By the Time It Gets Dark
The Art(s) of Slow Cinema • 1h 46m
Directed by Anocha Suwichakornpong • Drama • With Visra Vichit-Vadakan, Arak Amornsupasiri, Achtara Suwan • 2017 • 105 minutes
A shape-shifting narrative around memory, politics and cinema, the film weaves together the stories of several characters. We meet a young waitress serving breakfast at an idyllic country cafe, only to later find her employed in the busy dining room of a river cruise ship. And we meet a filmmaker interviewing an older woman whose life was transformed by the political activism of her student years and the Thammasat University massacre of 1976. With her tender, unobtrusive filmmaking style, Suwichakornpong allows us to get to know these characters slowly and deeply. At the same time, we see how their beautiful country and its troubled history inform their actions and identities in ways both overt and subtle.
"A swirl of startling, sensuously rendered transitions, identities sliding among characters, fictions [within] fictions... A heady iconoclast snooping out profound points of exchange between the possibilities of narration."—Film Comment
"Remarkable… Suwichakornpong abdicate[s] logic and directorial control in favor of a strangely intuitive, even random, rethinking of narrative and historiography."—Artforum