parating sobra, wala naman ito sa natunghayan pero mala-magic na ipapaliwanag ng artist na ito ang kanyang layon. Sa literatura, sinasabing “the author is dead” sa akto ng pagbabasa. Walang babalingan na awtor bilang sanggunian kung ano ang kanyang intensyon o kung ano ang dapat nitong afekto sa mambabasa.

Kinatay: Cry slaughter!
By Lito Zulueta

“KINATAY,” for which Brillante Mendoza won the Best Director Award of the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, is one wild nightmare romp though the underbelly of Manila life on the literal level, and a plunge into one of Dante’s Inner circles on the spiritual level. It is the director’s unsentimental Quiapo epic, “Tirador” (2007), recast into something more focused, even harsher, a centripetal drive toward the heart of darkness.Read more

Yanggaw

The Affliction in Us All
By Tito Genova Valiente

In a period when the form of anti-cinema seduces the audience, “Yanggaw” asks us to take it because it is relatively recognizable—and arguably the more accessible—of the many films that are lately produced. By accessibility, I am referring to the linear narrative of the film and should not be equated with something that is “facile” or plain. Such linearity, however, even makes more obvious the dimensions “Yanggaw” has recovered for us and reveals the many layers of storytelling that the well-wrought screenplay, because of its construction, is able to accomplish. The director, who is also credited for the screenplay, accomplishes what is difficult to accomplish: embedding the symbolic and the metaphorical in the actions and processes of the film. No stilted dialogues or contrived poses, just a storytelling that explores the many facets of patriarchy and myth-making in our cultures. Read more

Serbis

Serbis : What’s Showing in Mendoza’ s Family Theater

By Dr. Bienvenideo Lumbera

Brillante Mendoza has two stars in the movie Serbis. The first is a moviehouse that has seen glorious days as a magnificent film palace and has declined with the years into a decrepit theater home to soft-porn movies and to patrons in search for sexual encounters of the third kind. The second is a human monument, tall and regal dowager-actress Gina Pareño who plays a matriarch who has sued the husband who abandoned her for another woman and when the movie begins, she is anticipating the husband’s conviction.

CINEMA PURGATORIO
BY LITO B. ZULUETA

“SERBIS,” THE FIRST Filipino movie to have competed at the Cannes Film Festival in more than a quarter of a century, opens with what appears to be a commentary on its feat. A very young woman, Jewel (Rosanne Jordan), newly bathed and naked, admires herself in the cracked life-size mirror, moaning with apparent pleasure as if she were making love with her reflection. The camera lingers, perhaps a tad lasciviously, on her body, until she’s woken up from her narcissistic daydream by the catcall of her pesky little brother, who has surreptitiously opened the door to catch her unawares. When he runs away from her to announce to the rest of the family what she has been doing, the viewer learns that they are living in a vast movie house that has seen better days and scarcely survives with a double-feature program of faded sex movies where the actors always find an excuse to undress every 15 minutes. The theater scarcely survives on a diet of sex screenings, but they will do: patrons hardly go there to watch movies, after all; they go there to feast on the lusty images onscreen, rev up their libido, transact for sex with or without payment, and do their lurid acts under the disguise of darkness. It’s literally “service after dark.”

CINEMA PURGATORIO
BY MIKE RAPATAN

BRILLANTE DANTE MENDOZA’S “Serbis” presents a heady slice of life in the daily grind of Family theater, a rundown movie house in Angeles, Pampanga owned and operated by the Pineda family. In several steady and ambulant long takes, Mendoza takes us into the dark and winding corridors and dank and skanky corners of the shady theater and slowly reveals the grungy lives of both the audience who patronize the theater and the family members who in one way or another strive to survive. Read more

Melancholia

MELANCHOLIA SA ‘MELANCHOLIA’
NI ROLANDO B. TOLENTINO

SA MGA REBYU ng “Melancholia,” laging dinidiin ang kalungkutan na pumapaimbalot sa mga buhay ng tauhan, ng produksyon ng sining at katotohanan sa gitna ng matinding politikal na panunupil ng komersyal na cinema (negosyo) at ng gobyerno. Ang huling dalawa ang bumubuo ng estado ng bansa, ang black hole na humihigop sa lahat ng mga anak at mamamayan nito sa pagdalumat sa kolektibo at individual na buhay bilang kalungkutan.

PHILIPPINE CINEMA AS MEDITATION AND METAPHYSICS
BY LITO B. ZULUETA

LAV DIAZ’S MELANCHOLIA provides a sweeping fillip and summing-up to the aesthetics he has stubbornly maintained and that has always baffled audiences. A mordant movie that is part pastorale, part meditation, and part social commentary, there is no other film like it, except for the previous movies he has done— sweeping narrative movies that seem determined to break the standard idea of a regular feature movie that’s all but told in just 90 minutes more or less. Read more

Jay

CENSURING TV ‘INFOTAINMENT’
BY LITO B. ZULUETA

IN FRANCIS XAVIER Pasion’s mordant “Jay,” the brutal killing of a gay TV employee in his own pad in Manila occasions a media scramble. TV journalist Jay (Baron Geisler), the victim’s namesake, gets to the family in Pampanga ahead of the pack, lures the relatives to Manila and turns out a footage of the mother breaking down at the sight of her carrion-son at the morgue. High TV drama, except that it was staged. Finding the footage damaged after the victim had been buried, Jay had asked the woman to repeat the “breakdown.” She had performed like a pro. This is what televiewers see.

CINEMA GETS BACK AT TELEVISION
BY BUTCH FRANCISCO

MEDIA HAD ALWAYS been very useful—at disseminating news and information, providing public service and exposing society’s ills, especially corruption in the government. Read more

Imburnal

ETNOGRAPIYA NG SITYO NG KARAHASAN AT KAHIRAPAN
NI ROLANDO B. TOLENTINO

GAYA NG ISINASAAD ng titulo, walang patumanggi ang nais ng pelikula: ibuyanyang ang kasuka-suka at marumi, gawing tahanan ang primaryong lunan na binabalik-balikan. Ang kakatwa, binabaligtad ng “Imburnal” ang diskurso ng identifikasyon: ang isinusuka ay ang karahasan ng estado na ipinapangalandakan ang arbitraryong kapangyarihang iditermina kung sino ang mabubuhay at ang papatayin, kahit pa ang pinadayo ng mismong karahasan ng estado ay ang mga tauhang paratihang napapadpad sa imburnal bilang tambayan at laguman ng kanilang buhay.

DAVAO DOWN THE DRAIN
BY LITO B. ZULUETA

SHERRAD ANTHONY SANCHEZ’S “Imburnal” builds on the strengths of the young filmmaker’s commanding debut, “Huling Balyan sa Buhi,” with slight modification of geography: from the mystical but conflict-ridden hinterlands of Mindanao, we are brought to the sewers and emerging ghettoes of Davao City, a countryside in transition from the pastoral to the cosmopolitan. Read more

Hunghong sa Yuta

A MINDANAO FILM FOR THE NATION
BY BIEN LUMBERA
NATIONAL ARTIST FOR LITERATURE

“EARTH’S WHISPER” AS the English translation of the title of Arnel Mardoquio’s film about war and peace in Mindanao easily cues us on how to read this story about a clutch of deaf-mute children in a mountain community consisting of Christians, Muslims and lumads, and the teacher from the city who introduces them to the alphabet and numbers. War between rebels and the military has devastated the community of Hinyok, its most telling casualty being children born without the ability to speak and hear whose fathers are now intent on training them to become fighters to defend their land. Vigo Cruz, artist and toy-maker, answers a posted notice about Hinyok’s need for a teacher, and his work with the children brings joy and hope to the young war victims and their mothers.

THE GHOSTS OF WAR
BY GIGI JAVIER ALFONSO

WE CAN ONLY see the vestiges of war and the clouds of the coming wars. We see the victims—children and women left behind after bullets and fire ravage their homes, towns and men. We can only try to thickly describe the lives of those who are left behind to be able to make meanings of death, fear and pain. The ghosts are those who have been swallowed by the rage of war who will forever be around merged with the everyday lives of those who remember their loss. Read more