Some films mirror and reflect situations and scenes in real life that serves as the main purpose of that particularly film giving us a glimpse of a real world. Some people say to understand a specific culture, group, ideas, history etc. one must watch films in its entirety for appreciation. Most of the notable films either popular, blockbuster hit or simply controversial give us this reason and Filipino film is no exception.
When you say Asian cinema, the world is stereotypical and prejudice towards Chinese, Japanese and Indian films because they are in the first place prominently being exhibited frequently in film festivals and cinemas around the world since the early 20th century from 1910s till 1960s and that the energy, fun, pageantry, colorful production and thrill these movies evoke incite interests and curiosity among movie goers and that other films including the Philippines were downplayed as having influenced by the American and other western countries films. What they do not know is that Filipino films, fusion as it may seem, has a distinctive flair of portraying and unraveling the beauty and mystery of the Philippines and Filipino culture something unique from the rest of its Asian neighbors.
Philippine cinema has a long curtain history of colorful films which Filipinos enjoyed from the first few moving pictures namely, Un Homme Au Chapeau (Man with a Hat), Une scene de danse Japonaise (Scene from a Japanese Dance), Les Boxers (The Boxers), and La Place de L' Opera (The Place L' Opera)" shown on January 1, 1897 at the Salon Pertierra No. 12 Escolta, Manila to its glorious days of 1950s to 1980s until its decline in the 1990s. Filipinos have seen it all - the pageantry, prestige, rise and fall of Filipino film making. One distinct nature of Filipino films is the portrayal of Filipino culture, way of living, traditions, history and personality. The plot and scenes evoke a picture of a typical Philippine scene and way of life and the stories are most often highlighted with intensity in drama, horror and some comic relief. Most of these films inspire, flashback us to history or give us imprint of a quality film embedded in our memories.
If you want to learn more about the Philippines, these films are to watch for.
Five years before the Philippine cinema celebrates its 100 years, Watchful Eyes Of A Silhouette blog came up with the list of finest films in Philippine cinema that makes people not only surrender their emotions but most of all, moved and inspired with its poignant scenes showcasing and manifesting the kaleidoscope of the Philippines, Filipinos and Pinoy cinema. These films gives us reel stills that we can never forget. Many of them has gone past with more or less appreciation when they are first released, yet they have endured the test of time. However, as all greatest and finest film lists there is as subjective as it was bias, this list is no exception. Most of the Filipino silent films of 1920s were presumed vanished forever during a great Manila fire of the 1930s and during World War II and not a single copy exist. These crucial Filipino film selections have undoubtedly left an indelible mark on our lives and reflect many defining moments of the last 100 years. This list also includes some famous quotes and movie lines which left an indelible mark to minds and memories of its audiences.
There is a reasonable consensus by most film historians, critics and reviewers that these selections are among the Philippine cinema's most critically-acclaimed, significant "must-see" films. Some of these films here with Filipino language title are given with direct translation or sub-titles as well as some of the most memorable classic movie lines in Philippine cinema. You can watch some of these films online most particularly YouTube.
These are great epic films that define Philippine cinema. They might not be great in the eyes, minds and hearts of others most especially the critics but these films speak about the Philippines and the Filipino people and the best talents, acting and film making the Philippines has produced.
In front of her congregation, Elsa, apprehensive at first, eventually professed that there were no miracles, no sightings of the Virgin, and pleaded that people themselves invent gods, miracles, curses and such. In the middle of her speech, a gun pointed towards her, was fired, hitting her on her chest and a violent stampede ensued. The old and infirm who came to be healed, including children were trampled upon in the mass hysteria. Injuries were everywhere.
Elsa gasped her last breath in her mother's arms, looking towards the sky while Orly and other reporters captured her last moment on their cameras. Wailing and crying ensued after the announcement of her death, and the crowd started gravitating towards her. As Elsa was being taken to a waiting ambulance, her followers lifted her lifeless body overhead, in a crucifix position, as the crowd wanted to touch her. Crowds were scampering all over the hill as they followed Elsa down to the car. Against her husband's will, Sepa shouted to the crowd, proclaiming that Elsa was a saint, a martyr for the world's suffering. She led the congregation in praying the Hail Mary on their knees going up the hill as the ambulance carrying Elsa drove away.
The film's script was written by the award winning screenwriter Ricky Lee based on a true incident of a teenage girl in Cabra Island in the province of Occidental Mindoro between 1966 and 1967. It breaks trends in Philippine filmmaking by featuring only one known actress in the cast with support from unknown television and legit stage performers.
3. Maynila Sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag - Manila In The Claws Of Neon Light (1975)
5. Biyaya ng Lupa - Blessings of the Land (1959)
The famous scene in which Corazon de la Cruz (Nora Aunor) utters the line which left an indelible mark in Philippine cinema in Minsa'y Isang Gamu-gamo (1976)
6. Minsa'y Isang Gamu-Gamo - Once A Moth (1976)
8. Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang - You Were Weighed But Found Wanting (1974)
10. Anak Dalita - Child Of Sorrow (1956)
11. Insiang (1976)
14. Magnifico (2003)
The weary and fearful Charo Santos disguising as a doctor finds a way just to talk to her boyfriend (Jay Ilagan) while his deranged paranoid father (Vic Silayan) is looking out for her in this scene from Kisapmata (1981)
16. Kisapmata - In Just A Wink Of An Eye (1981)
18. Burlesk Queen (1977)
19. Genghis Khan (1951)
22. Kinatay - Butchered (2009)
24. Malvarosa (1958)
29. Scorpio Nights (1985)
33. Bituing Walang Ningning - Star Without Shine - Lackluster Star (1985)
38. Pinakamagandang Hayop Sa Balat Ng Lupa - The Most Beautiful Animal In The World (1974)
39. Jose Rizal (1998)
Oliver is a female impersonator who supports his family by performing in Manila’s gay bars, in this first part of Nick Deocampo's trilogy of Super-8 documentaries about life under the Marcos dictatorship.
41. The Cecilia Masagca Story: Antipolo Massacre (Jesus Save Us!)(1993)
The movie tackles the indictment of people who have wronged, made an offense, the wrongfully accused or those who were not given justice for their prison sentence as well as it portrays the worsening penal system in the Philippines.
Twilight Dancers is the last installment of director Mel Chionglo and writer Ricky Lee's trilogy about Macho Dancers. The first part was Sibak: Midnight Dancers in 1994, and the second part was Burlesk King in 1999. The trilogy took inspiration from Lino Brocka's film Macho Dancer in 1988.
46. Sister Stella L. (1984)
Masahista is a story about a young masseur named Iliac (played by Coco Martin) who caters to gay clientele. In here, sex is an immediate consequence of massage. One ordinary night, a gay writer (Alan Paule) becomes Iliac's first customer of the day. But once outside the parlor, his current gf (Katherine Luna), a bar girl who works in Japan, asserts her sexual dominion over him.
49. Igorota - Subtitle: the Legend of the Tree of Life (1968)
51. Kung Mangarap Ka't Magising - When You Dream And Wake Up (1977)
52. Temptation Island (1980)
Jennifer Cortez: "double bitch"
54. Bwakaw (2012)
57. Bukas Luluhod Ang Mga Tala - Tomorrow The Stars Will Kneel (1984)
61. Merika (1984)
62. Cofradia (1973)
64. Salome (1981)
68. Nunal Sa Tubig – Speck In The Water (1976)
70. Sisa (1951)
73. Condemned (1984)
78. Higit sa Lahat (1955)
The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros (Filipino: Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros) is a 2005 award-winning Filipino coming-of-age film about a gay teen who is torn between his love for a young cop and his loyalty to his family. The film competed under 1st Cinemalaya Film Festival in 2005. The film was the official entry of the Philippines to the 79th Academy Awards. It holds the distinction of being one of the very few digital films released in 2005 to do well at the tills. It also made the rounds of international film festivals.
83. Bagong Bayani: The Flor Contemplacion Story (1995)
86. Crying Ladies (2003)
87. Kubrador - The Bet Collector (2006)
91. Markova: Comfort Gay (2000)
93. Heavenly Touch (2009)
95. Muro Ami (1999)
Cast: Vilma Santos, Dina Bonnevie, Edu Manzano, Laurice Guillen, Pepito Rodriguez, Ronald Corveau, Cherie Gil
99. Kurdapya (1955)
One of the few films screened at the Director's Fortnight of the 1982 Cannes Film Festival.