Saturday, 28 May 2016

REVIEW - THE DAY BEFORE THE END (LAV DIAZ)


Shouting into the void: not the past but the future, a cultural landscape devastated by indifference. The West has infiltrated the East, usurped its codes and conventions with its own, creating a clusterfuck of nonsense, and its silent, sinister wake. Lav Diaz once more pulls from the past to illustrate the present, and gives a glimpse of that future in The Day Before the End, a montage of bewilderment that will bewilder its viewers. Who, what, why: any number of questions, and many more answers, though too few of any discernible consequence. In Diaz's desolation, you take what you can. He respects artists, and the artistic process, but laments the perceived pointlessness therein - the actors unheard, unnoticed, standing strong and shouting, preserving for preservation's sake. He loves his country, or is it just an idea of his country, an aspiration for it? Is it more of a reminiscence that he prefers, one lifted from the works of other artists, foreign artists? If his nation's self-destruction was not, in fact, by itself, but by Western influence, then can its salvation truly be Shakespeare, a paragon of Western culture? Or is that salvation too merely a reminiscence, a poignant reminder from what is before? And he fears - a danger that is identified yet unidentifiable, something at stake, but exactly what? Equally unidentifiable. If it truly is the day before the end, what to do? Diaz gives up and keeps going, a hopeless harbinger yet a determined one. If all we can do is shout into the void, then at least someone has something to shout about.