This is everything Diaz has done; its distillation. His temporal take on "holding space": holding time. A cradle. Here, ostensibly, for memory - though that seems, watching this, just another word for the deep subjectivities that become shared realities via his camera's slow gaze. What's seen, becomes. And becoming is a function of time. And if night is when time is suspended & memory consolidated, Diaz is the night.
100% top drawer Diaz. Why? I have never seen this movie before. This is a new form. A whole new way of conceptualizing the medium. Sure. Requires some effort to stay w/ it. But where it is going, ultimately, is towards revelation. And looking back upon the journey inspires tremendous reverence. I suspect not many of us will be won over by AN INVESTIGATION. But those who fall may be expected to fall hard.
I'd first heard of Tioseco and Bohinc's murder from a short film by José Luís Guerín, in which Bohinc featured. It was already a haunting reference, which made this film all the more immediate. It's not very cinematic but of a piece with Diaz's other films. Romulo is pained like the Ancient Mariner at his inability to fully do justice to his late friend. A film that sparkles in an almost chilling fashion.
It's such a beautiful and powerful cinematic prayer : linking up the long interview with the black and white street shots, in reverence of a dead soul, of the dead souls. The very dark images at the end seem to invite us to a mass, alert our senses and predispose us to receive the poem-prayer in tagalog. Lav Diaz is really a great sculpter of light and sound. A great moment of cinema.
"...a somber and naturalistic testimony of one who was left behind, searching for resolution but finding only more questions and ongoing suffering as circumstances conspire to prolong the agony...Diaz uses the events to comment on the nature of narrative, time and memory in their necessity for the attempt to create order from a series of otherwise incomprehensible events...."
For the most part, this is one man talking to the camera, recounting a night that saw the death of two friends, and the subsequent, unsatisfactory, investigation. It's an interesting and honest piece, but doesn't add much to hold the attention of the viewer throughout.
Le parti-pris de Lav Diaz (ne jamais intervenir directement) donne lieu à un récit haché, plein de pauses et de digressions, plutôt dur à suivre alors qu'il reste chronologique. Comme un reflet de l'enquête en question, qui n'a apparemment fait que trainer et s'enliser. Le résultat est inconfortable, à la fois émouvant et agaçant. La seconde partie, une belle poésie nocturne en extérieur, a nettement plus de force.
I feel like Diaz has totally failed his storyteller here (Erwin Romulo). He sets up the camera and lets it run for 56 minutes while Romulo stumbles through the sad story of his friend's tragic death. The story becomes very boring by the end because the director gives Romulo no editing help or music help or any type of directorial help at all. I feel this story had the chance to be compelling. As is, it is not. Fail.