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Interview Lav Diaz - Season of the Devil


Interview: Lav Diaz – Season of the Devil (Ang Panahon ng Halimaw)

Interview: Lav Diaz – Season of the Devil (Ang Panahon ng Halimaw)

Economically shot by this auteur’s standards (half the length of 2016’s A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery), Lav Diaz‘s just under four opus cleverly utilizes the musical to both recreate and reenact the extrajudicial killings that occurred in Philippines of the late 70s. One of his most straight-forward works to date, Season of the Devil (Ang Panahon ng Halimaw) sees Diaz weaponize his text by creating a dialogue of a different beat for fellow Filipinos. A sort of trojan horse, here the musical sees Diaz personalize his message via poetry as he takes stock of the current Filipino government and the populism that exists within its borders.

While this could overtly be considered a rock-opera, there are next to no musical instruments, while those familiar with Diaz’s cinema we find all of his distinct earmarks: use of wide-screen photography, horizontal long shots and long-takes shots in glorious b&w. Presented in Competition at the 2018 Berlin Intl. Film Festival, I had the chance to sit with the filmmaker and discuss topical items such as the current political climate with a populist government, neighboring Malaysian cinema and the differences in terms of film production, cinema’s role and its effects on public opinion and finally, the opportunities offered by cinema as a political tool.

Amir Ganjavie, a Ph.D. in communication and culture, is a Toronto-based writer, cultural citric, festival director, community activist and filmmaker. Fascinated by the issue of alternative and utopian space in modern urban settings and cinema, Amir has published several articles on utopia and two books, one on utopia (Le rôle de la pensée utopique dans l’aménagement des villes de demain) and the other on walkable neighbourhoods (Pour une ville qui marche). He has recently co-edited two special volumes on Iranian cinema for film International and Asian Cinema and edited a Humanities of the Other: An essay collection on the Dardanne Brothers (in Persian). Aside from academia, he writes for MovieMaker, Filmint, Mubi, Senses of Cinema, Offscreen and Brightlight. Amir is very active in the community. He serves as the CEO of CineIran Festival and Phoenix Cultural Centre of Toronto. He is also the founding member of NaMaNa Cinema. He has recently directed/produced a long feature film in Canada, named Pendulum. His top 2 theatrical release for 2017: Ildikó Enyedi's On Body and Soul and Michel Hazanavicius's Redoubtable.

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