The Ferroni Brigade, Rotterdam 2012

Even if we had watched every single new film around, we’re dead certain that in the end the Golden Donket would still have gone to Lav Diaz’s latest, which, just like Siglo ng Pagluluwal (2011), has a troubled production history, if of a different kind: Siglo ng Pagluluwal developed out of a project called Babae ng Hangin (2009) which Diaz finished in perfunctory fashion he could never put into a definitive form—something inside always resisted closure, demanded a strategy of fragmentation, brought upon by making Babae ng Hangin into the film created over the course of Siglo ng Pagluluwal’s plot-line about a director in crisis, Florentina Hubaldo CTE, again, was a work Diaz re-shot on HD after having it done already once in mini-dv, changing it in the process by losing characters and reinforcing others. The result is Diaz’s leanest, most minimalistic work since Heremias: Unang Aklat – Alamat ng Prinsesang Bayawak (2006): Two stories of dependency and abuse, descents into madness are told with as little artifice as possible. Florentina Hubaldo, CTE grinds its way into one’s soul, slowly, with a little determination that is uncommon and most admirable—cinema at its most basic, naked.

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