Melancholia (2008), Lav Diaz

Everything Matters

SADNESS AND MADNESS

The outrageous lengths of Lav Diaz’s films correspond less to the director’s vast, personal vision and more of instinct. Like Guy Maddin, half-way around the world, whose lo-fi silent film facsimiles are preferences made by the director to suit his own likings, so does Lav Diaz; it was as if both directors embedded this litany whenever they shoot their films: I’ll do it this way, because I want it this way!

But because of this, the Philippines’ greatest director at present is virtually unseen here in his home country which he films with so much passion and vigor. Only through underground screenings, illegal ones at that, are his films watched by a few of his unshakable followers. And when the lucky chance of a public screening does arise, the facts on Lav Diaz and his films: their length, Lav Diaz’s druggie, and tattooed appearance, overcome the decisions…

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