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Ang Larawan 2017: ‘The Portrait’ A Primer

Ang Larawan, internationally released as The Portrait, is a 2017 Philippine musical film directed by Loy Arcenas.

Initial release: 30 October 2017
Budget: 25 million PHP
Screenplay: Rolando Tinio
Music composed by: Ryan Cayabyab

BACKGROUND

Ang Larawan is the film adaptation of Larawan, The Musical which is based on National Artist for Literature Nick Joaquin’s three-act English play A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino. First published in 1952, Joaquin’s work has been depicted numerous times on stage on screen and in English and Filipino—making it one of the most pedigreed literary works of the Philippines. In 1997, Musical Theater Philippines (now Culturtain Musicat Productions Inc. ) headed by singer Celeste Legaspi and talent manager/producer Girlie Rodis staged Larawan, the first musical rendition of Joaquin’s great play, at the CCP. The elegaic play was transformed into a musical with a libretto written by National Artist for Theater Rolando Tinio and music created by iconic original Filipino music composer Ryan Cayabyab.

In 1997, Musical Theater Philippines (now Culturtain Musicat Productions Inc. ) headed by singer Celeste Legaspi and talent manager/producer Girlie Rodis staged Larawan, the first musical rendition of Joaquin’s great play, at the CCP. The elegaic play was transformed into a musical with a libretto written by National Artist for Theater Rolando Tinio and music created by iconic original Filipino music composer Ryan Cayabyab.

This year, Culturtain with the help of supervising producer Alemberg Ang, shares Ang Larawan, The Movie with the global audience. Loy Arcenas, a multi-awarded Broadway theatrical set designer and director, was at the helm of the much-awaited film.

SYNOPSIS

This story set before World War II in Intramuros tells of the plight of sisters Candida and Paula Marasigan, daughters of high-profile painter Don Lorenzo Marasigan.

~ more after the jump ~

Since Don Lorenzo has not produced a single painting for a long time, the family is in financial trouble. The unmarried sisters have had to rely on their seemingly more successful brother Manolo and sister Pepang. Their siblings urge Candida and Paula to sell the house.

To have a source of income, the sisters take in a boarder, Tony Javier. Meanwhile, Don Lorenzo becomes a recluse. The painter’s self-portrait fetches a high sum as it attracts the curiosity of many individuals which include pretentious art critics, bonafide journalist and family friend Bitoy Camacho, Senator Perico who asks the sisters to donate the portrait to the government and Tony who tries to convince Candida and Paula to sell it to an American.

Larawan is an ode to the passing of the world of truth and beauty and a celebration of the tenacity of the spirit amidst the rise of materialism and consumerism.

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