jojo, do tell me more: why do you prefer Sisa and Babae sa Bubungang Lata (Woman on a Tin Roof) over Pangarap ng Puso (Demons)? It doesn't matter ultimately, I think your choices are impeccable (heh, heh), but i'd love to know the details...
jojo de vera: Sisa challenged the limits of rationality and invests the stigma of idiocy inscribed in Rizal's character with the power to dream and remake Rizal with the image of ambivalence. The film inserted the hero's biography into the film's romantic framework with Sisa as love interest. It also discussed the social context of Sisa's dementia as social affliction and resists the tendency to simply regard it as a psychiatric disorder. In comparison to Abaya's Jose Rizal, Sisa was able to present another side of Rizal, the film chose to explore the life of Sisa who roamed the streets in search of her sons and in the process succeeded in probing the trauma that she suffers like cancer.
On the other hand Babae Sa Bubungang Lata intensified the theme of social relations where public spheres are unequally distributed along class, ethnic and racial lines.The film successfully created a milieu that overflowed with the whole range of human degradation and deprivation, from drug dependence and alcoholism to domestic violence, prostitution and castration. It also assaulted the middle class images of home, family and motherhood. Babae is a dark film about Philippine Cinema. It stated that the industry is in fact dead by situating the action in a graveyard filled with leaking tin roofs, looted graves, broken bones and shattered dreams.
O'Hara's Sisa is comparable to Gerry de Leon's version--admittedly Anita Linda is a better actress than Aya Medel (though I do like her here and in Bubungang Lata), and De Leon came up with the idea of focusing on a supporting character in a major literary work first (even before Tom Stoppard did in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead), but De Leon's Sisa errs in pausing about 3/4 of the way through and retelling the entire story of Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not). Talk about a showstopper! O'Hara's Sisa is more organic, more whole (of course). And more insane.
I think you've heard me before about Sisa and Bayaning Third World (Third World Hero). The latter pulls Rizal off his pedestal and takes him apart with wit and logic. O'Hara's Sisa pulls him down, takes all his clothes off, and puts him, pumping, on top of Sisa. Guess which one I prefer?
Bubungang Lata--Frank Rivera said it all when he said: "it's an elegy for Philippine cinema."