This film is an experimental mix of documentary and fiction. The film crew travels from the Thai countryside to Bangkok, asking the people they encounter along the way to continue a story ... See full summary »
Funny, beautiful and interesting comment on the nature of film
More a piece of video-art than a movie, Ghost of Asia (shot entirely in 'fast-motion) features (the voices of) three children who seem to be giving orders to an adult, who duly performs whatever simple tasks he's given (e.g. throw a spear, catch a squid, throw trash, pick up trash, climb trees, eat flowers, brush teeth). The structure of the children bossing the grown-up is not only a funny satire of parenting, it's also to my mind a comment on the relationship between actor and director, and on the incredibly small difference between commanding and commenting (the actions of the grown-up could easily have been improvised by the actor in advance of the soundtrack featuring the kids). Effective as a comment on the media of film, then, but also stylistically daring with the insistence on sped-up visual (and audio?) which not only makes everyday actions seem strange and otherworldly as well as funny, but also (with the lo-fi production values) create a very beautiful shimmer, especially in the (sea- and) landscape-shots. The very aggressive and funny electronic music of the first part works very well, the more sentimental Thai-pop of the second half not so much (I usually love the sentimental pop-songs of Apitchatpong's movies) - especially as the concept seems to grow a little bit old in the end. Still, very nice piece of video-art.
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