“It ain’t over ’til it’s over”: Uncle Boonmee at the NZIFF

The Film Festival organizers have managed to procure a print of this year’s Palme d’Or winner, Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Loong Boonmee raleuk chat) for a one-night-only run of screenings as a coda to the 2010 festival. The film is about “human beings taking on animal forms,” and, as the title might suggest, follows a Buddhist monk recalling his life story on his deathbed. Weerasethakul’s 2004 film Syndromes and a Century took a place on many critics’ decade-end lists, and the director is highly-regarded among filmmakers and filmgoers alike for his contributions to the “slow cinema” movement.

In awarding Weerasethakul the festival’s top prize, Cannes Jury President Tim Burton said he felt that watching it “was like a beautiful, strange dream.” Boonmee, which Justin Chang described in Variety as “an arresting and imaginative cinematic oddity touching on themes of animism and reincarnation,” will screen at the Rialto cinemas in Newmarket this coming Wednesday night, the 4th of August, at 4pm, 6.15pm and 8.30pm.

Student tickets are $13 and can be purchased at rialto.co.nz or at the cinema’s ticket counter. Watch the atmospheric, eerie trailer, and check out David Hudson’s wide-ranging round-up of criticism & commentary on the film.