FOUR NOT THREE – The revered cinema authority Nestor U. Torre has pointed out that Philippine cinema has four and not only three golden ages. Overlooked by many cineastes is the first golden stage, the ‘30s, which produced many outstanding films, directors, and actors.
Mr. Torre names filmmakers like Jose Nepomuceno, Manuel Silos, Carlos Vander Tolosa, Manuel Conde, Gregorio Fernandez, Ramon Estela, Consuelo Osorio, Manuel Conde, Octavio Silos. He also named films like “Zamboanga,” “Giliw Ko,” “Tunay Na Ina,” “Sa Paanan ng Krus,” “Nasaan Ka Irog,” “Bituing Marikit,” “Madaling Araw,” “Ligaw Na Bulaklak.”
The biggest and brightest stars then included Rosa del Rosario, Fernando Poe, Sr., Rosario Moreno, Rudy Concepcion, Rogelio de la Rosa, Leopoldo Salcedo, Yolanda Marquez, Jose Padilla Jr., Carlos Padilla, Mila del Sol, Lucita Goyena, Mary Walter, Rosita Rivara, Naty Fernandez, among others.
“This indicates that the films and filmmakers of the ‘30s should be reevaluated and given their due – resulting in our conclusion that local movies have had FOUR, instead of just three golden ages in the course of their eventful cinematic history,” Mr. Torre wrote.
GOLDEN AGES – Generally acknowledged as the golden ages or years of Philippine cinema are the ‘50s and early ‘60s and ‘70s and early ‘80s.
And now the ‘2000s are billed – and rightly so – as the golden age of indies, with Brillante Mendoza and Lav Diaz the foremost directors. Their films won in Cannes, Berlin, and Venice the top 3 international filmfests.
The ‘50s are identified with Bert Avellana and Gerry de Leon. The ‘70s with Lino Brocka and Ishmael Bernal.
Henceforth, film historian are urged to include the ‘30s as (actually) the first golden age of Philippine cinema. And you have no less than foremost critic Nestor U. Torre who said so.