Blissfully Yours (2002)
My first film from this year's San Francisco International Film Festival.
Director Apichatpong Weerasethakul's MYSTERIOUS OBJECT AT NOON is one of only two Thai films I can think of that have been officially released in the US. This is fairly typical America, where it is often assumed that foreign film = art film. I nearly bought MYSTERIOUS OBJECT, but after reading some reviews I decided to pass, as it sounded rather too strange and a little boring. BLISSFULLY YOURS is the director's second feature, and it all takes place in a single day.
An illegal immigrant from Burma has a rash for some reason, so his girlfriend takes him to the doctors in the morning. In the afternoon she makes an excuse to leave work and they drive up to the mountains, where they hang out and eventually have sex. Their friends, an older couple, also have sex.
BLISSFULLY YOURS is unquestionably an art film, and it's the kind that give art films a bad name. Interminably slow, pretentious and ultimately not really about anything. There's enough material for a 10 minute short, padded out to two hours with endless shots of people driving somewhere, or lying on the grass, or generally doing nothing much at all. It's highly reminiscent of the films of Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami, with a bit of explicit sex thrown in for no reason except perhaps to try and generate some controversy.
There are moments where the film is beautiful, when the couple are in the forest, but ultimately the film is just VERY BORING INDEED. I'm sure there are people that just adore this kind of stuff, and I've seen plenty of slow arty films that I've enjoyed myself for that matter (even those of Abbas Kiarostami). This film did practically nothing for me though, and I can't recommend it to anybody.
I find it slightly sad that films such as this get US distribution, at least at film festivals, but far more entertaining stuff such as Headless Hero or Body Jumper will never ever see the light of US day.