In defense of the Superstar



NEARLY TWO weeks after the 42nd Metro Manila Film Festival Gabi ng Parangal, showbiz seems way too distant from getting its cathartic effect done and over with.

Looks like at least three of the eight official entries each had their lion’s share of the controversial pie: Oro’s dog butchery scene that led to the revoked FPJ Memorial Award; Sunday Beauty Queen’s surprise Best Picture win despite being the a documentary; and Kabisera headliner Superstar Nora Aunor’s loss to Oro’s Irma Adlawan in the Best Actress category, as well as its bottom spot in box-office returns.

In our November 2016 column, Vignettes wrote about Ate Guy’s festival entry about the travails of a Filipino family whose life had dramatically changed over the death of its patriarch. It wasn’t until the MMFF formally opened on Christmas Day when those who had seen the film (though quite a few) took notice of its timely subject—the alleged rampant extrajudicial killings [EKJs] as part of the government’s no-nonsense war against illegal drugs.

A keen moviegoer noted, “We read all this stuff in the papers. We hear them reported on radio and see them on TV. Isn’t watching the same stuff on the big screen a bit too much?”

Still, another film buff perceived Ate Guy’s performance as having nothing much to offer, “Oh, I thought it was she who even had to ask her directors [there were two, Boy San Agustin and Real Florido]if she could attack a major scene differently? How come nothing much has changed with Nora’s acting?”

Earnest in giving the production team of Kabisera a fair chance, Vignettes—albeit belated—sought Florido’s ten cents’ worth in answer to these, well, valid comments.

He countered, “The story of Kabisera is based on an event which actually took place in 2007, when EJKs weren’t then a thing of the ‘now.’ We began shooting the film in 2015, and we went on doing the movie because we all had faith in the value and integrity of the story we wanted to tell.”

To drive home his point, Florido took pride in a good number of favorable, if not ego-inflating remarks on social media from film critics, among them published in school papers and even from fellow filmmakers themselves.

Varsitarian, UST’s official organ, said: “Kabisera shows that national issues have a place on the big screen, not just on the primetime news block.”

Director Arlyn de la Cruz, who has a similar EJK-themed movie Bubog (now in the works), posted: “We need films like this that mirrors truth.”

Theodore Boborol, director of Vince, Kath & James [also an MMFF entry], commented: “Hindi pa rin kumukupas ang galing ni Ate Guy sa Kabisera.”

Meanwhile, in a casual huddle, multi-slashie (professor/author/journalist/radio anchor/LGBT rights defender/The Manila Times College Dean Danton Remoto told Vignettes, “I believe all that Nora Aunor needs is a really good material, something like a bio pic based on the life of Gabriela Silang. Actually, there’s already one but it would be costly. But if I only had the money, I would be the one to produce it.”

For all we know, it might just bring back Ate Guy’s glory days on the big screen.

* * *

GUESS WHO? Before 2016 drew to its close, a a suspected gay singer (SGS), as usual, contacted his “supplier” for some willing partner. The latter—instead of outright calling the deal—snapped back at the SGS, “Before I have my male client ‘delivered’ to you, you must settle your balance first.”

The SGS reportedly had unpaid dues amounting to P3,500 from the previous transaction. Left with no choice, he had to clear his credit standing with the supplier.

And the goods were delivered. In an instant.

* * *

Nora Aunor

Nora Aunor

ANOTHER ‘GAY TALE.’ A lady talent manager (LTM) couldn’t believe that her male ward (MW)—whom she has handled for many years—had carried on a relationship with a younger actor (YA) all this time.

According to a Vignettes source, the MW and YA had a live-in setup for three years in the former’s rented townhouse somewhere in Quezon City. The flabbergasted LTM was quoted to have complainingly said, “You mean, I was the last to know? How come all this had escaped me to think I’m like a mother to my ward?”

When the LTM was told that it was all the YA’s fault [he has this notorious record of jumping from one same sex affair to another], she ruefully intoned: “Bigla naman ako naawa sa alaga ko. He didn’t deserve such betrayal!”


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