Sunday, October 9, 2011

Netflix Instant Watch: Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, A

Winner of the Palme d’Or, the top prize at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, Uncle Boonmee is a mysterious film that feels more like a dream than a story. The film explores the waning moments of Boonmee, an elderly man in northern Thailand who’s dying from kidney failure. Thai auteur Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Tropical Malady, Blissfully Yours, Syndromes and a Century) directs with a masterful sense of unity with nature. I left the film feeling different, looking at the world and, more importantly, nature from the lens of Weerasethakul. To me, this always marks a truly powerful and effective vision. If you’re into art film and/or visual storytelling, Uncle Boonmee is a must-see. Remember to be patient, and “adjust your eyes and expectations…after a while…you will start to feel at home.” (A.O. Scott, New York Times)

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A Screaming Man, A

Adam, a former swimming champion in his sixties, is a pool attendant at a hotel in Chad. When the hotel gets taken over by new Chinese owners, he is forced to give up his job to his son, Abdel, leaving Adam humiliated and resentful. Meanwhile the country is in the throes of a civil war. Rebel forces are attacking the government and the authorities demand the people contribute to the "war effort" with money or volunteers old enough to fight. Adam is constantly harassed for his contribution, but he is penniless. In a moment of weakness, Adam makes a decision that he will forever regret. - Film Movement

While Uncle Boonmee won the top prize at Cannes 2010, A Screaming Man won the second prize at Cannes 2010, the Jury Prize. The film is heartbreaking and tremendously beautiful, I highly recommend it. Both Uncle Boonmee and A Screaming Man currently sit in my top 10 for 2011. 

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