100 Frames: Tropical Malady (2004)


Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s acclaimed 2004 film is the subject of this issue’s “100 FRAMES” feature. Dennis Lim provides an introduction both to the filmmaker, whose work he describes as “prehistoric and postmodern, equal parts elemental myth and experimental provocation,” and to this sequence of contiguous frames, relating it to the broader context of Weerasethakul’s oeuvre.

Born in Bangkok, Thailand, Apichatpong Weerasethakul completed his first feature, the well-regarded documentary Mysterious Object at Noon (Dokfa nai meuman), in 2000. His 2002 film Blissfully Yours (Sud sanaeha) won the Un Certain Regard Award at the Cannes Film Festival, his 2004 feature Tropical Malady (Sud pralad) was awarded the Cannes Jury Prize, and his 2021 film Memoria won the Prix du Jury at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival. Weerasethakul promotes independent Thai filmmaking through his Bangkok-based company, Kick the Machine.

Dennis Lim is a writer and film curator based in New York. Since 2013, he has been the director of programming at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, where he also serves on the selection committee for the New York Film Festival, as co-chair of the New Directors/New Films programming committee, and as co-organizer of annual and recurring programs including Art of the Real, Print Screen, and Projections. He was the film editor of The Village Voice (2000–2006) and a frequent contributor to The New York Times (2006–2013).