Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Scorpio Nights (Peque Gallaga, 1985)

Marriage story

Come finally to the notorious Scorpio Nights (Peque Gallaga, 1985), a quickie production reportedly mounted (by Regal Studios) to take advantage of the promise of censorship-free screenings at the Manila Film Center. Just to make the challenge that much more difficult, Gallaga had suffered a heart attack in late 1984 and was still bedridden when shooting began (he reportedly directed most of the film lying on a portable cot). 

Monday, June 15, 2020

Virgin Forest (Peque Gallaga, 1985)

Enchanted Forest

The film's opening minutes are stunning. Cinematographer Conrado Baltazar seems to take his cue from Vittorio Storaro's work in Apocalypse Now, suggesting the vast seascapes and sensually textured sunsets of the Filipino countryside. A longboat glides down a river through eerie fog (another callback to Storaro) while a narrator sketches details of the American Army's true-life attempt to capture President Emilio Aguinaldo.