Friday, July 15, 2011


I started watching Uncle Boonmee last night, but had to finish it up this morning because I was tired - not a good idea to start this movie when you're sleepy, by the way. I agree with everything Jeff had to say about the film (surprise, surprise). Although, I think that there were moments when I thought the film moved too slowly in a negative way (a scene such as the cast walking through the cave could've been shorten by thirty seconds or so). It's my fault though; I have slight ADD and I don't mean to make a big deal of it, but eventually I want to see some eye candy - though Weerasethakul does eventually deliver with the shot where the cave wall turns into the starry sky - brilliant and beautiful. I think having caught most of Malick's films recently has really helped me prepare to watch a film like this (and has just made a better movie-watcher in general).

Also, when Jeff mentioned Land of the Lost, I assumed that he meant that the costumes for the ghost monkeys were cheaply made. I was wrong in assuming that, as he tells me that he really meant that it was kind of silly that the ghost monkey would just sit down and have a conversation with them; I think having the ghost of Boonmee's wife show up first helped to bring more acceptance to the oddness of the scene/the film. I think I was ready to roll with an introduction like that from the moment I clicked "play" on the wii remote. Although, yeah, to be honest, the ghost monkey costumes used in the still-photos when Boonmee is describing his dream, were pretty bad. But whatever, it doesn't hurt the film in any way. And I am a big fan of the use of the still-photographs for that scene. The photography for the film was perfect all-around - I was most pleased with that aspect of the film. Weerasethakul has a talented eye.

Like I've stated before, I love any movie that can inject philosophy and, to some extent, spirituality into its script. For that reason, I did really enjoy the film...but I feel that it needs to sit with me before I get a true sense of how I truly feel about it. "Heaven is overrated," (which Jeff used as for a title for his first post on this movie) is a great line. I've read it and thought it before watching this film, but I do love that scene when Boonmee's wife admits that to him. Additionally, the scene where Boonmee and Jen are talking next to the workers and he claims that he's having kidney problems due to karma is fantastic. I would've liked more scenes like that - and just more dialogue in general, definitely. But one of the charms of the film is ambiguity. And it's definitely a skill to find the right balance between explaining everything to the audience and being completely ambiguous. I don't want the director to hold my hand through the film like this, because definitely the theme of the film is nothing that anyone can knowingly explain to us. As Brandon points out - he's just trying to get you to feel.

And with the ending, Jeff, I think I thought more about the choice of music than the significance of Jen and Thong seeing themselves watching television, haha. For a film that didn't feature any real music or score (correct me if I'm wrong), it was weird to suddenly hear rock/pop music playing. It was a sweet song, in my opinion - not being sarcastic. Even though I know very little about Weerasethakul (I did read up a little bit about him after I finished it), I assume he's the type of filmmaker that obsesses over every little detail - and so the music at the end of the film is no different and would have to tie into the final message or theme that he's trying to present. Like you, Jeff, I'm not exactly sure what that message is. I mean, obviously Thong strips off all of his robe to put on jeans and a t-shirt (western clothing), watches television (a western invention), and goes to a restaurant with a karaoke bar (not a western invention, but the music playing certainly is derivative of western-sounding music). I don't mean suggest that the message of the film is anti-western or anti-american, but I do think that those things are interesting to note. I do like your theory that perhaps Boonmee's death has helped them to prepare for the parting of themselves. I'm more inclined to think that given the other themes in the film. I think that's all I'll say for now. Looking forward to Jeff's reply as well as discussion from those who have also seen it - which I believe is just John and Brandon. But if anyone else is interested, it's up on NWI.


Lisa - I've definitely watched Hocus Pocus more than a few times, haha...even recently - occasionally Jeff and I will address our cat, Zooey, as "Binx"after Zachary Binx. Also, I agree on 30 Rock, and feel that it is the funniest and best-written show currently on television.

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