M Hotel


Format: Super 8 to HD Digital, Color
Sound: Dolby 5.1
Length: 11:50 minutes
Completion: March 2011
Shot with Elmo Super 8 camera. Model 1012S-XL.

Cast: Nitipong Thinthupthai, Chaisiri Jiwarangsan, Chalermrat Kaweewattana
Shot, Edited, and Directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Laboratory: Retro Enterprises, Japan
Sound: Chalermrat Kaweewattana
Sound Designer: Akritchalerm Kalayanamitr
Sound Mix Studio: Technicolor, Bangkok
Sound Mix Supervisor: Richard Hocks
Stills: Chaisiri Jiwarangsan, Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Finance: Parichart Pu-aree
Colour Correction: White Light, Bangkok
Post Supervisor: Lee Chatametikool, Houdini Studio, Bangkok
Produced by Hong Kong International Film Festival Society, under project Quattro Hong Kong 2
Presented by Brand Hong Kong
Production Company: Kick the Machine Films
Copyright: Brand Hong Kong & Kick the Machine Films
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Synopsis

Two men are in the room 1702 of a hotel named M, which situated in the heart of Yau Ma Tei area. They are the film crew members who has visited Hong Kong for the first time. They spend their afternoon in the room doing souvenir portraits. Below in the park outside sits their team member with a microphone clipped onto his jacket. The man later leaves his bench and wanders around the area.



















Four of us were in Hong Kong in early January 2011. Through the internet, I booked two rooms at a hotel with almost no one knew about, and with little information online. I was struck by its name, M Hotel. I figured that it could be a companion piece with my future film, Mekong Hotel, which features a hotel near a Thai-Laos border, separated by the Mekong river. When we arrived, everything about the M Hotel couldn’t be more different than its counterpart in Thailand. The Mekong Hotel was old-fashioned and deteriorating whereas this one was brand new, even still under construction.

What the sibling films have in common, then, is solely the letter M. Through my limit impression of Hong Kong, I could in my half sleep conjures up some floating M words - Mistress, Mad, Medieval, Machine, Magic, Money, and Mafia.

Incidentally, the hotel is located in the heart of Yau Ma Tei area, where all the above M words can be applied to. And if I may, I would add two of my preference words into the list, Male and Movie.


























Conveniently, I had with me my Males and my Movie cameras. I decided to celebrate these two affections by having the men stay in the tiny hotel room during the day for three days (even though they were dying to go out to the neon lights, like insects). This hotel room was enough for you to enjoy Hong Kong - a superb digital camera was provided to heal your tourist impulse and your narcissistic nature.

With us on a journey was a sound man. He has a degree in Forestry, but by fate, he has been a sound recordist for most of my films. In this mission, he was free to record any sound he pleased. Perhaps because his nickname is Bird, to me he seemed to fly, roaming around, gathering audio waves from the city of M.

Back in Thailand, I told him the following:


Gradually, after a few hours of joking, improvisational shooting, plus a few days of editing, I found that the M and the Mekong had some traits in common. There exist opposing powers at a window pane and at a body of water. The world turns silent, for example, when you dive underwater or when you shield yourself inside a glass box. These two borders, under many circumstances, insulate intimacy and chaos, interior and exterior, separation and unification, savagery and refinement.


All these elements had merged in the film. Only the screen remains a border. Outside that window pane, I imagine that the city is flooded. The buildings and their windows are drifting past by, aimlessly.



Apichatpong Weerasethakul, February 20, 2011