THE legacies of the iconic auteurs Lino Brocka and Ishmael Bernal, both Philippine National Artists for Film, will be honored a special exhibition called Brocka, Bernal and the City, at the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) School of Design and Arts (SDA) Campus starting Jan. 25.
Apart from creating some of the country’s finest films and discovering some of the industry’s leading actors and actresses, both Mr. Brocka and Mr. Bernal were known as street parliamentarians during the Marcos dictatorship.
The exhibit examines how the two creative geniuses used Manila as a milieu that greatly affected the lives of Filipinos. It features a series of user-directed film showings where the viewers can freely choose which among the significant pieces are screened.
Mr. Brocka’s Maynila sa Kuko ng Liwanag (1975) and Mr. Bernal’s Manila by Night (1980), which projected a critical reflection of the urban experience at that time, headline the selections. Other film available are Mr. Brocka’s Insiang (1976), Jaguar (1979), and Bona (1980) and Mr. Bernal’s Ikaw ay Akin (1978), Relasyon (1982), Broken Marriage (1983), and Working Girls (1984).
Two separate spaces have been allocated for the works of Mr. Brocka and Mr. Bernal, while a third area is dedicated to recent Brocka- and Bernal-inspired movies such as Manila (2009), starred and co-produced by Piolo Pascual, and Anino (2000), directed by Raymond Red.
Brocka, Bernal, and the City likewise features recorded interviews from the individuals who worked with the filmmakers on and off the camera, including scriptwriter Clodualdo del Mundo, Jr., and actors Bembol Roco, Cherie Gil, Gina Alajar, and Ronnie Lazaro.
Film scholar Ed Cabagnot, directors Nonon Padilla, Peque Gallaga, Mel Chionglo, and Jose Javier Reyes also impart their insights. Mr. Pascual and Mr. Red share how the works of Mr. Brocka and Mr. Bernal motivated them as artists.
Contemporary artworks of the members of the Urban Sketchers of Manila that illustrate some Manila hotspots used by the two directors as shoot locations are displayed and are for sale during the run of the exhibition.
“Film is always relevant because it is a reflection of society, and Brocka and Bernal’s films showcase that,” Center for Campus Art (CCA) Director Architect Gerry Torres noted. “They were activists who voiced out what they saw were the ills of society at that time and what ills they were protesting against then are still around, some even became worse.”
Brocka, Bernal and the City is part of a series of activities in line with the 30th anniversary celebration of Benilde, and is the college’s contribution to the commemoration of 2019 as the 100th year of Philippine cinema.
The exhibit will be open to the public from Jan. 25 to April 29, 2019, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., at the 12th Floor Gallery of DLS-CSB SDA Campus, 950 Pablo Ocampo (Vito Cruz) St., Malate, Manila.