20 – KARNAL (Marilou Diaz-Abaya, 1984)

karnalDiaz-Abaya brought to vivid life Ricky Lee’s version of a Greek tragedy, with incest, parricide, suicide, and infanticide all wrapped in one heady brew of a movie.

Voted by:

  • Joey Agbayani (Director; Lola, Kidlat)
  • Joey Baquiran (Member, Young Critics Circle Film Desk)
  • John Bedia (Writer; Amok, Boundary): “Theatrical and showy. Dark and twisted. A different take on family intrigue and small town set hiding a dark secret story. Charito Solis’ performance is for the books.”
  • Sari Dalena (Director; Ka Oryang, The Guerrilla Is a Poet)
  • Bienvenido Lumbera (National Artist for Literature)
  • Senedy Que (Writer; Mga Munting Tinig, Homecoming)
  • Shaira Mella Salvador-MacKenzie (Writer; Tanging Yaman, Sana Maulit Muli)
  • Joaquin Enrico Santos (Writer; In the Name of Love, The Strangers)
  • Keith Sicat (Director; Ka Oryang, Woman of the Ruins)
  • G.A. Villafuerte (Director, Lihim ng mga Nympha, Hardinero)

19 – KAKABAKABA KA BA? (Mike de Leon, 1980)

kakabakabakabaDe Leon’s uproarious caper comedy features Japanese drug smugglers, Chinese mafia, and, way before Sister Act, dancing nuns. One of Philippine cinema’s most joyous outputs.

Voted by:

  • Libay Cantor (Professor, UP Film Institute): “Who says Pinoys can’t be philosophically witty and satirical at the same time? All the things we should be right now, nalipasan na at naiwan na lang sa film vault of history natin, like this one. Our old films like this one are actually very modern kung tutuusin. Loved the humor on this one.”
  • Gary Devilles (Professor, Kagawaran ng Filipino, Ateneo de Manila University)
  • Katski Flores (Director; Still LifeDreamboy)
  • Coreen Jimenez (Director, Kano: An American and His Harem): “Just like Salawahan, I love watching this movie over and over.”
  • Dado Lumibao (Director; In da Red CornerMust Be Love)
  • Pam Miras (Director; PascalinaWag Kang Titingin)
  • Bono Olgado (Director, National Film Archives of the Philippines)
  • Mike Sandejas (Director; Tulad ng DatiDinig Sana Kita)
  • Rianne Hill Soriano (Film Reviewer, Business World)
  • Jessica Zafra (Film Reviewer, InterAksyon)

18 – ORAPRONOBIS (Lino Brocka, 1989)

orapronobis2Brocka’s relentless depiction of post-EDSA human rights violations was so incendiary it was banned by the Cory Aquino government and was only shown commercially after it was screened, and lauded, in Cannes.

Voted by:

  • Misha Anissimov (Film Professor, University of San Carlos)
  • Archie del Mundo (Director; TaksikabAng Misis ni Meyor)
  • Gary Devilles (Professor, Kagawaran ng Filipino, Ateneo de Manila University)
  • Zig Dulay (Writer; Posas, Ad Ignorantiam)
  • Eli Guieb (Professor, UP College of Mass Communications)
  • Bienvenido Lumbera (National Artist for Literature)
  • Adrian Mendizabal (Film Writer, Auditoire)
  • Arminda Santiago (Professor, UP Film Institute)
  • Dondon Santos (Director; NoyDalaw)
  • Nicanor Tiongson (Professor Emeritus, UP Film Institute)

17 – ANAK DALITA (Lamberto Avellana, 1956)

anakdalita2Avellana’s most acclaimed work takes a long hard look at post-war urban poverty and its ramifications on the lives of several people taking temporary shelter in the ruins of a cathedral.

Voted by:

  • Ina Avellana Cosio (Senior Lecturer, UP Film Institute)
  • Sari Dalena (Director; Ka Oryang, Himala Ngayon)
  • Mario Hernando (Member, Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino)
  • Jason Jacobo (Member, Young Critics Circle Film Desk)
  • Nonoy Lauzon (Programmer, UP Film Institute)
  • Adrian Mendizabal (Film Writer, Auditoire)
  • Jose Javier Reyes (Director; Makati Ave: Office Girls, Kasal Kasali Kasalo)
  • Simon Santos (Owner, Video 48)
  • Nicanor Tiongson (Professor Emeritus, UP Film Institute)
  • Noel Vera (Film Writer, Critic after Dark): “Lamberto Avellana combines the terrible images of Manila’s ruins (the film was shot a decade after war’s end, but due to lack of funds reconstruction was hardly complete) with a penchant for directing lively colloquial dialogue, and fine unforced performances from Rosa Rosal and Tony Santos; the result is a noirish melodrama set in an unrelentingly bleak postwar reality.”
  • Award-winning young director who wishes to remain anonymous

16 – BURLESK QUEEN (Celso Ad. Castillo, 1977)

burlesk_queenKnown as much for star Vilma Santos’ career-defining performance as a burlesque dancer as Ad. Castillo’s virtuoso handling of the material, Burlesk Queen remains one of the most enthralling in Philippine cinema.

Voted by:

  • Patrick Flores (Founding Member, Young Critics Circle Film Desk)
  • Eli Guieb (Professor, UP College of Mass Communications)
  • Jeffrey Jeturian (Director; Kubrador, Pila Balde)
  • Coreen Jimenez (Director, Kano: An American and His Harem): “That long dance sequence of Chato is movie magic, it’s one of the most mesmerizing scenes ever shot.”
  • Ed Lejano (Director, UP Film Institute)
  • Senedy Que (Writer; Mga Munting Tinig, Homecoming)
  • Joaquin Enrico Santos (Writer; In the Name of Love, The Strangers)
  • Mauro Feria Tumbocon (Founder, Filipino Arts and Cinema)
  • Noel Vera (Film Writer, Critic after Dark): “Celso Ad Castillo’s film about an innocent lass turned burlesque dancer is really less about narrative coherence (why is Joonnee Gamboa’s impresario–a great performance, by the way– in this picture, and what, exactly, is he saying?) and more about visual texture and lyrical imagery. A masterpiece from what fellow filmmaker Mario O’Hara once called ‘the finest eye in Philippine Cinema’.”
  • Jessica Zafra (Film Reviewer, InterAksyon)
  • Jerome Zamora (Writer; Bahay Bata, Haruo)
  • Award-winning scriptwriter/producer who wishes to remain anonymous

15 – NUNAL SA TUBIG (Ishmael Bernal, 1975)

nunalBernal’s ethnographic look at life in an island was ahead of its time: Bernal was concerned less with narrative and more with mood and texture, crafting a film that merits multiple viewings for a richer reading.

Voted by:

  • Adolfo Alix, Jr. (Director; Haruo, Kalayaan)
  • Jojo Devera (Film Writer, Sari-Saring Sineng Pinoy): “A landmark in Philippine filmmaking. Aside from showcasing connotative employment of the filmic language, it is the first Filipino film that comes closest to projecting a statement not about conditions obtained in the Philippine countryside but about a universal issue generally designated as the human condition.”
  • Benjamin Garcia (Director; Batad: Sa Paang Palay, Malan)
  • Christopher Gozum (Director; Anacbanua, Lawas Kan Pinabli)
  • Jerry Gracio (Writer; Mater Dolorosa, Aparisyon)
  • Eli Guieb (Professor, UP College of Mass Communications)
  • Mario Hernando (Member, Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino)
  • Ralston Jover (Director; Bakal Boys, Bendor)
  • Gutierrez Mangansakan II (Director; Limbunan, Qiyamah)
  • Arminda Santiago (Professor, UP Film Institute)
  • Mauro Feria Tumbocon (Founder, Filipino Arts and Cinema)
  • Award-winning young director who wishes to remain anonymous

 

14 – EBOLUSYON NG ISANG PAMILYANG PILIPINO (Lav Diaz, 2004)

ebolusyonDiaz’ sprawling micro-historical epic epitomizes the artistic freedom made possible by the then-emerging digital technology: it’s eleven hours of uncompromising yet tremendously rewarding viewing experience.

Voted by:

  • Adolfo Alix, Jr. (Director; Mater Dolorosa, Kalayaan)
  • Misha Anissimov (Film Professor, University of San Carlos)
  • Jojo Devera (Film Writer, Sari-Saring Sineng Pinoy): “Ebolusyon Ng Pamilyang Pilipino is a powerful movie. It is a movie that makes us abide by the torment and agony that is Philippine history in the last thirty years. It relieves the darkness of Martial Law, the dilemmas of the Aquino transition and the bedlam that constitutes the present. The movie explains much of the horror and confronts it.”
  • Christopher Gozum (Director; Anacbanua, Lawas Kan Pinabli)
  • Coreen Jimenez (Director, Kano: An American and His Harem): “This opened my eyes about watching movies. I didn’t know I was actually going to appreciate watching a 10-hour movie. Lav is crazy!”
  • Jon Lazam (Director; Nang gabing maging singlaki ng puso ang bato ni Darna, Hindi sa Atin ang Buwan)
  • Gutierrez Mangansakan II (Director; Limbunan, Qiyamah)
  • Adrian Mendizabal (Film Writer, Auditoire)
  • Carlitos Siguion-Reyna (Director; Ikaw Pa Lang ang Minahal, Ligaya ang Itawag Mo sa Akin)
  • Rolando Tolentino (Member, Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino)
  • Mauro Feria Tumbocon (Founder, Filipino Arts and Cinema)
  • Award-winning young director who wishes to remain anonymous

13 – BATANG WEST SIDE (Lav Diaz, 2001)

batang west sideThe highest-ranked film from the new millennium, Diaz’ patient examination of the lives of immigrant Filipinos in New Jersey, USA is considered the first modern Filipino classic film.

Voted by:

  • Jade Castro (Director; Endo, Zombadings)
  • Sari Dalena (Director; Ka Oryang, The Guerrilla Is a Poet)
  • Mario Hernando (Member, Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino)
  • Jeffrey Jeturian (Director; Kubrador, Pila Balde)
  • Ed Lejano (Director, UP Film Institute)
  • Ian Loreños (Director; Alagwa, The Leaving)
  • Adrian Mendizabal (Film Writer, Auditoire)
  • Pam Miras (Director; Pascalina, Wag Kang Titingin)
  • Ramon Nocon (Board Member, Society of Filipino Archivists for Film)
  • Bono Olgado (Director, National Fim Archives of the Philippines)
  • Mike Sandejas (Director; Tulad ng Dati, Dinig Sana Kita)
  • Chris Eriz Sta. Maria (Film Blogger, The One-Legged Woman is Queen)
  • Award-winning scriptwriter/producer who wishes to remain anonymous
  • Noel Vera (as runner-up): “As the filmmaker himself put it the first true Lav Diaz film, and to my mind finest: witty dialogue and moody cinematography and a grave manner of musing over life’s imponderables that recalls Terence Malick (only Malick never invested as much time–near five hours–over said imponderables). Along with Bagong Bayani the definitive portrait of the Filipino Diaspora, with a hauntingly ambiguous conclusion.”

12 – ITIM (Mike de Leon, 1976)

itim2De Leon’s debut film marked him as an intelligent filmmaker with an excellent grasp of cinematic language. Itim exposes both the appealing and creepy dimensions of organized religion.

Voted by:

  • Sari Dalena (Director; Ka Oryang, The Guerrilla Is a Poet)
  • Ray Defante Gibraltar (Director; Wanted: Border, When Timawa Meets Delgado)
  • Katski Flores (Director; Still Life, Dreamboy)
  • Patrick Flores (Founding Member, Young Critics Circle Film Desk)
  • Benjamin Garcia (Director; Batad: Sa Paang Palay, Philippino Story)
  • Jag Garcia (Film Professor, De la Salle-College of Saint Benilde)
  • Nonoy Lauzon (Programmer, UP Film Institute)
  • Jet Leyco (Director; Ex Press, Patlang)
  • Pam Miras (Director; Pascalina, Wag Kang Titingin)
  • Cenon Palomares (Lecturer, UP Film Institute)
  • Mike Sandejas (Director; Tulad ng Dati, Dinig Sana Kita)
  • Joaquin Enrico Santos (Writer; In the Name of Love, The Strangers)
  • Keith Sicat (Director; Ka Oryang, Woman of the Ruins)
  • G.A. Villafuerte (Director, Lihim ng mga Nympha, Hardinero)

11 – MABABANGONG BANGUNGOT (Kidlat Tahimik, 1977)

mababangongbangungotavi_JPTahimik’s satirical critique of postcolonial Philippines’ continuing obsession with Western conceptions of progress was made for a pittance yet has been extremely influential to young, politically conscious filmmakers.

Voted by:

  • Misha Anissimov (Film Professor, University of San Carlos)
  • Jan Philippe Carpio (Director; Balay Daku, Girl of My Dreams): “A film that showed me how film can be anything and it is we who limit it, how ‘limited’ resources can be turned into a great wellspring for creative freedom, and the independence of our souls is just as if not more important than political independence.”
  • Sari Dalena (Director; Ka Oryang, The Guerrilla Is a Poet)
  • Ray Defante Gibraltar (Director; Wanted: Border, When Timawa Meets Delgado)
  • Patrick Flores (Founding Member, Young Critics Circle Film Desk)
  • Jag Garcia (Film Professor, De la Salle-College of Saint Benilde)
  • Christopher Gozum (Director; Anacbanua, Lawas Kan Pinabli)
  • Ralston Jover (Director; Bakal Boys, Bendor)
  • Skilty Labastilla (Member, Young Critics Circle Film Desk)
  • Gutierrez Mangansakan II (Director; Limbunan, Qiyamah)
  • Bono Olgado (Director, National Fim Archives of the Philippines)
  • Cenon Palomares (Lecturer, UP Film Institute)
  • Jun Cruz Reyes (Former Member, Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino)
  • Chris Eriz Sta. Maria (Film Blogger, The One-Legged Woman is Queen)
  • Rianne Hill Soriano (Film Reviewer, Business World)

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