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Acquisitions – Foreign Films

The Cinema Guild Believe in Crime and Punishment; Grab Diaz’s 4-Hour, Cannes Preemed Norte, The End of History

We’re not sure if Ryan Krivoshey’s The Cinema Guild intends to supply snacks or bathrooms breaks during its 2014 theatrical run, but the great news is Filipino New Wave filmmaker Lav Diaz’s Cannes (Un Certain Regard) and TIFF preemed Norte, The End of History, an experimental adaptation that digs into crime and politics of the Philippines.

Gist: A man is wrongly jailed for murder while the real killer roams free. The murderer is an intellectual frustrated with his country’s never-ending cycle of betrayal and apathy. The convict is a simple man who finds life in prison more tolerable when something mysterious and strange starts happening to him.

Worth Noting: Diaz was among the filmmakers invited to participate in Venice 70: Future Reloaded.

Do We Care?: We snubbed it at Cannes because of its length (250 minutes), but patiently waited for it to show in North America for its eventual TIFF screening, which turned out to be one of the our very favorites of the fest.

Diaz’s masterfully textured film delves slowly, but surely into a place where ethics and morality are sucked into a vortex of human despair. It almost feels like a multi-layered, Filipino relative of Cristi Puiu’s intensely meditative Aurora, which we also adored last year. Fitting then that Lav’s latest epic will be released by the same distributor, who’s modern auteur focused releases of the past couple years have made them among the best in the business. We’ll be anxiously awaiting a deservedly deluxe Blu-ray as well. Also, being that the majority of Diaz’s work is even longer than this 4-hour feature, almost all of his films have yet to see domestic home video releases. Perhaps this is the first of many to come?

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