For the first time, Apichatpong Weerasethakul is directing a film outside his country, Thailand. Fascinated by the Amazon, the director set down his camera in Colombia, while remaining however in cities, Bogota and Pijao, both at very high altitude: we quickly run out of steam!
Always contrary to his habits, Apichatpong Weerasethakul also chose to shoot “Memoria” with professional actors, all foreigners and in different languages and cultures: the British Tilda swinton, the French Jeanne Balibar, the Spanish Daniel Guimenez Cacho, the Colombian Elkin diaz, … But, true to its usual dreaminess, there is no question of falling into an international production!
Apichatpong Weerasethakul does not leave his customary creation made of experiences unparalleled in contemporary cinema. With “Memoria”, the spectator engages in a dream by completely rediscovering the director’s universe: the mystery of sleep, the fragility of the border between dream and wakefulness, the passage from the city to the forest, places keeping the traces of the past, … However, this time we are far from the exuberance and dampness of the Thai vegetation …
A Scottish woman specializing in the cultivation of orchids (Tilda Swinton) visits her sick sister in Bogota where she befriends a French archaeologist (Jeanne Balibar). She hears disturbing noises at night, real explosions, and her sleep is disturbed … After having excluded madness or hallucinations, she seeks to investigate the origin of this noise which follows her wherever she goes and mystery thickens, for she is the only one to hear it. Searching even in the jungle for a man who could guide her in this haunting, she is confronted with magic stones, bizarre monkeys, stories from the past, hallucinogenic mushrooms, a whole world of waking dreams where the director leads the spectator to the frontier of the fantastic.
“The work on the image is magnificent”
As always in the cinema of Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2010 for “Uncle Boonmee”), the work on the image is magnificent, but this time it adds a work on the sound leading even further everyone on this fascinating journey, a true dreamlike trip, the source of fiction. A dream as charged with emotion as with thought, to experience the same existential vertigo as this woman. With her very particular presence and playing, Tilda Swinton perfectly enters the director’s universe.
By watching this film, each spectator can let his imagination run free and thus create his own film which he superimposes on that of Apichatpong Weerasethakul, of which he will keep traces for a long time.
Theatrical release this Wednesday, November 17, 2021 / 2h 16min / Drama
By Apichatpong Weerasethakul
By Apichatpong Weerasethakul
With Tilda Swinton, Elkin Díaz, Jeanne Balibar
Photo from Front: © Kick the Machine Films / Burning / Anna Sanders Films / Match Factory Productions / ZDF / Arte / Piano 2021
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Cinema: “Memoria” by Apichatpong Weerasethakul – Art Côte d’Azur