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

Filmography

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Ebolusyong ng Isang Pamilyang Pilipino

Ebolusyon ng Pamilyang Pilipino (2004): The Digital Revolution Comes Full Circle

By Lito B. Zulueta

When it was nominated for the Gawad Urian best picture award in 2004, it was warned that Lav Diaz’s “Ebolusyon ng Pamilyang Pilipino” might trigger a revolution. Seven years later, the revolution has been fully realized, and it’s tectonic—nothing less than a sweeping artistic ferment set off by the digital upheaval.

“Ebolusyon” was the first full-length digital film in Philippine history and by its sheer length—more than 10 hours!—it’s very remote we would ever forget that milestone. A marathon screening of the movie embodies its length and breadth, a virtual-reality tour of what its comprehensive narrative tries to capture: the epic tale of the Filipino nation.Read more

Magnifico

Magnifico: Tearjerker made timeless by its beauty, the central hero’s magnificence

By BUTCH FRANCISCO

In 2003, the Film Ratings Board (FRB) was abolished and was replaced by the Cinema Evaluation Board (CEB) which gave higher incentives to quality movies that were either graded A or B. (Graded A films were given a hundred per cent tax rebate, while those that got B were allowed to retrieve 65% from the taxes collected by the various cities and municipalities all over the country based on its income at the box-office.) Magnifico was its test case.

The newly sworn-in CEB members, eager to set the yardstick for graded A movies, thoroughly dissected this Maryo J. de los Reyes film and didn’t feel generous enough to give it a hundred per cent tax rebate.

The prints submitted to the board to begin with had a yellowish tinge and somehow that got in the way during the CEB screening.

Magnifico, however, had its supporters among the CEB members, the three staunchest of them being Lourd de Veyra, Ian Monsod, and this writer. We pointed out that whatever defect the prints had could still be corrected which true enough were made in time for the film’s premiere several days later.Read more

Babae sa Breakwater

Babae sa Breakwater: Anthropolohiya ng Breakwater at Pelikula

Ni Rolando B. Tolentino

Natatangi si Mario O’Hara bilang direktor hindi lang dahil marami itong sakop na gawain, pawang angat sa kahanay, kundi isa siya sa nakakapaglatag—sa pamamagitan ng pelikula—kung ano ang angkop na papel ng sining sa filmiko at aktwal na lipunan. Ang kwintisensyal na pelikula ni O’Hara sa naunang dekada ng bagong siglo ay Babae sa Breakwater, isang madilim—halos absurdo—na mahika-realismo ng mga buhay sa breakwater ng Roxas Boulevard at Manila Bay.

Sentral ang dagat sa naratibo ng pelikula: kung bakit napadpad ang mga taga-kung saan-saan sa breakwater; mga inimbento at urbanong alamat hinggil sa dagat bilang simula’t dulo ng buhay, at bilang tagapag-ugnay sa after-life; ang imposibilidad ng pag-ibig at ang probabilidad ng karahasan sa lupa na tanging dagat ang rekurso; at iba pa. At tulad ng dagat, pinapadpad ang manonood sa iba’t ibang eksena ng buhay ng mga taga-breakwater.Read more