Among the 21st century’s most essential artists, Apichatpong Weerasethakul has amassed a richly original and transcendently mesmerizing body of work that few filmmakers can match. From his feature debut, Mysterious Object at Noon (2000), to the Palme d’Or-winning Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010), to his metaphysical latest, Memoria (2021), Weerasethakul’s formally daring oeuvre is marked by a meticulously controlled sense of cinematic sensuality and a powerful, understated gift for locating the political within the everyday. A towering figure in both world cinema and the art world, Weerasethakul continues to work in short- and feature-length filmmaking, always manifesting an experimental desire to rethink the possibilities of the medium. A singular cinephile in his own right, Weerasethakul has engaged with film history in profound ways.

In addition to four programs of Weerasethakul’s shorts and seven of his features, his selection of films include Chantal Akerman’s La Captive, a hypnotic exploration of erotic obsession that circles around the very-strange-indeed relationship between the seemingly pliant Ariane (Sylvie Testud) and the disturbingly jealous Simon (Stanislas Merhar); Russ Meyer’s Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, an enduringly influential, black-and-white cult classic in which three go-go dancers tear across the California desert on a nihilistic crime spree, presented in 35mm; John Cassavetes’ Opening Night, a masterful psychodrama with Gena Rowlands in one of her finest performances, playing an aging stage star in the midst of preparing for a new role whose sense of self begins to crumble after she witnesses the car-accident death of an obsessive fan; and Primate, Frederick Wiseman’s 10th feature, chronicling the daily activities and experimental research undertaken by scientists at Atlanta’s Yerkes National Primate Research Center, presented in 16mm.

Organized by Florence Almozini, Dan Sullivan, and Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Special thanks to Jean Ma (Stanford University).

UCLA Film & Television Archive; Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique; the Museum of Modern Art, New York.