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

Natatanging Gawad Urian

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LEOPOLDO SALCEDO: Sixty carats of a marvelous career

By AUGUSTIN SOTTO

Octogenarian Leopoldo Salcedo now celebrates his sixtieth year in local movies with a colorful career that only a very few could rival and with laudable achievements that leave an indelible impression on much of local cinema history.

Dubbed “the great profile” by Joe Quirino (in imitation of John Barrymore’s monicker), “Pol” Salcedo was the first of the kayumanggi superstars, the antithesis of the local audiences’ mad deification of the meztizo, the anti-colonial against the smothering hold of the West. But more than just good looks, he was also radical with his characterizations, preferring to portray the politicized and the social outcast, the underdog and enraged sheep while his meztizo confreres chose the dusted tuxedos and the rank perfumes of the music halls.Read more

Natatanging Gawad Urian kay Levi Celerio

LEVI Celerio is a class all by himself. He has written well over 4,000 song lyrics in Tagalog, some of them adapted or translated from foreign songs, folk tunes or other vernacular songs, but most of them original works. For something like five decades now, many of these songs have been used in dozens and dozens of Filipino movies, enhancing the popularity of these movies, making the songs an integral part of the films and also adding life ana poetry to them as a whole. A few of these lyrics he has set to melodies which he himself composed. Sometimes, the tunes and the lyrics have become more memorable than the movies that have used them. Read more

MARY WALTER AND THE EARLY CINEMA

By AGUSTIN SOTTO

It was in 1926 that Philippine cinema was revived after a long hiatus since Jose Nepomuceno's last production Hoy o Nunca Besame in 1920. For five years there were no Filipino-produced films. It took Vicente Salumbides, newly arrived from the United States, to put feature filmmaking back on its feet. With the help of Nepomuceno, he directed Miracles of Love which has been described as employing cinematic techniques like closeups and dynamic editing in contrast to the rather static nature of Nepomuceno's early productions. Despite its being shown in a second-run movie theater, Miracles of Love was a miracle of a picture. It was a big box-office hit that opened the eyes of the public — and prospective producers — to the magic and power of the Filipino film. It provided the impetus towards the development of the local film industry. Read more

SUSANA C. DE GUZMAN, Recipient of 1991 Natatanging Gawad Urian

By AGUSTIN SOTTO

In Philippine cinema's long history, only a handful of directors are women. Starting with Brigida Perez Villanueva, the first woman director who also earned the distinction of directing the last silent film ("Pendulum of Fate"), women directors have not numbered more than seven. Read more

RICHARD ABELARDO: Eksperto sa Visual Effects

Ang mga nag-iibang kulay ng pinintang ibon at mga prinsipeng nagiging bato sa Ibong Adarna, ang tulayan sa pagkalalim-lalim na butas sa Prinsesa Urduja, ang kastilyo sa hangin sa Prinsesa Basahan, ang pagpapalit-anyo ni Jaime de la Rosa sa Taong Paniki, ang pagbuka ng dagat sa Tung-kod ni Moises, at ang rumaragasang halimaw sa Tuko sa Madre Kakaw. Ilan ito sa mga pamana sa ala-ala na nilikha ni Richard Abelardo. Read more

Natatanging Gawad Urian kay ROSA ROSAL

Si Rosa Rosal ay mas kilala nagyon bilang isang social worker kaysa isang aktres, na and personal na pagtulong sa mga proyekto ng Philippine National Red Cross at iba pang charitable organizations ay sumasalamin sa kanyang kampanyang masagip ang buhay ng sinumang Pilipinong nangangangailangan ng kalinga.

Ang mga gawaing ito ay bahagi ng kanyang propesyon bilang isang bituin, at tila ba nagiging isang daluyang-ugat na lalo pang nagpapaigting sa kanyang likas na pagkasensitibo sa mga damdamin ng tao, sa sariling determinasyon at debosyon na naghatid sa kanya sa dambana bilang isa sa mga pinakamahusay na aktres ng Pelikulang Pilipino sa loob ng 35 taon.

“Dahil artista ka at maraming tagahanga na tumulong sa iyo,” ang kanyang paliwanag, “dapat lang na may maitulong ka sa kanila.”
Naniniwala rin siya ngayon na kailangan niyang maging laong mapili sa pagtanggap ng mga alok sa pelikula at telebisyon. “Gusto ko ‘yung mga roles na may kapupulutan,” ani Bb. Rosal.Read more

Natatanging Gawad Urian kay TITO AREVALO

The haunting aria of Sisa in Noli Me Tangere, the plaintive song of Dyesebel, the playful children's chorus of Sawa sa Lumang Simboryo, the romantic "Irog, Ako ang Mahalin" from Pedro Penduko, the effusive "Ikaw ang Mahal Ko” from Paltik, the dramatic musical score of El Filibustismo: these are some of the most memorable music ever written for Filipino movies.

The composer is Tito Arevalo, scion of the famous Ilagan clan sarswelistas. Born Eustacio Ylagan in Manila on March 29, 1911, Arevalo (his mother's maiden name) was introduced early to composing by his father, Hermogenes Ilagan, who is known as the father of the sarzuela. He would hear his father hum the melodies he was composing in his study. Early in his youth, he appeared as part of the chorus in his father's sarzuela, most notably Dalagang Bukid. Along with his brother, Gerardo de Leon, he played the piano as accompaniment to silent movies. This later proved helpful to his career as he was continuously improvising melodies for the action on the big screen.Read more

Natatanging Gawad Urian kay WILLIAM SMITH

Ni AGUSTIN SOTTO

In the shaky transition from silent to sound films, not a few actresses owed the continuation of their career to William Smith, the first Filipino sound recording engineer. Among those hastily rejected by studio bosses were Mary Walter and Rosa del Rosario whose voices had to be recorded with filters ingeniously devised by William Smith. Read more

Natatanging Gawad Urian kay MIKE ACCION

Ni JUSTING DORMIENDO

Lubhang mahalaga ang papel ng isang sinematograper sa pagbuo ng pelikula. Dahil ang pelikula ay isang uri ng sining biswal, nakasalalay sa sinematograper ang pagla-larawan sa nilalaman nito. Sa pamamagitan ng pag-iilaw, komposisyon, galaw, at iba pang kaugnay na teknik ng kamera, malaki ang ambag ng sinematograper sa pagbibigay-buhay sa istorya at pagpaparating ng mensahe nito sa mga manonood. Maihahanay si Mike Accion sa mga pinakamahuhusay nating sinematograper. Nakatulong siya nang malaki sa pagsulong at pag-unlad ng sining ng pelikula sa ating bansa sa loob ng mahigit na apatnapung taong kanyang paglilingkod bilang malikhaing cameraman. Read more

Natatanging Gawad Urian kay LUIS NOLASCO

Isinilang si Luis F. Nolasco sa pagpihit ng siglo, at sa mga unang yugto ng kasaysayan ng pelikulang Filipino, mahalaga ang papel na kanyang ginampanan sa paglalatag ng landasing tatahakin ng industriya. Sa paglipat mula sa silent pictures tungo sa sound movies sa panahon ng matuling pagsusulputan ng mga istudyo noong dekada ng 1930, natanyag bilang pinuno ng industriya si Nolasco. Apat na pangunahing istudyo ang tinulungan niya upang mapaunlad. Bunga ng kanyang pagsisikap ang pagsapit ng produksiyon ng mga pelikula sa antas ng pagiging industriya. Siya ang nagpatatag sa studio system na lubhang kailangan para sa maramihang paglikha ng mga pelikula.

Wala pang tunog ang mga pelikula nang simulan ni Nolasco ang kanyang karera sa pelikula. Sa ilalim ng Malayan Pictures ni Jose Nepomuceno, na madalas bansagang "Ama ng Pelikulang Pilipino," naglingkod si Nolasco bilang publicity director at dialogue writer. Sa paggabay pa rin ni Nepomuceno, nagsulat si Nolasco para sa Parlatone Hispano-Filipino ng mga iskrip noong 1935.Read more

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