After a week of movie-going that has included the full-on adrenaline blasts of zombies in Phi Ha Ayodhaya and Mad Max: Thunder Road, I needed a cinematic chill-pill, and there's none better than those concocted by Apichatpong Weerasethakul.
Dreamy, otherworldly, fantastic, and serenely calm, Cemetery of Splendour bears all the calling cards of an Apichatpong film. It makes its debut today in the Un Certain Regard selection of the Cannes Film Festival. Here's the trailer. Just try not to be lulled by those dulcet classical guitar strums.
Starring the director's frequent collaborator and muse, Jenjira Pongpas (hurry and read more about her in an article by Kong Rithdee in the Bangkok Post) and Banlop Lomnoi (from 2004 Cannes Jury Prize winner Tropical Malady), it's about a lonely woman who cares for a soldier with sleeping sickness, at an old rural schoolhouse that's been converted into a sick ward.
There are also a pair of clips, courtesy of Unifrance, one of a family member fretting by the soldier's bedside, and another of Jenjira and her husband making offerings at a shrine. (Note: The clips now appear to be offline).
As the hour of the film's premiere approaches, Apichatpong's social-media machinery has shifted up another notch, with a Cemetery of SplendourTwitter account . Here's a sample:
Apichatpong W. @kickthemachine already in #Cannes2015 ready for the World Premiere of Cemetery of Splendour tomorrow! pic.twitter.com/98eCpAublL— CemeteryOfSplendour (@cemetery_splend) May 17, 2015
Of course, the film is also on Facebook, which is where the image at the top comes from.