the moment when this film subverts cinema into a folkloric storybook is one of my favourite moments in cinema. points at the places on your geography where you hide your stitches. lights up the wound you never knew you had. no body shall ever return from these woods.
I had this Malaysian friend who told me that when you journey through the jungles you will be safe as long as you don't believe in the spirits. Apparently he knew a girl who believed and was killed. There's a couple of problems. If you introduce the concept of monkey spirits, then it becomes something tangible whether it's real or not. Saying it makes you form an image or a concept in your head.
Endlessly fascinating, much like Syndromes and a Century it's a feel I don't really know (immediately after finishing) how I feel about. There's no doubt it's got a lot on its mind, a film that juggles deeply veined spirituality and Buddhist philosophy with beautifully textured ruminations on the nature of love and the damaging nature of memory. I imagine this will play on my mind a good deal, utterly hypnotic. 4/5
I think that to understand it, it requires multiple viewings. To like it, however, only one is necessary. There is something magical and yet simple in Weerasethakul's narrative. Something manufactured but natural. In this sense, I see similarities to Tarkovsky. In more contemporary terms, his work is very similar to Julian Hernandez'; both share many techniques, obsessions, and stories.
Spooky action at close quarters. As in Blissfully Yours before it and Uncle Boonmee (to which it is closely related) later on, in Tropical Malady Weerasthakul gives us an enigmatic tale of tenderness and terror that unfolds within more than one version of wilderness. An extraordinary pitch of emotional intensity is achieved via rigorously minimal means. "Every drop of my blood sings our song. Do you hear it?"
It's amazing how Apichatpong seems to make a masterpiece each time when you know he'll only build on his ideas further with the next film. Tropical Malady feels complete even though so much of the film sows seeds for Syndromes and Uncle Boonmee. It also contains his most interesting diptych, the first half a realistic counterpoint to the poetic and magical second half. Gorgeous.
Loved it, loved it, loved it! Finally did I see this masterpiece. Portuguese indie-auteurs Gabriel Abrantes and João Pedro Rodrigues must have seen this film for sure. I loved it so much. I'm speechless, Loved the second story as much as the first one. Loved the way he shot the girl smiling at the boy, the little fable of the monk and the farmers....the tiger, the rain, the tree with all those fireflies. L-O-V-E!
A strange union of two stories adjoined and left unclear whether they are linearly related or not. I read a review that said the man turns into a tiger, but is still the lover from before. So the ending reads as a lover's ultimate sacrifice then. I like this interpretation (or truth?) of the film.