Syndromes and a Century: US DVD release

Nantarat Sawaddikul in Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s “Syndromes and a Century”

From Twitch by way of Karina at SpoutBlog I learned today that Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Syndromes and a Century is making its way to DVD in the United States on January 15, 2008.

(sound of crickets chirping)

Ok, so why am I telling you this? For starters, Syndromes was the best one hour and forty-five minutes I spent at all of last summer’s LA Film Festival. It blew my tiny little American mind. You can read as I flail around trying to explain the experience here.

I know, it’s not Pirates 3, but what are you waiting for? Go throw it in your Netflix queue. Seriously. I’ll still be here when you get back.

Also as a sidenote: if you want to stop getting invited to parties, walk around saying “Hello, my name is Apichatpong Weerasethakul. You killed my father…prepare to die” to total strangers. It’s even better out loud. Trust me.

The strange thing is that this movie has never played in its home country. It was supposed to open in Thailand on April 19th of this year, but the Thai Censorship Board demanded the removal of four scenes. Apichatpong refused to recut his film telling the Bangkok Post: “I, as a filmmaker, treat my works as I do my own sons or daughters. I don’t care if people are fond of them or despise them, as long as I created them with my best intentions and efforts. If these offspring of mine cannot live in their own country for whatever reason, let them be free. There is no reason to mutilate them in fear of the system. Otherwise there is no reason for one to continue making art.”

The offending scenes involved doctors kissing and drinking liquor and a Buddhist monk playing guitar and playing with a UFO toy. The most recent information I could find was that the censors wouldn’t even return the print of the movie.

(pausing to let that sink in)

You know, I’m not one to tell people how to run their country, but that’s just impossibly lame. So now you have 2 reasons to rent/buy Syndromes and a Century: Blow your own mind and take a stand against censorship at the same time.

Just do it, then tell a friend about it. You can thank me later.

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