by Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Mekong Hotel is a portrait of a hotel near the Mekong River in the north-east of Thailand. The river there marks the border between Thailand and Laos. In the bedrooms and terraces, Apichatpong held a rehearsal with his crew for a movie that he wrote years ago called Ecstasy Garden. The film shuffles different realms, fact and fiction, expressing the bonds between a vampire-like mother and her daughter, the young lovers and the river. Mekong Hotel - since it was shot at the time of the heavy flooding in Thailand - also weaves in layers of demolition, politics, and a drifting dream of the future.
Apichatpong Weerasethakul has come to be recognised as one of the most original voices in cinema today. His five feature films, short films and installations have won him widespread international recognition and numerous festival prizes, culminating in the winning of the Cannes Palme d'Or in 2010 with Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives. His previous feature Syndromes and a Century (2006) was recognised as one of the best films of the last decade in several 2010 polls.
Apichatpong began making films and video shorts in 1994 and completed his first feature in 2000. Lyrical and often fascinatingly mysterious, his works are non-linear, dealing with memory and in subtle ways invoking personal politics and social issues. Working independently of the Thai commercial film industry, he devotes himself to promoting experimental and independent filmmaking through his production company Kick the Machine Films, founded in 1999.
Apichatpong has also mounted exhibitions and installations in many countries since 1998. His installations have included the multi-screen project Primitive (2009), which was complimented by Uncle Boonmee and which has been acquired for major museum collections and was presented at the Haus der Kunst, Munich, the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris and The New Museum, New York among others. He will make a major installation for the 2012 Kassel Documenta. His most recent projects include on-line films for Mubi (Ashes, 2012) and for the Walker Art Center in the USA (Three Wonders of the World, 2012).
2012 »Mekong Hotel«
2010 »Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives« (Loong Boonmee Raleuk Chat)
2006 »Syndromes and a Century« (Sang Sattawat)
2004 »Tropical Malady« (Sud Pralad)
2003 »The Adventure Of Iron Pussy« (Huajai Toranong)
2002 »Blissfuly Yours« (Sud Sanaeha)
2000 »Mysterious Object at Noon« (Dokfar Nai Meu Marn)
Written and directed by: Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Cinematographer: Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Editor: Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Sound Designer: Akritcharlerm Kayalanamitr
Composer: Chai Bhatana
Producer: Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Executive Producer: Simon Field, Keith Griffiths
Commisioning Editor Arte France - La Lucarne: Luciano Rigolini
A Production of: Kick The Machine Films, Illumination Films
In association with: Arte France
Format: DCP / Dolby 5.1
Duration: 57 min
Original language: Thai