Friday, August 27, 2010

Apichatpong-a-rama: Boonmee in Chicago, sold out in Seoul, maverick in Toronto

Already lined up for New York, Toronto and Vancouver, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives will also be heading to the 46th Chicago International Film Festival, running October 7 to 21.

The Chicago Tribune's Michael Phillips unveils the 20 early titles tipped by the Windy City fest. Here's what he says about Uncle Boonmee:

Winner of the top prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, this visionary yet playful film is an enchanting blend of heady spiritual imagery and tender human drama that confronts the largest of questions—what happens to us after we die? Weerasethakul came through the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and one hopes he'll come back to town for his enchantingly strange picture's local premiere.

In Toronto, where Uncle Boonmee has been added to the Toronto International Film Festival's Masters program and will later have a theatrical run at the Bell Lightbox, Apichatpong has been named among the this year's Mavericks at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Apichatpong joins filmmakers Philip Seymour Hoffman, Kelly Reichardt, Davis Guggenheim, Ken Loach and Paul Laverty, rock star Bruce Springsteen, basketball player Steve Nash, educator Geoffrey Canada, producer Lesley Chilcott, and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. Moderators include actor Edward Norton, filmmaker Michael Moore and Canada AM co-host Seamus O’Regan.

TIFF explains Joei's involvement:

Apichatpong Weerasethakul is considered a cinematic treasure by art house aficionados. To get over his intimidating Thai name, he encourages westerners to call him Joe. Director of several features and dozens of short films, his film Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall his Past Lives (playing at the Festival in the Masters programme and later at TIFF Bell Lightbox as an exclusive engagement) won the prestigious Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival this year; this playful and innovative film deals with themes of memories, transformation and extinction. In this Mavericks session moderated by film critic Dennis Lim, film clips accompany Weerasethakul’s talk as he takes audiences through his career.

Uncle Boonmee played at the recent Cinema Digital Seoul Film Festival, where, according to Teem Chaisri, tickets sold out in 3 minutes.

The movie's also opening across Europe, with a theatrical run beginning in France next week, as well as three other countries.

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