Apichatpong Weerasethakul

"For Weerasethakul, love transcends space and time, seeping into the spirit world - think of his films as bifurcated fever dreams that take giant leaps into the unknown. Operating outside the strict Thai studio system, Weerasethakul's peculiar style of filmmaking defies easy description." - Andrew Bailey (Cinema Now, 2007)

Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Director / Screenwriter / Editor / Producer / Cinematographer
(1970- ) Born July 16, Bangkok, Thailand
Top 250 Directors / 21st Century's Top 100 Directors

Key Production Countries: Thailand, France, Germany, Netherlands
Key Genres: Avant-garde/Experimental, Drama, Short Films, Fantasy, Essay Film, Culture & Society
Key Collaborators: Adekarat Homlaor (Production Designer), Sayombhu Mukdeeprom (Cinematographer), Lee Chatametikool (Editor), Sakda Kaewbuadee (Leading Actor), Charles de Meaux (Producer), Kanokporn Tongaram (Leading Actress), Keith Griffiths (Producer), Simon Field (Producer), Jenjira Pongpas (Leading Character Actress)

"The films of Thai-born, Chicago-educated filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul defy easy explanation, but that doesn’t mean they’re difficult to watch. There are few filmmakers whose work so purely radiates the joy of creation, and who express a more palpable sense of engagement with the world around them. His films contain shreds of plot, but following them only leads to confusion. They are better understood as sensory experiences, structured according to the fluid logic of memory and held together by threads of desire." - Sam Adams (A.V. Club, 2011)
"Unique, experimental, allusive and elusive, Apichatpong Weerasethakul's transcendental meditations blur boundaries and alter reality, using nonprofessional actors and long takes that stretch both time and audience patience. A star of the Thai New Wave, Weerasethakul studied architecture and designed dream houses, before studying art and film at the Chicago Art Institute, where he produced a series of avant-garde shorts." - Lloyd Hughes (The Rough Guide to Film, 2007)
"Glancing over his sizeable back catalogue, which consists of myriad shorts, installations, music videos and conceptual doodles, it’s clear the director has a voracious appetite for image making and is willingly flexible when it comes to working with varying media and budgets." - David Jenkins (Time Out, 2010)
"2010 Golden Palm winner Apichatpong "Joe" Weerasethakul is widely praised as one of the central figures in contemporary cinema. Trained as an architect in Thailand and as a visual artist in Chicago, he has stunned the film world with five innovative and dreamlike features made since the year 2000 - including award-winning films such as Blissfully Yours, Tropical Malady, and Syndromes and a Century. He is also an acclaimed installation artist, exhibiting his work in museums and art spaces all over the world." - Film Museum
"For me, film-making is still young, it still has room to grow, and now it's still attached to other kinds of art, like literature, or theatre. I'm not saying I'm trying to create some revolutionary style, but each film has its own language – the movie tells you how it wants to be told. But we tend to stick to very few modes of expression." - Apichatpong Weerasethakul (The Guardian, 2010)
“A generation has now come of age loving his movies about fearlessly grinning boys and freaky ventilation systems and far-out haunted forests; blissfully his as they surrender, still young, to Tropical Malady (2004), as recollective as Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010) when they later come to recognize the ways in which each of his films seems to haunt all the others." - Chuck Stephens (Cinema-Scope)
“More than almost any other figure in contemporary world cinema, Apichatpong presents a phalanx of critical problems and unpickable contradictions, like Pasolini did in his day. Paradoxically, this difficulty both helps to elevate his stature to the international art house elite, and prevents him from entering its empyrean." - James Quandt (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2009)
“I, as a filmmaker, treat my works as I do my own sons or daughters. I don't care if people are fond of them or despise them, as long as I created them with my best intentions and efforts." - Apichatpong Weerasethakul
“Architecture taught me how to look at things and how to accommodate people in certain spaces. People experience space, beauty, in true time, and film is also like journeying through time." - Apichatpong Weerasethakul
TSPDT Guide
Recommended
Blissfully Yours (2002) , Syndromes and a Century (2006) , Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010)
Worth a Look
Mysterious Object at Noon (2000) , Tropical Malady (2004) , The Anthem (2006), State of the World (2007) [also directed by Ayisha Abraham, Chantal Akerman, Pedro Costa, Vicente Ferraz & Wang Bing], Ashes (2012)
Approach with Caution
Worldly Desires (2005), A Letter to Uncle Boonmee (2009)
Acclaimed Films / IMDB Filmography
1,000 Greatest Films 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films
Apichatpong Weerasethakul / Favourite Films
See Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s 48 favourite films at La Cinetek (2015).
Amazon Products
Films / Books
    Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
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