- 27.5.2010 11:08 -
Holder of the Golden Palm at Docalliancefilms
Before the beginning of the Cannes festival, we have informed you about Sergei Loznitsa’s film being nominated for the festival competition. After the closing ceremony and award presentation, we cannot but state that in the end, Sergej Loznitsa and his rather dark film with a complex narrative structure Счастье мое/ MY JOY did not receive the Golden Palm award. However, the one to be honored by the decision of the festival jury presided by director Tim Burton was a no less renowned and interesting filmmaker, Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul.
Interestingly, Apichatpong’s method like Loznitsa’s also consists in long takes, absence of content and plot as well as slow “meditative” rhythm of narration the spectator has to willingly adopt to be able to follow the film journey into the labyrinth of ambiguous meanings.
The decision of the jury may have been founded on a greater understanding for the dreamy fantastic exoticism of the Thai rainforest of “uncle Boonmee’s past lives” than for the disturbing nightmare of the dark remote corners of the tough Russian countryside.
Apichatpong Weerasethakul was born in the early 1970s in Bangkok and studied architecture and film. One of a few independent Thai filmmakers, he makes his films outside the rather strict studio system of film production and distribution. He frequently casts amateur actors in his films, making use of improvisation and moving on the line between documentary and feature film. In the field of feature-length films, he made his debut in 2000 with his documentary Mysterious Object at Noon. As for the Cannes festival, his name has appeared several times already – for the first time, he was awarded within the Un Certain Regard section for his film Blissfully Yours (2002), for the second time he received the Jury Award for his film Tropical Malady (2004). His third succes in Cannes is the Golden Palm Award for his film Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010), its feature-length version being a continuation of Apichatpong’s previous short film from the past year, A Letter to Uncle Boonmee (2009).
On the Docalliancefilms portal, you can find a short invitation into the original and respected work of this director in the form of a short film haiku. By this haiku, Apichatpong joined the 15th anniversary celebration project of the renowned documentary film festival Visions du Reel in Nyon. Despite its short length, the film already contains characteristic features of the director’s filmmaking – the absence of dialogues, long takes, plot minimalism and interaction of male characters.