Month: August 2015

Mula Sa Kung Ano Ang Noon (2015, Lav Diaz)

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Mula sa kung ano ang noon

Don’t get me wrong, I still love Lav Diaz and Mula sa Kung Ano ang Noon must have contained some of my most favorite and strongest images among his five films (including “Kriminal..”and “Hubad..”) that I’ve seen. My issue with this movie I watched yesterday was with the ending–it could have been better edited. I didnt need much visual exploration, detail, adherence to ‘movement’ or style, auteur ego, at that point when I just felt it needed to close. It felt like there were so many endings, it felt like my patience had to be tested before I’m served the ‘ending’. It felt like partly because I’m not completely aware of the film medium and history, partly due to my ignorance, I had to endure a certain kind of oppression. I’m coming from a point of view also influenced by the “new” audience behind me, who’d noticed the slow pace, who giggled during what I thought was a healing or rain dance. Towards the middle of the film Myles Kanapi made her appearance and hooked them. From then on I was positive that they were willing to stay the whole 5 and a half hours. At the start they talked a lot and I wanted to silence them. But I understood that it could be the first time they were exposed to this kind of cinema so I respected their reactions. I wanted them to be converts eventually. It was so close, except that the last few minutes, probably the last hour was really too much, the scenes were extended long enough, probably longer than it was in the beginning where you see people appearing from a far distance, from dot to full human form, till that physical body occupies a big part of the frame. Many times, when it was near the end, when you felt it was already the end, it still wasn’t, and you needed to be stronger, you needed to have the same amount of patience (or more), for many scenes, just as in the beginning, which was naturally impossible to happen. I was frustrated on that lost opportunity to make new converts for this type of cinema. The pretty woman four seats away to my left stayed for about 4 hours and 45 minutes of waiting and then she had to stand up, give up. She clutched her bag of goods she probably bought at the supermarket at the basement floor, never to return again, probably partly regretful. That was it for me, the last straw last night. The ‘excesses’ near the end was too much to handle for me too but I stayed on to finish just to be fair to the film. But was it fair to me and to many other “regular” viewers? I cooked adobo earlier, had to cook and salvage the chicken meat stored in the fridge for a long time, before it became spoiled. I remembered the adobong bayawak that was carried home by Hakob for his uncle Sito. I imagined how it tasted. Probably more sour than mine.