Cemetery of Splendour

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

    Cemetery

    destruction / creation

    dreamscapes / reality

    industry / nature

    interiors / exteriors

    knowledge / curiosity

    laughter / melancholy

    life / death

    materialism / spirituality

    mortality / immortality

    mundane / extraordinary

    of

    naturalism / formalism

    observation / participation

    past / present

    physicality / mentality

    poeticism / fear

    sickness / health

    solitude / togetherness

    wisdom / wonder

    Splendour.

  • ★★★★ review by Redfern on Letterboxd

    There are few film-makers working today whose body of work can be seen as expressing such a firm world-view as Weerasethakul. Not to say that his films can be seen as Buddhist esoterica, in fact, here, Buddhist beliefs (specifically reincarnation) compliment a political metaphor which reinforces everything at play. The light humour that's often to be found in Weerasethakul's films is here again and even helps to add shape to the relationships on display; perhaps by the end we haven't only felt like we've connected to the central woman on a spiritual level, but also like we've viewed the events of the film from her perspective - something which undoubtedly adds greatly to the oneiric atmosphere.

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