Vilma Santos

The longest-reigning Queen of Philippine Cinema, also widely known as the Star for All Seasons and the QueenStar, Vilma Santos celebrates her golden anniversary in showbiz. She has starred in more than 200 films and has given the public some of the most memorable performances in Philippine motion picture history. An icon of film and popular culture, her magnetic screen presence has captured the hearts and minds of generations of Filipinos. Her enduring charisma and popularity have made her filmdom's most durable female superstar. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

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Friday, March 22, 2013

Vilma Santos, Through “The Healing,” Has Successfully Reached Out To New Demographics And Set A Trend In Pinoy Cinema

(This is repost of a previous blog article. Click this to go to original post.)

As I ushered myself, with my lady friend, into the theater of Glorietta, I couldn’t help suppressing a self-satisfied grin. I felt a sense of familiarity and belonging. It was the movie’s second-week run, on a Friday night, and the venue was packed, and I could see a diverse mix of demographic profiles. It was my second time to watch the film (the first time was in my home province, the third was in South Mall, both of which were successful screenings). I felt proud that a high-end audience gave this much support to the Vilma-starrer. Take note that this is on the movie’s second week, and in a sure-seat/one-screening-only venue.

At the close of the screening, and the lights turned on, my friend let out a comment, “Ang daming --” I chuckled. I knew. They were there -- pleasant-looking, fashion-savvy, in their late teens, 20s, early 30s, alone, with a partner, or with friends -- that demographic group who shy away from the traditional term “beki” and prefer to be called “bi,” “metrosexuals,” "g0ys" or whatever they want to call themselves, very much so because they exhibit less effeminacy, if at all. There was glow on their faces. I could feel that many of them are closet, silent fans who could not miss the chance to see Vilma’s magic on screen. Probably some of them may have previously seen “In My Life” and have become fans. Who knows, but one thing is certain:  Vilma has won over new LGBT followers.

The movie queen has also reached out to new media. In the weeks leading to the movie’s showing, and during its entire run, the blogosphere is abuzz with news and features on its star. Bloggers, who are slowly eclipsing the legit press in prestige, a powerful bloc who are not paid purveyors of gossip and publicity stunts, are one in their admiration and praise for the screen icon.

One thing that “The Healing” has achieved is it gained for Vilma Santos a new following. Not only has Vilma encroached on the horror-suspense niche, but with the film’s R-13 rating, she has also reintroduced herself to the younger segments of the population. Vilma’s insistence on challenging herself by doing different projects paid off, she has just made herself current, still, and very much a big, dominant fixture in popular culture, notwithstanding the new crop of stars that have come up and populated the scene. One palpable proof is her movie has set a trend in Philippine cinema: a slew of horror-suspense flicks followed suit after its huge success in the box-office.

Philippine horror-suspense is usually associated with Kris Aquino, but Vilma has given the genre a new meaning and dimension. Many, fans of the genre or otherwise, welcomed her bold, intrepid foray into hitherto uncharted grounds with much admiration. Vilma has, once again, engaged her public with her unparalleled magnetic screen presence and has just proven that she is the most versatile Filipino actor. (RRIE)

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