83 minutes| Thailand| 2000| Subtitled| Colour| 35mm

Apichatpong’s first feature establishes his predilection for two-part structures, although here the two parts are of unequal length. Mysterious Object is a filmic variation on the surrealist ‘exquisite corpse’ game, itself a version of the old parlour game Consequences. A camera crew travels to various places in rural and urban Thailand, enlisting randomly encountered strangers to improvise new episodes in the ongoing story of Dogfahr, tutor to a paraplegic boy. Apichatpong gives us simple dramatisations of the evolving storyline until it becomes too wild to visualise: Dogfahr giving birth to a mysterious object which becomes an alien boy is one thing, but the arrival of the ghost tigers is another. At Noon is a short coda celebrating another kind of play with another kind of mysterious object. The whole is a compelling blend of documentary, storytelling, ethnography and fantasy. A film like no other.

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