Though it's of middling length by Diaz's usual standards, Florentina Hubaldo is more of a slog than most of his films. In addition to the gruellingly bleak central narrative, there are aporias in the plot that are explained fairly arbitrarily at a late stage, frequent screen blackouts and a general tendency to test the viewer's patience. Much of it is great but too demanding for its own sake in my opinion.
Hours and hours of beautiful photos. Such photos are composed by stand still framing in which angle, placing and narrative entangle each other through Time to produce beauty, meaning and a lot of anger. Its length purposes seems to serve both its stand still framing cinema and nurture time sensibility in the audience. Treasure hunting and sexual abuse, these two must add up to some symbolic goal.
As rigorous in content as it is in form. The fragmentation of the narrative places us directly in the perspective of Florentina, creating a dizzying descent into despair and madness. The film's style might be spare, but it is through that sparseness that the ugliness of humanity is uncovered, as if it were dug up by the two treasure hunters. Hazel Orencio as Florentina is simply sublime.
Diaz's is a cinema of negation which on occasion makes contact with the real. full embodiment of Adamic fall/father One should take the opposite view that of the torturer and Christ the feminine, spirit keeps the body imprisoned We connect to the temporal space of trauma which is often inaudible/she reaches out to the giants not reaching to something more but the negation of nothing reaching out to less than nothing
I'm happy to count myself among the company of Diaz converts, and am grateful to MUBI for having given me ample opportunity to gorge on this stuff. Though FLORENTINA contains some of Diaz's best stuff, and though this is not the first of his films to operate in a register that can only be called shrill, this time it started to get to me a bit. Interesting here is the new means he discover to enhance expressivity.
Malgré un développement du récit déstructuré dans sa réalité formelle et sa chronologie dramatique, une œuvre magnifique et puissante qui irradie par la puissante interprétation de Hazel Orencio, d'une époustouflante présence longtemps inoubliable... www.cinefiches.com
I'm getting more and more used to Diaz's long unedited filmmaking. I still stick with my beliefs that his films would be SO MUCH MORE enjoyable (for me) if they were edited down. I think he could still get his point and intentions across with any amount of judicial editing. This film is pretty much beats the same drum over and over again, although his camera setups remain beautiful as always.
Very very long steady shots at the first half of the film as it introduces us to the two groups of characters, give you plenty of time to appreciate the natural beauty of Philippines : the dense vegetation, the volcano, the crystal clear rivers. Then the shots start to tighten a little bit (in Lav Diaz's way). Like particularly the voice-over or lamentations of Hector, they anchor the film, giving it a soul.
Tough going, mostly due to the seriously bloated runtime. There are some nice images, although it is easier to make things look nicer in black and white, and some disturbing moments, but you also get too many unnecessary and testing moments. Many others will give up, and I envy them.
Must see. Contemplative, nonlinear, extremely slow paced. Perfect in its genre. A story placed nowhere, after the end of the world. An one man show - Lav Diaz is credited as producer and writer and director and cinematographer and editor. ["CTE" stands for chronic traumatic encephalopathy and it is caused by a severe blow or repeated blows to the head. Typical symptoms of CTE range from depression to dementia.]
The film is full of breathtaking but also cruel shots, some of which contain a rare beauty (e.g. the sequences in the boat or the mute shots in the woods) while others appear like framed genre paintings, sometimes containing allegorical scenes (like the pietà group sitting in the brook). By using non-linear narration and allegories Diaz creates a very sophisticated movie, but in the end everything fits together.
I've never been a fan of Lav's primitive visual form; wide angle and basic framing which detaches the immersion and makes you feel at a distance. His films lack the thematic interest of works such as Satantango and although I admire slowness and contemplation so much, Lav's works often feel more an endurance test rather than extended immersion. In many ways, his form is closer to Benning than masters like Tarr.
Con tutto il rispetto per Diaz ,un film di 6 ore di cui almeno 2 sono dedicate a due persone che scavano con in sottofondo un rumore da crisi isterica è oggettivamente insostenibile per chiunque. Personalmente mi ha stremato a tal punto che alla fine la storia di FH è passata in secondo piano
Lav Diaz is one of the greatest artists in cinema today. 6 hours of stunning cinema. Don't expect to see this playing at your local commercial theater. Not unless it is part of a film festival. This is the second film I have seen by Diaz, the other was 5 hours long, both worth every minute! . 3/23/17 Even better the 2nd viewing. (projected) This is what makes my Mubi subscription worth the yearly price. Thanks, Mubi!
It is a wonderful film. The film is like a closed box that does not allow you to escape. Florentina's traumatic life is what you have to experience up-close, there is no turning back. Hyperrealist I will call it, the violence mostly happens outside the frame, and yet the film couldn't have been more violent.
A fucking draining film, it takes so much out of you watching it, watching Florentina suffer and a couple of characters engaging in futile searches. There are no easy ways out in this film; even though there's nothing explicit in its portrayal, the fact that we spend that much time with the characters in their repetitive activities is exhausting.Filipinos may have a short memory, but Lav ensures that we remember.
Suffering as an unescapable part of life, as something towards which (and as an audience "in front of which") we cannot do much about. On another hand, the way suffering and evil are presented makes one almost naturalize and accept it – to a point of almost turning it against the film's perspective itself. It also flirts with redundancy at some points (and I don't mean those when Florentina repeats her name).