With occasional reflection on the perpetual absurdity/intrigue of life and society in general.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Cannes Update: Thai Filmmaker, Weerasethaku, Wins Palme d’Or

I've been a bit slack with updates from Cannes (silly me, I've been busy with never-ending post on my own torturous film project) - while much of cinematic interest has unfolded at this years festival. I will certainly be visiting a few films and topics from Cannes Film Festival 2010 in upcoming postings (Jean Luc Godard's Film Socialisme is of particular interest). It seems that the jury morphed into a reflection of its president, Tim Burton, in selecting an unexpected Thai film for the Palme d'Or - a fantastical piece that delves into cultural myth and afterlife otherworldliness (perhaps with less macabre than Burton's films - maybe due to relative cultural differences in popular perceptions of death) - and the first Thai film to receive the top honor. For a complete report of the awards, follow the embedded link to the official Cannes website, or you can read more from the NY Times article below:

Apichatpong Weerasethakul, center, winner of the Palme d’Or, with Tim Burton, far right. Juliette Binoche, far left, and Javier Bardem, second from right, won acting prizes at Cannes.

CANNES, France — On Sunday evening the 63rd Cannes Film Festival came to a shocking, exhilarating close with the Palme d’Or going to “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives” from the Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Surely the only Palme winner to feature sex between a princess and a thrashing catfish, “Boonmee” is a fantastical tale about a dying man whose past lives — and ghostly relatives — enraptured some critics while turning others off. The speculation that it might appeal to the jury president, Tim Burton, along with some of his more discerning fellow jury members, proved true.

On accepting the award Mr. Weerasethakul (who goes by Joe) said in English that “this is like another world for me,” and noted that “Uncle Boonmee” is the first Thai film to win the Palme. “I would really like to kiss all of you,” he said to the jury, telling Mr. Burton that he liked his hairstyle. Mr. Weerasethakul thanked “all the spirits and ghosts in Thailand,” who made it “possible for me to be here.”

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