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

Natatanging Gawad Urian

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GLORIA ROMERO: Indestructible Movie Queen for 5 Decades Now

By LITO B. ZULUETA

WITH her stately beauty, impeccable grace, and regal bearing, Gloria is the quintessential Philippine movie star. She is as beautiful as they come, but could have been waylaid by the vagaries of fate that usually attend those who aspire for renown: dissipation, dissolution, and loss of audience and fame. But she has avoided all of these, and even if she is not anymore the superstar that she was in the 1950's, when she became queen of the movies, she is at least the figure against whom every star, aspiring or established, measure herself. She is not only admired for her longevity, she is also respected for her accomplishments. She is not only a survivor; she is an icon. Read more

RICARDO LEE: A Writer in the Film Industry

By DR. BIENVENIDO LUMBERA

usto makilala nila ako na I'm a writer, na I'm not just a scriptwriter. In the end, pag nawala na ako, sana pag pinag-usapan nila ako, sasabihin nila, "A, oo, si Ricky, 'yung writer." -"Pasakalye," interbyu ni Flor C. Caagusan

The Philippine film industry in this time of crisis can look back to its harvest of movies in the past two decades and consider itself enriched by the work of a writer whose screenplays have given the industry subject matter, characters and themes that affirm the transitional, the emergent and the troubling in our cultural heritage. That writer is Ricardo Lee whose most earnest screenplays are a legacy for a future generation that could learn much from the society and the Filipinos that Lee has created.Read more

Natatanging Gawad Urian kay FERNANDO POE, JR.

By LITO B. ZULUETA

FERNANDO POE JR. is the quintessential Filipino action hero: sensitive, ruggedly hand some, a loner although not necessarily a recluse, sporting a kind mien and blazingly quick with his fists, slow to anger but quick to the draw, a man who leaves in his wake the bad guys upbraided, the good ones upheld, and the altar of justice served.

In short, Fernando Poe Jr. is the people's champion. In the escapist and reality-denying ambience of Philippine cinema, the image Poe has assiduously carved for himself as a lonely but ultimately public man, one who is forced to take on the cause of the people because he has no other choice but to do so, has been one that has suffered relatively negligible wear and tear. The image continues to dazzle, impress and convince because as an actor and an artist, Poe is in full possession of his person and his craft.Read more

THE MANAHAN SISTERS: Living Legends in Movie Makeup

By AMOR OLAGUER AND EILLEEN MENESES

haracters are immortalized in the movies. They come to life, borne by the collective effort of various people working in a film--the director at the helm, the writer who penned the character, the actor portraying the role, and a whole lot more. No less important is the contribution of the makeup artist in creating the film character.

"This is what being a makeup artist is all about -creating different characters,” declared the Manahan sisters Andrea, Victorina, and Juanita. They are tops in the field. With individual careers as makeup artists spanning decades, the sisters jointly received Lifetime Achievement Awards recognizing their excellence in character makeup from the Production Designers7 Guild of the Philippines in 1994 and the Directors7 Guild of the Philippines in 1996.

The distinguished artisans of makeup are still at it. They remain very much active in today's movie set, whether practicing individually or as a group.Read more

MULA KOMEDI HANGGANG DRAMA: ANG PAMAMAYAGPAG NI NIDA

Ni ROLANDO B. TOLENTINO

ilala na siya bilang tomboy na siga, suwabeng partner sa sayaw, pilyang komedyante at marubdob na ina sa drama. Halos limang dekada na niyang pinagbubuti ang kanyang propesyon. Labing-siyam na award sa pelikula ang kanyang natamo, at anim para sa telebisyon. Isang daan at animnapu't tatlo nang pelikula ang kanyang nagawa. Patuloy pa rin ang pinagniningning ni Nida Blanca sa kanyang pagtatanghal bilang isa sa, kung Hindi man ang, pangunahing senior na aktres sa bansa, na siyang matingkad na sumisilay sa komunidad ng pelikula at ng manonood ng ilang henerasyon.

Naalala natin si Nida sa mga eksena ng romantikong komedi na kasamang nagsasayaw si Nestor de Villa. O ang makabagbag-damdaming pagsasara ng bintana bilang ina ng karakter ni Dina Bonnevie habang binigkas ang titulo ng pelikula sa Magdusa Ka (1986), at ang pagkumpronta sa anak na naglihim sa kanyang kaalaman hinggil sa ama't ang babae nito sa Sana Pag-ibigNa (1998). Ang kanyang akting sa unang pagtatagpo ng lumaking anak sa Miguelito, Ang Batang Rebelde (1985) ay isa sa ginintuang sandali sa pelikulang Filipino.Read more

MONA LISA: An Actress' Pain and Triumph

By AGUSTIN SOTTO

A COLLEAGUE once told Mona Lisa that an actor must go through hardships in order to emote properly. Mona Lisa must have smiled at that remark; for since childhood she has known only pain. Her life bears the scars of a traumatic upbringing, a stressful episode of near-starvation as a child laborer, and a turbulent career as an exploited screen actress. A less hardy individual would not have survived the crushing blows inflicted on her.

Born Gloria Yatco on June 22,1922, Mona Lisa was exposed early to the reversals of fortune. Her father was a scion of a wealthy family, with relations to Jose Rizal, whose patriarch, however, spent the family fortune in shuttling between Manila and Paris and in courting Parisian women. Reduced to penury, her father, Manuel Yatco was forced to do menial tasks; he was mortally embarrassed to be seen by acquaintances doing janitorial work. Compounding his situation was a marriage considered beneath his station - - to a movie ticket seller, Melecia Lerma.Read more

DOLPHY: Henyo at Hari ng Komedyang Filipino

Ni MARIO A. HERNANDO

PINARARANGALAN ng Manunuri ng Pelikulang Filipino ang hinahangaan at kinagigiliwang superstar ng pelikulang Filipino sa mahigit na tatlong dekada, ang tinitingalang King of Comedy na walang kapantay, walang kupas - - si Dolphy. Bihira sa mga artista ang tumatagal nang mahigit sa apat na dekada; ganyan katagal na sa showbusiness si Dolphy.

Si Dolphy ay hindi lamang isang idolo; siya ay isa ring artist na sa mga nilikhang karakter ay mababanaag ang bugso ng iba't ibang emosyon, ang malawak na pananaw, ang kaluluwa ng Filipino. Kadalasang papel niya'y pangkaraniwang mamamayan - - maralita at api-apihan pero parating masaya, may pangarap, at di nagpapatalo sa bawat paghamon ng buhay; sa bandang huli'y nalalampasan ang sunud-sunod na krisis. Mala-henyo niyang tinatalakay ang bawat pagsubok ng tadhana, at sa nakatatawang paraan at paggamit ng perfect timing, pinapakita ang bawat damdamin ng isang nilalang: saya, lungkot, sigla, panlulumo, kapilyuhan, takot, tapang, kabiguan, tagumpay. Damang-dama ng mga manonood ang pakikipagsapalaran ng bawat karakter ni Dolphy; kitang-kita nila ang mga sarili sa pagkatao nito.Read more

FELIPE SACDALAN: Unflagging Proponent of the Invisible Camera

By AGUSTIN SOTTO

"The camera should be invisible!" : this is a dictum Felipe Sacdalan,swears by. "If the cinematography gets noticed, if the audience leaves the moviehouse swooning over the shots -or if they said bad things about it -- then the cinematographer has not done his job."

For thirty four years, from 1946 to 1979, "Ka Ipe", his nickname in the industry, has been pushing the storytelling function of the camera. Because he doesn't believe in flashy, attention-calling cinematography, Ka Ipe works on images that contribute to the overall film design. Compared to those of other cameramen, his work is subtle, never intrusive, and hence, even more powerful because it is wholly integrated with the story.

A corollary dictum is his insistence on reading the script. “The cinematographer must know what is going on in order to make decisions on the shots. He must read the script beforehand." It is only after Ka Ipe has familiarized himself with the material that he starts working on the angles and selecting the filters and lenses that would effectively bring out the heart and soul of the film.Read more

Natatanging Gawad kay PANCHO MAGALONA

Mahusay na aktor si Pancho Magalona, na lumabas sa maraming klasiko at makabuluhang pelikula. Banayad at natural ang kaniyang estilo sa pagganap. Pinapurihan sa mga seryosong pelikula at kinagiliwan sa mga romansa't musical comedy kung saan siya nagpakita ng husay sa pagkanta't pagsayaw. Lumabas din siya sa telebisyon at sa maraming taon ay isang noontime TV host.

Una sa marami at malaman niyang pelikula ang Primo Donna (1947), sa pag-udyok ng dating Unang Ginang na si Aurora Aragon Quezon. Naging bida noong taong iyon sa Tatlong Bulaklak. Nagsimulang lumabas sa Sampaguita Pictures noong 1948 sa Bulaklak na Walang Pangalan at Dahil Sa lyo, kung saan kasama ang mapapangasawang si Tita Duran, dating child star. Lumabas din sa Sa Piling Mo (ni Eddie Romero) noong 1949.Read more

EDDIE ROMERO: A filmmaker of substance

By AGUSTIN SOTTO

Eddie Romero is that rare individual in Philippine Cinema: a man of erudition and consummate artistry working in conditions inhospitable to the tasks of general excellence. While the industrial mode of Philippine Cinema may be typified as crass commercialism and unmitigated sensationalism, Eddie Romero is counted among the very few artists who have managed to overcome the centrifugal mediocrity of popular concerns and produce works of great impact and astonishing originality. As one of Philippine Cinema's leading scriptwriters and directors, he has a few peers. He is also an indefatigable industry and cultural leader as well as a pioneer in the field of international co-productions. Read more

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