Notes - Apichatpong Weerasethakul / by Roland Dahwen Wu

reading notes from an interview with Apichatpong Weerasethakul

«For me, listening to heartbeats through a stethoscope or using a magnifying glass with a light was already magic. On rare occasions I was treated with a view through a microscope. Another exciting memory was to watch 16mm films at the American institution in Khon Kaen. They had bases in the northeast during that time to counter communism. I remember very well the black and white King Kong, among other films. The movies and medical tools were the best of inventions for my childhood.»

«At one point I was reading articles about brain science. There was an MIT professor who manipulated brain cells into re-enacting certain memories, via lights. He said that the findings sort of disproved Descartes’ belief that the mind and the body are separate entities. This hypothesis aligned with my thinking that meditation is nothing more than a biological process. Sleep and memory can always be hacked into. If I were a doctor I would try to cure sleeping sickness by light interference at a cellular level. The lights in this film vaguely reflect this idea. They are not only for the soldiers but also for the audience as well.»

«When we were young we were told about this most amazing place where the water is full of fish and the land covered in rice fields. The signs of wealth were always idyllic, omitting the brutalities. We have this burden of fabricated history. It effects generations: how do we view ourselves? With the information that is surfacing and recent studies, our sense of identity is shifting. I think the film plays with this shaky sense of belonging.»