Thursday, December 20, 2012


Mekong Hotel (2012) - Weerasethakul
mekong hotel
I remember the famed Thai director mentioning this Mekong river project back in 2010 when I interviewed him via Skype for his award winning film Uncle Boonmee. Commissioned by French TV, this slight, less than an hour film doesn't quite work as a standalone. His regular actors show up playing loose characters, ever so softly talking about themes in his other films- ghosts, incarnation, Thai-Lao geopolitics plus recent devastating flood in Bangkok in a grand, if too-modern looking hotel by the wide, sluggish Mekong river. There is a spirit called 'pob' floating around the hotel, inhabiting human bodies, preying on humans and livestock alike. Mekong River lacks hypnotic power and visual grace other Weerasethakul films possess. Accompanyed by an accoustic guitar most of the time by a musician the director interviews in the beginning of the film, the film ends in a languid, long take of jet skiers jig-jagging the muddy river seen from the veranda of the hotel.

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