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Mysterious Object at Noon

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Product Details

  • Actors: Djuangjai Hirunsri, Kongkiat Khomsiri, Saisiri Xoomsai
  • Directors: Apichatpong Weerasethakul
  • Format: Black & White, Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Thai
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Plexifilm
  • DVD Release Date: January 21, 2003
  • Run Time: 83 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007KK2J
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,912 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Mysterious Object at Noon" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The inspiration for MYSTERIOUS OBJECT AT NOON was the Surrealist storytelling technique known as Exquisite Corpse, wherein a variety of writers would contribute to an ongoing story one sentence at a time, largely oblivious to what came before. Thai independent filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul used this technique to interview people throughout Thailand, asking them to contribute to the film's evolving story, and, in the process, learning a little bit about their vivid, largely unexamined lives. What emerges is at once a portrait of Thailand's disenfranchised lower classes -- farmers, fruit vendors, village performers -- and their collective story about a handicapped boy and his tutor, a mysterious woman named Dogfahr.


A bit of patience is required to tap into the subtle pleasures of this lo-fi but lovely Thai film, and those willing to ride out its fragmented structure will be rewarded with a quirky meta-documentary about the nature of storytelling. Director and Thai native Apichatpong Weerasethakul took a volunteer crew into the southern and northern villages of Thailand over a three-year period, and asked the residents to contribute to a story about a wheelchair-bound boy and his tutor. The result is a sort of organic version of the Surrealist writing exercise known as Exquisite Corpse, shot through with the melodrama of Thai popular media. Weersethakul's 16mm footage is often overexposed, but the experiment itself, and the opportunities it affords to witness everyday life in rural Thailand, makes up for any technical quibbles. Plexifilm's DVD includes an eight-minute interview with the director, in which he discusses his motivations for the film. --Paul Gaita

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jordan O'connor on March 30, 2005
Format: DVD
I won't go into the happenings of the film, nor will I declare various aspects of the film as being this way or that way - good bad, right wrong, etceteras. What I will say, simply and breathlessly, is that this film is so refreshing and beautiful; that it is the purity of an idea with the patience of a 1000-year-old mind and heart. That fact is, I couldn't tell you what this movie is about but emotionally I have been affected and I'm not even sure how yet. Perhaps it was my mood, perhaps if was the day and time I saw this movie, but this movie is truly wonderful. If you were looking for a comparison to this film I would say David Gordon Green's film 'George Washington' but this is a loose comparison.
In any case, this is a beautiful and emotional film. I highly recommend it.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By David Alston on September 18, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I first saw MYSTERIOUS OBJECT AT NOON a few years ago, and eventually purchased the DVD, which has been subjected to many viewings. There nothing really quite like it.

Based around the surrealists' 'Exquisite Corpse' game, the film was assembled over 3 years from mostly improvised footage, with everyone involved a simultaneous actor/collaborator/creator of this grand experiment. The footage was then edited down to the final 85 minute running time.

The final results are only vaguely coherent, but that's not the point. Two usually contradictory things are going on here - one, an attempt at the autogeneration of folklore, and the other an audacious piece of experimental, edgy filmmaking - simply put, Weerasethakul has brought together an avant-garde, and a world of folk storytelling (including bits of the Thai folk epic The Ramakien) that would seem to rarely coexist, much less fluorish in the others' presence, which is precisely what happens in this magical excursion into dreamlike, non-narrative impressionism. Many themes that form the foundation of Weerasethakul's subsequent body of work emerge here: memory, improvisation, and life as a process of perpetual evolution, which is here linked with the specifics of the creative process.

In creating this, Weerasethakul has created something that I think is going to be heralded as some kind of classic - though not in the short run. I note that most reviews I've run across, even from normally intrepid critics, seem to be completely flustered by this one, and mildly hostile about it. So be it - the absolute obliteration of familiar divisions: between folk and avant, between fiction and documentary, between narrative and improvisation may take a little time to sink in.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robert Beveridge HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on March 30, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The Mysterious Object at Noon (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2000)

I have a friend named Serdar. Serdar is attracted to obscure films the way I am attracted to obscure music, and his taste is impeccable; I can't remember a time when he's steered me wrong. So when he makes a suggestion (or, sometimes, adds something to his Amazon wish list), I sit up and take notice. The Mysterious Object at Noon hit the wish list a few years ago; I didn't get round to buying a copy till now, figuring that eventually my library would get round to stocking it. They never did, so I shelled out the cash and got my own, sight unseen. And folks, this is one that's worth every penny.

Thai-born, American-educated Weerasethakul's first film is uncategorizable, really; it's part drama, part documentary, part surrealist exercise, part social-justice feature, and all confusing, yet absorbing for all that. The basic idea was a play on the surrealist game of exquisite corpse (where one participant would draw/write/etc. one piece of a finished product, then fold the paper over so that the next participant could only see one line or one edge, which the next participant would use to create a part of the finished work, etc.). I'm not sure it's classic exquisite corpse, as we have no way of knowing, in most cases, how much of the backstory each participant had when each started telling his or her portion of the story. Say instead that this is an exercise in community storytelling that has the same effect as exquisite corpse; one gets a sense of the community as much as one gets a sense of the story.
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