Mother Lily proud to discover new filmmakers

August 29, 2019
Rod Marmol, Sue Ramirez, Mother Lily and RK Bagatsing
Direk Rod Marmol, Sue Ramirez, Mother Lily and RK Bagatsing.

MOTHER Lily Monteverde sat on our table at the presscon of “Cuddle Weather”, along with the film’s writer-director, Rod Marmol, and its creative consultant, Dir. Tonette Jadaone. It’s the first time for the two young directors to meet Mother Lily and she regaled them with her stories about the past directors she has worked with like Lino Brocka, Ishmael Bernal, Maryo J. de los Reyes, Mario O’Hara and Joey Gosiengfiao. “They’re gone now but they made so many movies with me,” she says. “Do you know Brocka and Bernal?”

“I was born on the year that he died, 1991,” says Rod Marmol. “I saw his films na lang when I was studying filmmaking in U.P. Actually, magkababayan kami, we’re both from San Jose, Nueva Ecija.”

“I saw some movies of Bernal,” says Tonette Jadaone. “I love his ‘Broken Marriage’.”

“Siyempre, iba pa moviemaking noong araw kasi we’re really using films, 35 mm. With negatives,” adds Mother Lily. “E, ngayon, mas madali, digital na lahat, e.”

She told them her experiences with the big stars she worked with then, how she launched Maricel Soriano and Snooky Serna to stardom in 1980 when they were 14 and 13 years old in the blockbuster movie, “Underage”. “Itong bahay ko sa Valencia, this used to belong to Ate Guy (Nora Aunor). We were shooting ‘Mahal Mo, Mahal Ko’ then, with her and Christopher de Leon and Tirso Cruz III. Big scene ang kukunan, wedding sa Sanctuario de San Jose, everyone was there na, si Ate Guy lang wala. So sinundo ko siya sa bahay niya. She made me wait for 24 hours. Sabi ko while waiting, balang araw, bibilhin ko ang bahay na ito. And it happened.”

Mother Lily is happy to work with younger directors like Rod and Tonette. “Siyempre, the lifeblood of the industry is in discovering new talents like them. Gusto ko 'tong ‘Cuddle Weather’ kasi tungkol sa mga pokpok. I think lahat, makaka-relate diyan kasi it’s about love, which is universal, at hindi lang sa mga pokpok.”

Mother Lily tells RK Bagatsing, the leading man of “Cuddle Weather”: “You know, your brother Raymond, he won his first best actor award in a Regal movie.”

RK says: “Yun pong ‘Kriminal sa Barrio Concepcion’?”
    
“Yes!” says Mother Lily. “It was by Lav Diaz. Ako rin ang nagbigay ng break kay Lav sa pagdidirek. Also kay Jeffrey Jeturian.”

She asks Direk Rod Marmol how he did a movie about prosties in “Cuddle Weather”? “We did extensive research about high end prostitutes, both male and female. I interviewed a lot of them. You now contact them just on line. 'Yung iba, hindi naman mahihirap financially. Merong isa, anak ng general, gusto lang niya ng any other kind of job. Meron lang siyang fixed clientele na kumukuha sa kanya. 'Yung isa pa, UP graduate. Most of the women are single moms. Each of them have their own story and that’s what we try to capture in ‘Cuddle Weather’ that’s an entry in the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino and opens on September 13. The movie is not just about pokpoks. It’s about how you love, how you treat other people. It features very frank language and I hope hindi ma-censor. Sa TV nga, you see crimes being committed all the time, mga patayan, which is I think is worse than a film about sex workers using frank language.”

Why is the film’s title “Cuddle Weather”? “Kasi it’s the opposite of fucking weather. Having sex is now very common, for pleasure lang. But ‘yung cuddle, it’s more intimate. It’s not just about sex. May kayakap ka lang, kakuwentuhan ng mga nagaganap sa buhay mo, not necessarily nagse-sex kayo.”