Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, dir. Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand 2010, 114 min., Isan & Thai with English subtitles, 12
Marking the release of his astonishing new film Memoria, we are delighted to present a short season curated exclusively for the ICA by director Apichatpong Weerasethakul: three films from his own catalogue presented in tandem with three classics from very different cinema traditions, each one chosen by the director for its resonance with his work.
While Weerasethakul’s earlier features Blissfully Yours, Tropical Malady and Syndromes, are undergoing restoration, the Thai director has curated this special programme to accompany the presentation of his newest work Memoria. This season is a rare chance to see (or re-see in the light of Memoria) his previous three works as he would wish – on the big screen – and to take in some of his key inspirations.
In the director’s own words:
‘These 3+3 pairings echo my love for mystery in cinema, which I think Memoria had manifested to me. Working in Colombia had resurrected my childhood attraction to the unknown. There is a sense of freedom when you operate in the same way as the medium of film medium is – organic and animist. You plunge into the unidentified space and try to listen, to tame, to sculpt a being of light.
‘Memoria is the kind of animal that thrives in the dark, the cave, the cinema, or in dreams. It shares the same spirit as my past works made in Thailand, and I have selected three of them here to celebrate the release of Memoria. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010) is a memory of a bygone time; Mekong Hotel (2012) is a lullaby for the river of generations, and Cemetery of Splendour (2015) is a farewell to home. They are a path towards the reflection in Memoria, that of the shared consciousness beyond borders and time.