From the extraordinary mind of Palme D’or winning director Apichatpong Weerasethakul, and starring Academy Award winner Tilda Swinton, comes a bewildering drama about a Scottish woman, who, after hearing a loud ‘bang’ at daybreak, begins experiencing a mysterious sensory syndrome while traversing the jungles of Colombia.
As a kid I was drawn to jungles, animals, and mountains. During the 70s, I grew up reading novels about hunters looking for treasures from lost civilisations. However, Thailand does not possess ancient empires full of gold, nor headhunter tribes, nor anacondas. Forty years later, I am still drawn to such landscapes but they are covered now with layers of other stories. I am attracted to the history of Latin America as if it was a missing part of my youth. I have come to Colombia to collect expressions and memories, not the Amazonian gold. I am deeply in debt to the individuals I have met in various cities, from psychologists, archaeologists, engineers, activists, to junk collectors.
Another important factor in the birth of this project is my own hallucination. While researching, I often heard a loud noise at dawn. It was internal and has occurred in many of the places I visited. This symptom is inseparable from my exposure to Colombia. It has formed the basis of a character whose audio experience synchronises with the country’s memory. I imagine the mountains here as an expression of people’s remembrances through centuries. The massive sierras, with their creases and creeks, are like the folds of the brain, or the curves of sound waves. With the scores of acts of violence and trauma, the terrain inflates and trembles, to become a country with never- ending landslides and earthquakes. The film itself is also seeking for a balance in this active topography. Its skeletons, the images and sounds, are shaken out of place. Perhaps this is a ‘sweet spot’ where I and this film can synchronise, a state where delusion is the norm.
– Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Filmmaker Bio Apichatpong Weerasethakul | Director, Writer & Producer
Apichatpong Weerasethakul has come to be recognised as one of the most original voices in Asian and world cinema. His previous feature films, short films and installations have won him widespread international recognition and numerous awards, including the Cannes Palme d’Or in 2010 with UNCLE BOONMEE WHO CAN RECALL HIS PAST LIVES. His TROPICAL MALADY won the Cannes Competition Jury Prize in 2004 and BLISSFULLY YOURS won the Cannes Un Certain Regard Award in 2002. SYNDROMES AND A CENTURY (2006) was recognised as one of the best films of the last decade in several 2010 polls. MEMORIA, currently shooting in Colombia, will be the first feature he has made outside Thailand and the first with an international cast.Born in Bangkok, Apichatpong grew up in Khon Kaen in north-eastern Thailand. He began making films and video shorts in 1994 and completed his first feature in 2000. He has also mounted exhibitions and installations in many countries since 1998 and is now also recognised as a major international visual artist. His first live performance ”Fever Room“ (2015), has been presented at major theatrical venues and festivals in Gwangju, Brussels, Paris, Berlin, Vienna and Tokyo and other cities.
Tilda Swinton | Jessica
Oscar winner Tilda Swinton appears in five movies at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, including NEON’s Colombia-set Memoria which she executive produced and Fox Searchlight’s The French Dispatch, reuniting her with director Wes Anderson. Tilda is a producer, artist, writer and performer who has worked with many female directors ranging from Sally Potter to Lynne Ramsey to Joanna Hogg, whose film The Souvenir Part II premiered as part of Cannes’ Directors Fortnight lineup.