Basel, Oktober 14, 2020
A Manifesto for Cinema
Thai director and auteur Apichatpong Weerasethakul is making use of the current deceleration to think about the future of cinema.
Thai director and auteur Apichatpong Weerasethakul – the winner of the Bildrausch Ring of Film Art in 2016 for Cemetery of Splendor – is making use of the current deceleration to think about the future of cinema. In an equally poetic and radical utopia of a Cinema of the Present, he imagines how the temporary break from cinema can inspire us to take a slower, more patient and more sensual approach to enjoying films, for "when the future is uncertain, the present becomes precious".
The days that the master of slow cinema is currently spending at his home in Chiang Mai resemble one another. But something is growing in the pandemic-induced standstill: Apichatpong one morning dreams up a script for a Covid-19 Cinema Manifesto, which calls for a free cinema, "without stories, without camera movements, without editing, without music, without anything". The result is a true cultural revolution, where slow cinema establishes itself as the dominant paradigm. Previously "unknown" filmmakers such as Béla Tarr, Tsai Ming-Liang, Lucrecia Martel, Pedro Costa and, last but not least, Apichatpong Weerasethakul become rich and buy themselves new sunglasses and armies of security guards. The vision culminates in a "Film Festival of Nothing", which triggers a clandestine countermovement and finally brings about the rebirth of cinema.
Apichatpong Weerasethakul's open letter "The Cinema of Now" was published in English in the Dutch film magazine De Filmkrant during the lockdown.
His latest film Memoria, which stars Tilda Swinton, is currently waiting for its first encounter with an audience.