That's All Folks

The end of the world as we know it

THAT’S ALL FOLKS | The end of the world as we know it

What if there’s more to life at the end of the world? People tend to focus on what’s not there; but when facing down impending doom, the world stops and lives in the moment. The films curated for this session capture a glimpse of various apocalyptic scenarios that exercise our imaginations and allow us to think about what truly matters the most in life.

The first film in the session, Qu’importe si les bêtes meurent (So What If the Goats Die)  grips the audience with mystery and ambiguity. There is a questioning of one’s life in times of uncertainty. Taking cues from the science fiction stories from last decade, mainly H.G. Wells’ “The War of the Worlds,” the film reminds us not to perceive something at face value. The film’s cinematography engages you in a cinematic experience that is grounded to reality.

And so the world watched as the supposedly penultimate end of the world happened on August 22nd. A favorite of mine, August 22, This Year is a poetic contemplation of fleeting moments that celebrates and embraces the beauty of life. The film plays out as a personal video essay that puts the audience in the perspective of the narrator at the beginning of the end. There is the sheer beauty of one’s personal thoughts being matched with moving images that could be of importance to the narrator. While the film’s raw and delicate footage goes hand in hand with the narrator’s search for the unanswered questions in life.

But our wildest imaginations don’t stop there. With Escaping the Fragile Planet, a harrowing portrait of the current pandemic, is visually presented in pinkish tones and fog. Perhaps, the color pink could symbolize the love that arises between two men in the film. Which also suggests the flaming desire of one’s heart when two strangers meet and change the course of their daily routines as they spend their time together. At the end of the world, love knows no boundaries. Love moves forward in the face of armageddon. Love never dies. Love lives on. 

But in a slow burn observation, Sun Dog utilizes the visual space as a means of immersing the audience in a floating experience. In Gaspar Noé-like fashion, ala Enter the Void, there’s the quiet ambience that brings out the horror in an apocalyptic setting. We follow a locksmith as the film’s protagonist. This could symbolize the unlocking of happiness and contentment at a time when this is scarce. The film reminds us that we begin to appreciate the little things of joy and happiness when we’re at our lowest. 

Overall, there’s this feeling of isolation and loneliness that is always present in apocalyptic stories. The absence of people can be rather peculiar and unusual in this day and age. These films that were imagined before the pandemic portray humanity at the end of the world can mirror the times we are currently living in. They aren’t presented in the form of blockbuster disaster fashion but a humanistic and down-to-earth multi-faceted manner. 

Ralph Regis is currently a junior film student at De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde in Manila, Philippines.