Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Why Darna?

Why NOT Darna? Is the more likely question. Created in 1949 in Manila by writer Mars Ravelo as a sort of "Local Option Wonder Woman", Darna remains one of the Philippines most durable all out super heroes, immensely strong, incorruptible, patriotic, self reliant, altruistic, chivalrous and decorously feminine in a red spandex two-piece bathing suit & red crash helmet! What is shocking to me is the plain truth that Darna has been a box office powerhouse in some fifteen feature length motion pictures, since 1951!! TOP THAT GAL GADOT!!! And this is on top of three successful television series going back to 1977... Ah but the Philippines is an odd place, a nation of some 100 million citizens, a population more than large enough to support a thriving film & television industry, and yet very little of the product circulates outside the country. We here at Channel Zero think this is an awful shame since Darna is so clearly inspired by this summer's big box office playa, "Wonder Woman". This is yet another example of a fascinating cultural phenomenon in which the movies & television shows of the USA fairly saturate world markets, & those genres, tropes and notions all bounce off heavy objects (like a nationality for instance) and come back to us ineffably changed, in the form of The Beatles, Spaghetti Westerns or superheroes like "Darna". Channel Zero thinks "Darna's Hour Has Struck!" (hell it struck long before Wonder Woman managed to escape to television, let alone the movies), and to prove it we will be screening her last big motion picture "Darna, The Return" (1994) starring Anjanette Abayari as the Pinay Powerhouse locked into a death struggle with her Mortal Enemy, the Medusa, Valentina! The Philippines has always been a cinema market that puts a high value on sheer mythic strangeness, that much Darna always delivers, In Spades!! This is likely, Darna's Debut in the USA after only a scant sixty six years at the top of the box office in the the Philippines!! "Darna: The Return" (1994) he Somerville Theatre (Micro Cinema) 55 Davis Square Somerville Ma Friday, July 21st 8pm (sharp!) Admission: $7.50 (cash only) 617-625-5700 (in Tagalog Language, Subtitled in English)