Cemetery of Splendor (2015)
The Wisconsin Union
Thursday, March 1, 2018
The Marquee Cinema, Union South
Thailand | 122 min. | BluRay | Dir. Apichatpong Weerasethakul Soldiers with a mysterious sleeping sickness are transferred to a temporary clinic in a former school. The memory-filled space becomes a revelatory world for housewife and volunteer Jenjira, as she watches over It, a handsome soldier with no family visitors. Jen befriends young medium Keng who uses her psychic powers to help loved ones communicate with the comatose men. Doctors explore ways, including colored light therapy, to ease the men's troubled dreams. Jen discovers It's cryptic notebook of strange writings and blueprint sketches. There may be a connection between the soldiers' enigmatic syndrome and the mythic ancient site that lies beneath the clinic. Magic, healing, romance and dreams are all part of Jen's tender path to a deeper awareness of herself and the world around her. "The film works the way a Shakespearean sonnet works in that it actually increases its impact the moment it's over. Within its structure lies multiple intersecting and contradicting arcs of meaning, none of which cancel each other out but instead create a vast pool of associations. To try to narrow it down into "what it means" would be ruinous, akin to ripping apart a butterfly's wings to see how they operate. You may gain some insight, but you have destroyed the whole. The word "unique" is sometimes over-used, but in Weerasethakul's case, it applies. His films are personal, and what interests him is evident, but the way he decides to "put things together" is "sui generis." He is an artist who follows his own star with such devotion that his films feel like memories of a collective distant past, snatched from the surface of the subconscious, suggesting the iceberg below. His images have great and dreamy staying power." -Sheila O'Malley (rogerebert.com) All free events sponsored by WUD Film Committee are intended for UW-Madison students, faculty, staff and Union members and guests.