Modern Classics: 1990

Andrea, Paano Ba ang Maging Isang Ina?

Director: Gil Portes

Writer: Ricardo Lee

Cast: Nora Aunor, Gina Alajar, Lloyd Samartino, Dan Alvaro

Aunor delivers one of the fiercest performances of her career as an NPA rebel who goes pregnant and temporarily leaves her baby with her best friend (Gina Alajar, also bringing her A-game) as she goes back underground to seek the whereabouts of her husband, only to be detained and presumed by Alajar and husband (Lloyd Samartino) to be dead.

The early ’90s was the height of Pinoy melodrama and director Portes and writer Lee were two of the masters of the genre. Sure enough, this film is filled with melodramatic scenes. What keeps the material engaging even after repeated viewings is the central, universal theme of fighting for justice: for wrongs done to society and wrongs done to your own life. Depending on your sensibilities, you will find the climax either laughably over-the-top or painfully gut-wrenching. Either way, it’s  certainly one of the most unforgettable in Philippine cinema.

*Poster courtesy of Video 48

Scene from the film: 

* * *

Gumapang Ka sa Lusak

Director: Lino Brocka

Writer: Ricardo Lee

Cast: Dina Bonnevie, Christopher de Leon, Eddie Garcia, Charo Santos-Concio, Bembol Roco

Speaking of masters of melodrama, nobody was equal (at least in this part of the world) to Lino Brocka, and the film’s title alone (literally, “grovel in the muck”) evokes images of intense hatred. Yet the irresistible story (involving characters mired in a web of sex, violence, and Marcosian politics [redundant!]) arguably calls for none other than a melodramatic treatment for a fully satisfying viewing experience. Santos-Concio’s delicious performance as an Imeldific character is one for the books and works in fine juxtaposition to de Leon’s quiet, textured portrayal as Bonnevie’s boyfriend.

*Photo courtesy of uploadedbydencio.blogspot

Teaser: gumapang-ka-sa-lusak-teaser-113637738


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