Monday, January 21, 2008



Lino BrockaCatalino Ortiz Brocka, better known as Lino Brocka (April 3, 1939–May 21, 1991) is known as one of the greatest film directors of the Philippines. Brocka was openly homosexual and many of his films incorporated LGBT themes into their often dramatic storylines.

Brocka was born in Pilar, Sorsogon. He directed his first film, Wanted: Perfect Mother, based on The Sound of Music and a local comic serial, in 1970. It won an award for best screenplay at the 1970 Manila Film Festival. Later that year he also won the Citizen’s Council for Mass Media's best-director award for the film Santiago.

In 1974 Brocka directed Tinimbang Ka ngunit Kulang, which told the story of a teenager growing up in a small town amid its petty and gross injustices. It was a box-office hit, and earned Brocka another best-director award, this time from the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS).

The following year he directed Maynila: Sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag (Manila: in the Claws of Light), which is considered by many critics to be the greatest Philippine film ever made - including British film critic and historian Derek Malcolm . The film tells the allegorical tale of a young provincial named Julio Madiaga who goes to Manila looking for his lost love, Ligaya Paraiso (which is Tagalog for "Joyful Paradise"). The episodic plot has him careering from one adventure to another until he finally finds Ligaya. Much of the film's greatness can be traced to the excellent cinematography by Mike de Leon, who would become a great Filipino filmmaker himself.

In 1976 Maynila: Sa mga kuko ng liwanag won the FAMAS awards for best picture, best director, best actor, and best supporting actor.

Insiang (1978) was the first Philippine film ever shown at the Cannes Film Festival. It is considered to be one of Brocka's best films — some say his masterpiece. The film centers on a young woman named Insiang who lives in the infamous Manila slum area, Tondo. It is a Shakespearean tragedy that deals with Insiang's rape by her mother's lover, and her subsequent revenge.

The film Jaguar (1979) was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the 1980 Cannes Festival. It won best picture and best director at the 1980 FAMAS Awards. It also won five Gawad Urian Awards, including best picture and best direction.

In 1981, Brocka was back at Cannes' Director's Fortnight with his third entry, Bona, a film about obsession.

In 1983 Brocka created the organization Concerned Artists of the Philippines (CAP), which he led for two years. His stand was that artists were first and foremost citizens and, as such, must address the issues confronting the country. His group became active in anti-government rallies after the assassination of Benigno Aquino, Jr..

The following year, Bayan ko: Kapit sa Patalim (Bayan Ko: My Own Country) was deemed subversive by the government of Ferdinand Marcos, and underwent a legal battle to be shown in its uncut form. At the 1984 Cannes Festival, however, it was nominated for the Palme d'Or. It garnered four honors at the 1986 Gawad Urian Awards, including best picture.

Brocka directed over forty films. Some of his other notable works are Macho Dancer (1988), Orapronobis (1989), and Gumapang Ka sa Lusak (1990).

In 1987 a documentary entitled Signed: Lino Brocka was directed by Christian Blackwood. It won the 1988 Peace Film Award at the Berlin International Film Festival.

On May 21, 1991 Brocka met an untimely death in a car accident in Quezon City, Metro Manila. In 1997 he was given the posthumous distinction of National Artist for Film.

source: wikipedia

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