Sunday, September 15, 2019

Mysterious Object at Noon

Directed, shot, and co-edited by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Mysterious Object at Noon is an experimental documentary film about a group of people being interviewed as part of a party game with the usage of the exquisite corpse concept with individuals taking part of the game. It’s a documentary film that explore what people can come up with this game as the story becomes more surreal as it goes on as does the players involved in the story as they try to act it out. The result is a mesmerizing and evocative film from Apichatpong Weerasethakul.

The film that was shot in black-and-white and in the span of nearly 2 years in 35mm and 16mm film stock play into a director asking ordinary people in Thailand a story involving a crippled young boy, his teacher, and a mysterious object that came out of the teacher in the form of another boy. All played through the party game concept of the exquisite corpse, various people would add ideas to the story as it gets weirder and more surreal as it goes on not just blurring the ideas of reality and fiction but also the people involved acting out in the story. Told in a documentary style, Apichatpong Weerasethakul creates a film that does blur the idea of what is fiction and what is reality while allowing those he encounter to bring ideas to the story where the mysterious object would become the teacher and then go on a series of adventures where things get weirder.

With the aid of co-cinematographers Prasong Klimborron and Sayombhu Mukdeeprom, Weerasethakul would shoot everything in black-and-white as there’s an element of grain in the photography while Weerasethakul doesn’t dwell too much into shooting everything in hand-held cameras where he would go for a dolly tracking shot or to create a simple composition. Weerasethakul and co-editor Mingmongkol Sonakul would create sequences that blur the idea of reality and fantasy such as a sequence where a traditional Thai dance troupe is telling the story that is intercut with actors playing out the role in another scene as it add to the film’s offbeat narrative. The sound work of Sirote Tulsook Paisit is superb in gathering the audio from the various people Weerasethakul would meet and encounter though Weerasethakul doesn’t put himself on camera. It all play into the art of storytelling though Weerasethakul’s method can be confusing at times in what is going on. Still, Weerasethakul does maintain a tone that is simple as well as showcase what ordinary people can bring to a strange story based on a concept.

Mysterious Object at Noon is an incredible film from Apichatpong Weerasethakul. It’s a strange yet fascinating hybrid of documentary and fiction that is told in a simplistic yet offbeat style that explores the art of storytelling. It is also a film that is daring in its approach to being experimental as well as see how a story can be created out of a few ideas. In the end, Mysterious Object at Noon is a sensational film from Apichatpong Weerasethakul.

Apichatpong Weerasethakul Films: (Blissfully Yours) – (The Adventure of Iron Pussy) – (Tropical Malady) – (Syndromes and a Century) – Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives - (Mekong Hotel) – (Cemetery of Splendour) – (Ten Years Thailand) – (Memoria)

© thevoid99 2019


Jay said...

It really pushes the boundaries - almost more of a social experiment.

thevoid99 said...

@Jay-Indeed it does. It is a strange film but certainly an engaging one as it makes me want to see more of Weerasethakul does as that was only the 2nd film of his that I've seen so far.