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Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

Posted by martinteller on December 22, 2010

It feels as if I’ve been waiting forever to see this, but the wait was worth it.  It might be my favorite Weerasethakul, and will almost certainly be my favorite film of 2010.  I’ve said before that Joe is incapable of making a “normal” movie, and this supports that idea.  One of the most unpredictable films I’ve ever seen, it is constantly surprising you, and yet never relies on “weird for the sake of being weird” gimmicks to keep you on your toes.  It all feels entirely organic, and the atmosphere of the film — the gorgeous imagery and evocative sounds — envelops you in an almost hypnotic sense.  I was utterly transfixed, fascinated by the strange rhythms and events, unable to look away as I attempted to piece it together.  I will say that it might be too inscrutable, at least on a first viewing, which is the only thing holding me back from a perfect score at the moment.  But there are definite themes emerging… what I focused on mostly was the running motif of man’s uneasy symbiosis with nature/spirituality.  I will be watching it again, of course (at some point I need to revisit all of Weerasethakul’s work anyway), and expect that it will open up to me more.  Even the first time around, it gave me plenty to think about, and besides that, is a beautiful, magical, humorous and touching film.  Rating: 9


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