Update: At the request of the producers, we’ve removed additional details about the project. See the original story below.
With its staggered, theatrical-only rollout over the last year, here’s hoping you’ve had the opportunity to experience the mesmerizing, transportive experience that is Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Memoria. The director, who left Thailand for Colombia to film the Tilda Swinton-led feature, has now announced the first details for his next project, and its intended home may surprise you.
Speaking to Metrograph ahead of a 35mm run starting Friday, the director revealed he plans to team with a streamer for the film. (MUBI, are you listening?) With plans to do some location scouting starting this month, he hopes this new project will be “more free” than his last one. “Now I want to go make a film in a different country. This time, I want it to be more flexible. It’ll be a smaller budget, and probably with [my longtime actors] Jenjira [Pongpas] and Sakda [Kaewbuadee],” he said. “It’s the same old gang.”
“After Colombia, I want to be closer to home, “he added And to be even more free, to not control everything and just let things flow—as in, the freedom to jump into the new territory. I was thinking of Mysterious Object at Noon. What we were doing, in 1999, there was a kind of freedom to it. It really was an experiment. In Colombia, it was more complicated because of the bigger production, the language. For he next production, I don’t know if it’s possible, but I’d like to not have a concrete list of things to shoot each day. What would be the same as in Colombia is the mode of not knowing what you want.”
Speaking of its length, it may be his longest project yet. “I wrote a treatment for a three- or four-hour movie, just from my imagination, from what I dream about,” he said. “When you talk about 90 minutes, it’s a comfortable length. The human attention span is 90 minutes, and the dream cycle is also 90 minutes. To make it longer is like a challenge: how to create a journey where you don’t feel trapped by this human, biological requirement.”
Lastly, the Uncle Boonmee director revealed what we’ve all been waiting for: his thoughts on James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water. “It’s so simple, right? It’s such a classic storyline, there’s no innovation there, but the technology is amazing,” he said. “In other movies that are completely computer-generated, you can feel there’s something missing, whereas in this one you are able to identify. The characters have those very big eyes, they’re like babies. It’s a mass market product, and I admire that aspect which only Hollywood can do.”