35mm collection print courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive
Thursday, May 10 | 7:30 pm
The first Thai film ever selected to play in Competition at the Cannes Film Festival—where it went on to earn the coveted Jury Prize—Tropical Malady features the bifurcated, two-part structure that would become one of the director’s earliest signatures. In the first part, a soldier, Keng, is dispatched to rural Thailand to investigate the mysterious deaths of local livestock. There, he meets Tong (Apichatpong regular Sakda Kaewbuadee), with whom he soon forges a romantic relationship, as the two men accompany one another on trips into the bucolic countryside. With the sudden disappearance of one of the two leads, part two abruptly commences with a more folkloric story featuring a tiger shaman and a bedeviled soldier. One of the director’s major, early twenty-first century breakthroughs, Tropical Malady proposed invigorating new directions for the Asian art cinema and contemporary queer filmmaking alike.
Director Apichatpong Weerasethakul | 2004 | In Thai with English subtitles | 125 minutes | NR (nudity) | DCP