Terror and Eros in John Torres’s Todo Todo Teros (2006) September 6, 2007Posted by Richard Bolisay in Asian Films, Indie Sine, Noypi.
Originally published in Digital Buryong on August 15, 2007.
Written and Directed by: John Torres
Cast: Olga Aliseichyk, Bughaw Romana, Earl Drilon, Lav Diaz
Todo Todo Teros is groundbreaking.
John Torres’ reconstruction of filmic language soars with beauty and depth – – a magnificence so rare that seeing it evokes a sense of pride. This is the film that every one of us should be proud of. Its narrative voice is our own: the pain of living, the love we are all dying to regain, and the identity we lost for centuries. No other film can tackle malaise, terrorism, and political unrest in such a grand way than it did.
In a scene which I think is the film’s delusional take on the psyche of the Filipinos, Lav Diaz, Khavn, the narrator, and a woman inside a car are sharing stories about the Spanish occupation of the Philippines in the 16th century. Lav recounts the Pigafetta stories that he read, punched with impeccable wit and street humor, and babbles everything he remembers about the book. The other two continue in making side comments while the narrator, his mind far away with the memories he had with Olga, is silent.
As years pass by, we are getting passive. The pain is too much that we can no longer speak, as if the agony of our past flows in our blood. And the next line of generation has no escape.
Remarkably, Torres alludes to Jean-Luc Godard’s early works (particularly Pierrot le fou) without losing his individuality. The way he works on a collage of footage, writes an impressive script filled with painful verses of sublime poetry, and ends it unimaginably – – it is indeed one of the finest films that Philippine cinema has ever produced.
Simply beyond admiration. There’s so much to say about this film that I can’t even pick the right word, the right punctuation, the right argument. This is leftist déjà vu. * * * * *