'Pelikula at Lipunan' at SM Cinema

Manila Bulletin, February 27, 2004 | Go to article overview

'Pelikula at Lipunan' at SM Cinema


From the pigeonhole:

This years Pelikula at Lipunan unreeled recently at the SM Megamall Cinema, bringing together prominent members of the international and local film communities, as well as government officials.American film maker Robert H. Lieberman and Dr. Patrick Loughe, whos the Director of the Library of Congress Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division graced the festivals opening ceremonies. Other guests of honor included Mandaluyong City Vice Mayor Jesse Cruz, National Artist for Film Eddie Romero, the Philippine Information Agencys Belinda Capule, and the National Commission for Culture and Arts Chairperson Evelyn Pantig and Executive Director Fina Yonzon. They were joined by Festival Director Nick de Ocampo and the SM Leisure Groups First VP Ric Camaligan.Since it was launched 10 years ago, Pelikula at Lipunan has become one of the countrys leading art festivals, showcasing the role of cinema in nation building. Its five-day run at the SM Megamall Cinema featured Philippine classics saluting 85 years of local cinema, as well as critically acclaimed foreign films.The rediscovered Philippine classic films provided film enthusiasts with historical clues to the Philippines early history as a nation struggling to be free. The festival opened with Zamboanga, a long lost 1937 film starring Fernando Poe, Sr. and Rosa del Rosario. The film, which highlights a sea faring tribe and its conquest, is a first of sorts in Philippine cinema. It was the countrys first film created under the studio system of Americans and Filipinos; as well as the first international picture that earned enthusiastic raves from Hollywood greats like Frank Capra, Eric von Stroheim, and film mags like Hollywood Spectator and Hollywood Reporter.Inspired by the opening film, the festivals launch took on a Southern Philippine theme with Mindanao art installations inside the cinema, and a Tausog tribal dance performance by the Ramon Obusan Folklore Group.Filipino restored classics like Manuel Condes Vietnam war epic Krus na Kawayan and Eddie Romeros Banta ng Kahapon; as well as contemporary films like Jon Reds Astignation and fast rising wunderkid Dennis Empalmados Pinoy Rock and Rhythm were also featured.Film enthusiasts also had the opportunity to be among the first to view premieres of critically acclaimed foreign films including Tim Burtons Big Fish and Anthony Minghellas Cold Mountain.Maverick film maker and Fulbright scholar Robert H. Lieberman flew in from New York, to bring a lot of movie talk with his indie blockbuster Green Lights and his acclaimed documentary Ethiopia Faces a Famine.Edades, a documentary feature about Victorio C. Edades, the father of Philippine Modernism capped the festival. This is the first in a series of artists biographies produced by the National Commission on Culture and the Arts and directed by Nick de Ocampo.Pelikula at Lipunan also reached out to regional cinemas after its SM Megamall run with unreeling at SM City Iloilo and SM City Baguio.

* * *

Barrios and Signey in Ifugao epic musical

All roads seem to lead nowadays to the CCP Little Theater, where the stylized Ifugao epic musical Hudhud, is being staged until March 7. This awesome collaboration of the biggest names in Philippine Theater has resulted in unheralded advances in experimentation.With the combination of Agnes Locsin in choreography, Chino Toledo for music, Eric Kidlat Tahimik de Guia for set design, Ramon Obusan for costumes, Monino Doque for lights, Nicolas Pichay for script, and CCP VP and Artistic Director Fernando Josef for direction, Hudhud is a contemporary adaptation of Episodes 1 to 4 of the Hudhud oral literature of the Ifugaos.Those who have made the final casting to the musical are considered exceedingly lucky, as the Hudhud was recently declared by UNESCO as one of the 19 world masterpieces of oral and intangible heritage of humanity.Among those blessed are veteran ethnicpop singersongwriter and theater actress Bayang Barrios, and theater neophyte English teacher Richard Signey. …

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