Docs Ireland 2023: Mysterious Object at Noon
Docs Ireland 2023 presents Apichatpong Weerasethakul's groundbreaking, endlessly playful docufiction debut Mysterious Object at Noon (2000)
For his feature debut, legendary director Apichatpong Weerasethakul took a camera crew across Thailand and asked villagers from all walks of life to come up with the next chapter in an ever-evolving story.
The crew imagines and films these instalments and pairs them with vignettes of their authors. Schoolchildren, boxers and street vendors all contribute to this tale, with their individual takes on what should come next creating a kaleidoscopic portrait of storytelling and Thailand at the turn of the 21st century. Shot on 16mm over two years, and rescued from its temperamental elements by Martin Scorsese’s World Foundation, Mysterious Object at Noon is a strange and unpredictable film that announced Weerasethakul as a filmmaker to watch.
Note from assistant programmer – The best documentaries are those that challenge the very notion of the form and toe the line between fiction and non-fiction; Docs Ireland is keen to explore this easily-dissolved boundary. We selected this classic documentary for its playful depiction of ‘reality’ but also for its powerful sense of compassion and empathy for the storytellers. In our time of oversaturated culture that is marked by stories being sold to specific demographics and statistics, it is refreshing to see a film celebrate the communal nature of sharing a story.