Mike de Leon’s memorable movies

Sister Stella and ‘Batch ‘81’

By Ronald Constantino

CLASSICS – As “promised” in Highspeed yesterday, here are Mike de Leon’s memorable movies, some of them already classics.

Mike’s directorial debut is “Itim” which gave Charo Santos a best actress award from the Asia-Pacific filmfest held in Australia.

“Kisapmata” – based on a Quijano de Manila crime-drama which won awards at the Metro Manila Film Festival.

“Batch ‘81” – which tackled the violent initiations of fraternities, still relevant to this very day.

“Kakabakaba Ka Ba?” – a humorous look at the new “Japanese invasion”…with songs and dances.

“Hindi Nahahati Ang Langit” – based on a “komiks” novel, it is Mike’s most commercial film, a box-office hit.

As noted yesterday, “Sister Stella L,” inspired by an activist nun, with Vilma Santos in the title role.

“Bayaning 3rd World” – a contemporary look at the heroism of Dr. Jose Rizal. His masterwork before the controversial “Citizen Jake.”

Mike de Leon directed the “Aliwan Paradise” episode of “Southern Winds,” anthology of four films from Indonesia, Thailand, Japan, and the Philippines. Produced by NHK and Japan Foundations.

He also made a video film based on “The Collector,” titled “Bilanggo sa Dilim.”

NATIONAL ARTIST – Mike is often described as “National Artist in waiting,” which – it seems – he doesn’t welcome. At least as of the moment.

As few years back, the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino informed Mike he would receive the coveted Natatanging Gawad Urian, much earlier given to his father, Atty. Manny de Leon. Mike rejected it, saying he was no longer part of the movie industry.