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'Cemetery of Splendour' Screening at Golden Age Cinema

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by Victoria St Lukes (subscribe)
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Cemetery of Splendour, a film about sleeping and awakenings

And a cemetery, of sorts, it was… soldiers corpse like, stricken by narcolepsy, immobile in hospital beds above a forgotten buried palace where kings syphon their energy to win battles!

That sounds more like a science fiction movie than the sweet, surreal 'thinking out of the box' film I just watched, It's shocking in places, uncomfortable in others. Sympathetic in parts and tender to a tea (sic).

Cemetery of Splendour is one of those films that you'll either love or hate, you know, a bit like Marmite, but Thai.

Me, being the romantic that I am and watching with an open mind didn't even think it may all be a dream, until someone posed the question! Is it or isn't it?

I loved the evolving relationship between the handsome soldier and the lonely housewife, (actually, I'd say she was more nostalgic than lonely) and the surprise visit from two very normal looking princess spirits and the way the physic was taken for real when she wasn't/was/wasn't! In fact, she's enlisted to communicate with the sleeping soldiers and through them, takes us on a journey of past, more affluent times. Leading the housewife serenely through the forgotten palace of memories and developing a deep meaningful relationship with a kooky twist.

This film glides so aptly along in a dream like state, neither sleeping nor waking. The pace graceful and fluid with long, long held single shots, taking its time with confidence to reflect and amuse the viewer.

If this review is making sense without giving too much away it's because the film does exactly that too, that's the beauty of it, I don't think it's supposed to be a bam bam bam note to self. I saw it more as a journey of surrealism and a clever way to tell a story of times gone by whilst keeping us in the present and what a refreshing genre that is in these turbulent times.

Who wants to watch the same old movie formula of killing and shooting and blood and gore every time? Not me! And if 'Not you!' either get yourselves along to see this enchanting, eclectic film at the Golden Age Cinema, 80 Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills and I suggest you keep the Asian theme going with dinner at Longrain 85 Commonwealth St, Sydney NSW 2010 (opposite) afterwards.

Recently, if you've find yourself a little bit fatigued by the latest Galaxy shoot out, try to stay awake whilst you watch Cemetery of Splendour, a beautiful film to keep you thinking. I managed it, but the friend I took didn't! It's nothing against the film - it's just everyone is asleep in it, or are they? And Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz, oh sorry!………

Director: Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Thai subtitles

Images appear courtesy of & PMC variety
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Why? To see Cemetery of Splendour
When: 14th January 2016
Phone: 02 9211 1556
Where: Golden Age Cinema, Lower Ground Floor Paramount House 80 Commonwealth Street Surry Hills, Sydney 2010
Cost: $20 BF for adults $15 BF for concession holders, FBi subscribers and Sydney Theatre Company members. $25 GST for gift vouchers (including postage).
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