Thursday, July 16, 2009

TC: The Infinite in the Finite and the Otherworldly in This World (for Arthur Okamura)


"The Thai title of Syndromes means 'Light of the Century'. The first half of the film is a kind of portrait of the sun, or an account of the way we depend on the sun for our survival. The second half... is dominated by artificial light. But the chakra healing in the second half is also all about the sun. It's a way of channeling the sun's power into the body...It's a film about heart... about feelings that have been forever etched in the heart..."--Apichatpong Weerasetha

Syndromes and a Century

(aka 'Sang sattawat': 'Intimacy' or 'Intimacy and Turbulence')

generous vision rapturous desire everyday
delight sun streaming wind-whipped trees mass aerobics dance Bangkok park dentist glittery green jacket crooning Thai country tune wild orchid riding in backseat car petulant child bliss unaccountable serene enigma beauty gentle wit invention
Buddhist idea dana treasure generosity euphoric sense act of giving sympathy pleasure sun modesty observation simple happiness effloresces manifold mystery intuitive mystery rare art eye object strange defamiliarized ineffable surrenders blissfully strangeness
visionary blurs subjectivity abstract warm funny recollections love emotion heart feelings forever heart
deciphering surreal embrace smoke memories vortex stored forever forgotten serenely magical spell hypnotic enigmatic mysterious erotic funny gentle playful-artist openness mind heart music attention transcendentally happy experience inducing joyous calm euphoria what it is all about
What is it all about tangled human relationships faltering love life demure young female doctor remote
upcountry Thai hospital alternative worlds alternative realities unrealities surrealities same again different different Buddhist idea reincarnation questioning narrative camera fixed single take drift back or to side one character fixes serene unreadable gaze
poem ideas tropes narrative simple desire knight's-move reality formalist artwork freakiness scariness hospital basement intrigues challenging exhilarating weird wonderful

happy experience inducing joyous calm euphoria what it is all about

Selected video clips:

From Part One -- the village:

Two women (the eclipse)


From Part Two -- the city:

In the hospital

After the doctor's kiss -- in the corridor)

This post is dedicated to the memory of Arthur Okamura, February 24, 1932 -- July 10, 2009


Joe Safdie said...

Arthur took up less space in the world than anyone I ever knew, so it's unaccountable to me how sad I am about his passing. Long talk with Joanne last night . . . Bolinas will never be the same, that's for sure.

TC said...


Know what you mean.

Then again, it already wasn't the same. You can't dip a toe in the same spirit twice.

The Weerasethakul film made me think about Arthur while he was still alive.

"It's a film about heart... about feelings that have been forever etched in the heart..."

Check out the clips. There is a Buddhist serenity, a trickster lightness, a mysterious depth of emotion, these too are things to remember our friend and his world by...