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January 19 - 25

Mysterious Objects: Apichatpong Weerasethakul

With the release of each of his films, Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul (1970–) claims a number of new converts. As viewers of his recent features Tropical Malady and Syndromes and a Century can attest, Apichatpong is one of the most original, and delightful, cinematic talents to have emerged in some time. His radical reinvention of the basic architecture of the fictional feature film is infused with warmth and humor, as well as a rigorous intelligence and a striking (and strikingly beautiful) visual style. The resulting work is eclectic and virtually impossible to categorize as it experiments skillfully with narrative and tone, continually subverting expectations, shifting as it does from comedy to drama, dark to light, lyric realism to… something stranger.

We are pleased to present a sampler of some of Apichatpong's earlier work, including a number of short films virtually unseen in this country and his second feature, the luminous Blissfully Yours.

Special thanks to Jed Rapfogel of Anthology Film Archives. Special support provided by the Academy Foundation of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Notes for short films compiled and written by Jed Rapfogel for Anthology Film Archives.


Special Event Tickets $10
Saturday January 19 at 7pm

Blissfully Yours

Directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Appearing in Person
With Kanokporm Tongaram, Min Oo, Jenjira Jansuda
Thailand 2002, 35mm, color, 125 min.
Thai with English subtitles

Blissfully Yours follows a young Thai woman and her taciturn Burmese boyfriend, an illegal immigrant in need of a forged ID, as they venture out to the countryside for a bucolic idyll punctuated by matter-of-fact sexual interludes. Composed of meditative long takes, the film is casually erotic, playful – the opening credits appear 45 minutes in – and gently ruminative. Yet the film’s serene, pastoral nature is not without an oblique political conscience, hinted at by the devastated Thai economy and Burmese military junta that lurk sinisterly in the deep background. Print courtesy of Anna Sanders Films.

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Friday January 25 at 7pm

Short Work

The Anthem

Directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul.
Thailand 2006, 35mm, color, 5 min.

One of the ingrained rituals in Thai society is the blessing automatically given before certain ceremonies and events such as the playing of the Royal Anthem in movie theaters before feature presentations. This short presents a "Cinema Anthem" which comically praises and blesses the feature to come.

Windows

Directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul.
Thailand 1999, video, color, 17 min.

"Windows is an improvisation using a little physical movement to capture natural phenomena through the camera eye's mechanism." – A.W.

Malee and the Boy

Directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul.
Thailand 1999, video, color, 27 min.

A collaborative project made with a 10 year-old boy who roamed around Bangkok, gathering sounds for the film as the filmmaker followed the boy’s route with a camera. The narrative of the film, presented in texts, is taken from a Thai comic book that was available around the location in which filming took place.

Like the Relentless Fury of the Pounding Waves

Directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul.
Thailand 1995, video, color, 30 min.

This documentary leisurely examines the shifting focus of image and sound. On a hot day in a small town a mystical radio fills the air. Lives are trapped in the time of the radio play, of the photograph, and of the film.

 

Thirdworld

Directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul.
Thailand 1997, video, color, 17 min.

Thirdworld depicts the landscapes, metaphorical and actual, of the
southern island Panyi. The sounds are taken from different sources, but all were recorded without the subjects' awareness of the recording apparatus. Thus, this piece may be called a re-constructed documentary.

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Directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul.
Thailand 1994, video, color, 5 min.

As images of a photograph and an apartment interior alternate, a telephone conversation links the two spaces.

Ghost of Asia

Directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Christelle Lheureux.
Thailand 2005, video, color, 9 min.

In Ghost of Asia, the filmmakers imagine a ghost who wanders around the seashore. On a Thai island, two boys and a girl are invited to make a movie. The kids are provided with an actor whose function is to be a puppet, to perform the tasks dictated by them.

 

My Mother's Garden

Directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul.
Thailand 2007, video, color, 7 min.

An impression of a jewelry collection by Victoire de Castellane, whose pieces are inspired by various types of dangerous flowers and carnivorous plants, each piece having a hidden mechanical movement. The film is also a tribute to Weerasethakul's mother's garden: its wild orchid roots, bugs and various organisms.

 

Worldly Desires

Directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul.
Thailand 2005, video, color, 40 min.

"Worldly Desires is an experimental project wherein I invited a
filmmaker friend, Pimpaka Towira, to shoot the love story by day and the song by night… The video is a little simulation of manners, dedicated to the memories of filmmaking in the jungle during the years 2001-2005."
– A.W.

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