“Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Tropical Malady, for instance, is mysterious in a completely different way. Offering, among many other treats, a sincere belief in shamanism, this portrait of a romance stands here for a more delicate form of experimentation than Tarr’s or Haneke’s – and also for those film-makers who have found crossover opportunities in gallery-based work, another phenomenon which gained ground in the last decade. Weerasethakul (or ‘Joe’, as his friends and colleagues call him) has benefited, too, from the kind of world cinema curation that exemplifies the new influence of festival funds, and of special projects like Vienna’s very successful New Crowned Hope commissions.”
Source: Syndromes of a new century
“The gay love-story which is the kernel of the first section asks for no special treatment… But it is Weerasethakul’s intention to go directly and strongly to the world of Joseph Beuys and William Blake, and by the time we get to the second section he is determined to evoke a place that is defiantly other-worldly. The darkness of this jungle is infinite, and Weerasethakul is careful to leave it dark… Weerasethakul’s passion for the forest floor is also considerable: few have ever attended to its structure in such detail, with its paw-prints, twigs, dead leaves, snail shells, fly-blown turds, leeches and most of all mud. It is only by smearing himself with mud, like Arnie in Predator, that the soldier stands any chance of outwitting his tiger-spirit nemesis…
“This is a work of outstanding originality and power that comes nearer to the condition of the quest and the dream-state than any film in recent years. It requires a relaxed and open mind to watch it, be consumed by it, and enjoy its great and fearful symmetry.” (Roger Clarke, S&S March 2005)
As I am Thai, I mentioned only Khun Apichatpong and his work. There are a decent number of other movies and foreign filmakers in these articles that should not be missed. I strongly recommend reading the rest of the stories via the links.