Friday, May 04, 2012

MESMERIZED






I once mentioned to Ate Guy, I would kill for a chance to see her at work on a film shoot. She quickly responded by saying, 'Pag nandoon kayo sa set, hindi ako makakaarte... This statement couldn't be more true. When we accompanied her to a rehearsal, she politely asked us to leave. She wants us to be surprised at the concert, which she did! I was in awe of her after watching the 18-minute documentary on the making of the final stampede scene in Himala. I saw a true artist at work. I've met industry people who had the opportunity of working with the Superstar and they all agree on one thing, Napakagaling niya! On the several occasions I've spent with her, I would ask Ate Guy about her films, the directors and actors she worked with. I remember one conversation and out of nowhere, she blurted out, Kahit kailan hindi ako nasigawan ni Bernie, referring to the great Ishmael Bernal. Then she continued, Si Mare, nasigawan na niya... and in turn I said, Nabasa ko nga po 'yon nu'ng shooting ng Broken Marriage at ikinulong pa sa banyo. Talaga?, she asked and I nodded. Ate Guy may have worked with Bernal in only three movies, Ikaw Ay Akin (1978), Bakit May Pag-Ibig Pa (1979) and Himala (1982) four if you count her cameo appearance in Tisoy! (1977) which she also produced. He was also one of the three alternating directors of her weekly drama anthology Ang Makulay Na Daigdig Ni Nora. Bernal's biggest frustration was when Hustisya (1983), his reunion film with Ate Guy after Himala was shelved.

During her stay here in the US, many projects were planned and offered to the Superstar. Unfortunately, none of them pushed through for different reasons. I always dreamed of having Ate Guy work with three of the best Filipino independent filmmakers. First was Lav Diaz, who wanted her to star in Reclusion Perpetua. Then I went to Manila in 2010 and met Auraues Solito who thought she would be perfect for the role of Punay in Busong. I e-mailed a copy of the screenplay to Ate Guy hoping that she would consider playing the part which eventually went to Alessandra de Rosi. I was ecstatic when she started filming Thy Womb last month with 2009 Cannes Film Festival Best Director Brillante Mendoza. When I first saw her performances in Minsa'y Isang Gamu-Gamo (1976), Atsay (1978), Ina Ka Ng Anak Mo (1979) and Himala, I was mesmerized by her genius. Thirty years later, I'm looking forward to that same experience once again

18 comments:

James DR said...

No doubt, Nora will win again an international award for this movie, THY WOMB, with Cannes best director at the helm!

Jojo Devera said...

We're keeping our fingers crossed James...

MICHAEL U. OBENIETA said...

Ganda! I like the anecdotes very much, brod Jo. It reveals the thespic facet of Ms. Nora that we rarely see, especially the humble way she asserts the privacy she needs in preparation for a shoot. It shows an artist steeped in the discipline of her craft. It's also heartwarming to be privy to her admission about the great Ishmael Bernal's fondness for her.

Lastly, her collaboration with Mendoza will fulfill one of our Noranian fantasies---a Best Actress trophy in any of the top-tier international film festival like Venice. Keeping our fingers crossed, indeed!

Jojo Devera said...

Maraming salamat Brod Myke!

In one of the many times I've spent with Ate Guy, marami siyang naikuwento about her films. About Bernal, basta out of the blue bigla na lang sinabi na kahit kailan hindi siya nasigawan. I've experienced Bernal's temper when I was one of the researchers sa Isip Pinoy episode na siya ang direktor kaya naka-relate ako sa kuwento ni Ate Guy.

I guess ayaw niyang makita o mapanood ang ginagawa niya sa shooting which is still my fondest dream. At least this collaboration with Direk Dante is closest I'll ever be sa matagal ko nang pinapangarap. Ang maktrabaho niya ang isa sa pinakamahusay na independent filmmakers.

Michael said...

Hi Jojo! I'm a big fan of your blog, thank you, thank you for the great posts about Ate Guy!! Like all Noranians, I'm excited about the chances of "Thy Womb" doing well in Venice and in future festivals. I'm praying that Ate Guy wins many international acting awards as well! Have you seen the restored version of "Himala", the one that will premiere at the Venice Classics portion of the festival? Will it be available on DVD or Blu-Ray soon? It's great that "Himala" was restored; we owe this not only to future generations but also to the artistic heritage of world cinema - it is, after all, the Best Asia-Pacific Film of All Time. I was disappointed by the DVD of "Himala" that I got in Manila four years ago. It was poorly transferred. The images looked faded, the sound was on old analog technology, and if I'm seeing things right, the picture, even on a wide-screen TV, did not come close to the film's original theatrical aspect ratio. I also thought that the English sub-titles, especially in the film's awesome climax, needed to be re-worked. The Japanese subtitles on the right side of the screen added clutter to the images. I hope that the newly restored version, in DVD or Blu-Ray format, will allow the viewer the option to choose a sub-title or turn it off. Salamat Jojo and mabuhay!

Michael said...

Hi Jojo, I just saw an article in the Philippine Inquirer about "Himala"'s restoration. It looks like the technicians at the Central Digital Lab did a great job.

http://entertainment.inquirer.net/52959/restoring-himala

I can't wait to get a copy of the restored version on DVD. This is a fitting tribute to our Superstar whose great film celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.

By the way, there seems to be some misinformation floating around the Internet, attributed to the Funfare column at the Inquirer, that "Sister Stella L" competed at the Venice Film Festival in 1985. I checked the Festival's website which returned "0 items" for Vilma Santos, Mike de Leon, "Sister Stella L" or "Sangandaan". http://www.labiennale.org/en/cinema/

Did the Inquirer's fact-checkers overlook this? It's hard to believe that this happened at the Philippines' newspaper of record. Unless "Sister Stella L" was submitted to Venice in 2005, but was rejected? I believe the great American director Frank Capra was a jury member in Venice in 1985; I would have loved to see his reaction to "Sister Stella L".

Thank you again for your great blog -salamat at mabuhay!

Michael said...

Oops Jojo, my mistake - I believe that Funfare is published by the Philippine Star. Sorry...

Jojo Devera said...

Hi Michael!

Sorry for the late reply... Now is the great time to be a Noranian. Ate Guy's winning the Bisato d' Oro is just the start and I know that like me and all the other Noranians around the world are praying that she wins the Volpi Cup at Venice. I've dreamt about her winning the award many years ago and it's getting close to becoming a reality.

Like you, I also researched the Sister Stella L. screening at Venice which shows no traces of being shown at the festival. I believe it was considered but never actually made it. Even Mike de Leon was vocal in saying that the film has lost its impact and is now dated. I think the other camp is trying very hard to make sure that Ate Guy fails. One thing's for sure, whenever she's at her lowest, Ate Guy bounces back and this time with an award confirming her greatness...

wayne moises said...

I am the big fan of Filipino movies television and media my favorite is Fernando Poe Jr my idol died since 12-14-2004 nearly 10 years ago became a hero of all Filipino movies and media. Thanks!
From:Wayne

wayne moises said...

I missed the Filipino films is my favorite when I was six years old at the time in the Philippines during childhood years and its my hobby.Thanks!From:Wayne

wayne moises said...

Unforgettable classics of Nora Aunor like Impossible Dream Lollipops & Roses Bona Himala and other films made by Ate Guy/Nora Aunor as collectors item. Thanks! From:Wayne

wayne moises said...

All the classics from Sampaguita Pictures my favorite is Susan Roces Filipina movie actress wife of the late Fernando Poe Jr tenth anniversary is on 12-14-2014 celebration of the King of Philippine movies he is the main protagonist of Filipino films and media in Philippine history. Thanks! From:Wayne

wayne moises said...

I watch Sine Klasika aired on GMA News Channel in the Philippines and GMA Life TV in the US at 10:30 p.-12:30 a. my favorite classic Filipino films hosted by veteran television host German Moreno became popular nighttime hit ftom the Philippines. Thanks! From:Wayne

wayne moises said...

I want to request the classic Filipino films from the 1970's like Nardong Burak Agents Wen Manong Pogi Dozen Nora in Wonderland Impossible Dream Munting Santa Mr Wong and other favorites for Youtube Dailymotion and the website son as possible and big fan of Filipino movies. Thanks:From:Wayne

wayne moises said...

All the Filipino classic films like action/adventure western comedy drama scifi/fantasy historical epic teen comedy military/war and family/kids all favorites from the past as collectors item for a long time. Thanks! From:Wayne

wayne moises said...

I want to request the old unforgettable film classics like My Prayer Super Gee Munting Santa Guy & Pip & other films from the 1970's as soon as possible on Youtube Dailymotion & Cinema One Global soon.Thanks!
From:Wayne waynemoises@gmail.com

wayne moises said...

I am the big fan of Filipino films & television in popular culture in entertainment history. Thanks!
From:Wayne waynemoises@gmail.com

wayne moises said...

I watch Lollipops & Roses my favorite love story about star crossed lovers starring Nora Aunor Victor Laurel Patricia Mijares Don Johnson & Davy Jones released in 1971 filmed in Los Angeles CA USA directed by Cirio H Santiago.Thanks! From:Wayne