I got to interview Apichatpong Weerasethakul a few weeks back for The Nation, where editors anticipated that his new feature, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives would be picked for the Cannes Film Festival, even if the filmmaker himself was perhaps only half positive his film would be chosen.
Most of the article was written from what Joei told me on that Sunday afternoon at a coffee shop in the Soi Aree area of Bangkok, though a couple of follow-up questions were handled via e-mail.
Well, his film was indeed chosen for the Cannes Film Festival's main competition. It's among many honors.
And The Nation piece ran yesterday. But the headline, "The late, great Apichatpong" has generated a few comments. It wasn't my headline, though I let it go through. A colleague came up with it and I recognized that it was metaphorical, with the Past Lives of the film title and reincarnation in mind and the very-much-alive Joei talking about how Uncle Boonmee was made and speculating that a phase of his career might be ending with this film.
I think Boonmee will be the last film I can do like this. I think it's good because it really summarises everything. The memories of the old movies ... it's time to move on to the other movies."
Read the rest of the piece for what his possible upcoming projects might be, what he thinks about submitting the censored Syndromes and a Century to the new motion-picture ratings system and what he thinks about the controversial Strong Thailand film fund, under which he stands to receive 3.5 million baht.