Avant d'être une œuvre-fleuve, cette réalisation de Lav Diaz se ressent avant tout comme une redoutable partition d'intelligence et de finesse qui jongle avec dextérité et naturel sur des faits réels, sur une magnification du milieu rural et champêtre, sur d'étonnantes références socio-culturelles (les sagas radiophoniques) pour nous proposer un volumineux canevas de réflexions et de contentement. www.cinefiches.com
I didn't think I was gonna like it much, even at three hours in. And at seven hours when I was definitely into it, I did not anticipate I would like it anywhere near as much as I did at the end. Operated in ways no other movie I've seen has. Each shot worked like space in a drawing, where time was flattened out and still and endless—and endlessly present. Somebody somewhere called it an "intimate epic"—so right!
It's long, complex and occasionally a bit too demanding of knowledge of Filipino history but Diaz's film is as brilliant as it is draining. Given how cliched scenes and tropes sneak into even the best films these days, it's remarkable there's not one in over ten hours in this film. A film for the ages.
Managed about 8 and a bit hours. No dull scene, overtly meta, good contemplative, shape changing thing. Excellent photography work too. The biggest problem is that this is not adapted to an human audience or to actually showing. Several films with the same material but more focus would leave me with more to take away and put more of the director in the films. Also, regrettably the copy is a bit crap image and sound.
The first few hours are a comfortable slice-of-life of the farming underclass and once you've already invested that many hours, Lav Diaz hits you with the brutal reality of this bleak part of history. Although grim in subject and rough in presentation, this is an epic, rewarding story of oppression, revolution, and the unbreakable Filipino spirit only stopped by death.
Epic storytelling. Diaz builds his story piece by delicate piece. Sure, there are moments that could have been edited down quite a bit, but there's something about letting those silent moments slowly unwind that pulls you into the frame and thus into the world. Also, in these static shots, Diaz has a unique talent for putting his camera in great spots. Pretty strong compositions throughout. It's very captivating.
Where to even begin with this. Watching this was absolutely exhausting for me in both a physical and emotional way. Despite that I can easily say it's one of the best films I have ever seen. The incredible length of this film is never used as a gimmick, instead it's used to tell a story that really couldn't be effectively told any other way. Tragic yet beautiful in a way that is brutally human in nature.
Immersive; felt like watching a novel (in which context, the 10+ hours seems a perfectly reasonable length of time). A poor family's (people's) impotence in the face of wider social forces. Form, style, tone, embodying their understated determination. Persistence, futility, pathos, endurance, built up over the course of hours, to something inescapable, relatable, brutal. A remarkable work. Worth giving in to.
Il serait difficile de trouver ici la moindre concession à des normes, qu'elles portent sur la durée ou le style. Lav Diaz ne cherche jamais à "être plaisant", il demande au spectateur de se mettre au niveau de ses personnages, de partager avec eux la tragique histoire de son pays. Ses cadrages - si larges et inhabituels - ont l'étonnante capacité de retenir l'attention et de rendre au regard une temporalité oubliée.
Well, everything is different now. Everything. I took three breaks (totaling about an hour) but I watched it basically in one sitting. I am walking on clouds. I feel like my cells have been altered. The evolution of a family, sure, but such a staggering encapsulation of national identity. My God! I've never experienced anything comparable (and this is my third Lav Diaz). I CANNOT BELIEVE WHAT I JUST EXPERIENCED!