Apichatpong Weerasethakul shorts

After some new ones appeared online, I watched a handful of A.W.’s available shorts. These seem more experimental than the features, and generally not as fun to watch, but still interesting.

M Hotel (2011)

Two guys on a hotel windowsill.
Dialogue is low, muffled and underwater.
I wanted this to connect to Mekong Hotel because of the title, but I guess not.

Ashes (2012)

Low frame rate, some repeated shots with different audio.
Gunshots in both movies so far.
A man talks about dreams and colors.
Hypnotic – I liked it.

Vampire (2008)

Had to watch twice, put me to sleep the first time.
Men are searching for a rare noctural bird for louis vuitton. They rip strips of cloth, douse in blood and strew carefully around on trees while making awful sounds. A man is painted in blood and set out to sit quietly in the cold. In the end nothing happens, or something does, it’s hard to tell.

Haiku (2009)

Sound of outdoors: crickets, owl? Handheld walk into red-filtered tent, men sleeping. Unfiltered shot or someone outside in distance under spotlight. Back to red, two guys awake now, smiling. Credits, quick shot of boom operator. Part of a series of Haiku shorts, with others by Naomi Kawase, Alain Cavalier and Frederick Wiseman.

Luminous People (2007)

Bunch of people on a long boat ride. Possibly a ritual thing, since there’s a monk, and ashes are tossed into the water. River roar on the soundtrack and a man sings a dream song. From the State of the World anthology – I didn’t watch the rest of it.

Phantoms of Nabua (2009)

Lightning strikes the ground, causing puffs of smoke with muted sound.
This is projected on a screen, before which guys kick a flaming football.
Football gets too close, screen burns down.
This made me very sleepy.

Empire (2010)

Very neat ad/intro for the 2010 Viennale, featuring cave photography, a scuba diver and a strobe light (not in that order).

The Anthem (2006)

First half is a static shot of three woman on a canal-side patio. Second half is a busy circular dolly shot around a gymnasium showing a workout routine, lighting crew and central badminton exhibition. Weird.

Third World (1997)

Grainy b/w photography, mostly of buildings, as a man narrates his dreams to a friend on the soundtrack. Then a bunch of nothing much, as a woman berates a kid who couldn’t manage to buy some eggs and bring them home without smashing them all. Then all is dark, and nothing much becomes even less. Dullsville.

Other A.W. shorts: I watched A Letter to Uncle Boonmee a while ago. He’s got a new one as part of the Venice 70 project. World Desires is from the 2005 Jeonju project. I just found a copy of Cactus River but haven’t watched yet. Mobile Men is from the 2008 Stories on Human Rights anthology. And there are lots more on IMDB that I’ve never seen anywhere, like Boys at Noon, Masumi is a PC Operator, the recent Sakda, and Ghost of Asia.

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