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

1990

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Kasalanan Bang Sambahin Ka

The film career of the young filmmaker Chito Rono has been blessed with works that have enjoyed very positive reception, from his debut "Private Show" a few years ago to "Itanong Mo Sa Buwan," his most honored, and last year's "Bakit Kay Tagal Ng Sandali." One way or the other, the films have won local awards or been sent to foreign film festivals ("Itanong" in Calcutta, India last year, and "Bakit Kay Tagal" in Singapore early April of this year).

"Kasalanan" has won the nod of the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino for its effective and intelligent portrayal of a mad woman obsessed with a man with whom she has a one-night stand. The situation easily recalls the much-acclaimed and highly-profitable Hollywood thriller, Adrian Lyne's "Fatal Attraction," but Manunuri elder Bienvenido Lumbera has said in the group's deliberations that Rofio's thriller makes more sense, is more cohesive, and probes more satisfyingly into the psyche of the leading female character, than the foreign movie.Read more

Kapag Langit Ang Humatol

At first glance, the story may look inane and stale. No question about women moviegoers and fans who eagerly lap up most soap operas indiscriminately. But the movie hasn't been very popular with a lot of film buffs, intellectuals and the movie press. The most criticized part of the movie is when the oppressed heroine, a housemaid (Vilma Santos), is locked up and chained in a barn when the mean, witch-like mistress of the hacienda (Gloria Romero at her wicked best) hears about her pregnancy, with no other than the dona's son (Richard Gomez) as the father-to-be.

Absurd! Incredible! Too lowbrow! These were the common complaints hurled against the movie, as though recent real-life incidents reported in the front pages about supposedly civilized masters in southern Philippines torturing their servants never happened.

That the script is filled with knots and tangles, compounded by intense, passionate and exag¬gerated situations, would seem to lend credence to the criticisms.Read more

Gumapang Ka Sa Lusak

Dina Bonnevie plays a former movie actress who is kidnapped, raped and later installed as mistress of a powerful mayor (Eddie Garcia). As the election season nears, Dina becomes a political liability to the mayor, so, egged on by his wily, domineering wife Charo Santos, he tries to get rid of her.

Meanwhile, Dina seeks the release of her former boyfriend, Christopher de Leon, who is serving a term at the National Penitentiary. While the mayor agrees to get him out, he orders his henchmen to plot the assassination of a left-lean¬ing political opponent - with Christopher as gunman. It is a practice believed to be common in our penal system and corrupt political order.

Having accomplished his mission, Christopher becomes the mayor's next target - along with Dina. Thanks to Dina's new-found friends - William Lorenzo, Allan Paule, Francis Magalona and Timothy Diwa - she is able to reverse Charo's and Eddie's plan.

For a supposedly "commercial" film feature, "Gumapang Ka Sa Lusak" takes up pervasive social problems in the Philippines - power play and the evil of politics and politicians.Read more

My Other Woman

Free-spirited and fiercely independent single girl Alice Dixson has a chance en¬counter with Christopher de Leon, a happily-married man. They plunge into an in¬tense albeit discreet love affair, aware of the problems involved. On two occasions, they even plan to run away to the United States, but some¬how never succeed. In the end, they go their separate ways, with the guy giving his wife and kid a tight hug.

Simply put, it is the story of two people whose love for each other is all-consuming.

The story material may be seemingly common and simple, not too different from the studio's run-of-the-mill teleplays. On the surface, it looks flat and plain. But the beauty of the movie is the way it is directed, the way the story is told, with rich, tiny details about relationships, both licit and illicit.Read more

Andrea, Paano Ba Ang Maging Isang Ina

Superstar Nora Aunor is off to a fresh start after her triumph - and her film's - at the 1990 Metro Manila Film Festival. It is a powerful film mainly because of the performan¬ces of the cast and the basic conflict found in the movie.

As Andrea, Aunor is a teacher who has chosen the difficult and perilous but crusading path of armed social rebel whose husband is a comrade in the underground. When it is time for her to give birth, she seeks refuge in the house of her best friend, Gina Alajar, who is married to a guy, Lloyd Samartino, who has absolutely no sym¬pathy for the cause which his wife's friend is fighting for.

Childless, Lloyd and Gina get emotionally at-tached to the baby, especially after the mother temporarily leaves the infant to look into the cir-cumstances of her guerilla husband's death in the hands of the military. Unfortunately, before she could return to her baby, Nora is arrested and detained in a safehouse by military men who tor-ture her mercilessly.Read more

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