There are few prospects more alarming than a director seized by an Idea. I don't mean an idea for a film, a story, a theme, a tone, any of those ideas. I'm thinking of a director whose Idea takes control of his film and pounds it into the ground and leaves the audience alienated and resentful. Such a director is Brillante Mendoza of the Philippines, and the victim of his Idea is his Official Selection at Cannes 2009, "Kinatay." Here is a film that forces me to apologize to Vincent Gallo for calling "The Brown Bunny" the worst film in the history of the Cannes Film Festival.
After extensive recutting, the Gallo film was redeemed. I don't think editing is going to do the trick for "Kinatay." If Mendoza wants to please any viewer except for the most tortured theorist (one of those careerists who thinks movies are about arcane academic debates and not people) he's going to have to remake his entire second half.
read the whole thing. i report, you decide.
Mike D'Angelo offers some nice words for Kinatay:
I admire Kinatay for its uncompromising rigor—the lengthy van ride, which constitutes nearly half the film, is a tour de force
yes, read the whole thing rin.
Wesley Morris wrote that unlike Lars Von Trier's "Antichrist," "Kinatay" had a lot of the viewers walking out.
UPDATE: Inquirer: ‘Kinatay’ draws raves, rants in Cannes
And roundups re the film.
Video excerpts of Kinatay.
Hmmm... a 45-minute car ride in the film... parang ayaw ko na.
UPDATE: Brillante mendoza wins Cannes best director award.