Ashes (2012) by Apichatpong Weerasethakul
MUBI have got together with the Palme d’Or winning director of Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives to present his new short film, entitled Ashes, which was shot almost entirely using the super retro hand-crank LomoKino, which they’ll also be selling online with a Limited Edition design (and includes a 35mm roll of the film, as well as a free 1 month subscription to MUBI).
The film itself is quite short at under 20 minutes, but rather divine, with that vivid and textural lomography combining with the LomoKino’s slideshow-like framerate to create something akin to a Chris Marker film. His themes shift from walks with his dog and the peaceful Thai countryside to more serious issues of national politics (more specifically, vocal dissenters to the King who have been imprisoned under the law of Lèse majesté), though his ruminations are as hazily defined as his images. He switches to modern, mobile phone-quality digital for the final shots, calling attention to the shift in time, technology, and politics, but the last frame’s striking, yet damning visual metaphor involving a burning wild fire and a laughably feeble attempt to extinguish it provides no clear resolution. One of the best examples of the short film medium from one of the premier filmmakers working today. Watch it!