Blissfully Yours (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2002)
The story of a love affair that begins during a picnic on the Thai-Burmese border.
After watching Blissfully Yours from Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul, which makes it the fourth of his films I’ve seen lately, I am even more confused on my personal appreciation of his films and his vision. Confused because I can’t seem to fully understand his point of view but I actually enjoy watching his films. Shooting people acting genuinely in a way that seems true and natural with long shots and so few dialogues. The story isn’t chewed for us and it is more like a movie of moods and feelings than a strongly narrated story. It is also very raw in his depiction of humans, sexuality, and outdoors. Just like his other films, it is cut almost in half with the opening credits rolling at 45 minutes in the movie.
It once again deals with illegal immigrants like Min (Min Oo) from Burma just like some of the workers on Oncle Boonmee’s farm. There’s also a noticeable depiction of women and sexuality or in sexuality with the two almost one after the other sex scenes that are highly graphical. Like many filmmakers of nothing, Weerasethakul asks his audience to observe, notice, and think about his films. They don’t have clear meanings or clear concepts but they evoke feelings and human relationships. Often filming in natural landscapes and in forests, Weerasethakul confronts man with its nature and how instincts are helpful when in the wild while civilization and urban life dehumanizes.
Believing that Weerasethakul wants to tell a clear story wouldn’t be a wise interpretation of his vision, it is more or less dream like sequences that are working in the logic of a dream that carries unique moods. Just like a dream, this film can have many meanings and works alone and also into his own filmography. Much of Weerasethakul’s films have the same way of being between two worlds and are sometimes telling a story more than one time.
Blissfully Yours being the last film on my 1000 Greatest films by They Shoot Pictures quest it led me to be more open minded on Thai cinema and I’ll try to get a better ensemble of the other names that are connected with this part of the world. On the other hand, I’ll keep an eye open for Weerasethakul’s next project since I liked his later films best even if he kept a consistency and high level of quality. Oncle Boonmee is by my taste the most enjoyable of his recognized pictures.