Drama2011-2020Apichatpong WeerasethakulArthouseThailand

Apichatpong Weerasethakul – Rak ti Khon Kaen aka Cemetery of Splendor (2015)


The unconscious dream state that connects each of Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s films begins in his latest when frequent collaborator, Jenjira Pongpas (Her characters’ names devolving film to film from ‘Pa Jane’, ‘Jen’ and now simply ‘Je’), stumbles into the frame with her ft. high platform sandal keeping her stumpy left leg in proportion with her right. This familiar image is the proverbial blanket Weerasethakul pulls over his audience, tucking the viewers into his familiar world, allowing for a communal drift into his drowsy landscapes. It’s only a testament to Weesrasethakul’sself awareness as a filmmaker that he has a narcoleptic soldier drop into a lethargic mess as we see him glance upon a movie screen, reflecting how he makes his films onto the characters who inhabit them. This scene, among others, provides a self reflexive exploration of Weerasethakul’s oeuvre, adding to a film that exudes more passion, thoughtfulness and complexity than any of his other major works.

The city of Khon Kaen is a suitable place for the sleepy, especially the mysteriously narcoleptic soldiers inhabiting a simplistic hospital ward scattered with children’s drawings and coated with chipped paint. Volunteer nurses and doctors tend to these consciously troubled men, whose lives are gazed upon by the resident medium and more specifically Je, who becomes fascinated with the past lives of narcoleptic Itt. His diary entries scrawled with poetic descriptives and inadvertent greetings to those reading it, much is left to the imagination in chronicling the life of Itt, often causing Je to fall prey to bouts of desire tinged unconsciousness.


Language(s):English, Thai

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