Cemetery of Splendour
Directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul
In a hospital, ten soldiers are being treated for a mysterious sleeping sickness. In a story in which dreams can be experienced by others, and in which goddesses can sit casually with mortals, a nurse learns the reason why the patients will never be cured, and forms a telepathic bond with one of them.
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★★★★ review by matt lynch on Letterboxd
The present laid on top of the past, the sky sitting on top of the water, the dinosaur in the schoolyard, soldiers convalescing above a warriors' graveyard, the levels of a movie theater multiplex, all times and spaces and people existing concurrently, each visible with just a little shift in the color of the light.
★★★★½ review by Sean Gilman on Letterboxd
You know that feeling when you just wake up and you aren't quite sure if you're still dreaming or not? That's what watching an Apichatpong Weerasethakul film is like. He's not the best filmmaker of sleep (that's Tsai Ming-liang), or the best filmmaker of dreams (that's David Lynch), he's the best filmmaker of that in-between state.
"Why do they need so many mirrors?"
"Hunger for Heaven will lead you to Hell."
"At the heart of the kingdom, other than the rice fields, there is nothing."
"Before it disappears it bulges and changes shape, as if it knows, that when it falls, it would be an astounding sight to behold."
★★★★ review by davidehrlich on Letterboxd
"i've touched way too many penises in my life."
loveliest moments here are when Weerasethakul flattens reality with the spectral dimension that usually assumes a more present, neon form in his movies... and yet, i'd be lying if i said i didn't miss that pronounced approach to the supernatural. still, what a delight. few films have ever been so palpably suspended by the past and present. hard to ignore how this seems to uncannily anticipate the recent Thai coup, which went down after this wrapped.
★★★★½ review by Eli Hayes on Letterboxd
destruction / creation
dreamscapes / reality
industry / nature
interiors / exteriors
knowledge / curiosity
laughter / melancholy
life / death
materialism / spirituality
mortality / immortality
mundane / extraordinary
naturalism / formalism
observation / participation
past / present
physicality / mentality
poeticism / fear
sickness / health
solitude / togetherness
wisdom / wonder
★★★★½ review by Josh Larsen on Letterboxd
There are three states of being in Cemetery of Splendor: waking life, dreaming and remembering. For Jen (Jenjira Pongpas Widner), a volunteer at a remote hospital in contemporary Thailand, these three experiences begin to meld until they form something wholly metaphysical. For those willing to give in to the movie’s esoteric rhythms, Cemetery of Splendor will be a similarly unusual journey. At its most potent, the film evokes its own unique state of being.
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