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Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

21 customer reviews

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(Jul 12, 2011)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives was the winner of the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival. This fantasy story finds a dying man who is visited by his deceased wife in the form of a ghost and his lost son in the form of a hairy creature with glowing eyes, who help guide him on a journey to his first birthplace on earth. Melding ideas of reincarnation, karma and fairy tale elements, this critically acclaimed film is a unique, one-of-a-kind experience that director Tim Burton described as a strange, beautiful dream.

In Thai with English Subtitles

Bonus Features: 5.1 Sound - Deleted Scenes - Interview with Director - Other Trailers from Apichatpong Weerasethakul


One of the best films of the year. Haunting... Hypnotic... It's a beauty! --Peter Travers, Rolling Stone Magazine

Mysterious and lovely! --Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

A one-of-a-kind dream ghost story! --Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Thanapat Saisaymar, Janjira Pongpas, Sakda Kaewbuadee, Natthakarn Aphaiwonk
  • Directors: Apichatpong Weerasethakul
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Strand Releasing
  • DVD Release Date: July 12, 2011
  • Run Time: 113 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004Q0CHB0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,344 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I had a chance to see this film at a festival and was quite fascinated. I'd seen most of the director's other films on dvd. Although he studied filmmaking in the United States, at the Art Institute of Chicago, Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul (known to those who know him simply as "Joe") seems almost to reinvent cinema with each new film. There is an innocence in his eye, a freshness in his vision, that makes it feel as if he is doing something very different with his camera than what we are used to. Scenes of nature, in particular, are sometimes included in his films to create an atmosphere or mood or to establish the emotional state of one of the characters, rather than as a strict continuation of plot. He works in a tradition of contemplative cinema, that gives the viewer time to reflect and cause to wonder, and while his style and subject matter is quite different, I think he deserves to be mentioned alongside filmmakers such as Carlos Reygadas and Andrei Tarkovsky and Michelangelo Antonioni. His approach to filmmaking is not far in fact from Tarkovsky's montage and memory infused The Mirror.

The basic story of Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, that won the prestigious Palme d'Or prize at the 2010 Cannes film festival, is fairly simple and based on the account of a man named Boonmee who recounted to a Buddhist priest his memories of past lives as he prepared for dying.
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Format: DVD
<strong>Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives</strong> (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010)

Taking a trip into an Apichatpong Weerasethakul film is like nothing else in the world. You have to get yourself attuned to the way in which Weerasethakul sees the world; this is not the kind of thing you can adapt to what you think. You must adapt to him. He has a language all his own, and he's not afraid to use it. A good literary parallel would be Cormac McCarthy; once you get into the rhythm of McCarthy's language, you uncover some of the twentieth century's finest literature. So to with Weerasethakul and film. More people are doing so; <em>Loong Boonmee...</em> took the Golden Palm at Cannes in 2010. Did it deserve to? I don't know, I haven't seen everything that was up for the award. Was it one of the best movies released in 2010? Of those I've seen, easily.

There's a lot of confusion surrounding this movie, and I don't quite understand why; it's pretty straightforward when you take the title into consideration. We learn very early on that Boonmee (Thanapat Saisaymar in his only screen role) is dying; his kidneys are failing. He is looked after by a young servant/gofer. His sister, Jen (Jenjira Pongpas, who showed up in Weerasethakul's <em>Syndromes and a Century</em>) and nephew, Tong (Sakda Kaewbuadee, reprising the Tong role from <em>Tropical Malady</em>, but which Tong role? First half of the movie, or second?), move in. As the film progresses, Boonmee gets closer to his deathbed, and we go through a series of scenes where, as the title tells us, Uncle Boonmee recalls his past lives. The only thing here that should be difficult is figuring out which of the characters in each scene Boonmee actually is.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Lin707 on June 18, 2011
A lot of people were surprised that the Cannes judges actually understood this film, awarding it best picture in 2010. This is probably a film that only 20% of people would consider watching, and of those 20%, only 20% will understand and appreciate its symbolism and nuances. You might want to look on IMDB first and read a bunch of professional reviews both pro and con before watching this amazing film. To me watching this film was almost a spiritual experience. There's no better way of describing it. This DVD is equally excellent. Its a high bitrate transfer (better picture quality) and the details really pop out. Fantastic purchase.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Eileen Corder on July 18, 2011
Apichatpong Weerasethakul is nothing short of a genius. His films grace the screen with poetry and a playful irreverence at conventions. Uncle Boonmee maintains the clarity and freshness first seen in Mysterious Object at Noon while venturing into more serious subjects, partly paying tribute to his father who died of kidney disease. One can easily perceive the love poem reaching out in scenes with Boonmee.

But Weerasethakul's filmmaking genius is much more than good intentions. Consistently his films demonstrate a unique talent for cinematography, dialogue, and directing. His juxtapositions of beauty and bumbling, rural and urban, spirit and material, the ordinary and the extraordinary turn his films into sonnets, and his mostly non-professional actors play so naturally that one forgets that they are acting. Quiet is the best description. Uncle Boonmee's death is poignant and unlike anything else I've ever seen onscreen.

In Uncle Boonmee you see a man in a monkey suit, and then 15 minutes later, a rapturous vision of Shangri-La where a Princess is made love to by a catfish. In the final scenes we have to ask ourselves: Are we the past people? Are we robots hypnotized by electronic media, or a new kind of monk at a new kind of altar? We have to ask that of ourselves.
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