In this semi-documentary, Weerasethakul provides an original portrayal of his fellow citizens. Battling food vendors, a boxer addicted to TV, a pious policewoman and a loveless rubber-tree tapper each contribute to a serial narrative.
In the semi-documentary Mysterious Object at Noon, Apichatpong Weerasethakul makes a very special journey through Thailand with his crew: he lets the various people he encounters tell an episodic story together. The social positions and jobs of these people vary greatly. Quarreling food sellers, a TV- addict-cum-boxer, a devout female cop and a loveless rubber-tree peeler all make their own contribution to this ‘chain story’. At the same time they are captured by the camera in their own lives. Their stories and occasionally bizarre solutions reveal great creativity. The more people the director portrays, the more complex the chain story becomes. It starts with a simple plot about a handicapped boy who has lessons from a private tutor somewhere in a common or garden house in a suburb of Bangkok. But soon all kinds of mysterious figures turn up in the story, such as a boy born from a flying ball and a deaf neighbour who is introduced as a silent witness. What evokes the greatest surprise when seeing this Thai pearl is that the lives of the people portrayed are just as mysterious as the stories that Weerasethakul has them tell. Their lives comprise more drama than all the fiction they can dream up. –IFFR
Apichatpong “Joe” Weerasethakul (Thai: อภิชาติพงศ์ วีระเศรษฐกุล; born July 16, 1970) is a Thai independent film director, screenwriter, and film producer. His feature films include Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, winner of the prestigious 2010 Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or prize; Tropical Malady, which won a jury prize at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival; Blissfully Yours, which won the top prize in the Un Certain Regard program at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival; and Syndromes and a Century, which premiered at the 63rd Venice Film Festival and was the first Thai film to be entered in competition there.
Working outside the strict confines of the Thai film studio system, Weerasethakul has directed several features and dozens of short films. Themes reflected in his films (frequently discussed in interviews) include dreams, nature, sexuality (including his own homosexuality), and Western perceptions of Thailand and Asia, and his films… read more
The director himself admits that his intentions with the film changed halfway through the 3-year production. And it shows. While I found the first half entertaining and masterful, the second was more passive. Not sure if it's completely a bad thing, but I honestly prefered the first half. Although the second provides some good moments, it's more on the boring side, or at least requires more patience. B.
Using random people you encounter to create piece by piece a story seemed like a fun idea, however after seeing the film I got the completely opposite impression. It was almost like Weerasethakul was using the story as a tool to expose the people. After watching each person input their section of the story I felt I learnt a little about them and for me this was the most rewarding part of this film.
Weerasethakul accomplishes a beautiful translation of the surrealist technique of the "exquisite corpse", turning it into an inventive journey through Thailand. The film is powerful and its reflexive structure does not hinder our engagement with its narrative and, most importantly, with the people portrayed and their imaginations. While Weerasethakul's signature remains visible throughout the film, it is important to notice the collective quality of the creative process. The multiple imaginative horizons are interwoven in a movement which discloses itself as the movement of playing. Weerasethakul turns the experience of watching his film into the experience of playing with it. And to play with "Mysterious object at noon", we must revisit the condition of infancy and its openness to imaginative fabulations.
Apichatpong’s Mysterious Object at Noon examines inspiration in its most unlikely forms and simultaneously brings it to life. It’s a celebration of everyday people, their homes, stories, and… read review
No film is ever, in any stage, made by one person.
Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Mysterious Object at Noon is most likely the best film I’ve ever seen about the creation of a movie; it shows… read review