Will Your Heart Beat Faster? (BLU-RAY) Release October 31/23

Will Your Heart Beat Faster? (BLU-RAY) Release October 31/23

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After repeatedly failing to smuggle drugs into the Philippines, yakuza soldier Onota (Bobby Garrovillo) slips a laced cassette tape into the pocket of a stranger on the plane: pop singer Johnny (Christopher de Leon). This singular deus ex machina sets the Yakuza, the Filipino-Chinese Triad, and a fake convent of nuns onto Johnny's tail. Determined to figure out why everyone is chasing him and his friends – bandmates Nonong (Jay Ilagan), Nancy (Sandy Andolong) and newfound love interest Melanie (Charo Santos) – the quartet dress up and go undercover. When the lunatics come together, a cartoonish rock opera ensues!

Concerned that the audience might mistake the film’s nuns for real ones, Will Your Heart Beat Faster? begins with a disclaimer mandated by the Philippine Board of Censors: this musical farce is a work of fiction. But no disclaimer can dampen the shots fired here by Filipino master writer-director Mike De Leon (Kisapmata, Batch ’81) against Jesuit education; China and Japan’s tendency to meddle in Filipino affairs; and a myriad of other corrupt institutions that would become common targets of his acerbic cinematic critique. A master of various genres, this is Mike De Leon at his most outlandish and comedic!

Also included in this edition:

Gregorio Fernandez’s salvaged Miss Philippines (1947), which Mike De Leon calls one of the earliest film-within-a-film films, is one of the few surviving films from its era, notable for its self-reflexive tone. A timeless screwball comedy produced by LVN in its heyday, it features cameos of the studio’s biggest stars and directors as themselves, many of whose work is now lost.

Mike De Leon’s short film Aliwan Paradise (1992, also written by Doy Del Mundo) is set in a semi-futuristic Philippines where unemployment is through the roof. Your best bet? The Ministry of Entertainment. Acts line up around the block for a chance to prove both their competence at their old-world job and that they have that "it" factor. A natural companion to its black comedy sibling Will Your Heart Beat Faster? originally shot for the omnibus film Southern Winds (1993).

Additional info:

  • Region A Blu-ray
  • 2K restoration by L'Immagine Ritrovata from 35mm print kept at Asian Film Archives (Singapore)
  • Restored and Revised audio tracks
  • 8mm making-of featurette (Edward Achacoso, 1980, 14 mins)
  • Short film Aliwan Paradise (Mike De Leon, 1982, 27 mins)
  • Interview with screenwriter Raquel Villavicencio (2023, 31 mins)
  • Bonus Feature Miss Philippines (Gregorio Fernandez, 1947, 99mins) digitally enhanced from extant elements in 2023 with optional English and Tagalog subtitles
  • Miss Philippines: Before and After (2023, 4 mins)
  • Booklet featuring excerpts from Last Look Back (Mike De Leon, 2022), new writing from Teddy O. Co and Jessica Zafra, and archival photographs
  • English subtitles