Time Regained: The Films of Lav Diaz

At their best, Lav Diaz’s films reveal just how much others leave out. Their protean beauty and moral complexities are matched only by their heroic running times: six hours is a common length, nine hours to be expected. They combine a devout belief in the power of bearing witness to the ebb and flow of quotidian moments with a poetic sense of historical time, the massive and warring abstract forces (governmental, societal, philosophical, spiritual) that conspire to shape daily life.

Diaz is the elder statesman of the New Philippine cinema and his films are haunted by his country’s past. The wounds and defeats of Filipino history loom large in his work, and their broad canvases accommodate both the irreducibility of individual experience and the sweep of time and space. Few, if any, filmmakers have so powerfully shown that cinema is, to quote Andrei Tarkovsky, “sculpting in time.”

As Diaz himself has said, “I would go to any extent in my art to fathom the mystery of humankind’s existence. I want to understand death. I want to understand solitude. I want to understand struggle. I want to understand the philosophy of a growing flower in the middle of a swamp.”

The Film Society is proud to present the most complete American retrospective to date of this major, criminally underseen filmmaker, continuing through August 2015.

Coming Soon

From What Is Before

From What Is Before

Lav Diaz | 2014 | DCP | 338 mins

Lav Diaz’s magisterial new film (winner of the Golden Leopard at the 2014 Locarno Film Festival) is a thrilling and utterly harrowing picture of what was lost—and what was killed—in the years leading up to the Ferdinand Marcos’s 1972 declaration of martial law.

Read more »

Sunday, February 15

1:00pm

Past Films

Batang West Side

Batang West Side

Lav Diaz | 2001 | 35mm | 315 mins

The sidewalk murder of a Filipino teen from Jersey City starts a police investigation that reveals an underworld of crystal meth and gang warfare in Diaz’s study of the myth of the American dream.

Read more »
Century of Birthing

Century of Birthing

Lav Diaz | 2011 | HDCAM | 360 mins

In this interrogation of faith confronted by disaster, a tortured filmmaker (modeled after Diaz) struggles to finish his magnum opus, crossing paths with a cult leader, an investigative photographer, and a philosophical poet.

Read more »
Death in the Land of Encantos

Death in the Land of Encantos

Lav Diaz | 2007 | DCP | 540 mins

Shot in stark black-and-white in the immediate wake of Super Typhoon Durian, which caused widespread destruction in the Philippines in 2006, Diaz’s eighth feature is an engrossing account of several people responding to the aftermath as they navigate the ravaged Bicol region.

Read more »
Evolution of a Filipino Family (Part 1)

Evolution of a Filipino Family (Part 1)

Lav Diaz | 2004 | Digital Projection | 300 mins

Click here to buy tickets to both parts together and save!

Shot over a 10-year period and set during the Marcos regime’s years of martial law, Lav Diaz’s longest and most ambitious film is an emotionally wrenching expression of his thematic axiom that history is something to be weathered, survived, or endured.

Read more »
Evolution of a Filipino Family (Part 2)

Evolution of a Filipino Family (Part 2)

Lav Diaz | 2004 | Digital Projection | 300 mins

Click here to buy tickets to both parts together and save!

Shot over a 10-year period and set during the Marcos regime’s years of martial law, Lav Diaz’s longest and most ambitious film is an emotionally wrenching expression of his thematic axiom that history is something to be weathered, survived, or endured.

Read more »
Florentina Hubaldo, CTE

Florentina Hubaldo, CTE

Lav Diaz | 2012 | DCP | 360 mins

Lav Diaz’s meditative study of endurance and exploitation in a Philippine village was praised at the Images Festival as “a beautiful and sad work that shows us why cinema remains important.”

Read more »
Melancholia

Melancholia

Lav Diaz | 2008 | 450 mins

What starts as the story of a nun, a pimp, and a prostitute and their role-playing games becomes an elegy for the power and imaginative vision of radical politics in Diaz’s contemplative drama, enlivened by strains of black comedy and noir-heavy fatalism.

Read more »
Norte, The End of History

Norte, The End of History

Lav Diaz | 2013 | DCP | 250 mins

One week exclusive theatrical run!

A careful rethinking of Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment shot in blazing color, this tour de force offers a masterful recapitulation of Diaz’s longstanding obsessions: cultural memory, national guilt, and the origin of evil.

Read more »
Thank You to Our Sponsors