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Cannes 2010: Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

Cannes Film Festival

Cannes 2010: Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives Yeah, long title, but let’s write it once again, so we could start the story about this movie. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives is an upcoming Thai sensitive drama, directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Of course, we are here to have a little chat about it, since this film is also scheduled to compete at the Cannes Film Festival 2010 for the Palme d’Or. Here’s the official synopsis part says: “Suffering from acute kidney failure, Uncle Boonmee has chosen to spend his final days surrounded by his loved ones in the countryside. Surprisingly, the ghost of his deceased wife appears to care for him, and his long lost son returns home in a non-human form. Contemplating the reasons for his illness, Boonmee treks through the jungle with his family to a mysterious hilltop cave – the birthplace of his first life… ” For those who are not so familiar with the whole thing, let’s mention that Uncle Boonmee who can Recall his Past Lives is actually the feature film element of Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Primitive project, which deals with ideas of extinction and the recollection of past lives. Director said pretty interesting things about the whole project in one interview, so if you’re into thiskind of story, then check his words: “A few years ago, while I was at my home town of Khon Kaen, I was given a little book called A Man Who Can Recall His Past Lives. It’s about Uncle Boonmee who recounts his multiple lives as humans and animals. I was thinking he must be a masochist because he always reborn in the northeast, where it’s arid and politically unstable. I also like the fact that while Uncle Boonmee could remember for hundreds of years, we forget things in our lifetime, things like the tyranny of past regimes. So I travelled the northeast and focused on the idea of remembering. In the end, I settled at the village of Nabua in Nakhon Panom. It was one of the places the Thai army occupied from the 60s to the early 80s to fight so-called communists. While there is no obvious link between Boonmee and Nabua, that village is full of repressed memories. I decided to work there. I interviewed a lot of people but ended up not using the material. I just worked with the teens to build a spaceship and make our little movies. It’s my process of remembering the place.” In this one, you’ll have a chance to see Thanapat Saisaymar (as Uncle Boonmee), Jenjira Pongpas (as Jenjira), Sakda Kaewbuadee, Natthakarn Aphaiwonk, Geerasak Kulhong and Kanokporn Thongaram. Weerasethakul is both screenwriter and director, and the whole project is produced by Simon Field and Keith Griffiths from Illumination Films/Past Lives Productions (UK) and Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Kick the Machine Films (Thailand). Apichatpong Weerasethakul, a Thai independent film director, screenwriter and film producer, is not so new when it comes to this Film Festival. His feature films include Tropical Malady, which won a jury prize at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival, and Blissfully Yours, which won the top prize in the Un Certain Regard program at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival. Good luck “Uncle Boonmee”!

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