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    Apichatpong Weerasethakul : "Primitive"

    A Thai Director Dreams of History
    Monika Anderson
    MAY 13, 2011


    A scene from a video in Apichatpong Weerasethakul's 'Primitive.'

    Chaisiri Jiwarangsan/Kick the Machine Films/Illumination Films

    Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul won the Cannes film festival's Palme d'Or prize last year for the fantasy "Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives," but for him the movie is an element of a larger art project.

    On Thursday, he will bring that project, called "Primitive," to New York's New Museum as a seven-video installation, all filmed in a border town across from Laos called Nabua.

    It's in northeast Thailand, the region Mr. Apichatpong hails from.

    In the 1960s to early '80s, the government brutally persecuted villagers suspected of sympathizing with communist factions, and the videos are "a small collective memory," he says, of the village's painful past.

    The local male teenagers featured in these videos know this trauma only secondhand—something that inspired the installation's trance-like state of escapism.

    The installation includes science-fiction elements such as a spaceship that the teens build and later drink, hang out and sleep in.

    Accompanying the installation is Mr. Apichatpong's short film "Phantoms of Nabua," in which the young men of the village emerge in the night to play soccer with a ball set on fire.

    This is Mr. Apichatpong's first New York solo exhibition.

    online.wsj.com

    Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul won the Cannes film festival's Palme d'Or prize last year for the fantasy "Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives,"

    http://teakdoor.com/arts-and-enterta...e-boonmee.html (Uncle Boonmee)

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    Apichatpong Weerasethakul talks about his award-winning feature film Uncle Boonmee who can Recall his Past Lives, and Primitive, his multi-platform project, commissioned by Haus der Kunst, Munich with FACT Liverpool and Animate Projects and produced by Illuminations Films, London with Kick the Machine, Bangkok.

    youtube.com

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