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04 September 2014

Brun Philippines' Pick as the Philippine Entry for the Best Foreign Language Film Category at the 87th Oscars in 2015: "Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan"

Brun's choice as the Philippine entry for the 87th Oscars is Lav Diaz's "Norte, Hangganan ng Kasaysayan" because it is a class on its own, whether you consider that statement positively or negatively. 

Diaz has consistently and stubbornly followed his own beat, and Filipinos are not the only ones intimidated by Diaz's films. Foreign cinephiles also have to pause and take a breath before considering watching a 4- to 6-hour film without intermission. And in an international competition littered with films crafted in the same mold, "Norte," or "Mula Kung Saan ang Noon," will stand out. 

"Norte" has also created enough buzz in the international scene and Diaz has become a perennial favorite in some international film festivals even though his work has remained inaccessible to the typical Filipino moviegoer. Diaz is a class of his own and so I think having his film in any competition is bound to create attention.

Most importantly, Diaz's films have become the millennium's "Emperor's New Clothes," except this time, the emperor actually wears an elaborate beautifully hand-sewn wardrobe. With majority of local and international critics praising Diaz's works, choosing not to jump on the critical bandwagon creates an uneasiness that you might reveal your idiocy regarding film aesthetics.  I know some people who praised some of Diaz's films without actually watching them or even finishing them, but these people just prefer to take the words of respected critics. Who knows, Oscar voters might do the same.

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