Central Digital Lab, the dudes that digitally remastered Filipino film classics such as Himala and Oro, Plata, Mata are at it again. This time, they have breathed new life into Eddie Romero’s period piece drama Ganito Kami Noon, Paano Kayo Ngayon?–the award winner that starred a baby-faced Boyet de Leon in 1898 revolutionary Philippines.
And now, you can see Christopher D’s young mug…in HD!
The importance of restoring and preserving these cultural treasures is more important now than ever. Director Eddie Romero was successful at evoking a sense of nationalism and perseverance back when the film was released in 1976, sweeping the Metro Manila Film Festival in the process. To this day, those themes are still of utter relevance. Through narrative, films such as Ganito Kami Noon are able to showcase the Pinoy identity before the silver screen was muddled with the likes of the commercially driven Kimmy Dora, Kris Aquino, and Vice Ganda.
Though our film industry is slowly recognizing that substance in story can captivate an audience as much as the hottest new love team, and the level of variety is starting to gain more quality, there is still a need to revive these timeless tales for future generations to experience.
In line with this, we’ve put together a list of Filipino film classics we’d like to see remastered. If we’ve missed out on your favorites, share your insights on the comments section below.
Nora Aunor stars in the titular role of director Lino Brocka’s tale of misguided obsession. Sad and quite submissive, Bona takes fangirl-ing to new heights when she falls for Gardo (Phillip Salvador), an action movie extra. Despite constant emotional abuse, Bona cares for the failed leading man…until she reaches her boiling point. The ending of this one: literally scalding. The 1980 MMFF entry went on to premiere at the Director’s Fortnight at the 1981 Cannes Film Festival.
Relevance today: The struggle between Bona and Gardo can easily be perceived as the false influences show business has on the masses. An illusory promise of salvation, the manipulation of the weak, and the exploitation of the less fortunate and how they may eventually rise from it are some of the important messages this film can convey.
Oh Michelle Aldana, where art thou now? Her turn as Karen Fernandez, the insurance agent by day, GRO by night, stood out amidst equally stunning performances by co-stars Gary Estrada and Ruby Moreno. Penned by Pete Lacaba together with Amado Lacuesta, and helmed by Tikoy Aguiluz, it’s a oft-too-realistic look at the lengths an individual would go to make ends meet. Segurista is the classic tale of a hooker with a heart of gold given a modern twist.
Relevance today: The ongoing debate of the sex trade in our country is one that has yet to be rightfully addressed. Despite laws, establishments of the seedy persuasion still permeate our city streets.
SISTER STELLA L. (1984)
“Katarungan para kay Ka Dencio!” is a line that will forever be embedded in the history of Pinoy cinema, thanks to director Mike de Leon’s political activist drama. Sister Stella L. must choose between living a quiet life in the convent and fighting government oppression towards abused laborers. She chooses the latter, shatters the traditional image of the devout, and puts her life in jeopardy. Ate V–stellar as always–churns out a delicate performance as a nun on a mission.
Relevance today: The elements present in this film still ring true for some: an abusive government, the question of separation of church and state, and the rights of workers to proper treatment and wages.
NEXT: Batch 81 and a sorta new Vilma Santos classic!
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