The Metaphysical World of Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Movies

Hilton Als at The New Yorker:

For Weerasethakul, movies are the perfect medium through which to convey life’s continuums and interruptions. His mid-career masterpiece, “Tropical Malady” (2004), for instance, opens with soldiers in a field of tall grass, posing with a corpse. Posing and laughing: even in the presence of death, Weerasethakul seems to be saying, we pretend for the camera, for our friends, the better to feel included—but in what? The brutality of living? The action shifts to Keng (Banlop Lomnoi), a soldier in a rural community in northeastern Thailand. Keng meets Tong (Sakda Kaewbuadee), a sweet, younger man, a civilian, and the two begin a relationship against a backdrop of big Thai sky and dark, breathing jungle. Weerasethakul develops a new choreography for the dance of love, the malady of love. There are no sweeping violins or roiling surf. The depth of the men’s intimacy is shown in the way their knees play a game as they sit in a movie theatre, in the way they caress and lick each other’s hands.

more here.