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First Images From Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s ‘Mekong Hotel’

First Images From Apichatpong Weerasethakul's 'Mekong Hotel'

This time next week we’ll be in the midst of the Cannes Film Festival, with plenty of questions set to be answered. One answer we’re eager to hear is in reponse to one of the more intriguing parts of the lineup: the return of former Palme d’Or winner Apichatpong Weerasethakul with “Mekong Hotel.”

A fair bit of mystery shrouds Weerasethakul’s film. For one, many questioned why the the film didn’t make it in competition and whether or not it’s the project that teams him with Tilda Swinton. Weeks after the lineup announcement, we’re still as clueless as ever. A handful of images from the film have arrived for us to take a look at, and sales company The Match Factory also have the following synopsis for ‘Mekong,’ but, in typical fashion, there’s not much that can be told from a synopsis of a Weerasethakul film.

‘Mekong Hotel’ is a portrait of a hotel near the Mekong River in the north-east of Thailand. The river there marks the border between Thailand and Laos. In the bedrooms and terraces, Apichatpong held a rehearsal with his crew for a movie that he wrote years ago called Ecstasy Garden. The film shuffles different realms, fact and fiction, expressing the bonds between a vampire-like mother and her daughter, the young lovers and the river. Mekong Hotel – since it was shot at the time of the heavy flooding in Thailand – also weaves in layers of demolition, politics, and a drifting dream of the future.

“I’m finishing one very romantic film of a hotel on the Mekong, in Nong Khai,” the helmer also previously explained to CinemaScope. “It’s a one-hour film called Mekong Hotel. My crew goes there, and my friend, who is a guitar teacher, improvises and plays guitar for an hour. My crew is trying to rehearse a movie about this ghost who goes around eating innards. It’s like a documentary but every scene is shot in a hotel room.” 

Still confused? Don’t worry, so are we. Hopefully it’ll all make sense when “Mekong Hotel” screens on the Croisette next week.  [Flix]

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