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Watching Apichatpong Weerasethakul

By: Ben

The following list ranks his feature films and then his shorts. I am including Worldly Desires as a feature as it seems unfair to pit it against a two minute piece like Empire. I believe I have seen every one of his shorts that is available on the Internet. If you know of how I can see some of his others, please let me know!

“I think this is one of the reasons I make films: my personal memories are always interwoven with those from various other sources, reading, listening and traveling (my own travels and those of others). It was hard to remember the real past clearly, so I made films without knowing how true they really were. This was an important detail; it was like waking the dead and giving them a new soul, making them walk once more.”

“When you make a film about recollection and death, you realise that cinema is also facing death. Uncle Boonmee is one of the last pictures shot on film – now everybody shoots digital. It’s my own little lamentation.”

“Just as we like to look at ghosts, we seem instinctively to want to enter dark halls; we are excited by the prospect of hearing stories that emanate from that light in the darkness. It is like returning to our mother’s womb, fleeing there for safety, like the time during the war in Laos, when people living on the Ho Chi Minh Trail, the trail created by communists to send supplies to the Vietcong in southern Vietnam, were attacked by phosphorous bombs during an air raid and took refuge in a cave; hundreds of them were killed there by poisonous gases. The cave is probably still full of bones, ranging from small children to adults. If you went to see it now you might see real ghosts there, you wouldn’t need a film.”

“My earliest memories are of a helicopter hovering in the air and money falling from the sky into the sea, hundreds and thousands of banknotes flying around in the air, with loud and furious shooting. It is the only thing I can remember from this Thai film. I don’t even know whether the starring actor was good-looking or not.”



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Cactus River: I just finished my own retrospective of Weerasethakul's filmography - mainly just his major works (including some of his recent shorts) - but he's already become a favourite of mine too.