The works of National Artist and legendary Filipino filmmaker Ishmael Bernal will be celebrated later this month, with a screening of three of his remastered works at Cinema Centenario. Bernal's enduring body of work bears feminist and social realist themes, and is recognized for as part of Filipino cinema's activism during the Marcos era.
The upcoming retrospective is entitled Call Him Ishmael: Bernal Restored, and is organized by Cinema Centenario, Everything's Fine, and ABS-CBN Film Restoration. It will be held on Sunday, July 29 at Cinema Centenario. Tickets go for P200. Here are the films and their respective screening schedules:
A Filipina villager named Elsa (Nora Aunor) seems to exhibit miraculous healing powers after her claim of a visitation from the Virgin Mary. Word of the faith healer begins to spread, drawing droves of people to Elsa's home. (1:00 p.m.)
Ikaw ay Akin
Horticulturist Teresita (Nora Aunor) and skydiving enthusiast Rex (Christopher De Leon) have been sweethearts for five years. However, things change: at a business meeting, Rex meets the vivacious but fidgety Sandra (Vilma Santos), an artist who needs tranquilizers for her nerves. (6:30 p.m.)
Pagdating sa Dulo
In 1971, Bernal released his first feature film, which is about a despairing stripper named Ching (Rita Gomez) who is discovered by a movie director (Eddie Garcia). This work of metacinema explores a toxic side of show business, but was also strangely prophetic of the fate of a society on the verge of martial law. (9:00 p.m.)
Apart from the films, Call Me Ishmael will also be selling copies of ProBernal AntiBio, an "anti-biography" of the late great filmmaker by Jorge Arago and Angela Stuart-Santiago.
Stuart-Santiago's preface describes the book: "It’s a tell-all of a life lived to the hilt, fiercely forthright and critical but also gay and subversive, ironic and irreverent, sparing neither self nor nation, mothers nor lovers, art nor culture nor language, Marcos nor Cory. Friendly fire, as it were, in guerilla wars waged by two leftist intellectuals against ‘middle-class totems and taboos, innocence and igrorance."
ProBernal AntiBio will be sold at the screening event for P1,000.