I remember the glory days of VCD rentals. After class, in sweaty uniforms and iskrambol on our left hands, we’d sweep our fingers across collections. That was enough to excite us. When that culture gradually went away due to digital access, I would always look for a film archive section in museums I happen to to visit, just to find copies of old films I’m interested in. Sometimes, I do. Sometimes, I don’t. Yup, that digital access doesn’t offer everything.
So, we make the most out of our chances. Good thing is there are existing initiatives that throw us to the screens of hard-to-find films. One of these is ARCHIVO 1984 in Chino Roces, Makati. ARCHIVO has been a place of preservation—remanants of old literature, music, movies, and memorabilia are tucked in safe. What’s cooler than this is Scout is teaming up with them to bring the the newest hangout yet: Scout Movie Nights.
In its first slate on March 14, we’ll be watching Happy Days Are Here Again, a 1974 full-length film by Cirio H. Santiago. Yup, you won’t find this one on Youtube.
Happy Days Are Here Again features a compilation dance and song performances weaved together into film clips. These shows are culled from various films from Sampaguita, LVN, Premiere—also known as the Big Three of Philippine Cinema’s early years. With this, expect a mix of ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s shots for stories narrated by an all-star cast: Gloria Romero, Nida Blanca, Susan Roces, Leopolda Salcedo, Jaime de la Rosa, Eddie Gutierrez, Tirso Cruz III, Pugo, German Moreno, and Ike Lozada.
That’s not everything yet. We’ll also be having a Pinoy movie poster show of rare, never-before-seen material from the ARCHIVO collection. Nick Deocampo, director of the Center For New Cinema and film scholar, will be giving a short talk supplementing the poster exhibition before the screening.
This is a monthly thing, so expect regular doses of surprises from us. In this age of one-click-away streaming, we can’t help but search for art that has long gone before us. The opportunity to see films from the yesteryears, definitely, makes us think that happy days are here again.
Banner art by Bianca Pilar