Cult comic-book artist and cartoonist Chris Ware has designed the poster for the U.S. release of Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives. The design was premiered on New York magazine's Vulture blog. Ware says:
"I wanted to get at both the transcendent solemnity of the film while keeping some sense of its loose, very unpretentious accessibility. This being a poster, however — and even worse, me not really being a designer — I realized it also had to be somewhat punchy and strange, so as to draw viewers in and pique their curiosity without, hopefully, insulting their intelligence."
I think it captures the monkey ghost spirit of Uncle Boonmee just fine.
Distributed by Strand Releasing, the film opens on March 2 in New York and I would guess other major U.S. cities will soon follow.
In the U.K., where Uncle Boonmee had a theatrical release last year, the DVD and Blu-ray release is being readied for March 20. New Wave Films is handling the release.
Extras on the DVD and Blu-ray include:
- Filmed interview with Apichatpong Weerasethakul
- 40 minutes of deleted scenes
- A Letter to Uncle Boonmee, a companion short film by Apichatpong Weerasethakul
- Essay by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, The Memory of Nabua
Although Boonmee already appears on an English-subbed DVD in another territory, it looks like the U.K. DVD will be the one to get, unless Strand considerably steps up its game beyond the no-frills huge hard-burned subtitles of its Syndromes and a Century DVD release.
That said, I don't think either the DVD or the Blu-ray are a substitute for seeing it in the theatre.
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives opened on January 27 at the Picturehouse in Singapore.
There's more press interviews with Apichatpong in Singapore, including the Straits Times and My Paper. There's a Straits Times Razor TV in which Joei says "You can sleep during my films."
There's also an interesting piece at the Sindie blog, in which Apichatpong was interviewed while taking the subway in Singapore. It has lots of photos, with talk about censorship and the history and current affairs of Thai cinema. Here's a bit:
"For, example you cannot portray the policemen in a bad way. (pause) The censorship board has become like a moral police. If they do not think it is right, they can ban it. I think the system is quite fascist. The last movie that was banned was a movie that dealt with transsexuals [Insects in the Backyard]. The government said ‘oh, it’s not a good image for the Thai young people.' Even though they have a rating system, they don’t really trust their own rating system. It may be because even with the ratings, people can still sneak in. (pause) There is another film that has high school students kissing [Love Julinsee], in fact, not even kissing, they were only about to kiss and the censors stepped in."
A few other things:
- Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives will play at the Adelaide Film Festival, February 24 to March 6.
- SFFS Screen has Uncle Boonmee at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas in San Francisco, March 4-10.
- There's an interview with Apichatpong at Filmmaker magazine.
- And Uncle Boonmee was the closing film of this past weekend's Lifescapes Southeast Asian Film Festival in Chiang Mai. It played to a sold-out crowd and was the first time the film had played in Apichatpong's hometown.