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MOVIEGOER: Film titles then more colorful

JUST A THOUGHT: "Every great film should seem new every time you see it." --- Roger Ebert



TAGALOG IS MORE FUN: Many film titles these days are in English, making them sound like Hollywood products.
More often than not, these are titles of old songs that have become hits.

Because of their basic similarities, it has become difficult to remember and distinguish them from one another.

Consider the 10 films lined up for exhibition in the the 2019 Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino, a yearly project of Film Development Council of the Philippines.

This year on its third year, it runs from Sept. 13 to 19 in cinemas nationwide.


“OPEN” AND OTHER ENGLISH TITLES: There’s “Open,” a romantic film about a long-term couple exploring a radical solution to save their crumbling relationship. Directed by Andoy Ranay, it stars JC Santos and Arci Munoz in what appears like a sexy, mature drama.

ARCI MUNOZ and JC Santos (last two on right) of 'Open' with FDCP chair Liza Dino

ARCI MUNOZ and JC Santos (last two on right) of ‘Open’ with FDCP chair Liza Dino

“The Panti Sisters,” directed by Jun Lan, casts Paolo Ballesteros, Martin del Rosario and Christian Bables as gay brothers reverting to their high heels and spaghetti straps in this comedy of acceptance.

“Cuddle Weather,” directed by Rod Marmol, stars RK Bagatsing and Sue Ramirez as prostitutes who fall in love.



The other entries are:

“Watch Me Kill,” about a ruthless assassin (Jean Garcia) who hesitates to kill her target (Jay Manalo) when she discovers a secret. Director: Tyrone Acierto.

“I’m Ellenya L.,” directed by Boy 2 Quizon, is about a girl who wants to make it big as a vlogger. Stars Iñigo Pascual and Maris Racal.

“G!,” about a teenager’s cancer diagnosis that leads him to go on a road trip with friends where they discover meaning of family.

“G!” stars McCoy de Leon, Jameson Blake, Paulo Angeles, and Mark Oblea. Directed by Dondon Santos.

In “LSS (Last Song Syndrome),” directed by Jade Castro, an aspiring musician and a romantic follow an indie-folk band, played by Ben & Ben. Stars Gabbi Garcia, Khalil Ramos.

“Circa” stars Anita Linda as a movie producer celebrating her 100th birthday who wants to have a reunion with her former actors.

Directed by Adolfo Alix, Jr., film stars Gina Alajar, Laurice Guillen, Jacyln Jose, Elizabeth Oropesa, Ricky Davao, Enchong Dee.

“Lola Igna” is a landmark role for Angie Ferro, cast as a cantankerous elderly woman who is excited to die.

Also stars Yves Flores, Meryll Soriano, Isabel Lopez. Director: Eduardo Roy, Jr.

“Pagbalik, ” by Hubert Tibi and Maria Ranillo, tells of a woman returning to the Philippines who learns what her mother went through while she was away.

Cast: Gloria Sevilla, Suzette Ranillo, Vince Ranillo.



This year’s PPP celebrates 100th year of Philippine cinema, which began in September 1919 upon release of “Dalagang Bukid.”


REMEMBERING COLORFUL TITLES: It wasn’t like this in the old days, and even as recent as the 1990s.

Movie titles then exuded so much color for their play of words.

They were rich in subtext and meaning. Many of them were poetic.


“Nagalit ang Buwan sa Haba ng Gabi,” “May Lamok sa Loob ng Kulambo,” “Isang Gabi Tatlong Babae,” “Nakawin Natin ang Bawat Sandali,” “Nunal sa Tubig.”

“Diligin mo ng Hamog ang Uhaw na Lupa,” “Init sa Magdamag,” “Hihintayin Kita sa Langit.” “Paraisong Parisukat.”

“Liku-Likong Landas,” “Talipandas,” “Babaeng Hampaslupa,” “Kapit sa Patalim,” “Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang.”

“Pagdating sa Dulo,” “Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos,” “Ligaya ang Itawag Mo sa Akin,” “Masarap Masakit ang Umibig.”


POETIC TITLES THEN: Filipino films from an even more distant era, the 1940s and 50s, carried Tagalog titles straight out of literary magazines or books.

Ronald K. Constantino enumerates some of them in his 37-year old Tempo column, Highspeed.

“Tubig Na Hinugasan” (Cleansed Water),” “Apoy Na Ginatungan” (Fueled Fire).

“Nabasag ang Banga” ( The Jar Cracked) and the pious “Rosario Cantada” (Sung Rosary).

“Ilaw sa Karimlan” ( Light in the Dark) and “Kumakaway Ka Pa Irog” ( You Were Still Waving, My Beloved).

“Alamat ng Perlas na Itim” (Legend of the Black Pearl) and “Ang Kapilya sa Daang Bakal” ( The Chapel By the Railroad).

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