Thursday, April 15, 2010

Lav Diaz's Ebolusyon among top 10 world films of the decade

The verdict comes from the online film journal Cinema Scope, which culled together the nominations of contributing filmmakers, writers and critics from around the world to come up with this list:

1. Platform (Jia Zhangke, 2000)
2. In Vanda’s Room (Pedro Costa, 2001)
3. La libertad (Lisandro Alonso, 2001)
4. Los Angeles Plays Itself (Thom Andersen, 2003)
5. 13 Lakes (James Benning, 2004)
6. Evolution of a Filipino Family (Lav Diaz, 2004)
7. Yi Yi (Edward Yang, 2000)
8. Black Book (Paul Verhoeven, 2006)
9. Memories of Murder (Bong Joon-ho, 2003)
10. Mulholland Drive (David Lynch, 2001)

Honourable mentions: Colossal Youth (Pedro Costa, 2006); The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (Cristi Puiu, 2005); In the City of Sylvia (José Luis Guerín, 2007); L’intrus (Claire Denis, 2004); Three Times (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2005); Syndromes and a Century (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2006).

I have five of the top 10 films on DVD--Platform, Yi Yi, Black Book, Memories of Murder and Mulholland Drive--all obtained from, oh you know where. I'm sure one or two readers will once again find that a reprehensible admission, cross themselves and spit out the judgment: You're buying pirated!

Well, duh. Like legions of others who seriously love films--especially movies as hard to find as these titles. Where else would we have gotten them? At Astrovision? Haha, funny.

What's more reprehensible is--why isn't Lav Diaz's Ebolusyon available in DVD in his own country?

Two other Filipino films are cited by individual contributors. Serge Bozon of Paris includes Babae sa Breakwater (Woman of Breakwater, 2002) in his list; John Gianvito of Boston bats for Pangarap ng Puso (Demons, 2000), among others. Both films are by Mario O'Hara.

There was only one Filipino contributor--the young filmmaker Raya Martin, who wrote an appreciation of Ebolusyon (“Even after five epic works, varying in length from five to 12 hours, 'Evolution of a Filipino Family' still stands as Diaz’s canonical achievement”) and contributed his own top 9 choices:

1. Yi Yi (Edward Yang, 2000)
2. Werckmeister Harmonies (Bela Tarr, 2000)
3. Blissfully Yours (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2002)
4. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Peter Jackson, 2002)
5. Evolution of a Filipino Family (Lav Diaz, 2004)
5. The Taste of Tea (Katsuhito Ishii, 2004)
6. Colossal Youth (Pedro Costa, 2006)
7. Inland Empire (David Lynch, 2006)
8. The Spiderwick Chronicles (Mark Waters, 2008)

Other cited films that were for a time, or still are, available locally--you just have to look:

L'enfant (Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, 2002)
Russian Ark (Alexander Sokurov, 2002)
Atanarjuat: the Fast Runner (Zacharias Kunuk/Norman Cohn, 2001)
Elephant (Gus Van Sant, 2003)
A History of Violence (David Cronenberg, 2005)
Paradise Now (Hany Abu-Assad, 2005)
The Road to Guantanamo (Michael Winterbottom, 2006)
13 Tzameti (Gela Babluani, 2005)
A.I. Artificial Intelligence (Steven Spielberg, 2001)
When the Levees Broke (Spike Lee, 2006)
The Royal Tenenbaums (Wes Anderson, 2001)
The New World (Terrence Malick, 2005)
Dogville and Manderlay (Lars Von Trier, 2003 and 2005)
Femme Fatale (Brian De Palma, 2002)
Twentynine Palms (Bruno Dumont, 2003)
What Time Is It There? and Goodbye, Dragon Inn (Tsai Ming-liang, 2001 and 2003)
In the Mood For Love (Wong Kar-Wai, 2002)
4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days (Cristian Mungiu, 2007)
Punch-Drunk Love and There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2002 and 2008)
Children of Men (Alfonso Cuaron, 2006)
The Sun (Alexander Sokurov, 2005)
The Brown Bunny (Vincent Gallo, 2004)
Death Proof (Quentin Tarantino, 2007)
Triple Agent (Eric Rohmer, 2004)
The World (Jia Zhangke, 2004)
Cache (Michael Haneke, 2005)
Persepolis (Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Parronaud, 2007)
Irreversible (Gaspar Noe, 2002)
Kill Bill Vol. 2 (Quentin Tarantino, 2002)
Primer (Shane Carruth, 2004)
Trouble Every Day (Claire Denis, 2001)
The Infernal Affairs trilogy (Lau Wei-keung and Alan Mak, 2002-2003)
Volver (Pedro Almodovar, 2006)
Good Night and Good Luck (George Clooney, 2005)

So how many, and which ones, have you seen?


beektur said...

duh, indeed. dalawang pelikula pa lang ni lav diaz nakita ko: hubad sa ilalim ng buwan at kriminal ng baryo concepcion (na pinanood ko ng maraming beses, dahil alam mo na.) magaganda daw ang mga bagong pelikula niya: engkanto, batang west side, ebolusyon nga etc etc. pero ano ang kuwenta ng kagandahan kung hindi nakikita? may tawag sa ganyang gawain -- yung ang gumagawa, at minsan kakaunting iilan lang, ang nasasarapan --pero dahil disente ako ngayon, di ko gagamitin. :)

Anonymous said...

Diyos ko naman, iadmit ba at ijustify agad ang pagbili sa pirated. well , you can buy some of those in

ethan h said...

Yi Yi Hooray!

Indeed one of the best films I've ever seen. Lucky to have seen it in the cinema and not on dvd.

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