Apichatpong Weerasethakul

by on December 12, 2010 at 10:49 am in Film, The Arts | Permalink

I find it increasingly hard to resist the notion that he is the most enduring director of our time.  I've now seen Syndromes and a Century (the best place to start), Blissfully Yours, and Tropical Malady and wish to rewatch them all.  Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (not yet on DVD) won the Golden Palm at Cannes this year.  Themes of his movies include dreams, medicine and its authority relationships, sex and eroticism, homosexuality, the nature of cinema itself, memory, sudden fractures of reality, surrealism, and the modernization of Thailand.  [Insert Dancing About Architecture cliche here.]  You could frame most of the shots from these movies and turn them into stunning photographs.  The plot structure is stronger than it appears at first.  These movies also have notable (though quiet) soundscapes, as you would find in a Tarkovsky film.

If you expect to disagree, try then the excellent Ong Bak.

For the original pointer to Apichatpong Weerasethakul, I thank Andrew Hazlett.  Here is an MP3 on pronouncing his name properly.

1 Happy Camper December 12, 2010 at 7:01 am

Just go the 8000 series, 3D, by Samsung. 55' if you must know. Look forward to watching lots of Apichatpong Weerasethakul's movies on it.

HD

2 joe December 12, 2010 at 8:58 am

I tried Syndromes and a Century and was underwhelmed. I searched for signs of "the plot structure [being] stronger than it appears at first" but couldn't find any. The photography is incredible though.

3 Michael December 12, 2010 at 12:51 pm

"If you expect to disagree, try then the excellent Ong Bak."

Tyler means that if Weerasethakul is not your cup of tea you might try another Thai genre in which body contact is less delicately done. Time Out reviewer of Ong Bak notes that Prachya Pinkaew displays "particular admiration for a falling elbow-to-head manoeuvre, which we’re repeatedly invited to admire from multiple angles". Nice turn of phrase.

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