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Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

September 8, 2011

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010)
Director: Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Actors: Thanapat Saisayamar, Jenjira Pongpas, Sakda Kaewbuadee

resized_UncleBoonmee.jpg (300×225)

Synopsis: On his deathbed, Uncle Boonmee recalls his past lives.

Review: Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives finally earned its director – Thai genius, Apichatpong Weerasethakul – a richly deserved Palme D’Or last year, and though ironically it’s arguably not as good as his previous masterpieces, Tropical Malady and Syndromes and a Century, it’s perhaps a valedictory award – like when Michael Haneke finally won for The White Ribbon, when in reality the earlier Hidden was his true masterwork. Those familar with Weerasethakul’s work will recognise all his much-loved tropes in Uncle Boonmee – from the great feel for the Northern Thai landscape of farmland and wild jungle, to the Buddhist-surrealist subject matter. Arguably the greatest element to the Weerasethakul ‘brand’ is his incomparable use of sound, and he makes the locale where Uncle Boonmee relocates to die such a haunting, sensual place with the way he records the natural sounds of the area. If in sum, there’s not much in Uncle Boonmee that Weerasethakul devotees won’t have seen before in his work, a journey on one of his cinemscapes is worth a dozen humdrum genre outings we get from contemporary western cinema. (September 2011)

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