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Tropical Malady
Apichatpong Weerasethakul Thailand, 2004
Shot in near darkness, this jungle adventure is exquisite pure cinema: beautiful, mysterious, savage, spontaneous, unforgettable. But it achieves much of its power in relation to the more conventionally affecting details of the first half. Weerasethakul would go on to win the Palme D’Or at Cannes a few years later for Uncle Boonmee,but Tropical Malady remains his most singular achievement—a bold experiment that’s truly bewitching.
July 10, 2014
Les hele artikkelen
Having almost single-handedly brought Thai film to the eyes of the world, yet working with little support from the once-moribund Thai film industry, and even facing open hostility from Thai authorities and censors, Weerasethakul has assembled an almost unique methodology, bringing together elements of a folky, naturalistic, aleatory cinema with extreme formalist structuring and stylization…
April 25, 2008
Les hele artikkelen
While Tropical Malady’s heightened sensuality alone makes for a mesmerising film experience, the mysteries of the loose narrative are just as enchanting and turn this winner of the 2004 Cannes Jury Prize into a thoroughly unpretentious narrative experiment.
February 07, 2006
Les hele artikkelen
In terms of both formal chutzpah and sheer, jaw-dropping beauty, this radical stretch of celluloid leaves nearly everything else I’ve seen this year looking rather shabby, by comparison. In fact, it’s such strong, ambitious filmmaking that, initially, the far less radical opening half may retrospectively appear lacking, or uninspired. Repeat viewings, though, reveal a carefully conceived masterpiece, replete with a myriad of compositional and thematic rhymes linking the seemingly disparate halves.
December 12, 2005
Les hele artikkelen
Winner of the jury prize at Cannes, this third feature by writer-director Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Blissfully Yours, Mysterious Object at Noon) confirms his status as the most adventurous filmmaker in Thailand and one of the most creative and unpredictable currently working anywhere.
August 18, 2005
Les hele artikkelen
The film’s second part, a ghost story in the forest, with Keng chasing Tong (who has become a shaman reincarnated as a tiger), would be more engaging if it weren’t carrying such allegorical baggage. Weerasethakul’s images are striking, but calculatedly so, and a little too picturesque to offer real discoveries. It is as if the director had something he wanted to say but is pulling his punches: this is a film of ideas that remain schematic and of sensuality that remains ideal.
July 04, 2005
Les hele artikkelen
Perched between two worlds, two consciousnesses and two radically different storytelling traditions, this new feature shows a young filmmaker pushing at the limits of cinematic narrative with grace and a certain amount of puckish willfulness.
June 29, 2005
Les hele artikkelen
Now we have “Tropical Malady,” the first of his films to receive a proper theatrical release in America, and the case for his work has only grown clearer. Mr. Weerasethakul is the most exciting new director in the world, period. He’s the real deal, an authentic visionary who’s pushing the art of cinema to places it’s never been.
June 28, 2005
Les hele artikkelen
The rupture transmigrates the narrative into a mystical realm, but it’s unclear if Keng and Tong have been banished or elevated to this plane of existence. Was their love too intense for the material world? Does the fulfillment of animal hungers require the cover of darkness? The film’s mysteries are so cosmic that any attempt to ascribe allegory can seem puny.
June 21, 2005
Les hele artikkelen
This is a work of outstanding originality and power that comes nearer to the condition of the quest and the dream-state than any film in recent years. It requires a relaxed and open mind to watch it, be consumed by it, and enjoy its great and fearful symmetry.
March 01, 2005
Les hele artikkelen
Keng’s long wait in the jungle encompasses trials (leeches, fierce man-beast) and wonders (a know-it-all baboon, a tree aflame with fireflies, the prehistoric-like artifact of a cicada shell). His is a lover’s vigil, a total devotion to be rewarded by one who will “devour” him (as Mr. Baboon puts it). So, too, are we devoured, giving ourselves over to Weerasethakul’s playful stewardship of our visions and desires.
October 02, 2004
Les hele artikkelen
If Tropical Malady begins as a simple love story, it turns into something more profound when Keng enters the jungle in pursuit of a creature allegedly responsible for killing Tong’s mother’s livestock. Because Weerasethakul equates Keng and Tong’s suffocating love for one another to a twisted landscape of trees,Tropical Malady could just as easily have been called Unbearably Yours.
September 30, 2004
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