22 March 2013 – 7.00pm
Mysterious Objects – A Night with the Films of Apichatpong Weerasethakul
From 7pm on 22 March to 8am on 23 March 2013
“The cinema is like medicine: we all need moving images. We all need to be in the dark, to forget about ourselves – this has been a habit of ours ever since man lived in caves”: the cinema that Apichatpong Weerasethakul offers us has roots that go way back to the very beginnings of human life, to the astonishment brought about – today, just like thousands of years ago – by the contrast between the darkness that surrounds us and the magic of the light and images we see before us.
Mysterious Objects – A Night with the Films of Apichatpong Weerasethakul is an HB Public event, and one that Pirelli is devoting to the city: HangarBicocca remains “lit up” from dusk to dawn, transforming the district into a magnet for all those who love the cinema, but also into a place where people can meet, interact and experience art and culture in an unusual, collective manner.
For the first time, the entire production of the great Thai artist and director is shown in its original version, with subtitles in Italian. All his full- and medium-length films, shorts, videos and documentaries are shown in their original formats in a special cinema, equipped with a 35mm projector, in the huge interior of HangarBicocca. Weerasethakul’s films, referred to by the critics as “mysterious objects”, precisely because they cannot be pinned down to any precise genre, take us on a night-time journey into a borderline world of reality, dreams and the imagination.
The programme retraces Weerasethakul’s film career from the early experimental short films he made during his study years in the USA to his feature-film prize winners at the Cannes Film Festival (Tropical Malady in 2004 and Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives in 2010). His work has profoundly influenced independent cinema over the past decade, becoming a model for a new generation of film directors, and indeed the cult actress Tilda Swinton had no doubts when she called him the “Sergei Eisenstein of the jungle”. With his dream-world imagination, his experimental approach to storytelling and his uninhibited use of different formats, the Thai film director is now considered as outstanding as David Lynch has been over the past twenty years.
A Night with the Films of Apichatpong Weerasethakul is the ideal complement to Primitive, for while the exhibition unfolds in the form of fragments of stories, sounds and images in space, in his films it is time and the distortion of time that marks out the chapters of a single story. A story which the artist has been writing over the course of almost twenty years. In this often inscrutable, non-linear narrative, we find the themes (reincarnation, dreams, gender identity, memory, transformation, and town-country relations), the places (villages, hotels, hospitals, river banks, caves, house interiors) and the obsessions (the jungle, animals, ghosts and windows) that are at the heart of Primitive. Together they form a sort of personal encyclopaedia in which the work of the artist and that of the director are inextricably entwined.
The night is introduced by Luca Mosso, Director of the Filmmaker Festival which in 2012 awarded Apichatpong Weerasethakul the First Prize for his film Mekong Hotel.
Mysterious Objects is an event by HangarBicocca, with the organisational support of Fondazione Cineteca Italiana and the cooperation of Zero Magazine.
0116643225059 (1994, 5’19’’, dig., b/n)
Like the Relentless Fury of the Pounding Waves / Mae Yang Nang (1995, 22’37’’, dig., b/n)
Thirdworld / Goh Gayasit (1997, 16’38’’, dig., b/n)
Malee and the Boy (1999, 27’, dig., col.)
20.30: Introduction by Andrea Lissoni and Luca Mosso
The Anthem (2006, 4’, 35mm, col.)
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives / Lung Boonmee Raluek Chat (2010, 113’, 35mm, col.)
Mysterious Object at Noon / Dogfahr Nai Meu Marn (2000, 83’, 35mm, b/n)
This and a Million More Lights (2003, 1’, dig., col.)
Tropical Malady / Sud Pralad (2004, 118’, 35mm, col.)
Worldly Desires (2005, 42’32’’, digibeta, col.)
Ghost of Asia (2005, 9’11’’, dig., col.)
Syndromes and A Century / Sang Sattawat (2006, 105’, 35mm, col.)
My Mother’s Garden (2007, 6’42’’, dig., sil., col.)
Emerald / Morakot (2007, 11’, dig., col.)
Luminous People (2007, 15’’, digibeta, col.)
Mobile Men (2008, 3’15’’, dig., col.)
Vampire / Sud Vikal (2008, 19’, dig., col.)
M Hotel (2011, 15’, dig., col.)
Mekong Hotel (2012, 57’, dig., col.)
Photos: Francesca Tovoli