Thursday, March 5, 2009

Short Films You Must See: "Phantoms of Nabua" (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2009)

You can find Apichatpong Weerasethakul's new short Phantoms of Nabua here. I realize this is the second short film entry in a sort period of time, but this one is brand new and calls to be seen. I may try and put together a formal review over the weekend, but I will say that I think this short is rather astonishing. I love pretty much everything Apichatpong does, but this really hits it out of the park. He just keeps getting better, and he's already one of the best directors working today.

And just for an update: sorry about the lack of posts recently. It's that time of year when movies worth reviewing are few and far between. There are plenty of good cinema on the near horizon though, so expect us to get back in the swing of things very soon with reviews of Albert Serra's Birdsong, Jonas Mekas' new work Lithuania and the Collapse of the USSR, Steve McQueen's Hunger, and, of course, Miss March along with many others. We look forward to hearing from you all! Don't be comment shy! We love discourse around here!


Brandon Colvin said...

I'm still trying to really get into this guy.

I feel like I'm missing something.

Chuck W said...

I really like Weerasethakul, but I wish I could pronounce his name. I hate constantly referring to him as "that Tropical Malady dude."

James Hansen said...

Didn't like this one either, Brandon? He's a little hard to get into at first (I had similar frustrations the first time I watched TROPICAL MALADY) but watching that a second time, reading some more about him, and then watching his others, something certainly clicked for me. I really think he's one of the top two or three directors out there right now.

When he was at Anthology, Apichatopong has this semi-structuralist video called WINDOWS and all us Americans, more familiar with structuralism, really got into that one. Someone asked about it and he was like "yeah, I was sort of playing around, but thats not the kind of film I'm really interested in making." Its such a wildly different tradition of experimentation (even though he went to U of Chicago...) that it takes some getting used to.

I wish I could point you in some directions that might "help." Academic Hack should have a review of PHANTOMS up soon. I'm sure it will be sharp. Nathan Lee wrote about SYNDROMES for WNYC and we had a brief discussion about him in the comments. If you don't dig it, you don't dig it, but I have to admit I'm a little surprised that you haven't like them. Oh wellz.

Chuck- Odd as it seems, to my understanding, it sounds just like it looks. We-ruh-seth-uh-cool. Now start saying it really quickly to everyone and they'll be impressed.

Brandon Colvin said...

I mean, I definitely liked it. And I like SYNDROMES. I just haven't been able to digest them to the point that I'm blown away.

Gary Thomas said...

delayed thanks for this lovely post!