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Friday, September 19, 2008

Landmark Movies Of My Generation

In Philippine cinema, these these are regarded as two of the best films of 1980s.

"Oro Plata Mata" (translated as Gold, Silver, Death) is landmark motion picture of epic proportions. Masterfully directed and outstanding performances from its cast - this made the career of then unknown Peque Gallaga and gave him the reputation of being a master of big-budgeted movies, and also the title "Steven Spielberg of the Philippines". It also introduced the talented actor, Joel Torre. It won numerous local awards but never went international, except for the 1st (and only) Manila International Film Festival, a project of then First Lady, Imelda Marcos. Apparently, despite is "Hollywood look", it was overshadowed by "Himala".

"Himala" (Miracle) is another epic movie crafted by Ishmael Bernal and featuring the legendary performance from Miss Nora Aunor as Elsa a barrio lass who has claimed to have seen the Blessed Virgin. This was the opening movie during the 1st Manila International Film Festival in 1982 and has since won local and international awards.

Both movies are masterpieces and were both produced by the Experimental Cinema of the Philippines. Since the ECP was disbanded and its assets sequestered by the Philippine government, it appears that these two movies would be lost forever. But apparently, Miss Charo Santos Concio co-produced these movies and now has sole claim of their copyrights. There must have been a significant demand from film collectors that ABS-CBN decided to re-release these movies again on DVD. But then maybe not.

I got these copies at a bargain price of 350 pesos in SM Makati while on a recent business trip there. Before scanning the bar code, the cashier and checker looked at the labels and names on the DVD with curiosity as if wondering why anybody would be interested in such old movies. They were young and looked fresh out of college, of course, I did not expected them to understand.



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