Remembering Danny Zialcita

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Danny’s Film Style – “…Sabi ni Danny, marami siyang naririnig na takot ang mga artista sa kanya dahil sa kakaiba raw niyang working habits. “Iba akong magpatakbo ng set. For those stars I haven’t handled yet, working with me will be like breaking old habits. It doesn’t necessarily mean na ours is the better habit. Iba lang.” Karaniwan, maraming hindi nakagamay sa style ni Danny na walang script. Kay Danny, the script should be just a guide for the sequence ng scenes. Sasabihin lang ni Danny ang situwasyon sa artista, bahala na ang artista sa interpretation at sa dialogue “I allow them to contribute to the interpretation of the story base on their everyday experience. Paglabas natural ang arte nila. Mahirap kung sunod lang nang sunod sa sinasabi ng isang papel,” paliwanag ni Danny. “Ang importante lang,” dagdag ni Danny, “ay alam ng direktor kung saan pupunta ang istorya.” Isa pang style ni Danny na hindi nakukuha ng maraming artista ay ang mabilis na pacing ng kanyang mga pelikula. “Pag sa akin, no long pauses in between dialogue. Brief and concise ang takbo ng ma linya.” Naniniwala si Danny na ang editing ang isa sa mga dahilan ng ikinagaganda ng kanyang mga pelikula. “I’m more of an editor than a director; more of a scriptwriter than a director,” sabi niya. Ang editing ay isang aspeto ng paggawa ng pelikula na talagang pinagaralan ni Danny. Ipinagmamalaki ni Danny na hindi siya aksayado sa film. “I already edit my film while still on the shooting. Nandoon ang concentration ko as director. I hardly expose film.” As a director, naniniwala si Danny na dapat, may malaki siyang papel sa pagpili ng final title ng pelikula. Binibigyan din niya ng importansiya ang music sa pelikual. “I love music, I give room for it in my films…” – Vivienne Rafael, Movie Flash Magazine, December 23, 1982 (READ MORE)

Man starts and God finishes – “…Perhaps, it was because we were his most recent contact from media if one could call five years recent. At that time, he agreed to an interview, asked that we see him at his home and spoke of a project for Gabby Concepcion, which we filed for The Philippine Star. At that time, we wrote: “Gabby’s father Rolly was on the phone talking with Danny and he hands us the phone. Apparently, Rolly has a story for Gabby he wants Danny to direct. Zialcita’s mind was not only as sharp as it was in the past; his excitement at reappearing once again on the scene was infectious. He told us of how God had been guiding his every move in the past. Man starts and God finishes, he stated. He felt this during the peak of his career when he was churning out movie after movie… Nine hits in a row? That couldn’t have been possible without Divine intervention,” he interjects. Upon his death Sunday, we were told his body was cremated and no wake was scheduled. It seemed to us that Danny had directed his final movie. And we remember “Man starts and God finishes…” – Bibsy M. Carballo, The Philippine Star, March 15, 2013 (READ MORE)

Beautiful Women and Cool Wife – “…Zialcita is a son of a banker whose wife took care of the kids and the home. If he had a knack for narrative, it must have come from his paternal grandmother who wrote short stories for Liwayway Magazine. Danny studied at the Ateneo de Manila up to high school before he was sent by his dad to the Sophia University in Japan to take up business management—and to cut the budding romance between his son and the actress Charito Solis. While he was indeed enrolled in a business course in the beginning, he was soon moonlighting in the film editing classes, and ended up just focusing on the latter. He wasn’t able to finish his studies and at 19, got married to Leonor Vergara, a favorite leading lady and then girlfriend of Fernando Poe Jr. Despite Danny’s reputation for being a playboy, the two have been married for 47 years now, and have three grown children. “Ask the girls,” says Mark Gil, with a knowing laugh when I ask him to comment on the director’s ladies’ man image. And Zialcita always had the most beautiful women on the set: Lyka Ugarte, Dang Cecilio, Pinky de Leon, Rio Locsin, Hilda Koronel, and Gloria, of course. “My favorite is still upstairs,” he tells me when asked who among the actresses was his favorite. “I believe in duty, responsibility and continuity…I have a way of hiding what is important.” And then he adds, “Mapagbigay ako.” “He loved women,” says Gloria. “He is very cariñoso, very touchy, laging nakasampay sa’yo. Even with the men.” But Danny never made a move on her. “How can he? We were always shooting in his house; his wife was upstairs.” The Zialcita movie atmosphere, they say, is always relaxed. Mostly because he is the producer of most of his films he can take his time, and he was usually shooting at home, in the old Zialcita mansion on Lee Street in Mandaluyong. “Basta may painting at may salamin, it was shot in Danny’s house,” Mark Gil says. “Kaya ‘yung mga walls namin puro butas,” says daughter Beth. He would just change the paintings and the look of the house for every film. They would also shoot in the house across owned by a relative. “Even while he was doing his bomba movies, he would do it here,” adds Beth. “I would come home from school and see people in the house na walang damit.” While he did collect many paintings, ivories and sculptures not only for his films but also as a personal hobby, Danny also collected still photographs of scantily clad women whose blown-up incarnations Beth would see posted in his private den. His wife Leonor, says Beth, never seemed to mind. “She is a very cool wife…” – Jerome Gomez for Metro Him, ABS-CBN News, 03/12/2013 (READ MORE)

Danny’s Vi and Guy – “…Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos told the Inquirer: “I learned a lot from him. He popularized crispy, witty dialogue that sounded very natural. He was intelligent and clannish. He liked working with the same set of actors. I felt privileged to be among his regulars.” Santos starred in Zialcita’s biggest 1980s hits: “Langis at Tubig,” “Karma,” “Gaano Kadalas ang Minsan” and “T-Bird at Ako.” The last one also top-billed Nora Aunor. Told about the news, Aunor said that, apart from “T-Bird at Ako,” she guested in a Zialcita movie that launched singer Kuh Ledesma in 1982, “Tinimbang ang Langit.” “We also have an unfinished movie ‘Sa Dulo ng Panahon’ (produced by Regal Films in 1988),” said Aunor. “Mahusay siyang direktor. Mabilis mag-isip at magaganda ang mga dialogue namin lagi. He was a great director, quick-witted. He always gave us beautiful lines to deliver…” – Bayani San Diego Jr., Philippine Daily Inquirer, March 14, 2013 (READ MORE)

Dear Sharon – “…None at all. My first single, Tawag ng Pagibig (by Rey Valera), didnít click. It was my second, Mr. Deejay (also by Valera), released six months later, which did. When I was 14, I rode on the float of the movie Langis at Tubig during the parade at the Cebu Film Festival. I sang the theme song of that movie (directed by Danny Zialcita). Ate Vi (Vilma Santos), one of the stars, was pregnant with Lucky so I kind of pinchhit for her. Direk Danny was very impressed by the public reaction. After the parade, he talked to my Mom about the movie Dear Heart. Hindi daw niya itutuloy if he couldnít get me to star in it…Direk Danny wanted my character in the movie to be close to my real self para daw hindi ako mahirapan. So in the movie, I had bodyguards and my father was strict and crazy over me; I even had a yaya who called me Miss Universe. Very real life, di ba? I had crushes and puppy loves even before I met Gabby. Before I joined showbiz, ang crush ko noon ay si Dondon Nakar. But before Dondon, there was Bruce Lee, and now Jet Li. I did have a crush on Albert (Martinez) but not on Gabby. I thought Gabby was mayabang; so among the Regal Babies, mas gusto ko sina Alfie Anido at Jimi Melendez (both dead). In fact, when they asked me who I wanted as my leading man in Dear Heart, I said, “Anybody but Gabby Concepcion.í I found out na mabait naman pala siya when we started shooting…” – Ricky Lo, The Philippine Star, August 11, 2002 (READ MORE)

Comatose – “…Atenean, Danny Zialcita, passed away Monday, March 11 after more than a year of being comatose. He was 73. Director, producer and writer, Zialcita was legendary. He was revered for his glossy movies that often showed middle-class characters delivering witty quips and kilometric dialogues that he often wrote and re-wrote on the set itself. “Lady Killer” was made in 1965 and he went on to make 52 movies, most of which he himself wrote. Among his most famous are “Bakit Manipis ang Ulap,” “Nang Masugatan ang Gabi (1984), “Nagalit ang Buwan sa Haba ng Gabi” (1983), “Gaano Kadalas ang Minsan?” (1982), “Langis at Tubig” “Hindi sa Iyo ang Mundo, Baby Porcuna,” “Ikaw at ang Gabi” (1979). He was credited for plucking the teen recording artist Sharon Cuneta and making her into a star via the teen romance “Dear Heart” (1981), which paired her with Gabby Concepcion. Zialcita and Cuneta would later reunite in 1983 for “To Love Again.” He was also the director of “T-Bird at Ako,” which has the two most awarded Filipina actresses Nora Aunor and Vilma Santos. He was married to former actress of Premiere Productions Leonor Vergara with whom he had a daughter…” – Malaya, March 17 2013 (READ MORE)

Danny Zialcita and Vilma Santos

  • Langis at Tubig (1980) – Zialcita’s first collaboration with Vi. She played the other wife of Dindo Fernando who was had a shotgun wedding to a provincial naivette, played by Amy Austria who he impregnated.
  • Karma (1981) – After the hit, Langis at Tubig, zialcita did Karma with Vi. The film was one of the top grosser in the December festival. It also earned Vi another best actress. Manny A. Valera, writer for Jingle Extra Hot Magazine wrote in December 28, 1981, Vi was so proud of this Zialcita’s directed film she explained: “…Masaya ako ngayon. Sa darating na Filmfest kasi, maganda ang panlaban kong pelikula. Kung nagustuhan ng mga manonood ang Langit at Tubig last year, mas magugustuhan nila ang Karma. Hindi kiyeme-kiyeme ang sinasabi ko. Nakita ko na kasi ang mga rushes, “I consider Danny as one of the best among our movie directors. Pulido siyang magtrabaho. Pari iyong mga bold scenes namin, talagang artistically done. All praises ako sa kanya. Nakasama ko na rin siya before and because of that, may inter-action kaming dalawa. Vibes na vibes kami. Sure ako, hindi ako mapapahiya sa filmfest entry ko. “Karma will be my Christmas gift to all my fans who, until now, have not stopped loving me. Ang pagtingin ko sa kanila ay extra special kaya naman, extra-special ang regalo ko…”
  • T-Bird at Ako (1982) – Aside from several guest appearances in all star cast films like Dugo at Pag-ibig sa Kapirason Lupa, Happy Days Are Here Again and other forgetable films, this is the fourth films that Vi and Guy did together. Zialcita masterfully directed the two and despite the unequal weight in terms of roles, Vi gamely faced Nora in several memorable confrontation scenes that include witty/crisp dialouges, slapping and a kissing scene (well, almost lips to lips, a kiss in a cheek). Art immitating life? We all know that Guy had a rumour gay wedding in the U.S. that she herself briefly discussed in an article years back. And she also candidly admitted several times, she’s also a Vilmanian. Zialcita was way ahead of his time, creating one of few Filipino films about a career minded and succesful lawyer who happens to be a lesbian. Seldom we see such characters in Filipino local films and he has done this several times in films like Mahinhin vs Mahinhn. Despite the dissappointing ending where lesbian Nora agreed to be with her patient suitor, played by Tommy Abuel, instead of Vi, the film has answeared what both Vi and Guy’s fans has been expecting since Bernal’s Ikaw Ay Akin, the typical battle confrontations. It may come probably too late as the film was not as successfull commercially.
  • Gaano Kadalas ang Minsan? (1982) – Zialcita and Vi’s last film together. Hilda was originally cast in Langis at Tubig in 1980 but he took out Hilda and cast Amy Austria instead. He then make-up for this decision by giving Hilda one of the lead in this drama that reminds local film buff of the Lolita-Eddie-Marlene troika in 60s. In an interview by Jerome Gomez, for Metro in 2008, “…From 1979 to 1986, Zialcita was on a roll, doing one film after another, pulling off nine hits in a row beginning with Gaano Kadalas in 1981 up to his sex comedies that include May Lamok Sa Loob ng Kulambo. He could demand anything from a producer and his wish would be granted. When Viva Films asked him to do Gaano Kadalas, he told Vic and Mina del Rosario that he will only do it if they get George Canseco to write the theme song (most of his popular films had songs by Canseco), and that Hilda Koronel would be one of the leads. Viva granted him both, even if it had to pay more for Hilda than for Vilma. “May utang ako kay Hilda eh, I took her out of Langis at Tubig…” Gaano Kadalas broke box office records set by another Vilma starrer, Sinasamba Kita released few months eartlier, it grossed 7.3 Million in its few days run in Metro Manila in 1982, equivalent to 17.4 millions to today’s money.

Danny Zialcita (November 24, 1939 – March 10, 2013) is a fun-loving gifted and colorful filmmaker who left his mark as one of the best in the stimulating era of the ’60s and ’70s. Then without any warning he left the industry. Stories of drug addiction, withdrawal from the world, and worse, loss of sanity dogged his absence until even his colleagues lost touch with him and didn’t know what to believe. Zialcita is a master of improvisation on the set, he also had the knack for casting the right actors, choosing the right material, and pleasing his producers. One of his favorite actors was Dindo Fernando whom he termed “the complete actor” and cast him in such movies as Langis at Tubig, Karma, Gaano Kadalas Ang Minsan, Mahinhin at Mahinhin, its sequel Malakas, si Maganda at si Mahinhin and Ikaw at ang Gabi which gave Dindo his first Urian Best Actor trophy. Other favorites were Vilma Santos cast in Karma, T-Bird at Ako, Langis at Tubig; Pinky de Leon; Laurice Guillen; Ronaldo Valdes; and Beth Bautista who won Best Actress award in Hindi sa Iyo ang Mundo Baby Porcuna. – Bibsy M. Carballo (READ MORE)

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Premiere Nights

Premiere Nights 1

Oh, it’s October, month of the “Holy Rosary!” Kay bilis malagas ng mga araw, hindi natin namamalayan, bagong taon na naman. Nagkakaedad na tayong lahat subali’t andito pa rin tayo…..humahanga pa rin kay Miss Vilma Santos. Kung sabagay, sabi nga nila, age is just a number, hehehe! Sa tinagal-tagal sa industriya ng pelikulang Pilipino ni Vilma, apatnapu at anim na taon na siya sa pelikula to be exact, kulang-kulang sa limang dekada ay hindi pa rin siya matinag sa kanyang kinalalagyan. Nagsilaho na ang kanyang mga kakontemporaryo. Nagsusulputan na ang mga bagong mukha subali’t parang bulalakaw na mabilis ding nawawala. Si Vilma ay andiyan pa rin…nagniningning pa rin ang kanyang bituin…tinitingala pa rin hindi lang bilang isang magaling na alagad ng sining kundi isa na ring mahusay na public servant. Pero kahit na nasa itaas siya ay nakatuntong pa rin siya sa lupa kaya naman lahat halos ng mga nangyayari sa kanya ay pulos positibo, kahit na minsan ay may mga taong bumabatikos sa kanya. Ipinagsasawalang kibo na lang niya ang mga ito, para que pa nga naman eh pampa-stress lang yan noh! At dahil diyan, siya pa rin ang Nag-iisang Bituin…nakakapag-demand ng mataas na talent fee sa kanyang mga pelikula at commercials na ginagawa. Siya pa rin ang “premiere actress” ng bansang Pilipinas. At yamang napapag-usapan ang kanyang pagiging “premiere actress” kung kaya’t balikan natin ang mga “premiere night” ng mga pelikula ni Governor Vilma Santos-Recto.

Noong araw, madalang ang mga pelikulang may “premiere night.” Ang mga sinehang pinagdarausan ng mga “premiere night” noon ay mga nangawala o nagsipagsara na katulad ng Galaxy Theater sa Avenida Rizal, Lyric Theater sa Escolta, Rizal at Magallanes Theater sa Makati City, New Frontier at Remar Theater sa Cubao, Quezon City at Gotesco Theater sa Recto Avenue, Quiapo, Manila. Nauso na ang mga “malls” na karaniwan ay may apat hanggang labingdalawang sinehan na pinagpapalabasan ng mga pelikula. Nilamon na ng mga sinehan sa mga naglalakihang malls ang mga lumang sinehan noon. Eh bakit pa nga ba ikaw manonood sa mga dating sinehan samantalang kung sa “mall” ka pupunta ay andun na lahat…..supermarket, department store, food court, amusement center at may mga shows pa. Ngayon…..halos lahat ng pelikulang tagalog ay may “premiere night”…..na karaniwan ay may mga nag-iisponsor at ito ay ginaganap sa mga sinehan sa mga malls. Pati ang mga digital films ay may “premiere night” na rin na sa UP Film Center ipinalalabas.

Ang pelikulang Pakawalan Mo Ako na ipinalabas noong Mayo 29, 1981 ay nag-premiere showing sa Lyric Theater at sponsored ito ng Catholic Women’s League Manila Chapter. Natandaan ko pa noon na ang pases na ginamit ko para manood ng pelikulang ito ay ibinigay lang sa akin ng isa kong kaopisinang tagahanga ni Nora Aunor. Eksaktong alas siyete ng gabi ito nagsimula. Walang artistang dumalo sa nasabing premiere night subali’t nang ito ay muling nag-premiere night sa Gotesco Theater ay talagang may mga nabasag na salamin sa lobby ng sinehan dahil sa pagkakagulo ng mga manonood. Si Vi ay hindi nakarating dahilan sa siya ay kapapanganak lamang kay Luis. Ang pelikulang ito kung saan si Elwood Perez ang naging direktor ay tinatampukan din nina Christopher de Leon at Anthony Castelo ay isa sa mga sumira ng takilya. Nakamit ni Vi ang pangalawang best actress award mula sa Famas sa pelikulang ito.

Nang mag-premiere night naman ang unang pelikula ni Vi sa Viva Films na Sinasamba Kita na idinerek ni Eddie Garcia ay talagang naging pandemonium. Ito ay ginanap sa New Frontier Theater, Cubao, Quezon City at nang makapasok na ang mga tao sa loob at magsisimula na ang pelikula ay nagkalat ang mga tsinelas sa lobby ng sinehan na naiwan ng mga tagahangang natapakan ng mga nais makapanood ng pelikula. Ito ay ipinalabas sa mga sinehan noong Agosto 19, 1982 at tinampukan din nina Christopher de Leon, Philip Salvador at Lorna Tolentino.

Sunud-sunod ang mga pelikula ni Vilma sa Viva Films na nagkaroon ng premiere night at katulad ng mga nauna ay nagkakagulo pa rin ang kanyang mga tagahanga. Ito ay ang mga pelikulang Gaano Kadalas Ang Minsan? at Paano Ba Ang Mangarap? na sa New Frontier Theater din ginanap. Ang New Frontier Theater pala ay itinuturing na pinakamalaking sinehan sa buong Asia nang mga panahong yun. Ang Gaano Kadalas Ang Minsan? na idinerek ni Danny L. Zialcita ay ipinalabas noong Nobyembre 11, 1982 at tinampukan din nina Dindo Fernando at Hilda Koronel…..samantalang ang Paano Ba Ang Mangarap? na idinerek naman ni Eddie Garcia ay ipinalabas noong Hunyo 9, 1983 at tinampukan din nina Christopher de Leon at Jay Ilagan.

Ang premiere night ng pelikulang Never Ever Say Goodbye ay sa Galaxy Theater naman ginanap. Bukod kay Vi ay dumalo din ang mga stars ng nasabing pelikula katulad nina Nonoy Zuñiga. Nagkaroon pa ng isang maliit na programa bago nag-umpisa ang pelikula. Ito ay ipinalabas sa mga sinehan noong Oktubre 7, 1982 sa direksiyon ni Gil Portes.

Sa Magallanes Theater ginanap ang premiere showing ng pelikulang tinatampukan ni Vi at ni Nora Aunor na T-Bird At Ako. Hindi dumalo ang dalawang lead stars ng pelikula, yung mga supporting stars lamang ang mga dumalo pati na rin ang prodyuser ng pelikula na si Irene Lopez. Si Danny L. Zialcita ang direktor ng pelikulang ito na ipinalabas noong Setyembre 2, 982 at tinampukan din nina Dindo Fernando at Tommy Abuel.

Sa Film Center sa Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City naman nag-premiere showing ang pelikula ng Mirick Films na inilahok sa 1982 Metro Manila Film Festival na Haplos. Kasama ni Vi sa pelikulang ito sina Christopher de Leon na nanalong best actor at Rio Locsin sa direksiyon ni Butch Perez. Hindi nakadalo si Vi at Boyet subali’t andun si Rio Locsin na kasama pa noon ang asawang si Al Tantay.

Premiere Nights 2Samantala, nagkaroon ng double screening sa loob lamang ng isang gabi sa Rizal Theater ang pelikulang Sister Stella L. Punung-puno ang dalawang screening at grabe ang naging reception ng mga tao. Umaatikabong palakpakan ang maririnig sa loob ng Rizal Theater nang matapos ang pelikula. Nakita kong dumalo doon sina German Moreno at Babette Villaroel. Palibhasa’y ang Rizal Theater ay malapit lang sa Forbes Park, Bel-Air, Dasmariñas Village at San Lorenzo kung kaya’t karamihan sa mga nanood ay mga alta sosyedad. Sosyal talaga ang pelikula at ito lang yata ang pelikulang pinapalakpakan ng mga tao pagkatapos ng screening, maging ng mga class C, D at E. Nagkaroon din ng mga special screening ang pelikulang ito ni Mike de Leon sa iba’t ibang paaralan ng Metro Manila. Di nga ba’t isa si NEDA Secretary Ralph Recto na nanood nito na noon ay estudyante pa lang? Inilabas ito sa mga sinehan noong Hulyo 12, 1983 at napanalunan ng pelikulang ito sa Urian ang halos lahat ng awards sa iba’t ibang kategorya kabilang na ang tatlong taong sunud-sunod na best actress award ni Vi.

Ang una’t huling pelikula ni Vilma sa Via Hoffman Films na Tagos Ng Dugo ay nag-premiere night sa New Frontier Theater din. Bago pa dumating si Vi ay halos isara na ng mga guwardiya ang pintuan ng sinehan dahilan sa hindi na nila ma-accomodate ang napakaraming taong manonood. Nang dumating si Vi ay agad sinimulan ang pelikula. Sa loge ng sinehan naupo si Vi at ang kanyang mga co-stars. Nang matapos ang pelikula at magbukas ang ilaw ay walang humpay sa pagkaway si Vi sa mga taong nasa ibaba ng sinehan. Ang mga taong nanood ay walang pagod sa kasisigaw sa pagtawag kay Vi. Ang pelikulang ito na idinerek ni Maryo J. de los Reyes ay nag-regular showing sa mga sinehan noong Enero 25, 1987. Sa pelikulang ito natamo ni Vi ang ikaapat na best actress award sa Famas at pangalawa naman niya sa Catholic Mass Media Award.

Ang pelikulang tinampukan ni Vi kasama sina Tonton Gutierrez, Ricky Davao at Cherrie Gil na may pamagat ng Saan Nagtatago Ang Pag-ibig? ay sa Rizal Theater din nag-premiere showing. Sobrang dami ding tao ang nanood palibhasa’y dito noon ginaganap ang Vilma Show nang panahong yun. Ang pelikulang ito na idinerek ni Eddie Garcia ay ipinalabas sa mga sinehan noong Setyembre 2, 1987. Dito sa pelikulang ito nanalo si Tonton Gutierrez ng kanyang best actor award mula sa Catholic Mass Media Award at Star Awards for Movies. Si Eddie Garcia ay nanalo ring best director mula sa iba’t ibang award giving bodies.

Ang true-to-life story ni Dolzura Cortez na pinamagatang Dahil Mahal Kita: The Dolzura Cortez Story ay sa New Frontier Theater nag-premiere night. Dumalo sa nasabing premiere showing ang dating Secretary of Health na naging senador na si Flaviano Javier na umaming isang Vilmanian siya. Ito ang kauna-unahang pelikulang tumatalakay sa isang taong may AIDS (Acute Immune Deficiency Syndrome). Ito ay inilahok ng Octo Arts Films sa Manila Film Festival kung saan nasungkit ni Vi ang best actress award. Ito ay sa direksiyon ni Laurice Guillen. Nakamit din ni Vi ang kanyang pangalawang grand slam sa pelikulang ito.

Sa Greenhills Theater naman nag-premiere showing ang pelikulang Nag-iisang Bituin na bukod kay Vi ay tinampukan din nina Christopher de Leon, Aga Muhlach at ng isa ring Vilmanian na si Jao Mapa. Ito ang unang pelikula ni Vi kay Jose Javier Reyes na nag-regular showing noong Agosto 31, 1994. Isa sa mga sponsors ng pelikulang ito, kung saan si Vi ang endorser, ay ang Eskinol Facial kung saan namahagi sila sa pamamagitan ng paghahagis ng maliliit na bote ng Eskinol sa mga taong manonood. Isa sa mga Vis na nanood ay aksidenteng tinamaan sa mata subali’t ito ay kanilang ipinagamot.

Ang pelikulang pinagsamahan nina Vi, Gabby Concepcion, Aga Muhlach at Aiko Melendez na may pamagat na Sinungaling Mong Puso ay nag-premiere night sa Gotesco Theater. Tulad ng dati, nagkabasag-basag na naman ang mga salamin sa lobby ng sinehan. Nang mag-regular showing na ang pelikulang ito sa mga sinehan noong Agosto 27, 1993 ay bumabagyo at binaha pa ang ibang sinehang pinaglabasan ng nasabing pelikula subali’t super blockbuster pa din ito quesehodang nakababad ang mga paa ng ibang taong nanood. Ang pelikulang ito ay idinerek ni Maryo J. de los Reyes. Dito nagwagi si Aga ng best actor award at si Gabby naman ay best supporting actor.

Sa Remar Theater naman nag-premiere night ang pelikulang tinampukan nina Vi, Cesar Montano at Ronnie Ricketts na Ikaw Lang sa direksyon ni Chito Roño. Hindi magkamayaw ang mga tao nang dumating ang mga lead stars. Ang pelikulang ito ay ipinalabas sa mga sinehan noong Enero 12, 1994.

Ang pelikula tungkol sa OFW na Anak ay nag-premiere showing sa dalawang sinehan ng SM Megamall. Hindi mahulugang karayom ang mga taong nanood ng nasabing pelikula. Dumating ang mga lead stars ng pelikula at talagang walang katapusang tilian at sigawan ang mga fans sa loob ng sinehan habang pinapanood ang nasabing pelikula. Ipinalabas ang pelikulang ito noong May 12, 2000 sa kasagaran ng mga bomb threats subali’t hindi ito naging hadlang para hindi pasukin ng tao ang pelikula. Ito na yata ang pelikulang pinilahan ng husto sa takilya. Ang pelikulang ito ay sa direksiyon ni Rory Quintos at dito muling nabigyan si Vi ng box-office queen award kahit na hall of famer na siya. Nanalo din si Vi ng best actress award mula sa Star Awards for Movies at Pasado. Ang pelikulang ito din ang nanalong best film ng Catholic Mass Media Awards.

Nagkaroon ng ilang linggong exhibit sa lobby ng Robinson’s Galeria noong December 2002 ang pelikulang Dekada ’70. Mga damit, sapatos at iba’t ibang aksesorya noong dekada ’70 ang naka-display sa exhibit. Ang premiere showing naman nito sa isang sinehan ng Robinson’s Galeria ay dinaluhan nina Charo Santos, Malou Santos, Chito Roño at ang mga stars ng pelikula na sina Vi, Boyet, Piolo Pascual, Marvin Agustin, Carlos Agassi, John Wayne Sace at Danilo Barrios. Dumalo din si Marilou Diaz Abaya at panay ang bati niya sa mga stars at direktor ng pelikula. Dito sa pelikulang ito nasungkit ni Vi ang kanyang pang-apat na grand slam.

Sinabi noon ni Mother Lily Monteverde na ang final Mano Po movie ay itong pelikula nina Vi at Boyet na panlaban nila sa 2004 Metro Manila Film Festival na Mano Po 3 My Love, subali’t hindi ito nangyari dahil may mga sumunod na Mano Po pa. Nagkaroon ng red carpet premiere night ang nasabing pelikula sa SM Megamall. Dumalo ang mga stars ng pelikula na sina Vi, Boyet, Angel Locsin, Karylle, Dennis Trillo, Angelica Panganiban, Carlo Aquino, Jay Manalo, Boots Anson Roa, Eddie Garcia, Patrick Garcia, John Pratts at iba pa. Nanalong best actress at best actor sina Vi at Boyet. Nanalo ring best picture ang pelikula ganundin ang best float. Ito ang unang directorial job ni Joel Lamangan kay Vilma. Nanalo din si Vi ng best actress award mula sa Star Awards for Movies, Gawad Tanglaw at Gawad Suri.

Sa kabuuan, ang lahat ng “premiere night” na pelikula ng tinaguriang “premiere actress” ng bansa ay talagang malaking tagumpay. Panalong-panalo talaga!!!. – Alfonso Valencia (READ MORE)

Premiere Nights 3Unprecedented Stella L Premiere – Kung ang batayan ay ang premiere night ng Sister Stella L na ginanap sa Rizal theater noong June 22, sigurado nang dudumugin nang masa ang pelikulang ito ni Mike De Leon kapag regula showing na ito sa commercial theaters. Talaga namang very, very successful ang nasabing premiere night at ayon nga sa mga nakakaalam, never in the history of local cinema na ang isang pelikula’y dalawa ang screenings sa premiere showing at parehong SRO. Obviously, maraming A-B crowd nung gabing ‘yon, tulad ng grupo ni Chona Kasten na namataan namin, pero marami ring mga manggagawa at mga miyembro ng iba’t ibang sektaryang pang relihiyon. Ang nag-isponsor ng premiere night na ‘yon ay ang The Organization for the Promotion of Church People’s Right/Response (PCPR). Ang Sister Stella L na pelikula ng Regal Films ay ipapaplabas umpisa sa July 14. – Movie Flash Magazine, July 12 1984

Paano malalaman kung magiging malakas sa takily ang isang pelikula? Isa sa mga sukatan ang premiere ngiht. Hangga’t maari’y ayaw ng ibang produser na magpa-premiere night. Usually kasi, may nag-iisponsor nito, at sa kanila, sa charity – kung tutoo mang sa charity – napupunta ang bayad sa takilya. At siyempre pa, dahil premiere night ekstra ang halaga ng tiket, P25 sa orkestra, P50-100 sa balcony at loge. Bukod sa malaking kawalan din yon sa produser sa regular run ng pelikula, puewede pang mapintas-pintasan ito, at pag kumalat iyon, bagsak ang pelikula! Sa isang dako, kung gustong makatulong ng produser sa charity, at kung sampalataya siya sa kanyang pelukula, mainam magpa-premiere night para higit na maipaalam sa lahat na maganda ito. Iyon ang nasa isip ni Mother Lily nang ipa-premiere night ang “Sister Stella L.” sa Rizal theater sa Makati. Umbrella organization ng mga madre ang nag-isponsor ng premiere night, dalawang screening iyon. Umuulan nang gabing iyon, pero dagsa pa rin ang mga tao. Siksikan. Gayunpama’y disiplinado. Marami rin kasi sa mga ito ang mga madre. Kung karaniwan nang umaasa pa rin sa walk-in ang ibang nagpapa-premiere night, iba naman ang nangyari sa “Sister Stella L.”

Bago pa ang first screening, dakong alas sinko-medya, sold out na ang tiket. Nakikiusap na talaga ang mga hindi nakabili ng tiket na bibili sila, pero ubos na. Dumating doon ang ina ng tunay na Sister Stella L. “No, my daughter is not an activist, she only wanted to help the needy,” sabi nito. Sa kasalukuya’y nasa abroad daw ito, nagtungo roon pagkaraang lumabas mula sa pagkaka-detain ng 11 months sa isang militar camp. Mula sa siyuting ng “Alyas Baby Tsina,” dumating si Vilma Santos. Kagulo sa kanya ang mga tao sa lobby. Magkasabay na pumasok sina Gina Alajar at Michael De Mes, at naisip namin, mali nga ‘ata ‘yung balitang nagkahiwalay sila. Very, very successful ang premiere night na iyon. Katunayan, gusto pa itong masundan ng isang labor sector, tumanggi na lang si Mother Lily. “They will give me raw three hundred thousand, but I said no. Paano naman ang regular run ko?” – Bibsy Estrella (READ MORE)

“…The Bicol Festival Foundation, in cooperation with Philtanco, is sponsoring the movie premiere of the film Saan Nagtatago ang Pag-ibig?, tonight at 7:30, at the Rizal Theatre in Makati. The movie, directed by Eddie Garcia, stars by Eddie Garcia, stars Vilma Santos, Gloria Romero, Ricky Davao, Cherie Gil, Alicia Vergel and Tonton Gutierrez. The Bicol Festival Foundation is headed by Justice Francis F. Gachitorena of the Sandiganbayan. Film director Garcia who is a Bicolano himself has offered this latest Vilma Santos starrer to the Bicolanos, many of whom have been devastated by typhoon Herming a few weeks ago. He said, ‘This is my little contribution in the Bicolano’s who will be celebrating the Penafrancia Festival next month.” The Bicolanos in Manila will hold teh Grand Bicolandia Festival from September 7-13 at the Manila Garden Hotel in Makati and many activities have been schedule to drum up support for the plight of the Bicolanos in the provinces. Tickets are available a the theater gate at Visual Horizons with telephone no. 815-0024 or Philtranco at telephone no. 833-7180…” – Manila Standard, Sep 01 1987 (READ MORE)

LATEST NEWS - Premiere Night Jul 25 2012 3The Healing’s Premiere Night – “…The entire cast of “The Healing,” led by multi-awarded actress and Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos and young actress Kim Chiu, arrived together, wearing red outfits and flashing smiles to fans who attended the event. Santos was escorted by her husband Senator Ralph Recto. Before the movie was screened, Santos said she is truly proud of this movie because she and the rest of the cast really worked hard to make it beautiful. “We’re all very excited and we would like to thank each and everyone of you for joining us in the premiere night of ‘The Healing.’ Pinamamalaki po naming lahat ito dahil pinagpaguran namin,” she said. Santos said she is hoping moviegoers would enjoy the film and feel scared at the same time. Among the celebrities who attended the premiere night were Piolo Pascual, Maja Salvador, Matteo Guidicelli and Robi Dominggo. Chiu’s former boyfriend Gerald Anderson was also there as well as actor Xian Lim, who is currently being linked to her…The Healing was graded A by the Cinema Evaluation Board and it opens in theaters nationwide today, July 25…” – ABS-CBN News (READ MORE)

LATEST NEWS - July 2013 Ekstra Gala 1Eksta’s Premiere Night – “…As early as 5:00 p.m., people were already queuing for the 6:15 screening. The line became longer in just a few minutes, while other people were excitedly awaiting the arrival of Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto. The Vilmanians were hoping to get a glimpse of their idol enter the Main Theater. The celebrities started arriving, which made the task of containing the crowd a little difficult for the ushers. But they politely obliged when they were asked to clear the area leading to the Main Theater. When the signal was given that the moviegoers could now enter the theater, the people dashed toward the main entrance, hoping to be the first to get inside. This could have been a scene straight from Philippine cinema’s classic eras, such as the pre-martial law Manila film festivals. And the star of the night was a veteran performer with 5 decades in the industry. Vilma said the premiere erased her apprehensions about venturing into independent cinema for the first time. “Yung pinaka-reception kanina, yun na ang pinaka-bayad namin (The reception was already the reward).” Jeturian was a PA (production assistant) in the 1984 production of Marilou Diaz Abaya’s “Alyas Baby Tsina.” Vilma was the star of that film, and Jeturian remembers already dreaming of becoming a filmmaker at the time…” – Rappler (READ MORE)

Filmography: T-Bird at Ako (1982)

“Hindi naman ako ipokrita…ke tomboy ka, bakla ka, ok lang sa akin yon! Pareho lang yon! Kung saan ka maligaya duon sila…huwag na nating pakialamanan…alam mo kung nuong una sinabi na niya sa akin kung ano siya hindi na kami nagkaganito eh…akala ko tutoong tao siya!” – Isabella

“Putik nga ito! Pero kahit ganito ako, nagsisimba ako kahit papaano!…ang sabi ng nasa itaas, ang sala sa lamig, sala sa init, iniluluwa ng langit, isinusuka ng diyos!” – Isabella

“…ano ba naman ‘to katawan lang ‘to, ‘konting tubig, ‘konting sabon, wala na…tapusin na natin ang kaso, pagkatapos sabihin mo kung kailan, saan…darating ako, ang katawan ko!” – Isabella

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Basic Information: Directed: Danny Zialcita; Portia Ilagan; Screenplay: Danny Zialcita, Portia Ilagan; Cast: Vilma Santos, Nora Aunor, Dindo Fernando, Tommy Abuel, Tony Carreon, Baby Delgado, Rosemarie Gil, Suzanne Gonzales, Odette Khan, Liza Lorena, Alvin Enriquez, Adul de Leon, Rustica Carpio, Anita Linda; Original Music: Butch Monserrat; Cinematography: Felizardo Bailen; Film Editing: Ike Jarlego Sr.; Sound: Rudy Baldovino; Theme Songs: “Hiwaga ng Pag-ibig” performed by Nora Aunor

Plot Description: An interesting and witty play of events and characters directed by avant garde filmmaker Danny Zialcita. The story of a woman confused of her sexuality (played by Nora Aunor) who worked in a man’s world as a lawyer. A chance meeting with a bar girl (played by Vilma Santos) who would change the course of her life. The film portrays a woman who runs and holds her life, but when matters of the heart are concerned, she just lets fate takes it toll. She believes to be in love with the bar girl, or she thinks she is! At the end, a sudden twists explodes making her more vulnerable that she has ever imagined. A parody on the comic love and life of people caught up in a the middle of strange questions of gender issues. A seriously funny picture of the drama of life! – Kabayan Central (READ MORE)

Lesbian lawyer Nora, tried to assist the accused dancer, Vilma with her legal battles and unexpectedly, falls in love with her. The poorly written plot compensate with crisped dialogues and fast paced editing from one of the most finest commercial director of the 80s, Danny Zialcita.

Confused lawyer Sylvia Salazar (Nora Aunor) is infatuated by the oozing charm of ago-ago dancer Isabel (Vilma Santos) whom she has volunteered to defend in a criminal case. Sylvia’s persistent and dedicated suitor (Tommy Abuel), another lawyer of intelligence and a strong conviction, however, does not give up on her and resolves to pursue her or wait for that time when she will be more receptive to a man’s affections. Also stars Dindo Fernando, Liza Lorena, Baby Delgado, Leila Hermosa, Suzanne Gonzales and Odette Khan. Written by Portia Ilagan and directed by Danny L. Zialcita for Film Ventures, Inc. – Trigon Video

Film Achievement: The fourth Vilma Santos-Nora Aunor films (the other films are: Young Love, Pinagbuklod ng Pag-ibig, Ikaw Ay Akin.

Film Reviews: “…The remastered version of Danny Zialcita’s T-Bird AT Ako is clearly something that we can be proud of. At an age of total enlightenment, we no longer need to know who’s better between Aunor and Santos. What matters now is that we have a film we can return to, so we can once again, embrace the magic of cinema and understand why it continually touches our lives. Apart from a salute to a director, who has once graced our taste and tickled our sensitivities as Filipinos, it is also a celebration of two great actresses who will ceaselessly make us smile every time we wonder what magic they have that makes us submit to their bidding…”- Orly S. Agawin, Jellicle Blog, 26 February 2015 (READ MORE)

“…The restoration campaign focuses on directors primarily. In the case of the 33-year old ‘T-Bird at Ako,’ it’s vintage Danny Zialcita with his snappy dialogue and witty repartee. It’s also the last time that Nora and Vilma co-starred in a movie and with such a daring theme for its time. “T-Bird at Ako” tells the story of a sexy dancer (Santos) accused of homicide. She is defended by a female lawyer (Aunor) who tries to keep their relationship professional as the latter struggles with confusion as to her sexual preference. T-Bird at Ako is among the 75 films restored by ABS-CBN Film Archives, in collaboration with Central Digital Labs, since it started its restoration project in 2011. Some of these restored films were already screened internationally via film fests, screened locally via red carpet premieres, aired on free-to-air and cable television, viewed via pay-per-view and video-on-demand, distributed on DVD, and downloadable even on iTunes…” – LionhearTV, 26 February 2015 (READ MORE)

“…The 1982 blockbuster T-Bird At Ako was not the first movie to star rival screen icons Nora and Vilma, but it played up the rivalry of the two, even coming up with a circular “billing” so you couldn’t tell whose name appeared first. It also has a titillating premise: Nora Aunor plays Sylvia, a successful lawyer who finds herself sexually attracted to Vilma Santos’s Isabel, a nightclub dancer/hostess accused of murder. The movie is absolutely delightful, and its two stars never looked better, but if you’re looking for a serious discussion of LGBT issues, look elsewhere. As writer Portia Ilagan said in her introduction, she and the director had a spat over the “redeeming” ending, which in the tradition of old Tagalog movies suggests that homosexuality is a temporary phase that can be cured…In T-Bird at Ako, every character is a character, and even the most minor characters get to unleash verbal zingers. Many of these zingers seem like throwaway remarks, so you need to pay close attention. “Saan tayo?” says the taxi driver. “Sa impyerno,” says Vilma Santos, and the movie doesn’t make room for the audience’s laughter but barrels right into the next scene. It occurred to me that Danny Zialcita’s movies, which were marketed as melodramas, are really screwball comedies, the genre I love most in the world. The plots are preposterous, the story is only loosely related to real life, and everyone is clever. It doesn’t try to be like the actual world, it wonders why the world isn’t more fun like a movie…”

“…Nora Aunor has the more difficult role. Her Sylvia is a cerebral woman who has never paid much attention to her feelings and suddenly finds herself swamped with them. Could she be a lesbian? The movie’s timidity and its fear of offending the traditionalist audience doesn’t help her: she is reduced to being petulant and jealous when Vilma’s Isabel stays out late at night. But Nora uses her famous power of understatement to convey the confusion, discomfort, and amazement of emotional awakening. It’s also refreshing to see her play an established, affluent character whom no one would think of oppressing. Make her api at your own risk. Vilma Santos is in her element playing the quintessential Vilma role: the woman of feeling who has no qualms about expressing them. She also has a nightclub dance sequence that, far from portraying her as a downmarket floozy, makes her look like she should be headlining a TV variety show. Oh right, she’s done that. And her line readings are hilarious. Under cross-examination by Tommy Abuel, who asks if she can understand his questions in English, she says, “Opo, hindi naman malalim ang English niyo.” Offhandedly, without turning it into a moment…” – Jessica Zafra, Interaksyon, 27 February 2015 (READ MORE)

“…Ang husay talaga ng director na si Danny Zialcita. And the actors in the movie were equally good. Sa court scene, hindi nagpatalo sina Johnny Wilson at Tommy Abuel as the prosecutors. Ang gagaling nilang magbitaw ng mga dialouges. At hindi rin nagpatalo ang Superstar as the defense lawyer. Superb ang exchange words sa court room. We wondered kung sino ang scriptwriter ng pelikula. But Manay Ethel Ramos said na si Danny Zialcita is an expert on that area. Halos hindi maalis ang tutok ng lahat kay Ate Vi with her sexy dance number and she was in a red skin tight outfit with the lower part exposing very shapely thighs and legs. Sabi nga ng anak naming si Julienne who was with us during the viewing of the film, “Ang ganda ni Vilma lalo na ‘yung ilong niya. Girl na girl talaga siya. Ang ganda rin ni Nora pero pang-masa talaga ang dating niya. Very convincing siya as t-bird. Paglabas ko, Mommy, ng film center, tumatak sa akin na t-bird talaga siya.” Nandun sina Aiza Seguerra at Liza Dino to support the film since the film is about same sex relationship. Nandun din si Direk Perci Intalan who is, as everywone knows, married to writer Jun Lana. Kay Portia Ilagan (the right hand of Sen. Bong Revilla) pala ang kuwento ng T-Bird at Ako. Kuwento diumano ito ng buhay niya. Dahil yung same sex relationship ay hindi pa masyadong accepted nung time na ginawa ang movie, sa ending, hindi nagkatuluyan sina Vilma at Nora. May mga dialouges pa si Ate Vi na “Nandidiri ako sa ‘yo.” nung mag-attempt si Ate Guy na haplusin siya. So, sa ending si Nora ay napunta kay Tommy Abuel at si Vilma naman kay Dindo Fernando. Sey kuno ni Portia sa isa namaing kasamahan sa panulat na nag-interview sa kanya, ang ayaw niya sa ending ay pinag-bestida raw si Ate Guy. She accepted the ending na napunta si Ate Guy kay Tommy Abuel pero ang di niya nagustuhan ay pinagsuot ito ng bestida. In real life kasi, never sigurong nagsuot ng dress si Kabsat Portia…” – Len Ramos Llanes, Bulgar, 27 February 2015 (READ MORE)

“…Na-miss ng film critics at ng showbiz industry ang style ng yumaong Danny Zialcita sa pagdi-direk. Ilan sa kanyang mga obra ay ang Nagalit ang Buwan sa Haba ng Gabi at marami pang iba tulad ng T-Bird at Ako na ipinalabas sa UP Film Center las February 25. Ang bida ng classic film na ito ni Danny ay ang dalawang superstars ng local film na sina Vilma Santos at Nora Aunor. Ang said film ay ilan lang sa mga restored film into its original na gawa ng ABS-CBN Film Restoration. Ang mga nauna nang restored films na ipinalabas sa said venue ay ang tatlong pelikula ni Batangas Governor Vilma Santos-Recto like Bata Bata Paano Ka Ginawa at Anak. Anyway, dumating si Nora sa UP Film Center nang mas maaga sa takdang oras ng palabas na 6pm. Unfortunately, walang Vilma na dumating although nagpasabi ito sa kanyang mga Vilmanians na hindi siya makakarating due to important committment sa Batangas. Bagama’t wala si Ate Vi, kumpleto pa rin ang Vilmanians sa pangunguna ni Jojo Lim na siyang nag-asikaso sa mga press people na kanyang inimbitahan. Pagkatapos ng welcome speech ni Leo Katigbak, ang head ng Kapamilya Film Restoration, sumunod na nagpasalamat si Ate Guy sa mga dumalo sa event, maka-Nora man o Maka-Vilma. Nasa 4th row nakaupo si Ate Guy habang ongoing na ang viewing. Binulungan kami ng aming katabing isang radio host-columnist na “Tumatakas na si Nora.” True, napansin ng lahat na nu’ng ipinapakita ng ilaw, bakante na ang kinauupuan ng Superstar. Tuloy, ‘di na naman nakalusot sa intriga ang bulilit aktress at biro ng aming katabi, “Nag-walkout yat? e, kasi nga, kahit wala si Vilma, mas malakas ang palakpakan sa kanya,”sey ng aming katabi. Bago pa ang screening ng T-Bird at Ako sa UP Film Center, nagpaunlak ng pahayag si Nora at naitanong ng katotong Morly Alinio kung papayag ba ito sakaling magkaroon ng T-Bird At Ako part 2 kahit na pareho na silang may edad? Sagot ni Ate Guy, “Why not? Depende siguro ‘yun sa istorya,” sey sa amin. “Wala namang problema sa amin ng mare ko,”na tinutukoy ay ang Star for all Seasons…” – Ador Saluta, Bulgar, 27 February 2015 (READ MORE)

“…Ang kuwento ng T-Bird At Ako ay tungkol sa isang dancer (Vilma) na naakusahan ng homicide. Ipagtatanggol siya ng isang abogada (Nora) na susubukang panatilihing propesyunal ang kanilang ugnayan habang nilalabanan ang pagkalito sa kanyang sexual preference. Si Portia Ilagan ang sumulat ng script ng T-Bird At Ako at ayon sa kanya, magkakaroon daw ito ng remake. Ang gusto niyang magbida sa bagong version ng pelikula ay sina Angel Locsin (dancer) at Bea Alonzo (lawyer). Gusto rin niyang maging part ng pelikula sina Vilma at Nora, Aiza Seguerra at asawa nitong si Liza Dino…” – Leo Bukas, Journal, 28 February 2015 (READ MORE)

“…Humahantong ang resolusyon ng pelikula sa antas nang mapilitang magkasundo ang mga magkakatunggali. Sa pagtatapos nito ay bumalik si Aunor sa tunay na esensya ng kanyang pagkababae. Nagmula ito sa matagumpay na babaeng nagpasimula sa pagtagumpay ng mga tradisyonal na pagpapahalagang pang-kababaihan. Tulad ng inaasahan, napapalooban ang T-Bird At Ako ng mga kapani-paniwalang pagganap at pagtatapat. Higit na epektibo si Nora Aunor bilang isang lesbiyana sa pagpapahayag ng komplikasyon sa tauhang kanyang ginagampanan. Lubha namang nakakapagod ang pagganap ni Vilma Santos sa pelikula. Hindi makaramdam ng simpatiya ang manonood dito dahilan sa karton ang kanyang karakter. Samantala magiting ang suportang ipinamalas ni Tommy Abuel bilang matiyagang manliligaw ni Aunor, gayundin sina Dindo Fernando at Suzanne Gonzales. Sa maikling paggnap ay lubhang katangi-tangi sina Anita Linda at Odette Khan. Masasabing masinop ang mga elemento ng pelikula sa T-Bird At Ako, maliksi ang galaw ng mga biswal at masigla ang paggamit ng tunog upang mabisang mailarawan ang mundong ginagalawan ng mga tauhan nito.” – Jojo Devera, Sari-saring Sineng Pinoy (READ MORE)

“…Danny Zialcita’s T-Bird at Ako is entertaining cannot be doubted. The plot situations are funny. The lines are witty. The pacing is fast. The lesbian love of Nora Aunor for Vilma Santos, moreover, is extremely clever, since the two superstars in real life would not be caught dead in such a relationship. Zialcita has made a career of doing impossible things. He made he-man Dindo Fernando a homosexual in the Mahinhin series. He now makes Aunor a lesbian. When he tries to make Santos a low-class beerhouse dancer, however, he fails. That makes his record two out of three impossible things, not bad for normally sedate local cinema. This film shows Zialcita at his best – irreverent, tongue-in-cheek, unconcerned with larger themes, focused on obsessive sexual relationships. Let’s take the dialogue first, which cleverly juxtaposes the fiction of the film with the reality of the careers of the two superstars. Thus references are made to Santos’ being a “burlesque queen.” One character is even named “Rubia,” after Rubia Servios (1978), Santos’ competition film against Aunor’s Atsay (1978). More than these allusions, however, the film features sparkling exchanges between Santos and Aunor. Most impressive of all the lines perhaps are those in the court room sequence, since the opposing arguments are easy to follow, yet logical in structure. The direction is tight and masterful. Although one always gets reminded in a Zialcita film of sequences from foreign films, there is a minimum of unmotivated blocking in this film. Each sequence contributes to the whole film (if there is copying, in other words, and I do think there is in this film, the copying is not done simply to be cute or clever, but in accordance with the logical requirements of the plot). The performances, as expected of a Zialcita film, are excellent. Aunor is more effective as the confused lesbian, primarily because Santos is not able to get the rough and ready quality of low-class hospitality girls. Tommy Abuel is terrific in his role as the patient suitor. Fernando is given too little space to develop his character, but what he has, he makes good use of. Captivating is Suzanne Gonzales, though she has to learn to use her face a bit more to express varying emotions. In their brief roles, Anita Linda and Odette Khan are delightful.” – Isagani Cruz, September 22, 1982, Movie Parade Magazine

No More Superstar Image – “…Isa iyong ikslusibong pakikipanayam sa aktress sa set ng “T-Bird,” isang pelikulang tumatalakay sa mariing iksistensiya ng isang tomboy, at sa pagkakataong ito, muli na naman siyang makakasama ang kaytagal na niyang kakontemporaryong aktress, si Vilma Santos. Sa intriga’t kontrobersiya ng naturang pelikula, (sapagkat kamuntik nang hindi matuloy ang proyekto) nagpapasalamat si Nora at nagkaroon din iyon ng katuparan. Nagtapat siya: “Malaki rin ang naitulong nang pagkikita namin ni Vi sa Manila International Film Festival. Kasi, magkatabi kami. Kinabukasan nun, Saturday, meron nang shooting…Tapos, ang laki rin ng tulong nu’n kasi nagkakuwentuhan na rin kami, ang sarap! Ewan ko, ang sarap talaga ng pakiramdam kung halimbawang magkalaban kayo sa career…magkalaban, pagkatapos ang tagal-tagal n’yo, ‘yung ganu’n. ‘Yong bang hindi mo akalain…Kahit nga mga problema nag-kakuwentuhan din kami, eh…So, ‘nu’nung shooting namin, medyo hindi rin ako masyadong nahirapan sa pag-a-adjust…” Ang totoo, ayon kay Nora, medyo ayaw din niyang tanggapin noong una ang papel na iyon sa “T-Bird.” Unang-una naipangako niya sa sariling gagawa lamang siya ng tatlong pelikula para sa 1982, at hindi nakalinya ang obrang iyon ni Danny Zialcita. Isan linggo niyang pinag-isipan ang alok na iyon ay gumuhit nang malalim ang isang intrigang kanya rin napaglabanan, pagkatapos. “Kasi, unang-una, iniisip ko rin naman, siyempre maraming tao na mag-iisip na naman, magsasalita na naman ‘O baka naman tinatanggap ni Nora ‘yan kasi kakapit sa pangalan ni Vilma dahil alam na down na down na siya!…So, ‘yon, nag-worry ako pero pagkatapos kong pagaralan, naisip ko, bakit ko naman pakikialaman ‘yung ibang tao? Sa ngayon naman, nag-matured na kami. Wala na ‘yung mga batang isipan d’yang Superstar image. Unang-una nga, magsasama kami ngayon as actresses. Hindi na mga dating pa-bandying-bandying ang mga pelikula ngayon…saka isa pa, bakit ko ba iintindihin ang mga sasabihin ng tao? Kung maraming mga detractors ang magsasalit at mag-iisip nang ganun, hindi maiiwasan ‘yon. Maski anong paliwanang ang gawin mo, andu’n pa rin ‘yung kaumakalaban sa iyo…” Isang seryosong pelikula ang “T-Bird” at isang seryosong direktor naman si Danny Zialcita. Ang kay Nora ay ang maranasan ang pagpapel ng isang tomboy hindi sa paraang kumedya kundi sa isang paraang dramatika. Gusto rin niyang maranasan kung paano maiderihe ni Danny sa unang pagkakataon…” – Arthur Quinto, photos by Fely Igmat, Artista Magazine, 04 March 1982, Re-posted by James DR, Pelikula Atbp (READ MORE)

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#noraaunor, #VilmaSantos, #TBirdatAko1982, #DannyZialcita