Ellipsis in Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Syndromes and a Century (2006) September 6, 2007Posted by Richard Bolisay in Asian Films, Cinemanila.
Originally published in Digital Buryong on Auguts 19, 2007.
Original Title: Sang Sattawat
Written and Directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Cast: Nantarat Sawaddikul, Jaruchai Iamaram, Sophon Pukanok, Jenjira Pongpas
There seems to be something wrong with this film — not that I am consciously looking for it — but I still have no idea what it is. Whether my assumptions are sane enough to be considered justifiable, Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Syndromes and a Century is worth the wait. Financial constraints and faulty scheduling aside, this is the only film I’m looking forward to see in this year’s crazy Cinemanila, and I feel glad I did.
The way Apichatpong stitches his non-existent narrative (whoever said irony is only for the characters), through repetitive dialogues, thematic visuals, and other ways I can vaguely remember, is beyond words. Its obscurity reflects not only the setting but also the paradoxical, transient minds of its characters. In a span of less than two hours in the real world, everything is fleeting.
I am sure the people around me and those who left midway through the film felt it too, even if this assertion is not supported by any factual data or credible witnesses. Sadly, the only person I am with during the screening also suffers from the same incomprehensive, lost state. Translation not needed: Sige nga Chard, ipaliwanag mo nga sa’kin yung kapapanood lang natin. See?
As you can infer on the type of ‘review” that this entry may suggest, I haven’t seen this film. I felt it. This article may even be considered unnecessary but for cognitive validation, blame it on the black star. * * * * *
*Syndromes and a Century is one of the seven films commissioned by director Peter Sellars to commemmorate the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth. No matter how twisted, I also believe that there are similarities between this film and Mozart’s musical architecture, as mentioned in this article.