Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Cannes 2010: Will Apichatpong be there?

By now Apichatpong Weerasethakul's new feature Uncle Boonmee Who Can Remember His Past Lives (ลุงบุญมีระลึกชาติ, Lung Boonmee Raleuk Chat) has had its first screening in Cannes.

It was actually an invitation-only, no-press-allowed market screening. Another is set for Thursday morning. The press gets their first look on Thursday night at 7 and 10. There's one for the public at noon at the Lumière and then the official premiere is on Friday night at 10.30.

Unfortunately, it appears Apichatpong likely won't be in attendance.

The Nation's Soopsip column today says the filmmaker had also hoped to visit England after attending the Cannes Film Festival. His passport is at the British Embassy in Bangkok, which is closed because of the deadly violence that has broken out between the red-shirt political protesters and the Thai military.

The embassy is right on the edge of the war zone. Bullets, grenades and Molotov cocktails are flying and smoke from burning tires fills the air.

Meanwhile, there's a poster for Uncle Boonmee to feast your eyes on. It's drawn by an artist named Phim Umari. I hope to someday see the poster (and the film) in the wild, up close and huge.

Update: A bit more coverage here. Says Apichatpong about his main character: "I was thinking he must be a masochist because he always reborn in the northeast, where it’s arid and politically unstable."

Update 2: Jonathan Landreth interviews Apichatpong for The Hollywood Reporter. It's a wide-ranging piece, addressing the film, Bangkok's troubles, the media crackdown, film funding and his personal life.

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