Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Syndromes and a Century (still), 2006; image: courtesy Kick the Machine films


Syndromes and a Century

Part of Modern Cinema: Criterion Collection and Apichatpong Weerasethakul

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Jason Sanders of UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive writes, “Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s radiant follow-up to Tropical Malady opens with sunlight shining through branches swaying in the summer breeze, a fitting beginning for a film of becalmed wistfulness and beauty whose Thai title translates as “Light of the Century.” Dedicated to Weerasethakul’s doctor parents and loosely based on their recollections, Syndromes and a Century begins in a rural hospital that basks in a light so radiant it finds all doctors in love. Here dentists serenade their crushes with flossing-related karaoke, and even job interviews sound romantic. Later, in an antiseptic urban hospital bathed in fluorescence (the light of the new century), the same actors, playing similar characters, re-evoke their scenes, with loves and desires repeated like syndromes. Concerned with how memory (and, by extension, cinema) works to recall and rephrase stories and emotions, Syndromes and a Century is blissfully impervious to narrative concerns. But the film is as pleasurably seductive as an afternoon spent under those swaying trees.”

This screening includes a special introduction by filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasthakul.

“There’s nothing here that resembles narrative urgency, but this is a quiet masterpiece, delicate and full of wonder.” —Jonathan Rosenbaum, The Chicago Reader

Film Details

Countries: Thailand/France
Language: Thai
Year: 2006
Running time: 105 min
Director: Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Producer: Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Writer: Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Cinematographer: Sayombhu Mukdeeprom
Editor: Lee Chatametikool
With: Jaruchai Lamaram, Jenjira Pongpas, Nantarat Sawaddikul, Sophon Pukanok

Print Source: Strand Releasing

Films and schedules may be subject to change.

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