by Ronald Constantino
JOINT TRIBUTE – The people behind Cinema One Originals Festival 2013 rightly gave a joint tribute to director Elwood Perez and producer Mother Lily Monteverde. Many of Elwood’s best films were produced by Mother Lily under the Regal banner.
Think of the Nora Aunor-Tirso Cruz III epic “Bilangin ang Bituin sa Langit,” the Vilma Santos starrers “1bulong Mo sa Diyos” and “Pinay, American Style.” And the launching vehicles of Rio Locsin (“Disgrasyada”), Cherie Gil (“Problem Child”), Gina Alajar (“Diborsyada”), Claudia Zobel (“Shame”).
Mother Lily understood, tolerated, and supported Elwood’s artistic moods and quirks, realizing she’s
working with a master who delivered quality movies which made money. “A maverick among masters,” he was called.
LANDMARK FILMS – Outside Regal, Elwood also directed other landmark films like “Silip” (released internationally), “Pacita M,” “Paraisong Pariskuat,” “Bawal: Asawa Mo, Asawa Ko,” “Lollipos and Roses at Burong Talangka,” “Isang Gabi, Tatlong Babae.”
Elwood’s last film is “Otso,” an entry to this year’s All Masters filmfest, his most experimental and unconventional work.
‘DANGEROUS AGE’ - He turns 69 next year, which he calls “a dangerous age,” saying now he wants to thank the people who’ve loved and cared for him all these years, “before it’s too late.” People in and out of showbiz, including his family.
Elwood notes that previous Cinema One Originals lifetime awardees are dead: Mario O’Hara, Celso Ad. Castillo, Danny Zialcita. But then he realized that other awardees are very much alive: Peque Gallaga, Nora Aunor, Lav Diaz, Brillante Ma. Mendoza.
‘TATAK ELWOOD’ – Direk Elwood recalls that 20 years ago, Cinema One mounted a retrospective titled “Tatak: Elwood.” He remembers some of the titles shown on cable TV: “Till We Meet Again,” “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” “Mahal Mo, Mahal Ko,” “Bilangin,” which revived the phenomenal Nora-Tirso loveteam.
Also shown were “Pacita M,” “Problem Child,” “Ibulong Mo sa Diyos.”
BLESSINGS - There were disappointments along the way, like projects which didn’t push through, but then, Elwood remains thankful for the many blessings – awards, box-office hits, respect and esteem from colleagues.
And the chance to direct the likes of Nora Aunor, Vilma Santos, Alona Alegre, Co coy Laurel, Boyet de Leon, Alma Moreno, Eddie Gutierrez, Amalia Fuentes, Ricky Belmonte, Pilar Pilapil, Boots Anson Roa, Gina Alajar, Cherie Gil, Eddie Garcia, Gabby Concepcion, Lorna Tolentino, among others.
Not to forget Anita Linda, the mother of Fred Cortez Jr., the star of his very first film, “Blue Boy.”
Perhaps, Elwood and Mother Lily could work again … like they used to in the glorious ’80s.