"I once had a dream, or a vision, and I imagined that dream to be of importance to other people, so I wrote the manuscript and made the film. But it is not until the moment when my dream meets with your emotions and your minds that my shadows come to life. It is your recognition that brings them to life. It is your indifference that kills them. I hope that you will understand; that you when you leave the cinema will take with you an experience or a sudden thought—or maybe a question. The efforts of my friends and myself have then not been in vain…" — Ingmar Bergman

Behind the scenes of Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Tropical Malady.

"Thailand is surrounded by Burma, Laos and Cambodia, where the horror tales circulate along the border. Even though I grew up in a small town where the land is flat, there were strange animal sounds in a quiet night not unlike those up on the hills. The tales and the landscapes were imprinted in my mind. I always imagine a parallel world with these elements, one where I did not physically live. When I had a chance to make films, which in itself is to create another world, I always resorted to this jungle. The love and fear of mysterious darkness and jungle became my addiction, along with filmmaking…

"Since I made Tropical Malady during my ‘dark’ period—I was at pain with some losses—the film is like my sorrow box. Some of the scenes, including the style and the structure, contain personal references. It may appear scattered to some, but it was the way I saw my memories at that particular time. The experience of making this film was very naive and direct. When we shot in the jungle, I was more aware of how the movie was going. Somehow I felt like I was back in the past making a silent film where there was no man on earth.” — Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Have you been in the cinema watching a film, and it’s had an almost supernatural effect on you—elevated you out of your material state?
Apichatpong Weerasethakul: Yes, yes. That movie was [Tsai Ming-liang’s] Good Bye, Dragon Inn. Because it brought me back to my home town. It’s the same kind of cinema, and similar kinds of characters, and it made me cry inside. It’s one of the best films for me.


"We tend to establish a certain logic when we watch movies. But for me they are more powerful and diverse than that. I want to open up the mysteriousness of life. You encounter things you cannot explain, and that’s the joy of living." — Apichatpong Weerasethakul

"We tend to establish a certain logic when we watch movies. But for me they are more powerful and diverse than that. I want to open up the mysteriousness of life. You encounter things you cannot explain, and that’s the joy of living." — Apichatpong Weerasethakul

The Films of Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Mysterious Object at Noon | Blissfully Yours | The Adventure of Iron Pussy | Tropical Malady | Syndromes and a Century | Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives | Mekong Hotel