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Sunday, December 20, 2020

Vic Silayan in Kisapmata: Terrifying from Start to Finish


Wazzup Pilipinas!

Today, I woke up to a world crippled by CoViD-19 pandemic and to an unexpected news that one of the greatest actors in Philippine cinema is a trending topic on twitter. Vic Silayan. I live!

Usapang #Kisapmata awards trivia tayo.

Vic Silayan, Jay Ilagan, and Charito Solis all won their respective acting categories sa MMFF and Gawad Urian in 1981. All three were also nominated sa FAMAS while wala pang Luna. Consistent odd one out si Charo Santos who was snubbed.

Pampalubag loob: Charo Santos was nominated sa FAMAS Best Actress that same year but for Lino Brocka's Kontrobersyal.

At 26, Charo Santos became one of the producers Kisapmata. She was also part of the cast along with Vic Silayan, Charito Solis and Jay Ilagan. 

But you have to read all about Kisapmata. Ang galing ni Vic Silayan. The restored 1981 film Kisapmata, starring Charo Santos, Jay Ilagan, Vic Silayan, & Charito Solis. Directed by Mike de Leon, it was inspired by Nick Joaquin's "The House on Zapote Street."

I try to keep the "It's the Movie for the Moment" kind of accolades to a minimum, but it's staggering how pointed and relevant this movie still is. And how genuinely chilling! Vic Silayan's performance is probably still one of the most frightening I've ever seen.

I caught the streaming of the restored version of #Kisapmata just before it ended at 11pm last night. Still riveting, Vic Silayan’s such a force, very taut script, and overall, a truly Filipino masterpiece. 

Favorite Mike De Leon classic together with Itim (1976) and Kakabakaba Ka Ba? (1980)!

So I was able to watch this classic again! Indeed, such a masterpiece. Felt the same feeling when I first saw this film—fear from Vic Silayan's character, Tatang. 

De Leon's masterpiece is a terrifying and claustrophobic film from start to finish with Vic Silayan at the center as monster ready to do anything to keep the illusion of power in his little kingdom. 

The restored version is even more terrifying in high-res. I'm relieved I didn't get nightmares.

A friend said the film was more eerie before restoration, but Tatang in HD is a different monster for me. I could clearly see his evil. Also, the resemblance to the authoritative, abusive, and violent father figure of our times is apparent.

I love this film's production design. Pucha! Ang ganda ng architecture layout ng bahay. Sobrang planado ang blockings! Tang ina,  Mike De Leon's best formalist achievement.

It is a brutal, 90-minute anxiety attack featuring Mike de Leon and Vic Silayan at the height of their powers.

Vic Silayan was evil personified! He was so good! I'm glad I didn’t have nightmares from Vic Silayan’s terrifying portrait of a deranged monster from the film. Vic Silayan is a gem. He's terrifying with his understated gestures in the 1st half of the film and horrifying as it progresses. You get irritated at first with him and gets as scared as his family later on.

His laugh still rings in my ears. Ugh, Pinoy male boomer energy na sobrang nakakarindi, to put it mildly.

Was it a deliberate choice to make the Carandangs Ilocanos? Probably an allusion to the one in Malacanang at that time? 

Charo Santos. Whoa~this woman had an impressive filmography before becoming a tv exec. I can see how auteurs love to cast her. She is the character they give her.

Jay Ilagan was also very impressive.










The scoring is as subtle as the acting and comes when needed. The camera work is exact. Does not play with angles and let's the other film elements tell the story. 

It's 80s acting so you can't compare it with the tv/film acting of recent.

Ngayon lang ako nakapanood ng psychological horror na gawa ng Filipino. Ang ganda talaga kapag base sa totoong buhay. They don't make films like this anymore.

The film still suffers from the green of the molds that attacked it but you can still see the beauty of its cinematography. It's dark and maximizes shadows.

Critics have called "Kisapmata" Mike De Leon's finest work. It turns out, they've never seen it as he really intended it to be shown. 

Can you imagine writing a crime report with so much finesse that some people actually turned it into a movie? Only Nick Joaquin.

Alam nyo ba na si Bert Cuevas ang sumulat nung spot news niyan? Banner story!

I answered a Twitter survey before about movies whose setting and theme gave you dread all throughout. I answered Rosemary's Baby.

Nope, I changed my mind. It's this one. 

Since it's true that Vic Silayan is trending, you might want to check out his other "demonyong ama" performance, my favorite local movie (up there with NNLY and Ulan, of course), Karnal.

Now I want to watch "Finding Nemo" where the Daddy is warm & loving. I need to balance my brain before sleeping. Tatang was not good for my mental health right now.

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