Sunday, January 9, 2011

Rebirth as animals: Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Micheangelo Frammartino

Apichatpong Weerasethakul's Loong Boonmee raleuk chat
2010, Drama, Sci-fi & Fantasy

In Buddhist thought, any human could be reborn as an animal, and any animal could be reborn as a human. Animals have always been regarded as sentient beings and have an equal potential to become enlightened. 'Watching the just-released trailer for Apichatpong Weerasethakul's Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives it's impossible not to think of the director's brilliant Tropical Malady.' Uncle Boonmee, who knows he will die in 48 hours, calls his distant relatives to take him back from hospital to home. 'There, they are greeted by the ghost of his deceased wife who has re-appeared to take care of him. His lost son also returns from the jungle in an ape-like form. The son has mated with a creature known as a 'monkey ghost' and has lived in the trees with her for the past 15 years. ... while the ghost wife is doing his kidney dialysis, Boonmee has a sudden urge to visit a place she has mentioned. So the group takes a journey into the jungle at night. It is full of animals and spirits. They finally reach a cave on top of the hill. Boonmee realizes that this is the cave in which he was born in the first life that he can remember.' [Todd Brown at]

Micheangelo Frammartino's Le Quattro volte (Four Times) 2010

'Frammartino orchestrates a breathtaking one-take comic set piece in which a panic-stricken dog disrupts an Easter parade, which causes a small pickup truck to crash through the gates holding the goats, who proceed to storm the man’s house. This astonishing sequence, followed up by a clearly fictional death scene, indicates that Le Quattro volte will stray further from the documentary form .... Frammartino’s strategies are simple, and he introduces the grand death/rebirth, all-living-things-are-carbon-based theme via a single cut, from the man breathing his last to a goat kid emerging from the womb and falling to the ground, covered in fluid.' [Benjamin Mercer in]

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