has anyone seen Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Tropical Malady? it’s a brilliant work of modern cinema i accidentally found through suggestion via Netflix. & unlike most of my obscure Netflix forays, this one paid off handsomely in the memory department. maybe because i watched it 2 1/2 times before sending it back — which i almost never do, i usually try to watch them the night they arrive & send them back the next morning — either way, I’d like to think it’s stuck with me because it’s such a haunting & powerful piece of cinema.
I don’t want to say anything about the film for those who haven’t seen it. However I started this topic because no one I know personally HAS seen it, so I’m hoping one of you kids have so I can actually get into a discussion about it.
Yes! Weerasethakul is pure magic, his next movie after that, Syndromes and a Century one of the gentlest, most sublime movies ever made. I’m so glad you found him haphazardly through Netflix because that means other people can and have been doing the same. All I can say is see his other movies as well, and we’ll work hard to get his stuff on The Auteurs.
I will check it pronto.
Someone thumbed down my enthusiasm for Weerasethakul? I demand he or she show themselves and explain the judgment!
I’ll thumb you up to balance the harm dkaz.
Do you have a lot of enemies? Do you owe money to people?
Have you been sleeping around with the wrong one?
I also found Syndromes and a Century pure magic.
It’s the only Weerasathakul I’ve seen so far, but look foward to see Tropical Malady,
which by the way has one of the most beautiful posters ever.
Yes, Weerasethakul is certainly a director to watch out for, I remember being impressed by his debut feature “Mysterious Object at Noon” – it was a very interesting and “experimental” blending of fiction and documentary and stuck with me, worth checking out also.
Syndromes and a Century is one of the best films I’ve ever seen; I completely agree with what Daniel said. I actually haven’t seen anything else by him other than some short films. It would be awesome to see his work on the Auteurs!
Check out his Blissfully Yours too. Very hypnotic and contains a memorable hand job scene.
tropical malady played here at the silent movie theatre. i remember being mezmerized. i want 2 c it again now.
Syndromes and a Century is among my favorite movies of all time. Amazing.
I love Weerasethakul. I’ve seen all four of his feature films to date and enjoyed each of them greatly. My least favorite, actually, is Tropical Malady. It’s not terrible; far from it. But I think it doesn’t quite succeed as a movie on the whole. For proof, look at Syndromes and a Century. There, Weerasethakul melds two different stories into one as he did in Tropical Malady, but it’s so much more seamless and impressive. I don’t think he was trying to make the jump from romance to folklore in Tropical Malady seamless, but it seemed like two entirely different movies. I can’t fault him for his bravery, but sometimes experiments work, and sometimes they don’t. I’d say it worked with Tropical Malady, but it worked much better with Syndromes and a Century.
Also, yes, Blissfully Yours is great and absolutely worth watching. If there’s anybody who’s reading this Thread and hasn’t seen a Weerasethakul film, start with Blissfully Yours. It’s straightforward, there’s no sudden plot transitions, and it has all of Weerasethakul’s trademarks. It’s a great introduction to a great director (though it is the most sexually explicit, if that sort of thing actually bothers you.).
Michael, Syndromes didn’t hit me the way Malady did. I love that it seems like two separate films, like two campfire tales told by different nature-dwellers. Syndromes was a joy to watch, in its perpetual lull of romanticism; though I think it’s the sense of wonder that ruminates through Malady that I love. I was completely kidnapped by Malady & couldn’t help but marvel at it as a whole organism.
Or maybe it’s because it was my original foray into the world Weerasethakul, so all that magic was fresh.
Weerasethakul – I think he is a genius. One of the most promising filmakers of this generation along with Carlos Reygadas. I think we have yet to see the best from either of them.
Back to Tropical Malady, much like Syndromes – I think it requires multiple viewings to fully appreciate. Malady on the surface is harder to grasp. It is not as “sensory” as Syndromes but just as poetic or even more so.
There was an “Extreme Orient Film Exhibition” in which they screened filmmakers such as Weerasethakul, Pen-Ek Ratanaruang, Yu Liu kai, Hou Hsiao Hsien and so on. I think Hou Hsiao Hsien is a genius so don’t consider him for what I’ll say next..
After a weekend immersed in those movies, I have to say that no one struck me more than the Tropical Malady. It was an overwhelming experience, very sensitive but not sentimental at all. Then I watched Blissfully Yours…. And I got a little disappointed..
Seeing as theauteurs put this film up for viewing I think it’s time to revive this thread.
I’ve only seen Tropical Malady once (thanks to the auteurs), but (like all of the films NEH has recommended to me, Thanks by the way) it feels like a huge experience. Something I must see again to understand fully, but something I loved wholly. The joyful, and simple nature of the first half of the film is beautiful, and moves the film so easily into a much heavier, more symbolic, and deeper second story that would have been much more frustrating had I not already had a strong emotional investment in the characters.
The first half of the film is so universal, too. That fear of rejection, that feeling of not knowing if someone likes you as much as you like them is so profound in the film, and something I immediately related to. I would think those feelings would be more intense for those in the film, though, because of society (I’m trying not to give anything away, I don’t think I’m succeeding).
The second half of the film is something I will have to see over, and over again to understand. I don’t know if I could do it service right now, but it was really intense on the surface. A very well shot, very consuming film that I will love for years to come.
Asolutely wonderful. I love Joe’s films. He has managed to create something utterly unique in Gay Cinema. “Tropical malady” is an uncanny combination of sweetness and menace. “Syndromes and a Century” is a amrvelous film about how his parents met.
Yes, Tropical Malady and Syndromes are fantastic films. Mysterious Object at Noon isn’t talked about as much, but I like that one a lot as well.
I’m a big fan. I actually just posted a thread to his “director page” here wondering if there was any way to see or purchase his amazing short “Anthem” online. If anyone has any idea please let me know!
Incidentally here is a (somewhat short and brief) interview I did with the man last year: http://is.gd/KNxE
I’m so glad I find people who loved this movie as much as I’ve loved it (and who have watched it, which is also kind of rare). I think “Tropical Malady” is one of the most powerful films I’ve seen in my life (and I watch a lot of films), what is magic about this film is that it has the same intensity as a book. I told that to some friends : when you read a book and you have finished it, the book can change your whole way to see life, a movie, as it’s shorter does it but not so powerfully. “Tropical Malady” is an incredible film as you’re taken inside of the film, you become a part of it as you become a part of a book when you read it day after day and the movie just haunts you as a book does.
The conclusion of the film also makes me cry because it says something so beautiful and intense about love, something really true about suffering and being in love.
I’ve also watched “Syndromes and a century” and “Mysterious Object at Noon” and I can’t wait for his exhibitions in Paris and London. I have to say that my favorite is “Tropical Malady” as it’s really about love.
I only saw it recently and didn’t believe it could really be better than Syndromes and a Century. It was. I haven’t seen Blissfully Yours or MOAN (hmm) yet but I am looking forward to it. These films are heavy experiences and I suspect that l will grow to love them even more over the years like really interesting friends.
>These films are heavy experiences and I suspect that l will grow to love them even more
I feel the same: each film I’ve seen of his has been more like a literary experience (like a poem rather than a novel) or an engagement with a painting or piece of music, with the initial viewing/exposure as a kind of a gloss. Whatever it is AW’s doing in Tropical Malady, it feels very close to, say, the work of Maya Deren, no less generous and engaging and at the same time no less mysterious than her films…
Anyone interested in seeing Mysterious Objects at Noon_, and doesn’t mind the quality (or lack thereof) offered on youtube…herelist?p=EB86977B738459DA
It’s one of his most interesting films. It’s not split in two, and shares a strong relationship with French surrealism in how it’s narrative is set up. As engrossing an experience as all of his films.
Also…Phantoms of Nabua. Another astounding film from him. An eleven minute short that contains more in it than most feature length films. His ability to make simple actions move into profound, and even transcendent realms is maybe its strongest in this short. Amazing.
AW is a great filmmaker
Tropical Malady… very hypnotic, but Syndromes is even more hypnotic, the film has almost no plot or action yet you can’t stop watching.
I love this directors work. Started off with Blissfully Happy … extraordinary. The UK has all of his movies (Second Sight/BFI) apart from Mysterious Object at Noon (which I got off amazon) with quite a few extras thrown in!! One of the most interesting directors around at the moment … there’s something about his films that make me think he’ll make the jump to a wider audience at some point.
I just sent away for Mysterious Object at Noon and am looking forward to finally seeing an AW film. That one seemed like the most intriguing to me. Now, if someone would just tell me how to pronounce the guy’s name I’d be happy!
“Apichatpong Weerasethakul = ar-pee-chart-pong wee-ra-seth-tha-goon (goon, not koon)
His nickname is ‘Joei’ but you can call him ‘Joe’ (He used ‘Joe’ when he studied in USA)
and it is polite to call Thai people by nickname (unless it is an official statement or something), if he/she is older than you, call him/her ‘P+nickname’ (ie. P-Joe) if he/she is younger than you, you call him/her ‘Nong+nickname’ (ie. Nong-Joe)”
You should see me walking around my apartment practicing saying Arpeecharpong Weerasethagoon. My cat has already run away.
A sight to behold I’m sure. My cat just jumped on my computer (she likes the heat it generates)
OH! I posted the link earlier in the thread, but if you can’t wait to start on you Arpeechartpong_… Phantoms of Nabuadate/2009/phantoms. It’s a short film he did earlier this year (I think it’s playing at TIFF right now), and it’s just superb. Probably the best film I’ve seen all year.