Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Highest Rated: 96% Cemetery of Splendor (2015)

Lowest Rated: 67% Mekong Hotel (2012)

Birthday: Jul 16, 1970

Birthplace: Bangkok, Thailand

Apichatpong Weerasethakul's highly conceptual films have caused some to dub him "The David Lynch of Asia," but the Thai director's vision is all his own. Born in Bangkok in 1970 to two doctors of Chinese descent, Apichatpong's family relocated when he was a child, moving from the bustling city to the rural forests of Khon Kaen, where his mother and father opened a clinic. At the time, the northeast corner of the nation where Khon Kaen was located was extremely underdeveloped and largely cut off from Thailand's mainstream society and government. His parents' adventurous spirit had a great impact on Apichatpong, as did their dogged desire to help the poor people of the region. They encountered many unfortunate situations in dealing with the Thai government, even after Apichatpong's father became a parliamentary representative of the Democratic Party in order to help create a more legitimate political system. When his father was eventually offered money from the government for a project, he refused to take it, having learned that the system that obtained it for him was dishonest. Apichatpong learned a great deal about the human experience and his own country during his upbringing in the rural state. He studied architecture at Khon Kaen University, but before he completed his studies, he created his first short film, "Bullet" (1993). By the time he graduated the following year, Apichatpong was ready to switch gears. He enrolled at the School of Art Institute of Chicago to study filmmaking. There, he became inspired by the works of modern artists like Martin Arnold and Peter Tscherkassky, who blurred the distinctions between experimental filmmaking and video art. He created several short films such as "Kitchen and Bedroom" (1994) and "Like the Relentless Fury of the Pounding Waves" (1996) before graduating with his MFA in 1997. Upon returning to Thailand, Apichatpong founded his own studio, Kick the Machine Films, as a venue for experimental filmmaking. His first full-length feature was a nonfiction piece called "Mysterious Object at Noon" (2000). He showed the work using a projector as part of an art installation Bangkok's Project 304 Gallery. More shorts followed before his next film, the artful erotic feature "Blissfully Yours" (2002). The enigmatic film garnered immense praise at Cannes, winning the Un Certain Regard Award. The film wasn't so easily received at home, where ten minutes of it were censored by the government because they were considered too explicit. After taking home the Jury Prize at Cannes for his next film, "Tropical Malady" (2004), he encountered similar resistance with the semi-abstract "Syndromes and a Century" (2006). The film was nominated for the Golden Lion at the Venice International Film Festival, but when the Thai Censorship Board proposed cuts to it, this time he opted to simply not release it in Thailand rather than comply with their demands. He stated "I, as a filmmaker, treat my works as I do my own sons or daughters. I don't care if people are fond of them or despise them, as long as I created them with my best intentions and efforts. If these offspring of mine cannot live in their own country for whatever reason, let them be free. There is no reason to mutilate them in fear of the system. Otherwise there is no reason for one to continue making art." Apichatpong's cerebral, almost nonlinear films would continue to sweep the film festival circuit. "Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives" (2010) won the Palme d'Or at Cannes, while "Cemetery of Splendor" (2015) was nominated for another Un Certain Regard Award.

Photos

Filmography

Movies

Credit
No Score Yet No Score Yet Railway Sleepers Producer - 2017
96% 60% Cemetery of Splendor Director,
Writer
$51.8K 2015
67% 61% Mekong Hotel Director,
Screenwriter,
Producer,
Cinematographer,
Film Editor
$2.3K 2012
89% 61% Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives Director,
Screenwriter,
Producer
$183.6K 2010
No Score Yet 71% A Letter to Uncle Boonmee Director,
Screenwriter
- 2009
89% 77% Syndromes and a Century Director,
Writer
$16.3K 2006
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Anthem Director,
Screenwriter,
Cinematographer,
Film Editor
- 2006
78% 77% Tropical Malady Director,
Writer
$46.7K 2004
No Score Yet 59% The Adventures of Iron Pussy Director,
Screenwriter
- 2003
82% 77% Blissfully Yours Director,
Screenwriter
- 2002
88% 74% Mysterious Object at Noon Director,
Writer
- 2000

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