Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Blissfully Yours

One filmmaker I've been familiarizing myself with lately is Apichatpong Weerasethakul (but you can call him "Joe"), a true one-of-a-kind original from Thailand. I think the best description I've heard of his films was by the AV Club, who said something to the effect that they "redefine inaccessible." On the one hand, they are clear and direct, based usually in everyday human interaction, sometimes even a little funny and charming. On the other hand, they are completely unpredictable and strange, and mysterious. You can follow them moment by moment with little trouble, but its never clear how everything connects or what any of it means. In a completely serene, deadpan, down-to-Earth way, his films are almost works of surrealism.

I've become obsessed with his Syndromes and a Century (which I will likely be watching again on my vacation), and though none of his other films I've seen have matched that one in obscure fascination, they've all been worthwhile. Blissfully Yours seems to have no greater aim than to capture the feeling of laying out in the woods on a Spring afternoon with a loved one. And literally shows that, at length, with minimal interruptions of "plot" or any such nonsense. It's slowly paced and deliberately uneventful to such a degree that I can't see the majority of folks appreciating a film like this. But it's done with such a sense of time and place, and such an offbeat sensibility, that cinephiles owe it to themselves to try him out.

As boring as I'm making his film's sound, there's a weird playfulness about them. One detail about Blissfully Yours that threw me for a loop and made me laugh out loud is that the opening credits don't begin until about 45 minutes into the film, abruptly, in the middle of a lengthy scene of two characters driving out to the middle of nowhere.

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