I see a lot of harsh reviews, here, not fair! This is just a little sample for people who won't watch a 5 or 8 hour Diaz film. Lav Diaz is brilliant, this is just a tiny glimpse. For the full effect watch FROM WHAT IS BEFORE or MELANCHOLIA or FLORENTINA HUBALDO, CTE or NORTE, THE END OF HISTORY. This is sort of like "bonus material" to be understood in the context of his larger body of work, which is monumental.
Second half is mesmerising and quite a change to the sterile imagery, lighting and framing Lav has had in all of his other works. Such atmospheric and dark beautiful scapes. Wish he would direct a full work in this setting / apocalyptic setting.
One of those special movies - nominally a fiction, certainly something staged - that encounters the real in the form of a quasi-cataclysmic (climatological) event it may or may not have foreseen. This is its spell. This is its magic. What is staged is arguably inchoate and even amateurish. What happens to the production and consequently the film feels like a profound interjection. Plus: this thing looks gorgeous.
Another synopsis explains that the poets are being murdered. It took a second viewing, plus that hint, to see it in the film. Oberhausen called it "a work of political urgency." I'll guess, then, something to do with the Philippines state-sponsored extra-judicial killings and disappearances of activists & journalists... What happens when the poets are all dead, sort of thing? Maybe? Pretty. Evocative. Frustrating.
Eight hours or fifteen minutes - Lav Diaz's films are complex, and yet focused. His new short film, which has just won the Oberhausen Short Film Festival, is another hard look at memory and its effects.
Within one day of being on US Mubi, so many 1 stars with crazy negative reactions. My favorite: "I think I just wasted my time." Diaz has a keen notion of time. This film, in context, is like a commercial, projecting a wild displacement amongst a radically shifting political regime. 17 minutes? Do yourself a favor, and sit down for a cool 8 hours for MELANCHOLIA, and ask yourself if it was a waste of time.
Without any subtitles, I imagined I was transported to this location in the Philippines in real life where I would be unfamiliar with the language and local culture. Lav Diaz's sound design is always so immersive, and this short film is e(a)ffective because of it in large part, although I was fascinated by the video of the monsoon.
People are calling a Lav Diaz film tedious that only runs 16 minutes? Are you kidding? There is plenty to recommend this new short by Diaz including its black and white cinematography, imagery, use of Shakespearean verse amidst everyday Filipino life (regardless of fictional time period) and the threat of finality in a weather turning against us. Diaz remains one of the most interesting directors in cinema today.