Reviewed by Simon Booth
Director: Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Starring: Johnny Anfone, Lynn Nussara
Time: 114 minutes
Director Apichatpong Weerasethakul's MYSTERIOUS
OBJECT AT NOON is one of only two Thai films I can think of that have been
officially released in the US. This is fairly typical America, where it
is often assumed that foreign film = art film. I nearly bought MYSTERIOUS
OBJECT, but after reading some reviews I decided to pass, as it sounded
rather too strange and a little boring. BLISSFULLY YOURS is the director's
second feature, and it all takes place in a single day.
An illegal immigrant from Burma has a rash for
some reason, so his girlfriend takes him take him to the doctors in the
morning. In the afternoon she makes an excuse to leave work and they drive
up to the mountains, where they hang out and eventually have sex. Their
friends, an older couple, also have sex.
BLISSFULLY YOURS is unquestionably an art film,
and it's the kind that give art films a bad name. Interminably slow, pretentious
and ultimately not really about anything. There's enough material for a
10 minute short, padded out to two hours with endless shots of people driving
somewhere, or lying on the grass, or generally doing nothing much at all.
It's highly reminiscent of the films of Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami,
with a bit of explicit sex thrown in for no reason except perhaps to try
and generate some controversy.
There are moments where the film is beautiful,
when the couple are in the forest, but ultimately the film is just VERY
BORING INDEED. I'm sure there are people that just adore this kind of stuff,
and I've seen plenty of slow arty films that I've enjoyed myself for that
matter. This film did practically nothing for me though, and I can't
recommend it to anybody.
I find it slightly sad that films such as this
get US distribution, at least at film festivals, but far more entertaining
stuff such as Pee Hua Kard or Pbob - Body Jumper will never ever see the
light of US day.