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Apichatpong Weerasethakul

1.  0116643225059 / Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand-USA
2.  A Letter to Uncle Boonmee / Apichatpong Weerasethakul, UK-Thailand
3.  Blissfully Yours / Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand-France
4.  Emerald / Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand-Japan
5.  Ghost of Asia / Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand-France
6.  Haunted Houses / Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand
7.  Like the Relentless Fury of the Pounding Waves / Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand-USA
8.  Luminous people / Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Portugal-Thailand
9.  Malee and the Boy / Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand
10.  Mobile Men / Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Switzerland
11.  My Mother’s Garden / Apichatpong Weerasethakul, France-Thailand
12.  Mysterious Object at Noon / Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand
13.  Nokia Short / Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand
14.  Syndromes and a Century / Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand-Austria-France
15.  Teem (November 20) / Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand-Japan
16.  Teem (November 21) / Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand-Japan
17.  Teem (November 22) / Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand-Japan
18.  The Adventure of Iron Pussy / Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand
19.  The Anthem / Apichatpong Weerasethakul, UK-Thailand
20.  Thirdworld / Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand-USA
21.  This and a Million More Lights / Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand
22.  Tropical Malady / Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand-France-Germany-Ιtaly
23.  Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives / Apichatpong Weerasethakul, UK-Thailand-Germany-France-Spain
24.  Vampire / Apichatpong Weerasethakul, France-Thailand
25.  Windows / Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand
26.  Worldly Desires / Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Pimpaka Towira, Thailand-South Korea

Cinema as Reincarnation

When, in early March of this year, we invited Apichatpong Weerasethakul to present his entire oeuvre at the 51st Thessaloniki International Film Festival, we felt that such a retrospective was well-deserved by perhaps the most important filmmaker to emerge during the first decade of the 21st century. The awarding of the Palme d’Or at Cannes to Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives simply confirmed our feelings. Even though “Joe”, as he likes to be called, is still under forty, he has produced a multifaceted body of work, comprising six feature films, numerous shorts and a series of multimedia projects. One could describe this impressive body of work as a generous nod of affirmation to the unexpected readings and expressions of daily life, and to the magic power of memory. Joe himself has referred to cinema as a reincarnation and a recalling, a purely metaphysical art and, indeed, his transcendental images are no more than the new, revitalized lives of people and things that, through the process of being imprinted on film, move away from the mundane and the familiar and reveal to the enchanted viewer their innumerable manifestations and connections. I don’t know how many other filmmakers have so wisely overcome every narrative obstacle and broken every fiction or documentary rule in order to free the image of its realist bonds and open it up to new interpretations, meanings and sensations. Or how many can refer with equal ease to the avant-garde of experimental cinema and Buddhist tradition or succeed in balancing between the primeval and the (post)modern, the natural and the artificial, the physical and the immaterial, the dream and reality – to mention only a few of the dualities that run through his work. Nor do I know how many filmmakers have conversed so innovatively with every possible way and means of capturing an image. A vivid example of this are his short films, which reveal not only the first steps but also the constant experimentation of a great, ever-evolving director, while at the same time constituting an inseparable part of the unbreakable cohesion of his work, often conversing with his feature films, complementing, expanding, and even, at times, playfully undermining them. This tribute is truly a unique and rare opportunity for one to see these films grouped together into four programs selected by the director himself. Equally noteworthy is his presence at the Festival in order to present this retrospective and to meet with audiences to talk about these “mysterious objects” – the term that has so fittingly, if somewhat perplexedly, been given to his absolutely unclassifiable creations.

Lefteris Adamidis

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