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.
Although I was fairly underwhelmed by this, it makes me want to see more from Lav Diaz. I can see the talent and ingenuity at work here, but ultimately it fell short for me. Some great shots and production in the second half though. The desperation and joy of the poets was very intriguing.
like all the other Oberhausen choices (minus "Elegance"), we have here another capricious bout of filmmaking. this may be my second favorite, however, thanks to the vivid images (not least of which is the roaring monsoon at the end) and the Shakespearean verse (can't ever complain about that).
Wake up, people, it's art, not multiplex fodder, you have to have some background and work at growing your powers of poetry. If you don't get anything from it, no shame in that, but don't get further confused and think your experience has anything to say about the film. If you don't see anything, doesn't mean there's nothing to see, just that you didn't see it. Be humble and take that as a spur to work—in silence.
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.
[Spoilers Below] Come for the pretentious filming style and conceited art direction. Stay for the butchering of some of Shakespeare's most famous soliloquys. The film fails on all levels, wasting the material it steals and seemingly jams it in. It reaches a low point when there are three characters are speaking three not connected monologues to the screen at the same time. The film was an assault on my senses.