Barry, this one is intriguing! I am going to have to thread it through my inner- projector a few times, adjust the focus a few times as well, & then see if I can get a 'frame' on its whole. I like the way the animals pop up as they are want to do in dreams, disturbing the focus as is their want, ghost to present to ghost, The bubbling consciousness constantly twisting.
I wonder what the dreams are like these days among the Japanese. Scary stuff no doubt. Scares me this edge between being present and obliteration.
--- On Wed, 3/30/11, Barry Alpert <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
From: Barry Alpert <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Snap Cannes Palme d'Or 2010
To: [log in to unmask]
Date: Wednesday, March 30, 2011, 10:03 AM
A LETTER TO UNCLE BOONMEE & HIS RESPONSE
via Apichatpong Weerasethakul
I want to see a movie about your life so
I propose a project about your reincarnations.
What was your view like?
Was it like this?
Make yourself clear!
Tell a story of that “crazy guy”.
My past lives as an animal rise up before me,
replayed through my dying consciousness.
I have no concept of . . . any longer.
I’m preserved this way.
He practiced with your Pentax camera.
He searched for that “thing” in the photo.
He has never shown anyone the proof of his discovery.
His film never developed.
He’s talking about the Monkey Ghost.
He mated with a Monkey Ghost and became one.
What I imagined in my script (so different than yours) . . .
Who has been able to recall his past reincarnations?
Barry Alpert / Silver Spring MD US / 3-30-11 (12:59 PM)
I did a double take when a feature film by a Thai director whom I had associated with very experimental short films appeared among the offerings of the 19th annual Environmental Film Festival in Wash DC. Even more startling: it had won the top prize at Cannes from a jury headed by Tim Burton. I cancelled my previous plans in order to attend what I believed would be its one and only screening in the Wash DC area, at the American Film Institute in downtown Silver Spring MD. Perhaps 350 people attended. Few walked out. I enjoyed it, and thought that I could revise what I had written down in the dark into a presentable text, but I wasn't composed enough to be interviewed on camera outside the theatre for Thai television (turned out to be Voice of America, so perhaps I made the right decision after all). In any case, I started researching the director and the film and discovered that UNCLE BOONMEE WHO CAN RECALL HIS PAST LIVES was the third
part of a visual art project, PRIMITIVE. The director (who jokingly has adopted the name "Joe") studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and exhibits film installations in art spaces and film centers. Fortunately, the first two parts of Joe's project are available online--a 17-minute film A LETTER TO UNCLE BOONMEE and a 10 minute film (the most formally innovative of the 3 films) PHANTOMS OF NABUA. I combined my experience watching those two shorts with my earlier writing performance within the feature to produce the cine-poem above. Currently, I'm working on a second cine-poem via Apichatpong Weerasethakul, since the same Environmental Film Festival also screened an earlier feature, TROPICAL MALADY.
AFI-Silver Spring decided on a week's run for UNCLE BOONMEE WHO CAN RECALL HIS PAST LIVES, and it has been playing in other cities this month in the U.S. and perhaps around the world. A DVD is out, and you can find the trailer and scattered bits online, though I recommend watching this film in a theatre.