Cannes Film Festival 2021: the magic Apichatpong Weerasethakul returns with the magnificent “Memoria”

Palme d’or 2010 with Uncle boonmee, Jury Prize in 2004 with Topycal Malady, regularly in Cannes in different sections, the thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul returns to compete with Memoria, true to itself: contemplative and esoteric. He filmed for the first time outside his home country, and with a star, Tilda Swinton, who is also producing the film.

Jessica (Tilda Swinton) is disturbed by a powerful and strange sound that only she can hear at any time of the day or night. She investigates to find out the origin of this disorder and ends up with a shaman who reveals the memory of the Earth to her. Introduced to this knowledge, she will attend the unexpected revelation of the origin of the sound disturbance that haunts her.

Film on memory, as its title suggests, Memoria, deals not with human memory, but that of the Earth, stones, water, trees and wind. Outsmarting all the traditions of narrative cinema, Apichatpong Weerasethakul ignores all rationality in his narrative from a formal point of view and meaning. The Thai director talks about the invisible, the magic of the world. A spirituality that he translates into images, always of great contemplative beauty.

Still shots, without any movement inside the frame, especially no camera movement, put the viewer in a state comparable to that of pre-sleep alpha waves, as if under hypnosis. Like all Apichatpong Weerasethakul films, Memoria is more about the experience than the traditional going to the cinema. Tilda Swinton, as Jessica, was totally invested in her role, confirming her choices for off the beaten track films like Only Lovers Left Alive, wonderful story of vampires by Jim Jarmusch, or Snowpiercer.

Indelible images of the filmmaker remain in the memory for a long time after their vision. In Memoria, it transcends what could have been staged in a science fiction film by a Steven Spielberg. A moment of incredible surprise that breaks the languid rhythm of the film. The sublimation of nature recalls the ecological hymns of Hayao Miyazaki and the soundtrack is a work of art in its own right. The magic of Apichatpong Weerasethakul operates over and over again if one lends itself to it. A meditation.

Warmly acclaimed for more than fifteen minutes after the screening of his film at the Grand Théâtre Lumière, Apichatpong Weerasethakul was very moved when speaking in public: “This film was a very long journey, with a lot of emotions. It’s like learning to breathe again after such a long confinement. This awareness of existing is what I tried to express. in this film. It is also a new birth for cinema. Long live the cinema! “

For her part, Tilda Swinton thanked the spectators for having subscribed to this “slowing down of time” proposed by the Thai director: “This film offers viewers the opportunity to forget themselves, the audience impressed me with their ability to appreciate and meet the challenge of this film from start to finish.”

Kind : Fantastic
Director: Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Actors : Tilda Swinton, Elkin Díaz, Jeanne Balibar
Country : Thailand / Great Britain / Colombia / France / Mexico
Duration : 2h14
Exit : Shortly
Distributer : New story

Synopsis: At daybreak I was surprised by a big BANG and did not find sleep. In Bogota, through the mountains, in the tunnel, near the river. A bang.

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Cannes Film Festival 2021: the magic Apichatpong Weerasethakul returns with the magnificent “Memoria”

Hank Gilbert