Directed by celebrated Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Cemetery of Splendor (2015) centers on a group of soldiers afflicted with a bizarre sleeping sickness, finding treatment in a small town along the Mekong River in northern Thailand. The clinic soon becomes a surreal space for volunteer Jenjira (Jenjira Pongpas), who watches over the handsome Itt (Banlop Lomnoi), as quiet, dreamy hallucinations become indistinguishable from reality. As doctors and mediums explore ways to ease the men’s comatose states with colored light therapy and even telepathic powers, Jenjira finds cryptic connections to the mythic ancient site upon which the clinic sits. Dreams, myth, magic, spirituality, and romance intertwine along her path towards deeper awareness to self and the world, offering a meditative salve to reality.
Join us for a screening of Cemetery of Splendor, the most recent, critically acclaimed film from Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, 2010). UCSB Film and Media Studies Professor Naoki Yamamoto will lead a post-screening Q&A with Assistant Professor Jihoon Kim (Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Korea).
Jihoon Kim (Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Korea)
Jihoon Kim is Associate Professor of cinema and media studies at Chung-Ang University. He is the author of Between Film, Video, and the Digital: Hybrid Moving Images in the Post-media Age (Bloomsbury Academic, 2018/16), and his essays have appeared in Cinema Journal, Screen, Camera Obscura, Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Film Quarterly, and Millennium Film Journal, among others. His second book, Documentary’s Expanded Fields: New Media and the Twenty-First-Century Documentary is forthcoming in Oxford University Press in May 2022, and he is finalizing Post-verité Turns: Korean Documentary Cinema in the 21st Century, the first English-written monograph on the subject.
Moderator Naoki Yamamoto
Naoki Yamamoto is Assistant Professor in the Department of Film and Media Studies at UC Santa Barbara, with research interests in film theory, Japanese cinema and popular culture, Marxism, documentary film, avant-garde art, and 20th-century philosophy. Besides his new book on Japanese film theory, he has also edited Tenkeiki no Mediologī [Mediology in Postwar Japan] (with Toba Kōji, Shinwasha, 2019), an anthology on media theory and practice in 1950s Japan.
Media are global by nature; they express culture just as much as they transcend borders. The CWC Global series is dedicated to showcasing media from around the world. This series features screenings and events that place UCSB in conversation with international media makers and global contexts across our deeply connected world.