PRINT May 2005


When APICHATPONG WEERASETHAKUL’s fourth feature shared the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes last year, it made official his standing as the preeminent Thai filmmaker—and one of the freshest voices in cinema anywhere. In anticipation of Tropical Malady’s arrival in American theaters this summer, JAMES QUANDT spoke with the director about his films.

“Princess Tea,” Apichatpong Weerasethakul murmurs, inspecting the tag on a tea bag fetched by a publicist before our interview at this year’s Rotterdam Film Festival. “Princess Tea,” he repeats, as if hypnotized by the phrase. When I joke that they could hardly bring us anything less, he smiles in his vague, boyish way, perhaps mentally filing the item for future use. Like so many odd, dreamy details in his films and videos—the chopped-salad skin cream in Blissfully Yours (2002), for instance, or the fake swan in Tropical Malady—the tea will surely

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