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Missing Marilou, Celso, and Mario

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MISSING THEM – From directorial comeback yesterday, Highspeed segues to missing three directors who’ve crossed the Great Beyond. Marilou Diaz-Abaya, Celso Ad. Castillo, and Mario O’ Hara.

Let’s start with Marilou whose credits include so-called four “al” films: “Brutal,” “Moral,” “Sensual,” and “Karnal.”

They tackled women’s issues, of which Marilou is passionate about.

She has three epics, “Jose Rizal,” “Muro Ami,” and “Bagong Buwan,” all topbilled by her favorite actor and good friend, Ceasar Montano.

Critic Mario Hernando likes best Marilou’s “Milagros” and “Sa Pusod ng Dagat.”

She wanted to do “Lola Rosa” with Vilma Santos and the EDSA revolt but the projects didn’t materialize.

CELSO D. CASTILLO – On the “the Messiah of Philippine cinema,” Celso Kid, of course. He is said to be an undisciplined genius, at times taking months and months, even a year, to complete a movie.

Think of “Pagputi ng Uwak, Pag-itim ng Tagak,” which almost sent producer and star Vilma Santos to the poor house.

But then result is a masterpiece.

His other excellent films: “Burlesk Queen” (again with Vilma), “Paradise Inn,” “Patayin sa Sindak si Barbara,” “Nympha” (in black and white), “Asedillo” topbilled by Fernando Poe, Jr., “Tag-araw sa Tag-ulan,” “Ang Pinakamagandang Hayop sa Balat ng Lupa,” which made Miss Universe 1969 Gloria Diaz a star, “Isla.”

MARIO O’ HARA – His favorite actress is Nora Aunor, who he directed in “Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos,” set in World War II.

After which he directed the superstar in other very good films, “Bulaklak sa City Jail,” “Condemned,” “Kastiyong Buhangin.”

Much later, Mario directed the acclaimed “Fatima Buen” and “Babae sa Breakwater.”

Of Irish-American roots, Mario was a good actor. Consider “Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang,” “Stardoom,” and “Tatlo, Dalawa, Isa,” all directed by his good friend Lino Brocka. He also excelled in stage plays. Not to forget that he wrote award-winning plays and scripts.

Mario was never showbiz, meaning he didn’t socialize and had very limited circle of friends. He’s even “allergic” to the movie press. But that didn’t stop the writers from praising his work.

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