If 80 minutes seems brief for Diaz, consider that it was supposed to be a 1-minute short... Meticulously constructed as a classic tripartite elegy, disrupted. Time out of order. Not flowing past, and gone, but - in a play on "revolution" - recurrent. (Crouching in the) current. In the city. In dreams (which the visitor implores us to hold on to). Space and being as time made visible. To make sense of the senseless.
I find this trend among artsier movies that they have to have long static shots and be incredibly slow, as if they have to contrast against the artificiality of Michael Bay instead of the editing Lars von Trier at his worst. I don't understand this. Not that it can't be good but that it's somehow percieved to be better and capturing life better if long static shots or something. I did however like this film, though.
Beautiful and distant. Imminent and moving. Elegy covers a wide range of themes and tones in the compact 80 minute run time. It maintains a simple narrative to keep a through line of interest, but does not settle with being overly simplistic, playing with how the narrative unfolds and keeps the story thriving. The scenery of the city feels very real, in the movie sense, a heightened and stunning reality on display.
A significantly shorter and dully familiar (theme-wise) film where an enigmatic woman - whose attires indicate her belonging to the era of Andres Bonificio, a 19th century Filipino revolutionary for independence - wanders around modern day Phillippines with an undescribable sorrow drawn on her face. Maybe she also feels disappointed on Diaz's film. Clearly past/present is again the center of Diaz's interests.
For me, the thing about Diaz's films is that they don't dictate to the viewer. They present scenes, places and characters and give you the space (and time) to explore your own thoughts. Despite being only 80 minutes long, this short film presents the same opportunities - just less of them. The out of tune guitar scenes were painfully poignant. Lost in his own world, blissfully unaware of how awful it sounded.
An interesting conceit though, given its relative brevity, the film really feels like a sketch for a longer work. Not least because many of the scenes are as protracted as one has come to expect from Diaz. A minor work of his but a satisfying detour into a shorter form.
I was wondering how this film could be such a jump at 3 stars from the rest of Lav Diaz's films which seem to average above 4 stars. Makes sense now. It felt rushed, like there was some need to complete something. I was completely enthralled by the documentary aspects of the film, the plot, however, I found completely unnecessary. This was my first Diaz experience, though, and I'm definitely eager for more!.
A short film for Lav Diaz, but one that still feels familiar for audiences who know his work. The moving water and static camerawork recall the cinema of attractions tradition, something you'll also find in the director's longer endeavors. I always feel this incredible mix of mystery and intimacy when Diaz transports me to his beloved Philippines.
Elegy deals with similar themes any Lav Diaz viewer has grown accustomed to - melancholy, poverty, loneliness, the underclass forced to resort to crime - but with a heavier dose of surrealism. Eschewing high-budget visuals and polished sound design, we're left instead with cinematic dioramas and offbeat dream sequences. Interesting and relatively short enough to digest multiple times.
Autant certains (fort) longs métrages du cinéaste nous avaient fasciné, voire envoûté par l'unicité sous-jacente des plans et des séquences qui se présentaient en liminaire apparence comme disparates, autant cette "courte" mouture en forme de triptyque bancal, donne la curieuse impression d'inachevé, d'être une sorte de structure filmique hybride aux potentialités biaisées et clairsemées. www.cinefiches.com
this was so clearly not my personal taste that it feels bad to star rate it. perhaps only people who at least knew what they were getting or have some opinion or knowledge base to draw on can critique it. i have in my time sat and done nothing, for long periods, experiencing that strange state of existing non-existence. Maybe that's why I am not interested in meditation, or in this film. I don't need help to dwam.