By Blas Bernaldez
To start, dig this, “Nagalit ang Buwan sa Haba ng Gabi.” Here’s another, “Sinong Pipigil sa Pagpatak ng Ulan?”
These are no fake titles, they are real Tagalog movies circa 1970s to 1980s which incidentally starred the late Eddie Garcia and even our very own Laurice Guillen, a Butuan acclaimed stage and movie actress and now a noted director and film festival chair.
But this should not be surprising as Pinoys are known to be imaginative starting even with story titles that somehow reflect the borderless minds of Filipino filmmakers.
Pinoy movie dramas stand stool and oh so painfully long but hard not to be noticed and yes, lure moviegoers. I remember I saw the first Gloria Diaz starrer, “Ang Pinakamagandang Hayop sa Balat ng Lupa,” followed by, hold your breath, “Diligin Mo ng Hamog ang Uhaw na Lupa,” both written and directed by controversial directors.
But nothing can beat the award-winning ones, and today considered classics, “Tinimbang ka Ngunit Kulang,” made by the late National Artist for Film, Lino Brocka and reportedly the first Pinoy film that rich people in Manila trooped to see it and shock them. Guillen was among the cast members with a scandalizing scene.
It was named best picture of all time. It also paved the way for Brocka to Cannes Film Festival in France. Some critics said this was the very first ever “poverty porn” movie artists churned and disturbed viewers blind to reality and addicted to escapist entertainment.
But one movie again with imagination is “Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon,” that made huge waves with its critical historical sensibility. It was actor Christopher de Leon introductory role as the naive 19th-century probinsyano who flirted with a senorita, played by Gloria Diaz.
The movie stood out for its believable production design proving Pinoy production and set designers are world-class.
Nowadays, we hardly encounter movies of this mold, uniquely long and sometimes annoying for its ridiculousness but full of colors, like a never ignored afternoon rainbow. We miss them, titles and all.
Artwork courtesy of 123rfcom