Breaking” show biz news this month is capped by the bracing report that the record for the top-grossing local film production ever has just been broken by “The Super Parental Guardians,” megged by Joyce Bernal. The blockbuster comedy flick has clinched the title by grossing P600 million—and counting.
Given the rapidly shifting and drifting local film landscape, the movie’s triumph at the box office is no mean feat.
True, it has its flaws, and thus failed to qualify for the recent Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF). But, we daresay that its gorgeous and gargantuan gross income has made its producers feel like winners in their own right!
How does that old local movie saying go—“Sa iyo na ang award, sa akin ang takilya”? Touché!
That “sweet-sour” put-down acquires greater pungency when we consider that it’s possible that, when the last MMFF’s total gross will be figured out and announced, it could be trumped by TSPG’s solo take! Ouch, again.
But, comparisons are specious in this instance, because different standards and value systems are at work.
Still, the makers of TSPG can hardly be faulted for enjoying their solo triumph, even without the benefit of the festival’s traditional showcase.
Interestingly, however, that last observation could be used as an argument for the “renewed” MMFF to continue being a showcase for quality movies, instead of the traditional, yearend blockbusters:
If TSPG can break attendance records on its own and by its lonesome, it doesn’t need the film fest’s help to make it big—but, the best indie productions do.
True enough, some “MMFF-bound” commercial productions fared badly at the tills when they were individually shown “out of festival,” but that’s their fault and folly, right?
‘Ang Babaeng Humayo’
Other bright highlights in show biz developments at the start of the 2017 season include news that “Ang Babaeng Humayo” has been nominated at the Asian Film Awards.
Lav Diaz’s film has been cited for direction and screenplay (Diaz) and best lead performance by an actress (Charo Santos).
The nominations are deemed significant because “Ang Babaeng Humayo” is regarded as an art film of exceptional and rigorous duration, a film type that generally isn’t favored by regional cinematic competitions.
But, in our view, the most significant and auspicious factor in the film’s citations is the fact that, way back in 1978, Charo Santos was the Asian Film Festival’s best actress winner for her performance in Mike de Leon’s “Itim.”
This was at the very start of her screen acting career, so it was a major and entirely unexpected triumph for the young actress.
To just get nominated for the honor now, fully 40 years later, is a unique distinction and achievement, even if the prized regional thespic award eludes her this March.
From “Itim” to Charo’s comeback movie, “Ang Babaeng Humayo”—that’s quite an unusual and instructive trip that deserves a triumphant outcome for the acclaimed actress and “aspirational” icon!
‘Mrs.’ goes to Bangkok