ICA Cinema, 8.40pm
This is the ICA introduction: Apichatpong Weerasethakul's hallucinatory debut feature is an experimental mix of documentary and fiction that wends its way through the landscapes and mindscapes of rural Thailand.
A film crew travels from the Thai countryside to Bangkok, asking the people they encounter along the way to expand upon a story involving a wheelchair-bound young boy and his teacher. The resulting stories are later reenacted by non-professional actors in dramatic recreations of the freely associated narrative strokes supplied. The daisy-chain structure of interlocking vignettes was inspired by the surrealist game Exquisite Corpses, and its formal strategies are aligned with both documentary realism and the avant-garde, but this boldly original debut looks and feels like nothing else.
We are delighted to welcome director Apichatpong Weerasethakul to this special screening. He will be in conversation with Andrea Lissoni, Curator of Film at Tate Modern . This is the very first UK screening of a new digital print, restored by the Austrian Film Museum and Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Foundation.Chicago Reader review:
Shot in 16-millimeter black and white with Dolby sound, then blown up to 35-millimeter, this singular experimental feature from Thailand (2000, 83 min.) is a freewheeling collaboration between filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul and villagers he encountered while driving south from Bangkok. After hearing a story en route, Weerasethakul asked others to continue and/or modify it; back in Bangkok, he shot portions of the narrative with nonprofessional actors. The entire film is a heady mix of fiction and nonfiction, with fantasy and actuality rubbing shoulders at every stage, and what emerges from the collective unconscious of the participants is surprising and fascinating. Weerasethakul packages his findings in diverse and inventive ways: as an improvised outdoor musical performance, as a game played by school children, as a collaborative description in sign by two teenage deaf-mutes. I can't think of another film remotely like it.Jonathan Rosenbaum
Here (and above) is an extract*********************************************
No2 In Bloom (Ekvtimishvili/Gross, 2013): BFI Southbank, NFT1 6.15pm
This is the opening night of the Birds Eye Film Festival. Details of the full programme here.
Here is the BFI introduction: Celebrated as a major discovery of the 2013 Berlinale, this beautifully crafted story follows two young girls coming of age in post-Soviet Georgia. As civil war rages in the newly independent state, two 14-year-old best friends just want to talk gossip, music and boys. But as insecurity and fear overcome everyday life, their childhoods come to an abrupt halt in this multi-award-winning, semi-autobiographical drama. ‘Terrifically cast... visibly potent.’ – Screen International.
Here (and above) is the trailer.