Detailed account of the screening of Mario O'Hara's Bakit Bughaw ang Langit? (Why is the Sky Blue? 1981) at the NCCA (National Commission on Culture and Art in Intramuros, Manila) last Friday:
LOONZHAUS: Last Friday, I had the privileged of watching the very beautiful movie, Bakit Bughaw ang Langit?, with my fellow ICONians, Nestor, Albert, Glorina, Manny So, Mandy Diaz, Maritess, etc. NCCA's Tanghalang Leandro Locsin was almost half full with several GANAP members, Nora Aunor admirers and young Masscom Students from the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila. Needless to say, I really enjoyed the movie from beginning to end. It is one of the best ensemble acting I have ever seen on screen, no exaggeration. Ate Guy (Nora Aunor) as Babette was simply superb -- as in ang galing galing ng characterization niya (her characterization was great!)! Truly, this is one of her most underrated performances -- sayang talaga (a real pity). After the screening, we waited for the resource speaker that afternoon -- Direk Mario O'Hara himself. Sayang nga lang at medyo natagalan siya ng dating kaya iilan na lang kaming inabutan niya sa preview room pagdating niya (Unfortunately he came late and there were only a few of us left in the preview room when he arrived). Mas masaya sana kung nakita niya kung paanong mag-react ang audience sa bawa't eksena ng kanyang obra (It would've ben better if he saw how the audience reacted to every scene of his work)..
During the introduction, the guy from NCCA said that Direk Mario specifically requested that they include Bakit Bughaw for the In Focus program since this is one of his favorite movies. By the way, the copy used for the screening was courtesy of our very own Albert Sunga. Direk Mario confirmed this to the audience after the microphone was turned over to him for the open forum. The open forum was very lively and Direk Mario gamely answered all our questions except for the one asking him for a brief history of Philippine movies kasi nga sabi niya (because he said), he is a lover of the art but not necessarily a historian. Though he stressed that the art of moving pictures should have been born out of a specific need by the audience -- lahat naman daw ng art form ay nanggagaling sa need na ito (all art forms come from a need of the audience). Following are the highlightsof the forum:
1. When asked on his favorite actresses, he first mentioned that heand Ate Guy are members of the mutual admiration club (ilang beses na rin kasing nabanggit ni Ate Guy na siya ang paborito nitong direktor (Guy has said many times that he's her favorite director)) and laughed heartily. He went on telling the group na ang mga paborito niyang actress na naka-trabaho na niya ay sina (his favorite actress among all those he has worked with are) (in order): NORA AUNOR, Mitch Valdes and Maricel Soriano. Sa mga aktor, wala siyang maisip (among actors, he can't think of any). Si Dennis Roldan sana kaso tumigil nga daw kaagad ito sa pag-aartista -- sayang daw talaga ang talento nu'ng bata (There's Dennis Roldan, but he's stopped acting--the talent of the boy, wasted). ;-)
2. Ang nagustuhan daw niya kay Ate Guy ay ang pagiging open nito bilang aktres (What he likes about Guy (Nora) is her openness as an actress). Napaka-sensitibo daw nito at tunay na walang makakatalo sa mata na punumpuno ng emosyon (she's so sensitive, and truly unbeatable, the way her eyes fill with emotion).
3. Sa mga direktor naman, karamihan ng influences niya ay foreign directors (Among directors, his chief influence are foreign directors). Sa local naman, influence niya si Lino Brocka at Ishmael Bernal but not necessarily lahat ay on the positive side (Locally, Lino Brocka and Ishmael Bernal are influences, but not necessarily all positive). Marami silang collaboration works ni Lino before kasama na ang Insiang (They've had many collaboratons, including Insiang). Ang "ayaw" lang niya kay Lino ay ang pagiging overly emotional nito at times (what he "dislikes" about Lino is his being overly emotional at times). Basically daw ay movie fan si Brocka kaya nagkakaroon ng failure kapag pumapasok na ang emotion nito sa pagdidirek (Basically Brocka is a movie fan so his direction starts failing when emotion comes in). Emotional din ang description niya kay Ishmael pero bilib siya sa clarity ng narrative nito (He would also describe Ishmael as emotional, though he believes in the man's clarity of narrative). Controlled na controlled daw nito ang takbo ng istorya niya (He truly controls the flow of the story).
4. When asked kung anu'ng naramdaman niya nang halos walang naipanalong award ang Bakit Bughaw ang Langit except from the Catholic Mass Media Award before, eto ang kasagutan niya: SUMAMA ANG LOOB KO (When asked what he felt when Bakit Bughaw ang Langit failed to win any award except the Catholic Mass Media Award, he answered: I felt bad). Naniniwala daw kasi siya na napakaganda ng pelikulang ito (He believed the film was truly good). Nakakalungkot nga lang na underrated ang pelikula at totally snubbed sa awards (It's just sad the film was underrated and totally snubbed at the awards). Pero eto ang consolation niya -- ang Bakit Bughaw ay BINABALIKAN at NATATANDAAN bilang isang simple at magandang pelikula (But he has one consolation--that Bakit Bughaw is returned to and remembered as a simple and fine film). Natutuwa nga daw siya nang one time ay nakausap niya ang isang retired critic at sinabi sa kanya na number one sa listahan nito ang Bakit Bughaw bilang isa sa pinakamagandang pelikula ng kasalukuyang henerasyon (He's delighted that at one time he spoke to a retired critic who told him that Bakit Bughaw was number one on his list of the best films of the next generation).
5. Among our young directors, gusto niya si Jeffrey Jeturian at Quirk Henares (Keka) (He likes Jeffrey Jeturain and Quark Henares (Keka)).
6. Nilinaw din niya ang mga nababalita nuon na hindi para kay Ate Guy ang LA LOBA NEGRA (He clarified the newas about Guy and La Loba Negra (The Black Wolf)). Nagulat nga siya at nagtanong kung sino ang nagsabi nuon dahil para sa kanya, at pinaninindigan niya ito, WALANG SINUMANANG MAY KARAPATANG GUMANAP SA LA LOBA NEGRA KUNG HINDI SI NORA AUNOR (He was surprised and asked who said this because for him, no one else can play La Loba Negra except Nora Aunor). Para sa kanya, ito ang kanyang DREAM MOVIE (This for him is his dream movie). Hindi totoo na isinulat niya ito para sa isang MESTISANG MAPUTI dahil ang lead character ng La Loba Negra ay isang Mexican Mestiza wife of the Governor General -- and as such, KAYUMANGGI o BROWN ang kulay nito (It's not true that he wrote the part for a fair-skinned woman because the lead character of La Loba Negra is a Mexican Mestiza wife of the Governor General--and as such is brown-skinned). Sinabi rin niya na nagawa na ito ng Ballet Philippines before (This had been done by the Ballet Philippines before). Sa ngayon, from La Loba Negra, naging HOCLOBAN na ang working title nito (The working title from La Loba Negra has become Hocloban). Bale ang Hocloban daw ay siyang nagiging La Loba Negra (It's the Hocloban that becomes La Loba Negra). So, iisa lamang ang dalawang titles na ito (The two titles are the same). May isang producer na raw na nakabili ng story rights nito pero binibili niyang pabalik to ensure na mapapangalagaan ang obrang ito (A producer has the story rights but he's trying to buy it back to make sure it gets made). Condition din niya na si Nora Aunor lamang ang maaaring gumanap dito (One condition is that only Nora Aunor can play the part).
7. DREAM ROLE naman niya for Nora Aunor ang lead character sa SAKAY TAYO SA BUWAN (His dream role for Nora Aunor is the lead character in Sakay Tayo sa Buwan (Let's Ride to the Moon)). Hindi pa niya tapos ang script para dito mula sa panulat ni Lualhati Bautista (the script by Lualhati Bautista isn't finished yet). Pero sinisigurado niyang gagawin niya ang lahat to ensure na magawa ang pelikulang ito NEXT YEAR (But he will do all he can to ensure that the film will be made next year).
8. Payag din siyang gawin ang stage version ng Bakit Bughaw ang Langit (He's willing to do a stage version of Bakit Bughaw ang Langit).
The forum ended after more than an hour. The group gave Direk Mario a much-deserved standing ovation. Tuwang-tuwa siya (he was delighted) while mingling with the group after the forum. Habang naglalakad ang grupo namin palabas ng Intramuros, nagulat kami nang makita namin si Direk na humahabol sa amin (When our group was walking our way out of INtramuros, we were startled to see "Direk" running after us). Papunta raw siya ng Malate area to meet a friend (He was heading for Malate to meet a friend). Totoo po ang tsismis -- mahilig nga siyang maglakad para makakuha ng story ideas, character sketches, at kung anu-ano pa (The gossip is true--he's fond of walking to get story ideas, character sketches, and whatever else).