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It's About Time: The Cinema of Lav Diaz

This spotlight focuses on the visionary films of renowned Filipino auteur Lav Diaz. Winner of Locarno’s Golden Leopard, and the Venice Orizzonti and Berlinale’s Alfred Bauer awards, his sprawling sagas of the Philippines’ tumultuous recent history and beleaguered but strong-willed and passionate peoples are epic in scope but bracingly intimate and direct in style. Challenging notions of storytelling and how cinema gives images and sound to stories unseen and voices unheard, no one makes movies like him.

NORTE, THE END OF HISTORY

Lav Diaz Philippines, 2013

Powerfully transplanting Dostoyevsky’s epic Crime and Punishment to his native Philippines, Norte offers a marked departure from Lav Diaz’ earlier (and longer!) B&W films. Shot in gorgeous color, the film is a solidly structured, tightly plotted masterpiece that weighs in on injustice and guilt.

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MELANCHOLIA

Lav Diaz Philippines, 2008

An untold number of persons have disappeared in the Philippines over the years, before, during and after the Marcos dictatorship. Melancholia is devoted to the grief and search for meaning over such disappearances, told across a vivid array of Philippine society.

FROM WHAT IS BEFORE

Lav Diaz Philippines, 2014

Lav’s Golden Leopard winner in Locarno is an epic remembrance of a period of transition that marked the traumatic time of dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ rule. The film’s structure unfurls with slow power, growing increasingly complex, political, and emotional over its five-and-a-half hour story.

EVOLUTION OF A FILIPINO FAMILY

Lav Diaz Philippines, 2005

From Filipino auteur Lav Diaz comes his greatest epic. Nine years in the making, ten hours of running time (!), first shot on film, then video: this intimate yet expansive family saga will draw you in hypnotically. Like the later Boyhood, marvel as you watch the young actors grow up before you.

FLORENTINA HUBALDO, CTE

Lav Diaz Philippines, 2012

The Filipino master of slow cinema intertwines a story of impoverished treasure hunters with the tale of a drifting woman coming to terms with a damaged mind and body. Extraordinary handheld camerawork captures the minutest of details, bringing the struggles of life into stark reality.

STORM CHILDREN, BOOK ONE

Lav Diaz Philippines, 2014

Lav Diaz’s majestically patient storytelling invests his infrequent documentaries with unusual concentration and power. The historical and psychic devastation of his epic dramas here becomes bracingly physical when focused on the detritus and poignant survival of children after Typhoon Yolanda.

HEREMIAS (BOOK ONE: THE LEGEND OF THE LIZARD PRINCESS)

Lav Diaz Philippines, 2006

Filipino director Lav Diaz immerses us in the life and experience of Heremias, so beset by the corruption and troubles endemic to Philippine society. A saga of a modern Jeremiah, A modern parable told with angry compassion.

CENTURY OF BIRTHING

Lav Diaz Philippines, 2011

Like some of the best 19th-century novelists, Lav Diaz is a genius at interweaving multiple stories to create a truly expanded canvas of characters, landscapes and social and political struggle. In this masterpiece, three strands oppose each other and then, in an impressive arc, fall into parallel.