Retrospective: Mike De Leon

  • March 24, 2023 | Friday
  • Oldham Theatre
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Retrospective is a regular series showcasing bodies of work from an extended period of activity by filmmakers of different eras. Devoted to the region’s film history, contributions and movements within the industries in Asia, the platform focuses on particular profiles, themes and aesthetics to allow audiences to experience past and ongoing cinematic transformations.

About the programme

Mike De Leon, the producer and cinematographer of Lino Brocka’s haunting masterpiece Manila, In the Claws of Light (1975), is one of Filipino cinema’s most dramatic and iconic storytellers. This retrospective brings together a complete line-up of De Leon’s feature films and shorts as a writer and director. De Leon’s films are presented alongside a selected number of surviving classic melodramas, musicals, costume dramas, and noir films of the 1930s–’60s to come out of the greatest of all Filipino studios, LVN Pictures, which was founded in 1938 by De Leon’s grandmother Doña Sisang. Inspired by this storied history of popular moviemaking in the Philippines—one he experienced firsthand as a child on the LVN studio lot—as well as by Hollywood and European cinema, De Leon’s own films mix the genres of melodrama, crime, supernatural horror, slapstick comedy, and the musical with social commentary.

The first iteration of this programme and related text was conceived and organised by Joshua Siegel, Curator, Department of Film, The Museum of Modern Art, as part of Mike De Leon: Self-Portrait of a Filipino Filmmaker, from November 1–30, 2022.

Please note: little survives of the film library of LVN studios, and what does survive is generally in poor condition. We nonetheless present these rare films so that Singaporean audiences can experience them for the first time.

Retrospective: Mike De Leon will run from 24 March to 28 April 2023 at Oldham Theatre


*Titles are in chronological order

As Director

  • DOUBLE BILL: Anak dalita (The Ruins, 1965, dir, Lamberto V. Avellana) + An Actor Remembers – Joseph de Cordova (2006, dir. Mike De Leon)
  • TRIPLE BILL: Sangandaan (Crossroads, 2022, dir. Mike De Leon) + Maynila, Sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag (Manila, In the Claws of Light, 1975, dir. Lino Brocka) + Maynila, Isang Pelikulang Pilipino (Manila, A Filipino Film, 1975, dir. Clodualdo del Mundo Jr.)
  • DOUBLE BILL: Itim (The Rites of May, 1976, dir. Mike De Leon) + Itim: Isang Eksplorasyon sa Pelikula (Itim: An Exploration in Cinema, dir. 1976, dir. Clodualdo del Mundo, Jr)
  • DOUBLE BILL: Kung Mangarap Ka’t Magising (Moments in a Stolen Dream, 1977, dir. Mike De Leon) + Si Boyet, Hilda, Atbp (Boyet, Hilda and the Others, 1977, dir. Clodualdo del Mundo, Jr)
  • DOUBLE BILL: Kakabakaba Ka Ba? (Will Your Heart Beat Faster?, 1980, dir. Mike De Leon) + Saan? Sino? Paano? (1980, dir. Ding Achacoso)
  • Kisapmata (In the Blink of an Eye, 1981, dir. Mike De Leon)
  • TRIPLE BILL: AKΩ Batch ’81 (1982, dir. Mike De Leon) + Kangkungan (Swamp Cabbage Patch, 2019, dir. Mike De Leon) + Never Again (2016, dir. Mike De Leon)
  • DOUBLE BILL: Signos (Omens, 1983, dir. Concerned Artists of the Philippines (Collective)) + Aliwan Paradise (1992, dir. Mike De Leon)
  • Sister Stella L. (1984, dir. Mike De Leon)
  • Hindi Nahahati ang Langit (Heaven Cannot Be Shared, 1985, dir. Mike De Leon)
  • Bayaning 3rd World (Third World Hero, 1999, dir. Mike De Leon)
  • DOUBLE BILL: Citizen Jake (2018, dir. Mike De Leon) + A Word from the Director (2018, dir. Mike De Leon)

From Mike De Leon and LVN’s Archives

  • Giliw Ko (My Sweetheart, 1939, dir. Carlos Vander Tolosa)
  • DOUBLE BILL: A Compilation of Color Scenes from 1950s Filipino Movies (Mike De Leon) + Ibong Adarna (Adarna Bird, 1941, dir. Vicente Salumbides)
  • Mutya ng Pasig (Muse of the Pasig River, 1950, dir. Richard Abelardo)
  • Pag-asa (Hope, 1951, Lamberto V. Avellana)
  • Huk sa Bagong Pamumuhay (Huk in a New Life, 1953, Lamberto V. Avellana)
  • Malvarosa (1958, dir. Gregorio Fernandez)
  • DOUBLE BILL: Mr Li (2019, dir. Mike De Leon, Tom Estrera III, Carlo Fajarda) + Biyaya ng Lupa (Bounty of the Earth, 1959, dir. Manuel Silos)
  • A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino (1965, dir. Lamberto V. Avellana)


  • In Conversation: Josh Siegel (Free; registration required)
  • In Conversation: Mike De Leon & Josh Siegel (Free; registration required)

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