The 40 year architect- turned – director Apichatpong Werasethakul, or just plain Joe to his friends won the Palm d’Or in Cannes for surreal and experimental film, Uncle Boonmee, Who Can recall His Past Lives. Past winners of the illustrious prize, include Michael Hanneke’s The White Ribbon and Ken Loach’s The Wind That Shakes the Barley .
Set in a Thai jungle, a middle-aged man, seriously ill with kidney disease, contemplates his life in a remote part of the jungle. With a definite autobiographical touch, as his own father died from the same illness, Apichatpong notes, ‘the film is about the idea of remembering.’
The films’ opening scene is a long meditative shot of an ox, struggling to free itself from its rope, as the beast escapes into the jungle. Also suffused with curious images of a princess who makes love to a catfish and men badly dressed in gorilla suits: the director said that a lot of the surreal imagery was influenced by Thai cartoons and children’s television from the seventies and eighties.
Although not your usual Christmas movie, a ghost story about re-incarnation could work as alternative seasonal fare – screenings on Wednesday 15th Dec and Thursday 16th at 8pm with Saturday matinee at 3pm, December 18th.