PRINT March 2011


Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, 2010, still from a color film in 16 mm transferred to 35 mm, 114 minutes. Tong (Sakda Kaewbuadee)

WE HAVE SEEN THEM BEFORE: the austere bedroom whose windows frame a vastness of grass and swaying forest; lozenges of light mysteriously shimmering in nighttime jungle; the young monk tired of isolation, yearning for human contact and popular diversion; an old woman weeping in bitter loneliness by a river; the sacred cave where souls are reborn; a Buddhist funeral bier gaudily lit like a Coney Island ride to the great beyond. The work of Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul has always been one of recurrence and reincarnation—of characters, images, and settings, returning both within and between films, transmogrified but recognizable as their former selves. A conscious summa of his cinema until now, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (which opens at Film Forum in New York on March 2) serves as précis for Apichatpong initiates and as primer for his novices. The

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