Courtesy the artist
‘In Thailand the Royal Anthem plays before each feature film presentation, in order to honour the King. One of the rituals embedded in our society is to give a blessing to something or someone before certain ceremonies. I would like to propose a Cinema Anthem that praises and blesses the approaching feature for each screening. An older lady will perform a ritual channelling energy to the audience to give them a clear mind. The ritual will ensure that after the feature film ends, life and the outside world will be better.’
Apichatpong Weerasethakul, June 2006
Apichatpong Weerasethakul made a short 35mm film, The Anthem, for The Artists Cinema. Weerasethakul is a filmmaker and artist who since the early 1990s has been one of the few filmmakers in Thailand working outside of the strict Thai studio system. In his feature films, which include Syndromes and a Century (2006), Tropical Malady (2004), Blissfully Yours (2002) and Mysterious Object at Noon (2000), Weerasethakul plays freely and inventively with allegory, fantasy and metaphor, examining the intersection between documentary and fiction and pushing the limits of the cinematic narrative.
Apichatpong Weerasethakul (b. 1970) is a Thai artist and filmmaker based in Bangkok. Feature films include Syndromes and a Century (2006), Tropical Malady (2004, awarded the Prix du Jury at Cannes Film Festival), Blissfully Yours (2002, awarded the Prix Un Certain Regard at Cannes), The Adventure of Iron Pussy (2003) and Mysterious Object at Noon (2000). Recent group exhibitions include ‘Waterfall’, Solar Cinematic Art Gallery, Vila do Conde, and ‘La force de l’art’, Grand Palais, Paris (both 2006), the Baltic Triennial, Vilnius (2005) and ‘The Pantagruel Syndrome’, T1-Turin Triennial (2005).
Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s The Anthem was co-commissioned by Frieze Projects/LUX and shown daily during the fair in The Artists Cinema. This film will tour to UK cinemas, shown before main features, through the Independent Cinema Office.