Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Cinematheque Reviews: Uncle Boonmee, Who Can Recall His Past Lives

Once upon a time there was a filmmaker from Thailand named Apichatpong Weerasethakul, but this was a very difficult name for many to grasp and speak out loud (though it is very easy if you just read it and pronounce it the way it is spelled) so everyone knew him as I mean, Joe (the Beatles fan in me snuck out).  Joe was educated in Chicago (Hog Butcher to the World!  The City of Big Shoulders!) bjt went back home to make his movies.  His movies started out as experimental creatures, but he would eventually go more toward the narrative - though still quite avant-garde to say the least.  Many of Joe's films were praised by critics (this one included) but not many got past the festival circuit to play in the states - other than a few brief stints in the city of the Big Apples.  Okay, so Joe isn't exactly the multiplex kinda filmmaker, but even by arthouse standards, not many people have seen his movies - and that, coming here as the moral to our little story, is a downright Goddamned shame.  

The reason I am even telling this little tale is because Joe - let us say his name in full, Apichatpong Weerasethakul - has been given one of those brief stints in New York City with his latest film (get ready for a mouthful) Uncle Boonmee, Who Can Recall His Past Lives.  I was lucky enough to see it as part of the press corps at last year's New York Film Festival (and I wrote a bit on it HERE) but had to wait five months for a proper US release, and a proper US film review.  Incidentally, a somewhat shortened review of the one linked below was published as part of my Guest Review stint over at 366 Weird Movies (which can be viewed HERE).  After these two precursors, as it were (sneak peeks if you will), I am finally able to publish my full-length review at The Cinematheque.  Now your job is to go see this movie while you can (it will also be on demand for those unable to make the trek to NYC) because once the year is over and you see this film on my Best of 2011 List, you will want to go back and see it anyway (because my opinion matters, right!?).

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