2001-2010

Lav Diaz – Heremias aka Heremias, Book One (2006)

Review:
Ox-driven carts full of native crafts line up at a concrete road. We painfully await each and every one of the caravans to finish their diagonal descent and disappear from Lav Diaz’s immobile frame. Ten minutes has passed by, then another fifteen of the same scene of nomadic crafts merchants travelling from one end of the screen to another. The amount of time forces you to observe the surroundings of the traveling group: You delight at the clouds who also move slowly from right to left, the wild grass swaying in relaxed abandon, the majestic view from atop the hill. Before you know it, you share with these crafts merchants the pristine value of time: since you have so much of it. At night, you listen to their songs over a bonfire, their tales of girlfriends throwing away their vows of love to leave with a Japanese man, their worries that their little ones might catch a fever. Diaz pleads you to take a few hours to immerse yourself with their lifestyle; it’s not exactly a harsh request as Diaz rewards you with beautiful scenery — the still scenes may be likened to black and white post cards of rural life in the Philippines. Read More »

Mitsuo Yanagimachi – Kamyu nante shiranai AKA Who’s Camus Anyway? (2005)

Quote:
Throws down the gauntlet with the very first shot, in which the camera glides sinuously all over the sprawling exterior of a university campus, caroming from one group to characters to another, for minute after self-consciously virtuosic minute, and just as you’re idly wondering whether Fred Ward is going to show up and start ranting about the opening of Touch of Evil, we suddenly pick up two film students engaged in discussion of that very topic, who then proceed to address The Player itself. Except that Altman’s achievement really is little more than a clever, hollow joke, whereas Yanagimachi has taken that sort of suffocating pomo referentiality as his subject. Read More »

Michael Glawogger – Slumming (2006)

Synopsis:
Sebastian and Alex are two egocentric yuppies who stockpile underhanded up-skirt shots and bully others for their own amusement. On a night out they come across an inebriated man passed-out on a park bench and decide to prank him by smuggling him across the border. Read More »

Masao Adachi – Yûheisha – terorisuto AKA Prisoner / Terrorist (2007)

Politically-motivated Japanese filmmaker Masao Adachi’s first feature in over three decades tells the tale of an imprisoned terrorist who is forced to confront his ideological convictions head-on after failing in his mission and being subjected to gross treatment while held as a detainee. “M” was one of three terrorists involved in a suicide attack on a high-profile airport. Unfortunately for “M,” his grenade failed to detonate. Immediately captured and thrown in prison, “M” gradually loses his grip on reality as a result of his maltreatment, and begins to question the ideas that drove him to attempt the ultimate sacrifice. Read More »

Sammaria Simanjuntak – Cin(T)a (2009)

Cina was a Chinese-Indonesian Christian young man who got his name ‘Cina’ (China, in English) by misunderstanding in his birth registry and is pursuing his dream to get a scholarship in an architecture faculty in Bandung, Indonesia. He was against his father’s plan for him to leave for Singapore where there’s a scholarship offer with 6 years working contract after, so he could be able to get a chance to be in the governments and to become a governor for Tapanuli, a new province of his dream. Read More »

Marina Zenovich – Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired (2008)

IMDB:
Examines the public scandal and private tragedy which led to legendary filmmaker Roman Polanski’s sudden flight from the United States. Read More »

Lav Diaz – Kagadanan sa banwaan ning mga engkanto AKA Death in the Land of Encantos (2007)

A Filipino poet named Benjamin Agusan (Roeder Camanag) is the hapless native who returns to his hometown Padang to witness the aftermath of the super typhoon. For the past seven years, Benjamin had been living in an old town called Kaluga in Russia. With his grant and residency, he taught and conducted workshops in a university. The poet published two books of sadness and longing in the process. In Russia, Benjamin was able to shoot video collages, fell in love with a Slavic beauty, buried a son, and almost went mad. He came back to bury his dead-father, mother, sister and a lover. He came back to face Mount Mayon, the raging beauty and muse of his youth. He came home to confront the country that he so loved and hated, the Philippines. He came back to die in the land of his birth. He wanders around the obliterated village meeting old friends and lovers. Read More »