U.S. distrib finally steps forward for ‘Uncle Boonmee’

Posted by · 7:17 am · July 6th, 2010

It’s unusual for a Palme d’Or winner to wait this long after Cannes to find to secure a North American distributor — but then, Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s death-dreams-and-monkey-ghosts fantasy “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives” is a pretty unusual Palme d’Or winner.

You’ll get why it’s such a tough sell when you see it, but that won’t be until spring 2011 for U.S. audiences. It has just been announced that boutique distribution company Strand Releasing — who previously handled Weerasethakul’s features “Tropical Malady,” “Syndromes and a Century” and “Blissfully Yours” — have once again come to the rescue, and will open the film in the quiet half of next year.

Probably the right call: even with the Cannes fanfare, the film is destined to remain an extreme niche item, and would get buried in the late-year crush of more accessible highbrow fare.

Strand continue their impressively hand-picked résumé of arthouse titles — other recent adoptees include “The Headless Woman” and “The Edge of Heaven” — though I’m slightly surprised an outfit like IFC didn’t take a chance on it. Now all that remins to be seen is whether Thailand select “Uncle Boonmee” as their Oscar pony — not as likely you might think — though it’ll be the darkest of horses if they do.

→ 6 Comments Tags: , , , | Filed in: Daily

6 responses so far

  • 1 7-06-2010 at 7:51 am

    The Other James D. said...

    The title alone has me hooked. I’m putting this one on my must-see list.

  • 2 7-06-2010 at 8:28 am

    sosgemini said...

    Strand, if it’s queer, quirky and not very good, we will take it!

  • 3 7-06-2010 at 12:03 pm

    Speaking English said...

    The title is crap. Apichatpong is clearly not for me. Cool name though, dude.

  • 4 7-07-2010 at 12:19 am

    Me said...

    Even if it is a difficult filmic text to read, it’s a pretty damn good alternative to the drek that’s being shoved down our throats. Regardless of whether it is unusual that it got the Palme D’or, you can’t change history. What one can change is the Western world’s practice of Cultural Imperialism with their ideas of what cinema is for the rest of the world. Sickening.

  • 5 7-07-2010 at 6:58 am

    James D. said...

    Weerasethakul’s films have always been too cold for me to really latch onto them, but if it is good enough for the Palme d’Or, it must be pretty interesting. Shame about having to wait until next year, though.

  • 6 7-07-2010 at 7:14 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    I don’t really see this film making many converts. I got more out of “Tropical Malady,” personally.