Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Mysterious Object at Noon (still), 2000; image: courtesy Cineteca di Bologna


Mysterious Object at Noon

Part of Modern Cinema: Criterion Collection and Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Modern Cinema’s Founding Supporters are Carla Emil and Rich Silverstein.

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Part fiction, part documentary, and part pseudo-documentary about several unrelated lives, Mysterious Object at Noon was shot without a conventional script using the surrealist game of Exquisite Corpse as its unifying premise. Setting out on a north-south expedition across Thailand, the film crew asks each subject to continue a story started by the prior subject but with total freedom of expression. After the journey, the crew returns to Bangkok, where the story is retold in a fiction-drama style with non-professional actors.

“I’m interested in the possibilities of involving both fact and fiction in one film, but I wasn’t thinking much about revolutionizing the narrative method when I started making this film. In some ways, I think the movie turned out to be really rather old-fashioned.” —Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Filmmaker magazine

“How many documentarians have focused on the act of constructing stories themselves? Mysterious Object at Noon, a weird, wonderful and altogether sui generis new documentary from Thailand, does just that, and in the process engages, unhinges and forever deranges the way that stories and cultural histories could—and perhaps should—be told.” – Chuck Stephens, Filmmaker magazine

Film Details

Country: Thailand
Language: Thai
Year: 2000
Running time: 89 min
Director: Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Producers: Mingmongkol Sonakul, Gridthiya Gaweewong
Writer: Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Cinematographers: Prasong Klimborron, Sayombhu Mukdeeprom
Editors: Tony Morias, Apichatpong Weerasethakul
With: Kongkiat Khomsiri, Duangjai Hiransri, Phurida Vijitphan

Print Source: Cineteca Bologna

Restored in 2013 by the Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project and the Austrian Film Museum. Restoration works carried out at the Austrian Film Museum, LISTO laboratory in Vienna, Technicolor Ltd in Bangkok, and Cineteca di Bologna/L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory, in close collaboration with Apichatpong Weerasethakul.

Films and schedules may be subject to change.