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Syndromes And A Century review

Some directors become heroes by bending the rules. Then there are those who heave the rule-book right out the window. One of the latter is Thailand’s Apichatpong ‘Joe’ Weerasethakul, whose movies comprise a series of mysterious, often poignant and very funny scenes which never quite gel into any one narrative but are tantalisingly suggestive of several. Like his Cannes Jury Prize-grabbing Tropical Malady, Syndromes And A Century is split into two-halves. The first part’s set in a rural hospital, where Dr Tei (Nantarat Sawaddikul) interviews army trainee Nohng (Jaruchai Iamaram) then goes about her daily business. Part two replays the action, but the setting’s now urban, the spotlight more on Nohng. Dedicated to the filmmaker’s parents (both of them doctors), this curio sometimes bemuses, but it’s utterly fresh and alive.

 

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