While many arthouse filmmakers sometimes use critical acclaim to leap to working with bigger stars or on movies with larger budgets, Apichatpong Weerasethakul seems content for now to carve his own distinct path. After his Palme d’Or win in 2010 for “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives,” the director has knocked out a stream of shorts, along with the one-hour “Mekong Hotel,” which hit Cannes in 2012. Now he’s back three years later with the feature length “Cemetery Of Splendour,” unspooling in the Un Certain Regard slot at Cannes. Following the first couple of clips, a brand new trailer has arrived.
And no big surprise for fans of Weerasethakul, this features more of his patient, beautiful work, and doesn’t reveal anything in terms of plot. He reteams with Jenjira Pongpas (“Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall Past Lives”) and Banlop Lomnoi (“Tropical Malady“) for this one, which features some familiar themes. Here’s the official synopsis:
Soldiers with a mysterious sleeping sickness are transferred to a temporary clinic in a former school. The memory-filled space becomes a revelatory world for housewife and volunteer Jenjira, as she watches over Itt, a handsome soldier with no family visitors. Jen befriends young medium Keng who uses her psychic powers to help loved ones communicate with the comatose men. Doctors explore ways, including coloured light therapy, to ease the mens’ troubled dreams. Jen discovers Itt’s cryptic notebook of strange writings and blueprint sketches. There may be a connection between the soldiers’ enigmatic syndrome and the mythic ancient site that lies beneath the clinic. Magic, healing, romance and dreams are all part of Jen’s tender path to a deeper awareness of herself and the world around her.
Stay tuned for our review during Cannes. Watch the trailer below.